DiveBar Printing
Independent printers based in Bristol


Client Feature: Cian Oba-Smith


Here at Divebar we've had the pleasure of printing lots of peoples Taylor Wessings. One of the questions that keep popping up at HQ is "What's the story behind the portrait" so we decided to ask the photographers themselves! 

This week we caught up with Cian Oba-Smith to talk about his start in photography, his inspiration and what he looks for while photographing.

How did you get started in Photography?

I had an amazing teacher during my photography a-level, she saw some ability in me and really nurtured my creativity which helped me to develop a passion for photography. After that I went to study a BA in photography at the University of the West of England, which I graduated from two years ago. Now I’m working on personal projects as well as shooting commissions and assisting photographer Zed Nelson.

What kind of subjects interests you the most?

I’m drawn to subjects who are often stereotyped, I like to challenge what I believe is a misconception about a subject and portray them in a different light. I try to see past the obvious and identify characteristics that connect people with the subject I’m photographing.

Where do you find your inspiration comes from?

I’m inspired by a wide variety of things, I’m always looking at different photographers work, a range of films and like most people music is important to me. I’m mostly inspired by experiences. Important moments in my life that have shaped me as a person as well as relationships with people from all walks of life that have expanded my understanding of the world.

The portrait you submitted to the Taylor Wessing of a young boy with a viola, what is the story behind that?

I’ve been working on a project about the Andover & Six Acres estates in North London for the past year. I was walking through Six Acres and I came across a group of schoolboys playing in the street. Abdullahi (pictured) had a viola that he was playing and I was drawn to him straight away because it was an unusual scene. He agreed to be photographed but it was near impossible to get him to stand still, his friend was standing behind behind me making him laugh, he was fidgeting and kept on pulling faces when I asked him to look into the camera. Eventually he relaxed for a few seconds which is when I took this portrait.



Check out Cian's amazing work here www.cianobasmith.co.uk