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ON THE SPOT with Jadah Dunyoh

Our 'ON THE SPOT ' interview series highlights individuals throughout the creative community for their contributions to art and culture. Putting these artists "on the spot" we created a space where creatives and innovators tap into the conversation to uplift and continue to inspire the creative community. Next up is...Jadah Dunyoh.

Jadah Dunyoh is a portraiture and editorial photographer whose work focuses on the Black experience. Art has always been a passion and outlet for expression for Dunyoh. A Baltimore, Maryland native Jadah currently works as an in-house photographer at Digital Factory, the #1 photography studio in the city. "I am now going on my 3rd year of photography and I’d say this is my favorite medium. I started out by just assisting my other photographer friends on their shoots and providing them with fun, simple BTS videos. Somehow I grew to love the process and they were more than welcomed to teach me more. And every now and then, I can now return the favor due to the knowledge I’ve gained during my journey and practice I’ve put in to perfect my craft. They have become some of my favorite people to know & work with and you will constantly see us creating more for the art world to enjoy."

What's the best thing you've done, simply because you were told you can't?

The best thing I've done, ironically enough, was pressing pause on school and becoming a full time artist. Of course, going to college is ideal, but it wasn't for me. We all hear that not going isn't going to go well for us, but after creating for almost 3 years and accomplishing things that no one ever could imagine, I barely get any talk about it now. Specifically because it is now seen that I am adamant on being successful in my passion.

What are you manifesting in 2023?

In 2023, I am manifesting more opportunities and BIGGER achievements to further where I am. I would like to advance in my work, career and in my personal life in general. I am only 20 years old, but I am now transitioning into my adult life and I'd like it to be everything I imagine. Comfortable is a word I like to describe it as, and I use it in a way where I am not stressed or worried about what's next for me.

If you could build your dream creative team who would it be?

This is a good one. Would you believe I already have my own personal dream team? Kevin Bua, Japhet Chukwuma, Niya Troi, Ronica Edwards, Rashon Bray, and Savannah Kent. Those are my photographers, graphic designers, videographers and creative directors already rolled into a friend group. If I were to add anyone that I personally love as an artist, it would be Connor Cunningham (Mescondi), Seb Xavier, China Zamojukwu (chinxzam), Caleb Jermale, and Vuhlandes.

What have you grown to love and/or outgrown in the past year?

I've grown to love photoshop more. I first learned how to use it in 2016-2017 due to having an art class in high school. Being around my fellow creatives now, some of them make the coolest graphics and not only did I think that I want to do this, but I thought I CAN do this. And I love it. Of course, sometimes it's tedious, but some of your best work will be. It's part of the process.

How do you feel about this statement: "Black Artists Matter"...

The statement "Black Artists Matter" for me means a lot. For one, an "artist" can be literally so many types of careers, passions and mediums. There's millions of us but daily, we are overlooked, passed on, undervalued and even cheated. We do stick together though, and by uplifting and working with each other, we are discovering how powerful we can all be as a union.

What creative source or outlet do you often visit to get inspiration and renew your creativity?

I often pay visits to Tumblr, Pinterest, and Tiktok. If not those, I revisit my old work to get inspiration. Lastly, my friends/creative team.

What are you unapologetic for?

I am unapologetic for making mistakes. Making mistakes is how you grow and learn. Whether they are minor or major, you will understand that these things force you to know what to do better next time around. Do not let your pride or ego make you believe that the mistake is the worst thing that could happen or that you aren't as good as you think you are.

Becoming stagnant afterward is the worst that could happen. Prove that you understand better now and apply it.

Have you ever had a "this can't be happening" moment? Tell us more about this experience.

I actually have not had any moments like this so far. I think I've imagined more of these moments than l've actually had them. A bunch of "what ifs." But there have been small things like my camera batter dying right before a shoot, or I'm missing my only SD cards.

Or even accidentally formatting a card with work on it (probably one of the biggest fears of a photographer/videographer.)

If you were to throw a message bottle into the ocean, what would it say?

My message in a bottle would be to my future self and work. Honestly, I'd simply just write, "Look how far you've come." | know I'll strive and be in a place that I once thought was so far away.

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