Ajani Charles is a professional photojournalist, advertising photographer and cinematographer based in Toronto — the Canadian city famed for its cultural diversity and the creative dynamism of its artistic community.
A graduate of the nationally acclaimed Claude Watson Arts Program, Ajani also apprenticed at the Toronto School of Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario and at 235 Films. The mentoring and rigorous training he received at these institutions fertilized his natural talent, shaping him into a versatile and always evolving artist who is well versed in portrait, editorial, glamour, fashion, documentary, product/advertising, architectural, landscape and fine art photography.
For Ajani the camera is a medium for self-expression and photography the ideal art form for capturing the ineffable beauty of people, objects, and landscapes. Though his images bear the distinctive stamp of his unique regard and sensibility, his work evidences an eclectic panoply of influences which includes Markus Klinko and Indrani, Jill Greenberg, Yousuf Karsh, Ansel Adams, Alexander Rodchenko, Richard Avedon, Nabil Elderkin, André Kertesz, David LaChapelle, Steven Spielberg, Hype Williams, Zack Snyder, Martin Scorsese, Helmut Newton, Annie Leibovitz, Jamel Shabazz and Todd Anthony Tyler.
Ajani is also the founder and executive director of The Young Visionaries — a Toronto-based photography and cinematography program, providing education to youth from the city’s priority neighborhoods.
What’s more, his work has been displayed at the Skills Canada Photographic Skills Competition where he was awarded a medal for the technical polish of his images as a teenager. His photographs have also been exhibited in such venues as the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, The New Era Flagship Store and the Koffler Gallery among others.
In addition, Ajani has gained considerable notoriety in the Greater Toronto Area through his first photographic documentary, “Project T Dot” — a visual chronicle of the city’s Hip-Hop culture and community in its entirety through a wide-ranging collection of intimate and dramatic black and white photographs. In production since 2007, “Project T Dot” is currently scheduled for a late 2016 publication date.
Ajani counts among his many and varied clients H&M, The Hudson’s Bay Company, Universal Music Group, Christian Dior, The Torstar Corporation and Holt Renfrew. Some of the cultural icons that he has worked with include Snoop Dogg, Nas, Drake, Gene Simmons, Dana White and many others.