Chukwudi Nwamba

Duality

14th March, 2016

Chukwudi "Chuks" Nwamba found me through a friend in early December 2015. We met at Lab Cafe about a month later to talk. I was intrigued by the stoic figure before me.

Chuks Nwamba poses in a hat and jacket

I still didn't really catch it during that first encounter, but beneath the quiet exterior was a very creative mind. I got a glimpse of this through a conversation we had before the day of our shoot, where the idea of contrast and duality first arose. We brainstormed a bit around dark and light, struggle and achievement, and so on.

A man lain out in defeat on the floor
A man grasps his chest in suffering

I started thinking pretty immediately that contrast in subject matter could be conveyed visually through dark and light contrast in the images. I shot in full color and edited in black and white for these shots to get the desired effect.

I produced some final shots in color but I like the story these images tell with their consistency. The mood flows freely, which is something I constantly think about as a photographer. Telling stories visually involves some amount of stepping back to see if things make sense not only shot-by-shot but as a whole.

A man slowly pulling himself up off the ground
A man finding a place above in confidence and relief

Chuks was a pleasure to work with since he came in with a very strong idea for the concept and the appropriate materials to convey it. His modeling was natural and fluid; I provided minimal direction.

It's easy to point at things that make a good model or don't make a good model, but there are a few things you can never quite put your finger on I suppose. It's those things that make you want to see more, push the limits, and possibly awaken something awesome. One can only hope for those opportunities and seize them when they arrive.

A man kneeling, grasping his face in great pain
A man confidently stands, looking out on the world

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