(Photo by: Alexander Muldrow/ TU Student)
Bunmi Abari, a 21-year-old Nigerian college student who uses photography and fashion as his primary forms a self-expression.
Bunmi’s interest in photography first peaked during his senior year of high school when he was attending school in Nashville, Tenn. It was there when he originally began taking pictures of various landscapes, himself, or his friends using his iPhone 4.
“I’m really into documenting lifestyle, especially now,” Abari said. “It [photography] was all about having fun, and I’m a still having fun with it now… It was based off of me trying to find myself and cherishing the lifestyle that I was surrounded by… It gives me that sense of freedom of expression and entitlement as an artist.”
Bunmi was born and raised in Prince Georges County, MD. He transferred to Towson University after attending Montgomery College for two years. He is now in his junior year at Towson University, with a major in Electronic Media and Film, and a Mass Communications minor.
Bunmi currently works as a freelance photographer, who receives gigs from a wide variety of companies, and people to capture photos of events ranging from concerts, to festivals, to personal portraits. His photography skills got him published in CRWN Magazine because of his unique still shots from the Broccoli City Festival in Washington, DC. His keen eye for photography has also gotten him hired to take photos in New York and Florida, and he plans to expand out even further this upcoming summer.
What once started as an everyday hobby for Bunmi, eventually developed into a career. He pointed to social networking website, Tumblr, as significant influence on his love for photography when he first began taking it seriously.
“It started off with Tumblr… I was fascinated by the content that I saw,” Bunmi said. “From there I was focused on taking good quality, clear pictures. That really made me want to do photography even more, so I can show the world what I see, through my own eyes.”
Although Bunmi still takes photos of a wide variety of people, places, and events, he still wants to maintain a specific focus.
“Usually I take pictures of the lifestyle of fashion, any highlights or pizazz about the fashion,” Bunmi said. “And mostly my work is like black women, especially on the darker spectrum of black people… I believe it’s not enough exposure to those type of women… I was often mad about flipping through magazines, or watching movies, wondering where are my people… I took that initiative and told myself that I’m going to make an impact one day, and show more of my people.”
Charles Chijioke is close friend of Bunmi, the two met on the Models of Distinction team at Towson University. Chijioke describes his friend Bunmi as an all-around unique person with a unique personality.
“What made us become friends was Bunmi’s natural ability to be himself, it’s hard to find people who are accepting of who they are, and how they are, and can express that in college,” Chijioke said.
After graduation, Bunmi Abari plans on using his bachelor’s degree to pursue a career as a creative director revolving around the fashion and entertainment industry. But, photography will always have a special place in his heart because it helped him decide a career path, and get him to where he is today. Becoming a creative director is only step one Bunmi Abari’s master plan to take the media industry by storm.
“My long-term goal is to become a film maker,” said Bunmi in regards to his dream job, and career aspirations. “Especially as a black man, and in the film industry it’s not that many present, so I feel like I can play a big role into that.”
If you would like to see some more of Bunmi Abari’s photography in depth, feel free to follow him on Instagram @ Kodak.Junkie or visit his website: http://www.kodakjunkie.com