Since graduating from BA (Hons) Commercial Photography in 2015, Adama Jalloh’s photography has seen her win a British Journal of Photography Breakthrough Prize and found a home on the cover of the Financial Times Magazine.
Her work on race, culture and identity has been featured everywhere from Buzzfeed to the New Statesman.
How do you go about choosing the themes for your projects?
I think looking at photographers that inspire me, as well as reading what they were passionate about, helped me to think more about what I wanted to produce and how I would re ect that through images.
For a short period, I thought I had to travel pretty far to the places they did, in order to produce the same projects. That would have been kind of silly to do, since it would have cost a lot of money and I wouldn’t really be producing work that is authentic.
In terms of choosing themes for projects like race, culture and identity, I realised there are so many things currently going on around me in London that need to be documented and shown. I especially feel that certain aspects of communities and people tend to be disregarded.
Why do you think your work has found such popularity?
I don’t know, I think social media and entering competitions and exhibitions have helped a lot with getting my work acknowledged.
I’m just glad that my images resonate with some people. Being told that your work has connected with someone definitely pushes you to do more.
What’s your most memorable image you’ve shot in the past six months or so?
It’s probably from when I went to New York during the summer. I was shooting some street photography in Prospect Park, Brooklyn and saw a group of boys messing about. I tried taking a candid shot of them, but one of them turned around and caught me. As soon as they all saw the camera in my hand, they started messing about even more.
The one that caught me said, “we gotta walk in a straight line like how they did in straight outta Compton”, which was funny because they all started walking in slow motion like they were in a film.
I think what I liked most about the image was that one of them decided to turn around and look straight at the lens with so much confidence.
There isn’t really a story behind the image but I think it’s always nice seeing kids around that stage being themselves and just having a genuinely good time.
So what’s the next thing you’ll be working on?
I’m just trying to develop and expand on projects I feel need more time spent on. Also, a friend and I have been discussing a lot about collaborating together on projects — our style of shooting is very different, so when this does eventually happen it will be interesting to see the outcome.
What was the most important lesson you learnt during your time at AUB?
It’s ok to make mistakes. It’s something that I still have to remind myself a lot of the time.