© 2017 The Ajani Photography: Digital Image Solutions Blog All rights reserved
Since the dot-com bubble and the early days of MySpace, there have been major paradigm shifts within the human realms of psychology, philosophy, communications, economics, technology, and employment (among many others).
In many ways, these shifts have changed human life as we know it (in the developed world), and have recently been spearheaded by my generation – the millennials.
With that said, I recently collaborated with, and consequently shot portraits of Rachel David – a Toronto-based journalist, producer, entrepreneur, influencer talent relations agency founder, and professional funny woman, whose personas and entrepreneurial adventures embody many of the cultural paradigms that define my generation.
At the age of 19, after graduating from the Radio Broadcast program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Rachel moved to Toronto to pursue a career in television, in the midst of the last great recession, and as the digital media revolution began to explode, only to realize that the career opportunities and upward mobility in Toronto’s television world were non-existent for her (at the time).Read more
Jamel Shabazz was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of fifteen, he picked up his first camera and started to document his peers. Inspired by photographers Leonard Freed, James Van Der Zee, and Gordon Parks, he was marvelled with their documentation of the African American community.
In 1980, as a concerned photographer with a clear vision, he embarked on a mission to extensively document various aspects of life in New York City, from youth culture to a wide range of social conditions. Due to its spontaneity and uniqueness, the streets and subway system became backdrops for many of his photographs.
Ultimately, his goal was, and still is to contribute to the preservation of world history and culture. In the past two decades, he has had over two dozen solo exhibitions, including “Men of Honour”, “A Time Before Crack”, “Pieces of A Man”, “Represent”, "When Two Worlds Meet”, “Back In The Days,” and “Seconds of My Life,” which have been shown around the world, from Argentina to The Netherlands, England, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, and throughout the United States.
I first met Jamel in 2009, after learning about the evolution of his photography online (through my friend and colleague, Che Kothari), and developing a sense of respect for his use of the art form.
I first began working with Claire Fountain of Trill Yoga in February of 2016, and recently shot her this past August, in Manhattan.
She is an amazing person, a fantastic subject to photograph, and the first yogi that I have ever shot.
Since our first photo shoot, and through a number of conversations, I have learned a great deal about her, myself, yoga, psychology, philosophy, writing, entrepreneurship, and many other subjects that overlap in interesting ways.
Otherwise known as CB Quality, Claire is a writer, and personal trainer that fell in love with yoga in her Mississippi hometown, before ever stepping foot on a mat. As a way to overcome her life's obstacles, she began a journey of learning and studying anatomy in order to heal her mind, body, and spirit.
Throughout the Arabian Gulf, camel racing is traditionally known as the sport of the sheiks.
In Qatar specifically, the pastime became a professional sport in 1972, and camel racing fans enjoy the fiercely competitive games each month, at the Al Shahaniya Racetrack.
Located about an hour north of Doha, the racetrack is one of the most popular camel racing tracks in the middle east, and races typically take place on Fridays, from November to February.Read more
When I first travelled to Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park in central China, a few years ago, I had no idea that the trip would be as tumultuous as it was.
Travelling from Chengdu, in Sichuan province, to Jiuzhaigou, was supposedly an eight hour journey, but ended up becoming a very uncomfortable, fifteen hour bus ride.
Firstly, most of our journey to the park including bumper to bumper traffic, so getting there within the projected eight hours was impossible, especially given the geography of the mountainous regions that we were traversing.
Secondly, I was sitting in close proximity to an old Chinese man who had urinated himself at the beginning of our trip, and the smell was unbearable. Fortunately, his trip ended prior to ours, about halfway to the national park.
During my recent trip to the middle east, one of the most awesome sites that I visited was The Grand Mosque of Qatar, otherwise known as The Abdul Wahhab Mosque.
Located relatively close to Doha, Qatar's downtown core, The Grand Moque is the largest mosque in Qatar, and includes 90 domes, 18 entrances and can hold up to 30,000 people.
Built in 2013, it was named after the 18th century Islamic theologian and inaugurated by the Former Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
Initially, I was overtaken by the mosque's extravagance and size, and I was impressed by the sheer volume of light fixtures and details within and surrounding its structure.
China's Forbidden City is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring places that I have ever visited and I hope to explore it again in the near future.
Located in the centre of Beijing and quite accessible by public transportation, the Forbidden City now houses the Palace Museum and served as home to Chinese emperors and their households for about 500 years.
When I first visited the city almost three years ago, I did my best to detach myself from my preconceived notions of its scale and appearance.
When the art and science of photography was first invented during the early 1820s, the earliest photographers diverged in two directions -- one group set out to document the world around them in a straightforward manner and the other group aimed to create beautiful surrealistic images that challenged the notion of human perception.
Through their experimentation, the latter group of early photographers discovered double exposure photography by accident and the unique style has persisted ever since.
Musicians like Prince, Queen, Guns N' Roses and Michael Jackson dominated the 80s and set the bar unbelievably high for live musical performances.
As such, very few artists that represent my generation have been able to measure up to the superhuman standards that were established during the 1980s and before.
With that said, one of the few songwriting and musical performance anomalies of my generation is undoubtedly Miguel and I didn't truly have an appreciation for his level of artistry until I saw it firsthand.
Last week, the Los Angeles native performed to a packed crowd at Toronto's Sound Academy as part of his "Wildheart" tour and between his open jacket complete with white fringes and the rawness of his music, he did not disappoint.
The Toronto Caribbean Carnival, more commonly known as Caribana was definitely one of the events that contributed to my definition and experience of Toronto as a youth.
Recently, I attended the Caribana parade for the first time in four years and even though quite a bit had changed within the structure and administration behind the event, I had a great time and felt a sense of pride and gratitude for my caribbean, Haitian and African roots.
I felt a great deal of positive energy and happiness as I walked through the parade, photographing those that played mas as powerful soca music reverberated throughout the Canadian National Exhibition grounds.