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5 Minutes With Charles Lawson

Charles Lawson is a Ghanaian photographer, born and raised in Accra. I fell in love with his photography on his Instagram page as I wondered what part of Accra he captured with his lens. Charles is a landscape and architectural photographer, but his pictures aren’t your run-of –the-mill kind of landscape pictures. Those included in this week’s selection, in particular, tell an inviting summer story that you can easily see yourself fitting into.

After a long time of admiring all the gorgeous photos, and longing for a sunlit stroll along the beach shores, I reached out to Charles Lawson to find out a bit more about his process and inspiration.


If you could live anywhere else, where would you live and why?

If I could live anywhere else, it would be around major African cities, for a little while at a time, making landscape, cityscape and architectural images.

How long have you been a photographer and how did you get into it?

I began shooting in 2011. I have always been fascinated with some of the beautiful works I had come across by famous and not-so-famous artists from all around the world, and especially in Ghana. Finally, a friend of mine got into photography, which finally pushed me to learn, practice and take the jump into it myself.

Did you go to school to study photography?

My photography is mostly self-taught, with a lot of research using internet resources, and cooperating with a variety of more experienced photographers.

How would you describe your style?

My style is very dependent on natural lighting and settings, and that is possibly the one constant in my work.

What camera(s) do you shoot with?

I shoot with pretty much anything I can find, but most often with a Canon 6D or an iPhone 6s. I really enjoy shooting with my phone. Its mobility is unmatched in my opinion, and coupled with a tripod, it can make great time lapses and landscape images.

If you could only use one lens forever, which would it be and why?

If I had to pick one lens, it’d probably be the 24-70mm f2.8 professional L lens. It’s a versatile piece of glass that allows me to capture relatively wide landscapes, as well as crisp portraits as the need arises.


What inspires you to create such great imagery?

My inspiration to make these images comes from the abundance of beautiful landscape images on the internet from all over the world, coupled with what I believe is a dearth of such imagery from my home. I’m pushed to depict my city, and to a larger extent, my country, in the most beautiful light.

Of all the projects you’ve worked on, which is your favourite?

My favourite project has to be “Black Sunshine”, one I did with filmmaker Akosua Adoma, and actress Maame Yaa Boafo in Paga. It was a very eventful road trip, and the memories from it are as cherished as the images we made.

What ambitions in relation to your photography are you yet to achieve?

I’m looking forward to having my first exhibition, which I intend to take to many African cities as well, taking advantage of the opportunity to make images in these cities. A yearly publication further down of these Africa-wide images would be a dream to achieve. Hopefully, things work out and I can make it happen.


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