top of page

Interviewing Photographer Maya Louis

Maya Louis is a young, talented photographer based out of New York City. His ability to use color and lighting to elevate his pictures is amazing, and as he is about to graduate from the University of Albany NY, the photographer has a bright road ahead of him. He sat down with Boafo Beauty to discuss his start.

Tell us about yourself:

My name is Maya Louis (He/Him) and I’m a photographer and videographer from New York City. I started my creative career at my college, the University at Albany, where I served as Vice President of the UAlbany Photo Service. Now I have moved back to NYC to finish my degree locally so that I can pursue a career in editorial photography.

How did you find your passion for photography?

I have always been a creative person, but I was never satisfied with traditional forms of art, like drawing or painting. Although those were the methods where I had originally discovered my artistic passion, those forms felt quite limiting. I first picked up a camera in April of 2019, when I was taking a queer studies course at my college that required a final creative project of our choosing. For the final, I decided to buy a camera with money I had saved and begin a photojournalism project on “Coming Out” and queer visibility. It was from then that my passion for photography grew and I fell in love with this particular creative process.

With drawing and painting, art always felt so linear, like there was a finished goal to always reach and whenever the goal be unreached and the piece was left “unfinished” it felt like I had failed. I was always limited by my physical talent and/or capability and that restriction left me frustrated. With photography, each image is never finished, or at least how it feels for me. There are so many moving parts to be adjusted, before, during, and after the initial capturing of the image; and the possibilities offered in post-production feel limitless. This is what keeps my passion for photography alive.

What type of photography do you

specialize in?

I specialize in portrait photography, and more specifically, editorial and fashion photography. I love creating images that feel larger than life, surreal, like a magnification of a moment. I love the dramatization, I love color, creative poses, and the possibilities of every combination of set design, hair, makeup, styling, lighting, editing, etc. Each shoot is always more exciting than the last.

What photographer influences you the most?

My all-time favorite photographer is Lindsay Adler and her partner, Chris Knight. Their pieces are sharp, timeless, elegant, colorful, and purposeful. I love intentional pieces. Yet, more recently I find myself finding love for many photographers that I find on various social media platforms, like Zamar Velez, Ally Green, Kombucci, etc. In a way, while Adler and Knight have always been my favorites, my work does reflect a style more similar to the other artists I mentioned, with wide unique angles and bright pops of color.

What do you think about when shooting a portrait?/important things to take note of?

When on set and shooting a portrait I’m thinking mostly about the angles, the focal length in shooting with, and lighting. I like to shoot at different angles with wider lenses to give a dramatic look to the image. It is important to me that my images do not look ordinary and are shot from unique angles that leave the viewer intrigued. Lighting is also incredibly important, I love contrast and bold, vibrant colors that complement each other in ways that enhance the subject of the piece and the concept I am trying to convey.

In your opinion, what makes a good photo?

I think the quality and clarity of the image are the most important factors when shooting a portrait and what makes a great photo. I want the viewer to see each aspect of the piece in the highest sharpness possible so that they feel like they are standing in front of the set. I even find myself trashing images I would otherwise have loved when the quality isn’t to my liking.

What is your favorite and least favorite part of being a freelance photographer?

My favorite part about being a freelance photographer is being my own boss, setting my own standards, and choosing what I do and do not what to work on. The projects I take on are ultimately up to me. My least favorite part is negotiating with clients who do not understand how much effort, time, and skill go into my art and that it isn’t merely a service, but an art form to be treated as a luxury.

Who would be involved in your dream collaboration? Who is the dream model you want to photograph?

I would love to work with Jaden and Willow Smith. I love their art, their looks, and how deep their concepts run. I would love to pick their brains and create together.

What is some advice you can give to small artists and creators first starting out?

Everyone, regardless of experience or skill level, will feel inadequate when comparing your work with another’s. Instead of using how impressed you feel about another artist’s image to discourage you or slow you down, use that art instead, as motivation, and always keep creating.

I hope you guys enjoyed getting to know Maya a little more. As always, If you have any questions feel free to DM @ninamariemakeup on Instagram and follow Maya @mayalouisphoto !

Feel free to check out both of our portfolios where you can see all the incredible photos Maya has done, as well.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page