Today we’d like to introduce you to Akin Andwele.
Akin, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Sure! So my journey started just after college. I was attending Full Sail University for Recording Arts and Entertainment Business. After college, I moved to Atlanta where I was working as an assistant recording and mixing engineer with some of the cities biggest bands. Regularly in the studio, the bands were doing photoshoots, which seemed like such a fun and creative process so it sparked my interest in photography. I decided to pick up the camera and soon after I was contacted by one of the bands to come and take stills on set for their music video.
It was on that set that I met a professional makeup artist and model who changed my creative course forever. One beauty shoot turned into another and I was in love! The entire process of enhancing a person’s beauty and showing them in their best light had me sold! Going from directing in a recording studio to directing behind the camera had some differences but overall was a smooth transition. After building my portfolio and sculpting my vision for commercial beauty photography I decided to bring my talent to Los Angeles.
Has it been a smooth road?
I’m not sure that a smooth road exists haha! There are lots of obstacles facing creatives from sacrifice to uncertainty and fear. Packing up my car and driving across the country to a city where I knew no one was a bold move, but it was something I had to do. Was I afraid? Yeah. Was I uncertain? Absolutely. But I’m a firm believer that opportunity rests on the other side of fear, and that statement has rung true every time.
Most creatives, including myself, wear multiple hats. Meaning we do most, if not everything for our business with little to no outsourcing. Everything from scheduling, accounting, shooting, retouching, and other administrative tasks it can become very daunting! Id say 90% of what I do daily doesn’t even involve a camera haha! A lot of creatives do not want to do these things. In the beginning, it felt like I was mostly completing tasks that I didn’t sign up for. But we have to in order to survive so it definitely took some getting used to.
Finding my voice and vision was another obstacle. Beauty photography whether it be commercial or editorial is pretty saturated, because of that there is a lot of noise and you’re constantly taking in what everyone else is doing.
Initially breaking through that noise, finding your specific look as a creative, and executing on it can be very difficult. Your voice and vision is what sets you apart from others, so it’s important to hone in on these two things and be able to execute.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Akin Andwele Photography – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I currently work as a professional commercial beauty photographer specializing in cosmetics and skincare. In my work the focus is always on the skin, it’s priority number one. Always enhancing beauty but never changing it is what is most important to me.
I’m known for my bright and refreshing images. They kindly invite the viewer in and emanate a balanced sense of freshness, happiness, positivity and strength. That very balance is what sets my work apart. The ability to move your subject to a place where they can emit such emotions while at the same time highlighting a product and or service.
I’m most proud of the amount progress and education gained since moving here to Los Angeles and starting with nothing. Not long ago it was just a dream and now its reality.
And while there are still dreams to manifest I’m excited for what the future has in store.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Los Angeles is such a beauty. I love it here. What I enjoy most is that LA is such a creative friendly city. It’s a magnet of sorts for creatives. There are always people to collaborate, grow, and learn with. Because of that, inspiration is never too far away, and creative growth in a way is inevitable.
Other than likes and dislikes on the creative front: The food in LA! I simply cannot get enough of it. There’s so much variety and it’s all so good! As a self-proclaimed foodie I’ve been on a personal mission to eat my way through LA haha! And trust me when I say I’ve enjoyed it every bite of the way.