We are back chatting with creative director, Emmanuel Whajah about his moving new project, ‘Divine Beauty’ which delves into the beauty of femininity.
For those who haven’t checked out our previous chat with Emmanuel, this talented photographer is know for his dark undertones, contrast and close-ups of some of the world’s most sought after celebrities.
His world-class portfolio dons moments of euphoria and emotion of Keke Palmer, Burna Boy, Les Twins, Jorja Smith and A$AP Ferg to name just a few.
But his latest project, ‘Divine Beauty’ seeks to create a new space and refreshing perspective on the photography of female beauty, offering a more holistic and non-judgemental attitude.
‘Divine Beauty’ is only just taking off, so we sat down with Emmanuel to see what the hype is all about.
Hi Emmanuel – how’s it all going ?
Hey, it’s going well just been working a lot and trying to distract myself from the negativity which is going around the world.
Tell us what the ‘Divine Beauty’ project all about?
Well, the project ‘Divine Beauty’ represents the beauty of a women in a classy way, away from what women are being reduced to today. ‘Divine Beauty’ captures the beauty of women from a holistic angle: the body, mind and soul.
Essentially, it’s a video series were one video ends and another follows through the effect of a film roll, seeking to represent the late 60s and 70s. I’m using different types of models with different backgrounds and cultures to present how special and beautiful women are and that nobody should be ashamed of their body in today’s society.
Why did you create ‘Divine Beauty’?
Firstly, I created some mood videos which I used to show music labels and artists for their music videos, so they can imagine the kind of vibe they may want to create for their future videos.
Later on, I started seeing a lot of female models misrepresented on music videos. You end up judging them very quickly because most of the time they’re half naked combined with the artist’s lyrics making them look negative. So I wanted to create a platform where a woman can model and be the focus through the whole video and be sexy and classy at the same time without needing an artist or a brand which they have to represent.
What have you learnt about femininity through shooting this project?
I’ve learned that it’s very important to know the character of a woman and to respect the person behind the beauty without judging her through her social media. At the same time all female models gave me more ideas in how to capture female models in different environments, for example which angle I need to focus on to tell their story in the video.
I noticed you use music to accompany each video – is there a reason behind your choice of songs for each individual video? If so, why?
Yes true, I got a Spotify playlist called “Divine Beauty – The Video series collection” were I store all the music from the videos. Before shooting with a model I send her the link to the playlist and tell her to choose 3 of her favorite songs on that list. After that I listen to the songs carefully and picture the video with her in my mind, because most of the time when the song is perfect it hits me within seconds, without me even thinking about the location, the vision is already in my head.
What do you hope to do with ‘Divine Beauty’ in the future?
I believe that it’s going to be a big platform for females whether their a professional or non-professional model, it’s the place for woman to appreciate themselves from different places around the world and support each other to create a community.
To you, what is ‘Divine Beauty’?
It’s loving yourself, your body, your soul and especially loving your existence.
What have been your biggest challenges shooting this project?
I think the biggest challenge is always knowing the vibe you wanna create to make your audience fall in love with the person in the video.
What do you hope people will take away with them after seeing your ‘Divine Beauty’ videos?
They forget everything around them, feel the vibe which is presented to them and can imagine how beautiful women can be without judging them.
What have you got in store for the rest of the year?
To shoot more videos and do more projects like this. I’ve got tonnes of unofficial and ‘never-before-seen’ footage which isn’t online yet, so I can’t wait to drop them.
Any final words for aspiring photographers wanting to make it big or start their own creative project?
Be consistent and focused on your goal and don’t try to be different, because if you try to be different you end up being the same because everyone is trying to be different, so just be you.
If you have a couple of minutes, go check out Emmanuel’s ‘Divine Beauty’ Instagram HERE.