A photographic exploration into the innocent beauty and freedom of youth is manifested within Justin Akomiah’s Do You See, showcasing the unconventional allure of everyday people in London. Recognising the negative effects of dehumanising and judging one another solely on physical attributes, Akomiah looks past the preconceived notions of casting, meeting designers and photographers, instead celebrating everyone’s faults and imperfections, thus embedding a certain sense of refreshing realness we yearn to see within the contemporary landscape.
Rather than focus on the outdated ideology of beauty standards, the quality Akomiah looked for when casting was in fact unconventional beauty and features resembling 90’s Hip Hop icons. The objective behind Do You See was of course to subvert the stereotype when approaching beauty ideals but also to invest in the imaginative characters created and pay homage to Akomiah’s childhood influences of the late 90’s to early 2000’s Hip Hop scene.
“I wanted to replicate the colourful cinematic visuals that I saw from music videos by the likes of Missy Elliott, Pharrell, Lil Kim, P. Diddy, and Wu-Tang Clan. Stumbling upon people on the street my mind would race with visual narratives”.
Do You See contains twelve compelling chapters, one as showcased here entitled East District which used East London’s urban landscape to highlight Akomiah’s influence once more. The full project will be exhibited and released as limited edition hardback book mid 2017.
Justin Akomiah is a creative director based in London, who specialises in Creative Direction, Styling, Art Direction, Digital Communication and Photography. Akomiah began creative directing shorting after studying at Central Saint Martins and has since art directed the initial four issues of Joshua’s Magazine whilst also founding men’s fashion journal Pickmix.
Creative Direction & Photography: Justin Akomiah
Grooming: Naomi Akinwunmi
Assistant: Jordan Gyale
Words: Stephanie Akomiah