In Conversation with: Yossy Akinsanya

An Image of UK photographer- Yossy Akinsanya

Yossy Akinsanya, simply put is a 21-year-old creative who lives inside her own thoughts. I’m always thinking of the next thing I want to do or achieve.

Where did your passion for photography come from?

It started properly I would say at university; I had been taking pictures for my sister’s blog for a few years but during first year I realised how much of an escape it can be for me. So, whenever I needed a break, I would pick up the camera and there begins my love story with photography.

What would you say sets you apart from other photographers?

I’m not sure, but what I hope does set me apart is I like to try and think of a storyline and not just for something to look ‘aesthetically pleasing or pretty’ I like for people to look at my pictures and see a whole story unfolding.

How would you describe your photography style?

My style is based off using what I have, making the most of open spaces because I can’t afford studio shoots. Finding beauty in what I have around me to bring my concepts and ideas together. I would like to think my style has a lot of black culture, I like taking things we’ve been insulted about and showing the beauty of it like our skin colour, our hair and our features.

What have been the highs and lows of life as a photographer?

The highs: The amazing people I’ve met on my journey and friends I’ve made, also shooting and spending the afternoon with Shakka was cool. Also, being paid to do something you love is an awesome feeling.

The lows: Some of the people I’ve encountered, I’ve received hurtful messages and have had people try to put me down which they almost did for a second but no way.

What/who inspires your work?

A lot of London creatives that look like me, talk like me and think like me, some off the top of my head are Paula, Isha and Ruth. What inspires me? The idea of telling people’s stories and bringing issues to light through my work one-day, inspiring others.

Which one of your works is your favourite?

At the moment? Probably the piece my sister and I did for our mother for Mother’s Day, it made her cry and that feeling was priceless, moving my mum with my work paired with my sister’s work was just an amazing feeling.

Where is your favourite place to take photos from?

I find a lot of inspo on twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. I love creating mood boards and then executing the ideas with my own twist and take on it.

What is the most important thing you consider before starting a shoot?

What I want from the shoot, is it to show my angle work? Is there a concept that I need to show? An emotion that I need to portray?

Where in the world would you like to go to take photos?

Even though I’ve kind of done it, Nigeria. I want to properly go around and meet locals, ask them questions about their life and pair that with portraits. Give people a real glimpse into Nigeria, the country I am from. Show the beauty, show the pain, show everything.

Who are your favourite photographers and why them?

My favourites? As mentioned already: Paula, Isha and Ruth are some of my favourite ladies based in London because their work is so unique and identifiable, and it all has a purpose if you know what I mean? They work so hard and I look forward to seeing their work all the time.

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

Lightroom, it is literally what makes my photos what they are!

Given the chance who in the world would you want to photograph?

Oh gosh, this is a hard one. I think Solange, I feel like conceptually our minds would sync so well and we would create some amazing stuff.

Describe a typical day in your life

An image of UK photographer- Yossy Akinsanya

A typical day in my life? At the moment it is literally just working on getting that degree whilst eating my weight in food, with a cheeky hint of twitter for entertainment purposes.

What song is the soundtrack to your life?

Everyone who knows me that Unforgettable by French Montana was the soundtrack to my life for a good two years, I wouldn’t let my poor friends rest with that song, so probably that.

What are you most fond of about being Nigerian?

What is there not to love? Nigerians we are hilarious and just our banter. Everything from Aki and Pawpaw, Nollywood to ‘why are you running?’ we are funny people and you can’t deny it.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

You have to be your biggest fan. Keep promoting your work, keep pushing it out there until people start seeing it and taking notice, that’s literally how I’ve built all my connections and have found all my opportunities.

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who had a good heart and did good work. That’s it.

How can people get in touch with you or access your work?

Twitter: yossy_jpeg

Instagram: yossyakinsanya

My website

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