What time and words aren’t able to recall, pictures do, and capture moments in such a way that the past finds itself in the present. Interestingly enough, self-taught photographer, James Badou from Maryland carves out a place for himself in the future. His works, just as amazing as his outlook on life– a perspective filled with opportunity and nothing but success in his sight.
Timing is everything. Find out why James Badou is so on point.
WBM: If you had to describe your style of photography, what would it be?
JAMES: I would describe my style of photography as realistic; I don’t like to do too much posing when I’m directing my subjects. I like to make them laugh or react in a certain way, in order for me to capture their raw emotions. I strive to capture shots that are real, relatable, and tangible.
WBM: Was photography something you always envisioned yourself doing?
JAMES: I always envisioned myself working in the fashion industry as a designer which is something I still aspire to accomplish. I felt like photography has helped me view fashion in a different light and make me appreciate the art of fashion design.
WBM: How did you get your start?
JAMES: I got my start in photography when I came across the 2009 June Issue of Vogue Paris with Anja Rubik on the cover. When I opened the magazine and saw the artistic spread that they had of her, and Natasha Poly it blew my mind and inspired me to work my way towards creating something as good or even better one day.
WBM: Think of the shoots that you’ve had in your career. Do you have a favorite moment?
JAMES: My favorite moment is always the reaction that I get from my clients when I show them the final products. Knowing that I was responsible for giving someone else a moment of joy that they will remember forever is very rewarding.
WBM: What’s your biggest accomplishment?
JAMES: My biggest accomplishment was when I earned the trust of strangers who would ask me to take portraits of them after seeing my work. Knowing that others can see great things in my photos is a big accomplishment because I was self-taught.
WBM: What type of camera do you shoot with?
JAMES: I shoot with a Nikon D3200.
WBM: Do you remember the first picture you took? What was that of?
JAMES: The first pictures I remember taking were of sunsets and just nature in general. I did not have any models to take pictures of so I just adapted to my surroundings. This led me to the realization of how artistic I could be and my appreciation of the nature I was surrounded by this whole time.
WBM: What are some of the things that inspire you?
JAMES: I’m inspired by my mother most of all. She’s worked hard her whole life so that I could get a chance to reach my dreams one day and has always taught me that if you want something bad enough you can do it if you stop being lazy and get to work.
WBM: Do you have a favorite photographer?
JAMES: I don’t necessarily have one favorite photographer, but I am influenced by different photographers such as, Norman Jean Roy, Annie Leibovitz, and Karrah Kobus.
WBM: What is the world like through your eyes? What do you see right before taking a picture?
JAMES: The world through my eyes is extremely vibrant. I feel as if God has blessed me to see certain things that others might not be able to see in the sense that I always appreciate what is around me and I’m able to make art out of it. Right before I take a picture, I see a million different emotions and feelings happening In a matter of seconds. Being able to freeze the frame at the perfect time capturing these things gives me an adrenaline rush that cannot be described into words.
WBM: Why is what you do so important?
JAMES: Certain things in life last through the tests of time. Memories fade as we grow old, but pictures are forever young, and it’s my job to capture these important memories. I have a true passion for photography and I hope others can see it in my work.
WBM: Lets say you have five shots left in your camera. Who do you take a picture of and why?
JAMES: 1) First and foremost I’d take a photo of my family because they’re the most important people that I have, I have so much to thank them for and I love them with all my heart.
2) Cara Delevigne, she is my favorite model in the world. Her vibrant personality shows in all of her pictures and it would be an honor to shoot with her.
3) The movement of the sun, whether it’s rising or setting because it reflects the beauty of life and fresh starts.
4) People who are less fortunate than I am, because looking back at that image would make me appreciate everything that I have and be grateful.
5) My best friends Mahad, Dusan, Christian, and Less. We all share similar interests do everything together, and we always motivate each other to strive to be better people than we were yesterday.