Sidy Ba is a native of the region of Saint-Louis, the former capital of Senegal. Aged 28, he grew up in Dakar precisely in Thiaroye. He is the grandson of the great radio host of the epic show “Hiiro Fulladou” in the 80/90th: Samba Ba nicknamed “Samba Dakar”, himself a former talented photographer, “Titania Photos”‘ owner. Very early, Sidy Ba is passionate about photography, he finally makes his job. He created his brand “Sidy Photographer” in 2011. He works as digital art director at Voice Africa. He has just won the first prize of “Sunu Nataal Challenge 2017” in the Pro category. Ze-Africanews went to meet him.
Ze-Africanews.com: Tell us about your career?
Sidy Ba: After my license in digital multimedia at Sup’info, I have evolved in several communication agencies as a graphic designer and photographer, which allowed me today to have experience in my field and to discover Other people from other enriching horizons.
“It is not the camera that makes the picture, but the photographer himself.”
Since when did you embrace the profession of photography?
I started photography in 2010 as a passionate amateur but it is in 2013 that it really became my job.
And why photography?
I never imagined one day becoming a photographer. In fact, I was more attracted to digital arts. It was during my training that I took a liking to photography. Over the years, I began to really enjoy this job, helped of course by a teacher who introduced me to the subject. He gave me advice, gave me his criticism to help me persevere. He always told me that “it is not the camera that makes the picture, but the photographer himself.” That helped me to evolve quickly in this job.
Your late grandfather Samba Ba, a former radio host, was also an excellent photographer, is this some genetic inheritance he passed on to you?
I would only say of him that he was an excellent photographer, but even more so, he was an excellent artist, a perfectionist in the true sense of the word, a man who knew how to do everything by his precocious genius and his singular artistic intelligence. He had his studio called “Titania” which I still do not know the definition and which accompanied his signature. I had the chance to grow up with my grandfather’s works at home, the films he had made, the decorations he had made. His works are like a talisman for me, a bearer of happiness, a source of inspirations. I often say that he transmitted me a genetic virus. I did not imagine a photographer one day but maybe it was his deep wish to have someone from the family continue his mission as an artist-photographer. And you know there is a Wolof proverb that says, “Lou Mame dji done def guissoko so dome yi sentouko si seut yi”, which wants “Descendants inherit a lot from their ancestors”
What do you like about this job?
What I like most in photography is that we always have the eye for certain things, and some details. It is possible to make an image less commonplace in the eyes of people, to make another interpretation. And that’s what fascinates me in this job.
Tell us about “Sidy Ba Photography”?
“Sidy Ba Photography” is not yet an agency, it’s just a signature for now.
And “Voice Africa”, what is it?
“Voice Africa” is a communication agency of which I am artistic director in digital. She is specialized in advertising in general, she is also very active in digital.
Your philosophy is “You do not take a photograph, you make it”, what is the difference between the two? Explain to us?
I often say that taking a picture is simple, just pressing the shutter button, however, creating a photo is like composing images, being able to wait for the perfect moment to have the new shot.
You won the first prize of “Sunu Nataal” Challenge 2017, how do you feel with this award?
I’m really happy. It is true that I missed the first prize in the edition passed in 2016 when I finished in 3rd in my category. This year I had the chance to win, which proves that we must not give up, that we must continue to work hard, to seek inspiration always to take the best shots.
Your photo “Gorée at dusk” taken during an excursion, allowed you to receive this reward, why Gorée? And why the twilight of Gorée?
I made a short excursion to Gorée: a place I particularly like because despite the rather sad history of this island, there are now many colors and a lot of vivacity. Throughout my trip, I did not stop taking pictures. In the depths of me I felt that one of these cliches was going to be special.
What are your next projects or challenges?
Currently there are many projects in my head, but the one that is most important to me is to organize an exhibition of photos with my most beautiful works.
Some works of Sidy Ba