“Everyone’s story is really, really different. It’s about timing, and it’s about just being ready, so that when your time comes, you can make sure you come correct.”Flo Ngala- New York based photographer
Hailing from Harlem, NY, the confident and collected Flo Ngala explains to us how that quote fits much of her career thus far. In eighth grade she got a camera, a Minolta-X-something to be exact, and that opened her up to be creative with the lens throughout high school.
Then, Ngala remarks that working for Gucci Mane was probably the first thing that really catapulted her career. Like she said later in the episode, when that time came… she made sure she came correct.
Working as a personal photographer for Gucci then opened up the door to working as a personal photographer for Cardi B. And portfolio opportunities blossomed from there.
A blossoming portfolio
Flo Ngala’s West African roots inspire her to pursue powerful images and moments. And capture the authenticity of diverse and unique vibrant cultures. In 2019, she landed a cover photo for The New York Times with insightful reporting on Black figure skaters from her hometown.
The talented New Yorker also kicked off the year working with Netflix on a project. Then she proceeded to a Rolling Stone job, capturing much of the intensely visceral moments connected with the protests in New York City this Summer. Notable other clients include Nike, Reebok, WWD, and Vogue.com.
“I like being able to just move, and not have to worry about people knowing what’s happening. Just kind of see things, and getting them in the moment,” says Ngala.
The tenacity with which Flo Ngala operates is really what sets her apart and has made her so successful this early into her adult life. Emblematic of how she sees herself behind the lens, one of Ngala’s Instagram posts is captioned, “You don’t photograph people with equipment, you photograph them with energy. The camera is the medium, the photographer is the messenger.”
With an intrinsic understanding and acknowledgment of her roots, a New York energy that only real New Yorkers know, and an innate desire to capture powerful moments that are often forgotten, Flo Ngala stays Finally Focused.
Like the Flo Ngala episode? Check out Finally Focused Episode 2 with Producer Joe Hood