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Oumar Ly: Chance Meeting with Photography

Behind every photographer is a story of how the passion began. For Senegalese photographer Oumar Ly, it began with a chance encounter with photography through a French serviceman. Read on to find out the rest of his story.

Senegal Photographer Oumar Ly

Despite being a professional photographer for 40 years, Senegalese shutterbug Oumar Ly has only recently caught the attention of the creative world. Oumar’s career was sparked by a chance encounter with photography, when he met a French serviceman and got his first camera, a Kodak Brownie Flash, shortly after. Among his earliest works are official photos taken for local officials whom he accompanied during their visits to other villages. He opened a studio in his hometown in Podor, Senegal in 1963 and continued to work with traditional cameras for many decades after.

Art critics and photography enthusiasts see Oumar Ly as an unearthed gem in the creative world, describing his work as “strange, ethereal, beautiful.” He has taken over 5,000 photographs, which include fashion shots, pleasant portraits, and impressive snapshots of his city and nearby rural communities.

Watch a feature video on Oumar Ly below:

Sources and additional readings:

Oumar Ly on Brighton Photo Biennial 2010
Oumar Ly on Alexis Okeowo

What do you think of Oumar Ly’s work? Tell us your insights through a comment below!

written by plasticpopsicle


  1. fad


    relax je mamat nie kan..

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. eightmiles


    yup...nice portrait...

    about 3 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Deutsch & Spanish.