In 2014, Brussels-based photographer David Uzochukwu was named EyeEm Photographer of the Year. The next year, he was selected as one of Adobe Photoshop’s global 25 Under 25. These would be huge accomplishments for any emerging photographer—and Uzochukwu just turned 17.
Speaking to EyeEm about his burgeoning career in 2015, Uzochukwu said he started taking photos while on holiday in France at around age 12, when “my mum’s point-and-shoot fell into my hands.” In an interview with Format, he shared that once he started shooting, “I started to document everything around me, and was completely obsessed.” From then on, he was taking photos non-stop.
Uzochukwu is entirely self-taught. “I only taught myself using the internet,” he told EyeEm. “There are tons of tutorials out there, it’s really amazing.” He credits sites like Phlearn and CreativeLive for helping him pick up photography skills online.
Now represented by French agency Iconoclast, Uzochukwu’s star is pretty steadily on the rise. He’s become widely known on Instagram for his carefully composed portraits of himself and others, as well as editorial work for publications like Wonderland Magazine and The Photographic Journal.
Uzochukwu’s work has caught the eye of FKA Twigs, who is such a fan of the photographer that she tapped him to shoot her latest creative project, a collaboration with Nike Women. Twigs creative directed (and soundtracked!) the spring campaign for Nike’s Zonal Strength Tights. Featuring lots of glitter, gold, and chokers contrasted with high-performance spandex and classic trainers, the campaign has a funky vibe that’s more music festival than gym class. It stars 12 diverse athletes selected by Twigs and ranging from karate champion Jay Kirton to fencer Miles Chamley-Watson.
Of Uzochukwu, Twigs says, “He’s so incredibly young and talented. I’m sure he has an incredible career ahead of him. He’s so certain in what he wants and has such a clear vision.”