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Jomo Kenyatta is an emerging photographer who is on a mission of unrelenting determination to turn his passion for photography into a successful profession.
Although both of his parents were at one time serious amateurs, he attributes his initial intrigue into photography to his mother. He often tells this interesting and true story of the time he told his mother that he wanted to take some pictures at his middle school graduation in South Orange, NJ. He recalls his ultimate objective was to get pictures of Valerie, a pretty girl who was relocating to another state. His mother, while in Valerie’s presence, told Jomo that she forgot how to operate the infamous Minolta SRT 101. After some fiddling around with the camera she directs him to what she thinks is the shutter, but Jomo says he later found out what she had thought was the shutter was actually the aperture preview button. To add insult to injury, when Jomo requested that the perceived images be taken to get developed, his mother accidentally exposed the film. From that day forward he promised himself that he would never ask his mother anything pertaining to the operation of a camera again.
So his quest began. He soon became a yearbook photographer while attending Orange HS in 1987. He has had many photography courses and has worked with some professionals. Tom Jinks, a former professional freelance and wedding photographer, tutored him. Jomo furthered his knowledge of photography at Northern Virginia Community College (1994-1996). Jomo says it was there that he really developed. Over the years his images have placed in many photo competitions.
In 1995 he entered his first major photo competition in Arlington, VA, in which two of three submissions were successfully placed. He has also placed twice as a finalist in a publication called The Best of Photography Annual, published by Serbin Communications, in 1996 and 2001.
His most recent accomplishment was receiving a prize and Honorable Mention for his entry in the Westfield Art show in Westfield, NJ. He is a member of both the APA-NY (Advertising Photographers Association-New York Chapter) and the Westfield Art Association.
In addition to all these accomplishments, Jomo is also a speaker and freelance writer who attributes all his success and talents to God. Jomo has traveled to and captured intriguing images from Dominica and, more extensively, Jamaica. In the near future he plans to visit Cuba, Barbados, and Belize to name a few.
He is currently working on a photo essay entitled “The Caribbean Unseen”, which shows what the tourism industry does not show – and that is how life really is in many parts of the Caribbean. The beginnings of “The Caribbean Unseen” were recently exhibited at Jomo’s debut held at the Jamaican Consulate in Manhattan on February 20, 2002. Jomo’s work was also recently exhibited at the Caribbean Diaspora Film Festival held at The Brooklyn Academy of Music in September 2002.
Jomo has been featured on both Raintiger.com and Soul4U.com. Jomo’s images are currently on display at: Eclectic Fine Art Gallery in Summit, NJ; Majoco Contemporary Gallery in Plainfield, NJ; and Before & After Hair Salon and Spa in South Plainfield, NJ.