Shabaka James is a photographer, self-taught for over twenty years. He takes portraits but avoids mechanical poses. He prefers creative, sassy,
off-beat photography events that tell a story and get his subjects to connect with viewers and reveal something about themselves. Shabaka talks with
his subjects to find out what they’re thinking and how they operate – he gets to know them. He uses lighting, backdrops, and photo processing
techniques to create a vibe that reflects the subject’s personality.
Shabaka’s work is for the people – he creates an experience intended to remember. Hopefully they will like it - best they will love it - but even if they
hate it he hopes he’s gotten them to have a memorable experience. His photos reveal introspections and reactions.
Shabaka finds that the translucent panels in his studio provide soft lighting – a natural soft box effect – that helps his photography. He adjusts as
the sunlight moves throughout the day, and it provides a nice affect. He nicknamed his Studio “Gallery3 (Gallery Cubed)” since his Studio is inside the
AFAS Artivity Studios area, which in turn is inside the Center For The Arts Building that houses the Red Dog Gallery.
Shabaka likes the interactions he has with other AFAS artists and in the downtown area arts district. He is learning a lot about our art culture and
the art business. He is proactively involved with expanding the art scene by bringing new artists to downtown and to AFAS, and by promoting other
artists’ works (which can be viewed in his Studio as well as at pop-up art shows that he promotes). His pop-up shows expose art that he likes and
allows people to connect. As he says, he likes to “do dope things with dope people”.
Contact Shabaka via his Instragram account shabakajames or his web site http://www.shabaka5.com.