Working under a memorable mononym, Oladimeg is a freelance artist and photographer based in Ottawa, Ontario. Despite his decidedly Canadian location, however, his work is entirely otherworldly.
For his series “The Unseen,” Oladimeg successfully subverted the relationship between audience and model, instead drawing attention to the photographic process. It’s a thoughtful experiment that raises questions about artistic intent and creativity without being too heady — after all, the images are still incredibly pleasing to casual onlookers.
It’s just another example of the deep, diverse creative well Oladimeg continues to draw from. “At the end of the day, it all depends on what I want to achieve,” he says.
Why did you decide to hide your models’ faces?
What inspired this particular shoot was me knowing a lot of people judge a photo by the beauty of its subject. I know some people feel that if the subject you have in a photo is beautiful, then the photo is definitely okay. I thought I should do a project where I have the subjects almost covered or not really seen, and if the viewer can still feel or like it without having a full view of the subjects’ face, then I feel I achieved what I wanted to achieve. That’s why it’s titled “The Unseen.”
In other words, you’re really trying to comment on the process of photography through these images.
I just want people to know a lot goes into a photo — the emotions exhibited by your subjects, the long editing hours, location scouting and so on. It’s not just the physical beauty of the subject.
Why did you choose photography over other creative mediums?
I started photography at a point in my life where I needed a lot of answers and got a camera to pass the time. Since then, I’ve stuck to it. It has helped me reach and fill a part of me I felt was missing. Photography is an easy way to put my thoughts and visions out for people to relate to without saying much. I’m more of a reserved person, so it’s a great avenue for me. I can’t emphasize enough about the great people I have met, worked or collaborated with since I started.
What camera did you shoot on?
I used a Canon 6D and 50mm 1.2 lens
How does your gear help you as a photographer?
I can remember the time I had a crop sensored camera, and comparing that to the quality of what I have right now is incomparable. Still, at the end of the day it all depends on the photographer. You can have great gear but if you don’t know how to use it correctly then it’s of no use. You need to have the eye first.
If you could shoot any subject who would it be and why?
Steven Onoja and Josef Adamu. I love both of their style so it would be easy to create something great with them from portraits to a short series, or any other type of photography.
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