Ranti, Tamar, Aaliyah & Monique by Mary 

@rantisaurus @taamars @aaliyah_lawal and @momobongs by @mary_oji/@maryxvi

I'm a self-taught analogue photographer and I began curating concepts, styling and shooting my own projects in December 2016. To me, shooting on film is like magic. It’s a much more delicate process than shooting digital. There is a lot of patience required, especially since you can’t see the finished product until you’ve taken the roll of film to be developed. There’s a definite beauty in the struggle of creative trial and error. The first roll of film I ever got developed was a complete mess but when I look at the photos I take now, I’m really pleased with how far I’ve come. It’s a beautiful way of witnessing your own personal development and I look forward to growing as an artist and advancing my skill set.’

 

The current theme of my photography is black femininity, diversity and girl power. I was inspired by my friends because of their distinctive looks, strength and personal style. The aim of my photography is to bring out the beauty and personality of my subjects through the contrast of background, light, clothing and colour. Our university is based in a northern post-industrial city in the UK and we as African and Caribbean individuals contrast heavily with our surroundings and I like to embrace and capture this. 

 

I wanted this concept to be as fun as possible. It's one big experiment with light and colour. Colour can be a tool of self expression and one thing I really wanted the photos to be was vibrant, to act as a reflection of the girls' personalities. These shots turned out completely different to how I had originally planned; because this is England, it randomly started snowing and there ended up being nine people in our living room instead of at the original set, it was cramped and awkward at first but the results were wonderful.