Nicole: Ahoy there! My name is Nicole Osula. I’m twenty one years old and I’m currently a third year undergraduate student at Queen Mary University of London, where I study Information Technology Management for Business and indulge in lots of Supermalt and Fruitella (strawberry flavoured of course)
Amongst many things, artists use art to express, to comment and to challenge. An artist can be the voice of the voiceless. An artist has the power to represent the underrepresented or to showcase the beauty of the marginalised.
Nicole: In terms of my work, I feel as though the black skin is under appreciated, which is why people of colour are my primary focus. I appreciate melanin and I enjoy capturing it’s many shades. I like to draw attention to the beauty of the black skin.
Nicole’s journey as photographer began as a hobby, and blossomed into…
Nicole: Initially I started taking pictures for fun. I created an Instagram account to document random bits and pieces of my daily life. Clouds and bright flowers often put a smile on my face so these were a large proportion of what I documented. You’ll find that a majority of the clouds have been deleted now, but there’s still the odd flower or twelve weaving in and out of my photos. I just can’t seem to shake em!
Every so often I whipped out my gun…- sorry, phone…- and force a friend to stand by a nearby coloured wall so I could capture them. I threatened to bury them alive in Fruitella if they were hesitant (lol joke). I soon realised that I actually really enjoyed capturing people, and the summer of 2015 was when I chose to take photography more seriously. I messaged a lovely Instagram user by the name of Ejatu Shaw for a collaborative shoot and, well, that was the start of my photographic journey!
When you do something that you genuinely love, it feels like…
Nicole: It’s funny. Whenever I take photos it’s like… It’s like I get this buzz and just feel really excited. I find the whole process really cool – from meeting new people, to discussing concepts and how their clothes and hair will be styled, to exploring different locations – it’s all very fun to me. It’s exciting that I can be inspired by something and then bring it to life with my own twist on it. One of my favourite aspects of photography is the editing. Literally, as soon as the shoot was over and we had parted ways, I’d hop on to the train or bus (preferably a bus because I have thing for long journeys) and whip out my phone, ready to edit away with a half eaten packet of Fruitella by my side. Well, that was the case up until Summer 2016.
In Summer 2016, Nicole’s friend surprised her by investing into her passion.
Nicole: My best friend decided to be sly and secretly bought me the camera she knew I was saving up for – lol talk about surprise birthday presents! Although having a camera means I can’t edit as soon as I’d like to, I actually quite like it, it means that on my way home I feel really pumped, a bit like an African Aunty who’s buzzing with the anticipation of being greeted with a crate full of Supermalt when she gets home (shout out to all the malt lovers out there). Sorry, I’m digressing again. Time to stop rambling! I am on a journey, one that I am very excited about!