Emmanuel Whajah — creative director, videographer, photographer — is making quite a name for himself and is effectively navigating the creative industry as a black freelancer.
At 27, the German-born visionary has worked his way up the ladder capturing iconic moments for celebrities like Keke Palmer, Rita Ora, Les Twins, Eric Bellinger, and more.
Check out more of his work here.
A proud Ghanaian, Whajah sticks to his roots and finds enjoyment in the moment.
“What I enjoy the most about photography, filming artists is the moment itself, which is timeless…”– Emmanuel Whajah, Creative Director
Navigating the creative industry from overseas
Whajah’s biggest inspiration growing up was Michael Jackson. For him, it was Jackson’s dedication to his creative craft. His ecstatic performances, the out of this world visuals, and influence on the culture.
“Just becoming a role model, a black creative who can inspire the younger generation… It’s the love of creating and sending a message to the world that brought me into the creative industries.”– Emmanuel Whajah, Creative Director
In emulating Jackson, at the young age of 5, Emmanuel started dancing but would begin to ponder, “How can I tell a story and touch people emotionally?”
In picking up a camera, Whajah was able to use the instrument of creativity to not only tell his story but tell the stories of other gifted individuals who deserved documentation.
Meeting Eric Bellinger
Fresh off of a tour with artist Kid Ink, a picture Whajah took of the artist would catch the attention of Bellinger and from there he would find his next opportunity.
From a comment to a conversation with Bellinger over Instagram DM, the German-born freelancer would be recruited to join the R&B artist on his tour to capture video and photographic content.
And on this tour, Whajah would find not only more opportunities but also a friend in celebrity Keke Palmer.
It takes courage to leave a legacy in the creative industry
Whajah knows his worth but as a black creative navigating the creative industry has proven itself, time and time again. difficult.
“Knowing you have a different skin color, we have different skin colors, languages, music, and history is a big message that I, personally, try to reflect in my work.”– Emmanuel Whajah, Creative Director
Still, the black freelancer has proven himself as well. Going beyond social media, Whajah has created a content footprint that has solidified his brand name.
“It’s the experience and the years you have in that area which will calculate how much you’re worth. You need to know how to promote your brand because it’s not only being creative and letting your work speak for itself but how you can manage and let the world see your work,” said Whajah.
Additionally, the black freelancer keeps the passion alive through a new series he’s been working on – Divine Beauty.
DIVINE BEAUTY – ILO [VIDEOSERIES PT.2] BY EMMANUEL WHAJAH from Emmanuel Whajah on Vimeo.
See the full series here.
Divine Beauty is a video series collection that represents the beauty and uniqueness of women with different cultural backgrounds in a tasteful, classic, and cinematic way.