Photographing Leaders and Inspirational People

Hey you! This month has been packed with exciting events and meeting new people. It's also been a month of rapid learning and a ton of reflection as I refine my style and editing processes. I am currently trying to find the style that works the best across shoots and I'm torn between: muted, neutral tones or sharp, vibrant edits - you can let me know what you like most in the comment section below!

Anyway...while I've been milling that over I've been editing shoots of Leaders and their Inspirational People, teams, and support networks. So, I'm taking this moment to share some shoots accompanied by some fresh edits and reworked images...This post was largely inspired by an old photo that was shared by my friend Milimo recently on LinkedIn.

Picture this:

it's 2016, I just started university and am eating lunch in my new accommodation in between lectures. I get a call from an unsaved number. The phone call went a little like this

'Hey, who is this?'

'Hello Yaffa!' a friendly voice says back 'I'm Mils and I'm the founder of the Student Inspire Network. I've seen your photography on Facebook. [Milimo explains more about SIN] I think we should work together.'

After Milimo's warm explanation won over my initial scepticism of the cold call, I thought it seemed like a great idea so I said something like, 'That sounds cool, let's meet!' and the rest is history.

Milimo's Student Inspire Network, now known as Tap In, was one of the first teams I worked with at university. This initiative was a social enterprise to prepare BAME students to get into the world of work. Milimo mobilised a group of talented students and directed a set of short videos to provide honest advice to students to help them to find and secure top work placements. He asked me to shoot portraits of the inspiring students who were being filmed and I had the opportunity to meet and hear about the amazing journeys of so many fellow students at the University of Manchester.

This week I spent some time editing some old photos to create a warm and subtle collection of shots of some of my favourite images. I think I've nailed this set of edits and I've tried to tie them together with a lower saturation while maintaining vibrancy in the details.

Milimo now works with firms and young talent to better prepare both parties for each other! I could see that Milimo's work ethic was not only 'hustle, hustle, hustle' but he also had a kind approach in every interaction.

I feel so blessed to have the unique opportunity to see the way leaders act from behind the lens. From what I have learnt, it's not how people behave when people are watching them that makes them a good leader but how they behave when no one is watching. That is the characteristic of a true leader. Swipe below for some B-Side snaps of one of the most Inspirational leaders you'll ever meet - follow his journey on LinkedIn to learn more!

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