Today we’d like to introduce you to Ny’Eem Johnson.
Hi Ny’Eem, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My passion for photography came from my friends and family around me; constantly seeing smiles when out having fun, in school, or at home relaxing just pushed me to want to capture these live and vivid moments forever. So I decided to do all the necessary research on photography and the functions of a camera. After watching tons of videos, I finally realized that watching videos without experience wouldn’t cut it. I ordered my equipment to start practicing with an actual camera, and once I got the hang of it, the more I started to teach myself. After that, I took pictures of any and everything I could. With support from my friends and family, I could always have someone to take pictures of. One of my first photography gigs was becoming a part of the yearbook committee at my school; the more I showed my portfolio, the more active I became around the city. I was doing photoshoots for family events, school sports such as basketball and track and field, and even poetry slams. As most 17-year-olds are undecided or confused as to their passion or something they enjoy doing, I’m truly blessed that I have found what I love doing, and being that the images I’m capturing around the city are history that will be around for generations is unbelievable. I’ve even had the chance to teach two young upcoming photographers how to perfect their craft and share some of my skills with them as well. A goal of mine is to rebrand Baltimore City not just to us here in this small community but to the world.
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
When pursuing something so broad as photography comes with creativity. Doing something you love and always trying to improve that skill will never be a five-finger exercise; on my journey, I’ve had to learn how to deal with failure and patience. You have to come to terms with the fact that you might not be able to get the results you want the first time, but that’s when you go back out, and you keep capturing photos until you get the results you want. I struggled with creativity when first starting; I just didn’t know how I could make my photos unique. So I had to stop trying to forge creativity and make art out of my images by using things like nature and random objects when capturing photos. You also have to learn how to deal with people because you will have those who believe you can’t do something because of your age or your position in the community. Still, you can’t let that negative mentality and energy stop you from taking your mission to levels you know you can accomplish. There have been times when those negative people have made me feel like what I was doing wouldn’t take me places, or I needed to focus on other ideas because photography wouldn’t bring in the income or connections I would need to be stable in life. Still, the truth is when you do something you’re passionate about, you can do it forever because this is what you love, and it drives and motivates you to do more and keep going every day.
Failure should always be a lesson and never an easy way out. It takes time to get where you want to be, and you must go through trial and error to achieve it. This is why when I receive feedback about my work, I would take it on the chin, try to fix it, and improve on my next go-round. Always keep your ears open to education because the more you learn, the better you become, and that’s how I can overcome so many challenges and avoid being stuck between a rock and a hard place. These tests have been filled with inspiration and contribution to my growth as a whole.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m a local photographer always looking for ways to shed light on our community. I wouldn’t say I have a specialization just yet, as I am still working on perfecting my skills. However, I do have a particular interest in landscape and portrait photos. As I am still starting fresh in the photography industry, I’m most proud of myself for not quitting and having countless perseverance throughout my journey. And one thing that separates me from others is the support I have behind me and my goals; without friends and family, I wouldn’t be any closer to my goals than I am now, so a big shout-out to my support system.
Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I love our city for everything it has to offer. Of course, no one likes the amount of violence we have here, but if I were to get into that, I would just be repeating one thousand other stories. Baltimore is a loving city. The food and especially the culture are magnificent in the town. You see so much, like street dance, music performances, parades, festivals, etc. The best thing is that so much of it is front lined by the youth that keeps the city going and on its feet 24/7. Just seeing how much talent is here, I wish there weren’t so many of us youth who end up falling victim to the system or the street.
- Instagram: Shotsbydoodah
- Twitter: Nyeem1k_
- Other: Link to my most recent gallery: https://shotsbydoodah.shootproof.com/gallery/18454107
Gladish Mbela- Photographer responsible for the pictures taken of me.