The Art of Conceptual Photography
I was a student at Emily Carr University of Art and Design when I discovered my love for Conceptual Contemporary Fine Art Photography. I was so inspired by the medium. I can remember entering school at the dawn of the day and exiting in the dark of night. These were the days of analogue film and hand printing. I loved the challenge of figuring out the exposure settings for what I had imagined and the joy I’d feel when I would see the photograph come to life.
It was in 1998 when I had a group of friends hitting the road from Vancouver to Toronto. “Want to come with us?” They asked. I thought well if not now, when? I submitted for a leave of absence from my last year of university and was off with the first leg of the drive.
A week later we entered the City of Toronto. As we drove around it was in Liberty Village that we secured a 2000 sq ft live/work loft. It was there that I had a revelation to work with artist creating in sound. I imagined that I could create artwork that amplified their voice and would help their audience connect with their persona. I began contacting record labels and the formerly published Access Music Magazine. I will always be grateful for the Art Director who took time to view my portfolio and who would later give me the shot I needed to launch my career as a professional photographer. I am so grateful to this day to have worked with Michie Mee for the cover and The Circle, Saukrates, Choclair, Rascalz and Kardinal for the feature. Thankfully everyone was very happy with my photography and as a result more opportunities to work with Canada’s Architects of Hip Hop emerged. I was contacted by a number of publications from Globe and Mail to photograph Choclair, Rap Pages to photograph Infinite and Maestro Fresh Wes. The Source to capture Black Culture and the Hip Hop scene in Toronto. I began to receive calls from Artists and Record labels which lead to my creation of album art for Maestro Fresh Wes, 2Rude, Ghetto Concept, Baby Blue Sound Crew and Blacklisted.
As an artist my intention is to create Conceptual Contemporary Art Photography that will resonate in a timeless fashion. The Architects of Hip Hop is a truth that only time can tell.
Sheinina Lolita Raj