Tuesday, May 1, 2012

ABC: P for Photographer

Denise Debrah and her work.


My biggest passion after landscapes is people. I find people fascinating, stimulating and above all challenging. Human beings are a kaleidoscope of emotion that just adds drama and mystery to any photograph.
From capturing a newborn's first smile to the chaos of a family gathering, be it a portrait session or a wedding, my style of photography is about freezing the excitement of the moment and the personality of the subject, in short the emotion.

Denise portriat

Denise and her sister Lorraine in my house.

My girls in the now defunct Tourist area Tang Dynasty in Singapore.
    • In 1990, after 13 years in New Zealand, the water engineer got a job lecturing at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. We came to this wonderful campus accommodation where I would live with people who came from all over the world. I was enriched by living with them.

      One day, a man came to the door and introduced himself that he was our new neighbour from downstairs. He was Yaw Debrah from Ghana, and he had come from England. He studied in Canada. I whooped with joy, here was some one who like me, had studied and lived in Canada. I whooped more, his oldest daughter Denise, was my daughter D's age. His second  L was a little younger than my number 2, G.

      Soon, the girls came over, Denise came directly from Ghana and Lorraine from England. The girls hit on really well, and they were in my house a lot. Then Dorothy, the mum came over from England. I saw how mums and daughters from a different culture bond. I saw how Dorothy straightened Denise hair, and used cocoa butter. I ate some of their food, the FuFu.

      When Dorothy had her son Derick, I drove her to hospital. Later, Dorothy went to England to train as a dietician. Her mum came to take care of the children. The two younger children were in my house everyday to give some respite to the grandma. Denise went to a whole day school, and came to play when she came home.

    • The family moved to Cardiff shortly after my son was born. I missed them very much.

      Today, Denise is a photographer. I am glad she is pursuing her dreams, and has parents who encourage her.

      I am posting her story written by herself. I was thinking, I was going to condense it, but decided against it. Her story is so interesting that it would be a disservice if I tried to condense it. It also answered my question, why do you need to do a university degree to be a photographer. I wish her all the best.  Perhaps, one day, she will be so famous that I tell people that Denise used to play in my house. And they will think ," Huh!!!!!"

      • I have been a photographer, it seems forever. I never left home after we moved to the UK from Singapore, without a camera in my bag. I needed more images of the places we lived, just in case we had to move again and new friends had to be made.

        I would love to say that it was my dad that finally gave in and bought me my first SLR, but being an academic from a family of academics, having a daughter who was more artistically inclined was the last thing he expected. As always with moms help, he came round to the idea, and I became the proud owner of an Olympus OM10 (which still works, and I still use)

        I was then allowed to study Photography in high school when we moved to a small village outside of Cardiff, Wales. Being in a dark room exposing your negative on paper then watching it emerge in the developer, was the most emotional moment of my life. That was the moment I knew this is what I wanted to do.

        From then on I lived and breathed photography, reading as much as possible on the subject from our local library, all the way through to the University of Portsmouth where I did a BA (HONS) on the subject. I worked in camera shops as I studied so that every aspect of the camera was known to me, as well as every genre of photography.

         After University I worked for a few studios around Cardiff, as I tried to find my creative eye. I didn't find that until I was working as a photographer for a cruise liner. Three years of my life sailing around the world experiencing the wonder that is gods creation was the most eye opening time of my life. I loved travel photography, I loved landscape photography, I loved portrait photography. Every photography I loved. However portraits was the one for me especially black and white portraits. I was given the honour of being mentored by an amazing American photographer called Joe Craig, after he had seen some of my work. I spend a week in Dexter Missouri with him and his family upon where he taught me everything he knew, loved and detested about photography.

        Missing Cardiff and my family, I decided to come back to land (in more ways than one) and open my own business. After a year of hard work, tears and epiphanies upon epiphanies, Denise D Photography was born. Its still young at the moment and trying to find its footing in this digital age where it seems and world and his uncle all have a DSLR, and think that this makes professional photographers redundant.

        ok my first Liner was the MS Maasdam of the Holland America line. we sailed around the east cost of America and Canada, then made our way south to the Caribbean. Sailing around Barbados, Bahamas etc then back round the the west cost of America and Alaska. I came of that ship late 2008 and did my first overseas solo wedding in Cyprus. then it was off again but this time to the Braemar , a Fred Olsen cruise liner, and that was where I stayed until I came off in Christmas of 2010.

        The Braemar, is a Norwegian liner so we sailed around Europe in the autumn , spring season then summer and winter was spent in the Caribbean and south America. Fred Olsen is one of a handful of liners allowed in Cuba so it was overnight stays there. Great place, but full of so much sadness
      • Denise Debrah

        Denise Debrah my favourite places I have to say was Canada, and some of the Caribbean island. The people are all so different in some ways, but when you get down the core of them, very alike. Everyone is so warm and welcoming where ever we went. they couldn't do enough for us be it a small impoverish island like Trinidad, or a big metropolis like Montreal



magiceye said...

Best wishes to Denise! She is living her dream whcih very few have the courage to do!!
Good on her!!

George said...

Thank you for introducing us to Denise and her work.

Ginny Hartzler said...

She is a very good photographer, so wonderful that you have stayed in touch after all these years!!

Kim, USA said...

Beautiful photos she is a very good photographer. ^_^


Hootin Anni said...

I read this, all the time, shaking my head in agreement....people, as you say, are definitely a kaleidoscope of emotions. Loved your photos today Ann.


Black Jack's Carol said...

I, too, love photography, but have come to it very late in life and I definitely have not "paid my dues" as Denise has. I loved that you posted all of her story. Great post. Thanks!

Roger Owen Green said...

She, and you, reveal a lot about yourselves in this post.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Chubskulit Rose said...

Interesting photos of people. I love taking photos although I am not good at it hehehe.

P is for Pizzaroni
Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

MERYL JAFFE, PhD - parent, psychologist, teacher, author... said...

What a personal, passionate, post. Good luck to Denise and her work.

EG CameraGirl said...

Super P-word, Ann!

Carver said...

This was a wonderful post. Carver ABC-Wed. Team

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for introducing Denise Debrah.
Thanks for your visit. Yes the prince is still in hospital and is said to remain there . He will never regain conscience. It's so sad.