Shaquille Dunbar Shares Photography And The Spirit Of Optimism

Shaquille Dunbar is the optimistic dreamer and photographer, capturing candid street moments and soul grabbing portraits. 

Q: Hi Shaquille. Can tell me a little bit about yourself? 

A: My name is Shaquille Dunbar but sometimes I like to be called T.O.D aka The Optimist Dreamer. I think life is limitless and anything is possible. Though, this notion of anything is possible did not come overnight. I have a story just like everyone else and I try to capture that every time I take a photo. I come from New York where there are things always happening on the streets and that’s how I fell in love with street photography. Every moment is candid and every day I have a chance to capture a story.

Q: What is your weapon of choice?

A: Currently, I shoot with a Sony A6000 using a 50mm Prime Lens.

Q: What are the inspirations that motivate you to shoot? 

A: When it comes to street photography, I find inspiration from everything around me. This is one of the reasons I moved to New Orleans. It has a rich history and vibrant streets. I want to show people something other than the French Quarter. I also find inspiration in my peers. I follow a lot of photographers on Instagram and Tumblr who are amazing at what they do. I seek to be just as great as they are or even better.

Q: Are you a self-taught photographer or were you formally educated? 

A: I’m a self-taught photographer.

Q: As a self-taught photographer, how do you learn and continuously improve your craft? 

A: I have been taking photos for about 3 years and every day I continue to grow. Everything I have learned thus far came from trial and error, and researching through YouTube. I feel like the only way to improve is to continuously work on your craft. I constantly look at my photos to see how I could have improved my shot so the next time it comes out perfect.

 Q: What is the message or the feeling you want to convey through your photographs?

A: I want to tell a story. If someone looks at my street photos, I want them to be captivated by the moment or feel some sort of emotion when looking at the photo.

Q: How do you feel before a shoot and what are you usually thinking?

Every shoot is always a new experience so I am always nervous to work with a new person. I want everything to come out perfect and I always want my clients to enjoy their experience with me. During the shoots, I try to take my time and look for finite details. When it comes to women, I always ask them if they have a side they prefer and I always make sure their hair is fabulous.

Q: Can you share your favorite image at the moment and tell me why it’s a favorite?

A: These three images are my absolute favorites. This was a protest by tens of thousands of people from New York due to the killing of unarmed black people by police officers as a part of the “Millions March NYC.” In these three images you can see the magnitude at which this was important to the people.

www.todphotography.com
http://www.todphotography.com
www.todphotography.com
http://www.todphotography.com
www.todphotography.com
http://www.todphotography.com

Here are additional T.O.D. Photography images with details shared by Shaquille:

The next two images are of two children I saw in Jamaica playing on the street. This images reminds me of how pure and innocent children are. They remind the world of what true  love is about.

www.todphotography.com
http://www.todphotography.com
http://www.todphotography.com

The following two images have to do with my perception of New York. Everything In New York is so fast paced, so I tried to capture images where one person is motionless or in-focus while everyone else is moving extremely fast​.

http://www.todphotography.com
http://www.todphotography.com

These two photos show how random and amazing the world is. Every day their is something new in the world that is waiting to be captured​.

http://www.todphotography.com
http://www.todphotography.com

Everything about this photo is hilarious to me. We have 3 women that are dressed for a wedding (but wearing sneakers), and the two drivers staring at them. ​

http://www.todphotography.com

The last three are of candid moments of children Ice Skating at Bryant Park. All three images captures different expressions: sadness, bliss and hurt​:

http://www.todphotography.com
http://www.todphotography.com
http://www.todphotography.com

*Many thanks to Shaquille Dunbar.

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