Michael Aboya’s quest to become a professional photographer started by losing his father. Following the death of his father in the year 2000, he began to think about his own mortality. He soon realized he wanted to be able to enjoy the fact that he had pursued his passion.

The name he is known online is Aboya.8, Michael is currently a fashion and fine art photographer from Ghana, West Africa. His photographs are a reflection of the love, emotions, and strength of humanity with imaginative compositions and lighting.

He was part of Photographer’s Without Borders as a guest on the Storytelling for Change series during which we talked about his path to becoming a photographer as well as the inspiration behind his photographs and how he creates unique compositions that define his work.

Photographers Without Borders: Tell us something about your life story and the way you pursue your love of photography.

Aboya: Prior to the time I purchased a camera or even considered taking photography as a profession, I was simply trying to make something. I wanted to channel my feelings into something, however, I was unsure of what I should do or how to go about it.

The best way I could find the best way to show my personality was via photos. However, I didn’t realize because I was simply being me. When my dad passed away, it was like an awakening call, and I began to know myself more. Through this process, I realized my place in the world as a photographer. Photography is my talent, and that’s what I am most passionate about doing. It brings me joy. I have started to cultivate that happiness to figure out how I could help other people.

“Stories can be found everywhere. All you have to do is open your eyes and see. Not your eyes in the physical sense instead, but those of your mind and the eyes of your heart. Allow the imagination of your mind to run .”

Michael Aboya

Are you willing to be transparent about your process of creativity when you’re making an image that resembles Songs of Freedom?

A majority of the time, my creative process comes from my imagination. It’s the source of everything. The first photo began as I was about to fall asleep when “Redemption Song” came on the radio. Even though Bob Marley was playing a guitar, I was playing a violin, with others behind me holding their hands raised. I had that image because I was in a position in which I had to free myself to pursue my journey of learning to understand me better.

The following day, I took a trip out with a pal that plays violin. We gathered the kids and showed them the basics of playing. And the kid who was in the middle was the most attractive. He almost resembled an experienced violinist. I instructed them exactly as I thought it was, and then we recorded the photos. I had no idea that this going to be so impactful for many people. It has made me appreciate how powerful images can be, as well as the potential of using your imagination.

We spoke a bit about the importance for you to showcase the depth of your culture and individuals through the lens of your. Could you explain something about the reasons this is so significant to your life?

It’s essential to tell our tales. We are aware of our culture as well as our environment and our family. Therefore, we’re capable of telling the stories as they really are. This helps to balance both the negative side and the positive. I don’t think it is possible ,to eliminate the negative aspects of things completely but you can find an equilibrium between them. If people can be able to see more positive stories that are positive and hope for an improved future, and understand that, in spite of all the negative things that are happening, there’s optimism for the children of our generation. and there’s a bright future ahead. And there’s a chance for every person.

To view Michael Aboya’s complete webinar, sign up to the PWB community as an PWB Community member. As members, you’ll get access to every one of the “Storytelling for Change” sessions featuring notable photographers and storytellers from all over the world.

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