Emmanuel Bobbie is a Ghanaian Photographer who is the CEO of Bob Pixel Photography. He is a husband and father of two to young boys.
I discovered Emmanuel’s work through his Facebook page and I was blown away by his photography. He is an artist who knows how to capture his subject soul. Every photo he takes tells a story. It is evident in the way his subjects surrender to his camera and open themselves to the lens.
I would describe Emmanuel’s work as the standard photographers in Ghana should measure themselves with.
His work is inspiring! I was compelled to ask Emmanuel to take part in an interview for our publication Feint & Margin. Emmanuel represents a new breed of Africans using their talent and profession to bring to light social issues in our communities and our continent. He uses his photos to promote social change. Some of his photography depicts the realities many Ghanaians face.
I was humbled to have an opportunity to tap into his creative mind and to find out who he is and how his work influences his life. Below is a synopsis of our conversation along with some of his photography.
Kate Nkansa (KN): How would you describe your photography style?
Emmanuel Bobbie (EB): I don’t particularly have a style, each subject might require a different approach. I wouldn’t be able to tag my style of photography
KN: Why did you choose a career in photography? How did it all start?
EB: I graduated from (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology) KNUST in 2001 as a Graphic designer and photography was one of the subjects I needed to pass to graduate as a graphic designer. My love for photography goes back to my O’levels days when I used to take pictures during interco games at the stadium.
KN: Photography ,social issues and marrying the two? When did you start using your talent as a photographer as a tool to highlight social issues in Ghana? What inspired this shift?
EB: I have travelled extensively and shot some of Ghana’s most beautiful people including celebrities. I have seen the beauty and ugliness. About a year ago, I decided to change the kind of subjects I shoot. On my birthday, I visit the Afram Plains with some friends and that was an “eye opener” for me. There are many things that we ‘city folks’ take for granted. I saw people with less but yet they managed a smile for my camera and they moaned less. I then decided that in as much as they smiled, they still had issues that need sorting out.
Even though I still do commercial shoots, I spend my own “free” time driving around deprived areas. I try to bring a pictorial representation of their plights and needs.
KN: Please tell us about your project with JOY fm?
EB: It was a project ” slum radio” which talks about the plight of the folks who live in the slums
KN: Which slum/s did you focus on?
EB: New Fadama a.k.a agbogbloshie
“Thank God for your comfortable bed at home. Sometimes we fail to appreciate the simple things in life” Emmanuel Bobbie Copyright: Emmanuel Bobbie. All Rights Reserved
Copyright: Emmanuel Bobbie. All Rights Reserved Hope
KN: Do you see any changes or improvements in the plight of our fellow Ghanaians after you’ve translated their plight into images? Do you believe your work makes a difference in their lives?
Copyright: Emmanuel Bobbie. All Rights Reserved
KN: What’s the craziest story you’ve heard from your subjects?
EB: Currently, the craziest one is, “I hear you can use my photo for sakawa“
KN: I heard through the grapevine that you no longer shoot weddings. Any reason for this?
EB: It was for personal reasons but that will be changing soon. I just need to put a few things in place before I start again.
EB: Quite a few but one I really cherish is been commissioned to shoot for the cover page of “Black Enterprise” magazine of the USA when they did an African feature. I shot Bridgette Harrington of the celebrity golf club.
KN: How about recognition for your talent? Our artists have the GMA, and our designers have the GFA. What about photographers?
EB: I have a fair amount of following and I’m recognized by my peers and key players in the advertising industry. Recognition takes time and I don’t shoot because of it. I shoot because I love doing what I do. Folks love what I do, so I give all the Glory to my maker.
KN: What the greatest lesson about life you’ve learn through your work as a photographer?
EB: God made all things beautiful.
KN: What is your Advice to young people who wish to pursue a career in photography?
EB: Love what you do, don’t look for praises and never fall in love with your images. That way you don’t take criticisms personally.
EB: The first one was held in 2010. I am currently organising one for Takoradi Polytechnic in May.
KN: What is your message to the youth of Africa?