Spotlight Interview … Photographer Kareem Ajani

JRP: When one views the site of Kareem Ajani you become impressed with the style and execution of his images. Well done and with stylish post processing Kareem’s images are excellent examples of his spin on contemporary art. Thanks Kareem for sharing your time and thoughts with the readers of JRP Blog.

Kareem Ajani: I am humbled to be sharing with the readers of JRP Blog, and will do my best not to disappoint.

JRP: Where do you call home Kareem?

Kareem Ajani: Toronto, Ontario. Been here for a majority of my life now, and couldn’t even tell you the last time I left this place. It’s a city with a lot of interesting people, places and things. A wonderland for a photographer.

JRP: What got you started in photography? Do you have any formal training?

Kareem Ajani: To be honest, a good friend of mine (C-Plus) and myself were just kicking around ideas one day and thought it would be cool to put out a magazine. We looked into getting it started and the process of finding the right photographer came up. At the time (2004), we interviewed a number of photographers to fill this spot, but none seemed to really justify their rates. I decided to become the photographer and hence it began. With no formal training what-so-ever, I just dived in and taught myself the basics by reading and asking advice from more experienced photographers on-line.

JRP: How would you describe your photographic style?

Kareem Ajani: I’d like to think that it is versatile, but people often just label it “Urban“. I love colors, and so I try to make my photos pop with life.

JRP: What tools would I find in your camera bag?

Kareem Ajani: My camera of course, my three lenses, my pocket wizards, some batteries, memory cards, my light meter and even my handy old reflector.

JRP: What software do you make use of in your digital work flow?

Kareem Ajani: I import my photo with iPhoto, then after that I work on the RAW images in DPP (Digital Photo Professional by Canon). The final part is doing the touch-up stuff, sharpening and a bit of the creative in Photoshop CS3.

JRP: How do you handle printing your images? Is it done in house or do you outsource to a lab?

Kareem Ajani: I usually outsource my images to a lab, and on the odd occasion print a few covers at home for clients. I leave all that ink spilling to the professionals because ink is like gas these days.


JRP: A great deal of the work presented on your site involves entertainers. Is that an area you find a special fondness for?

Kareem Ajani: You know, it just so happens that I do get frequent inquiries from artists in and around the city (even outside the country), so I embrace those projects. I can’t really say that I prefer photographing entertainers more-so than anything else I photograph, because I approach every project with the same drive.

JRP: How do you scout and select your locations?

Kareem Ajani: Location … location … location. I usually speak with the client or analyze the direction of the photo shoot, and then visualize which or what location would best fit. I love contrast, so throwing a beautiful girl amongst the most nastiest washroom that looks like a scene out of “Saw“, is amazing.

JRP: Do you make use of available light mostly or do you use supplemental lighting on location? What lighting do you prefer or do you let the image set the lighting requirement?

Kareem Ajani: Very rarely do I use available light, because I’ve become quite fond of my artificial light (strobes). They give me the control I desire. If there is one thing people comment most on, it’s the lighting of my subjects.

JRP: Thus far what has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?

Kareem Ajani: That is a good question, I would say that the best advice I was given was when one photographer proposed the “why” factor of photography. Shooting for a reason, make the viewer(s) think and tell a story through your photos.

JRP: What advice would you share with photographers starting out?

Kareem Ajani: Take time to learn the craft, and do it because you have a passion to create. Anybody now-a-days can buy a digital SLR, but that doesn’t make you a photographer … it just makes you a camera owner.

JRP: Thank you Kareem for sharing your thoughts and photography with us. It has been a pleasure talking with you and I wish you continued success.

Kareem Ajani: I would like to thank you in return for giving me this opportunity to share with you all. Be sure to visit my site (link below) and feel free to hit me up if you have any questions or just want to comment in general. Do what you love, love what you do!

JRP: To view more of Kareem Ajani’s images please go to this link:


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