In an era where camera phones and social media are the norm, one would think that photography studios would be an outdated business model. Not the case for Senegal native, Babacar Sambe, who has revolutionized the photography industry in Louisville Ky.
The 33 year-old owns the photography studio, Sambe Photography & Graphics at 4229 Bardstown Rd. suite 219, that not only produces magnificent portraits but creates business cards, fliers, wedding invitations, restaurant menus, banners and much more.
His amazing knack for graphic design and obsession with perfection have made him one of the most sought after photographers in the metro Louisville area. Sambe said, “It starts by doing good work and having a good relationship with people.”
Sambe migrated to Louisville, from Senegal, [West] Africa in 2000, at just 18 years-old with plans of pursuing higher education. He enrolled at the University of Louisville (UofL) taking General Education classes and based on his love of taking pictures, also began taking photography classes at Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC).
“When I moved into photography I was required to take English classes because it was my second language. I didn’t speak English fluently because we [Senegal] are a French speaking country. I purchased English dictionaries to study in addition to my college English classes so that I could learn the language faster.” – Babacar Sambe
JCTC often partners with UofL offering Associate degree programs that are particularly designed to coincide with the University’s Bachelor degree programs. After having a great experience with his first photography class, Sambe enrolled in the Commercial Arts program at JCTC, which concentrates on graphic design, web design and photography. This is where Sambe began earning his reputation as a perfectionist.
“Our teacher used to tell us that if you turn in an assignment and you don’t like it, you can redo it and turn it in again to get a better grade…I was one of those people that wanted an ‘A’ on all assignments so if the teacher gave me a ‘B’ or ‘C’, I wanted to make that an ‘A’…It didn’t matter how many times I had to do the assignment over, I would do it until I perfected it and I’m still like that with my work today. I want to make sure that the client is happy with the product they receive.” – Babacar Sambe
Sambe earned an Associates degree from JCTC in Commercial Arts in 2005, and a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and Photography from the University of Louisville in 2007. Amazingly, he worked at McDonald’s throughout his entire college career and built up his clientele in photography by taking personal portraits for clients when he wasn’t working and posted them on his Facebook page.
Those social media posts led to local nightclub owners booking him to capture the atmosphere in their clubs on popular nights and posting them on his social media page as a form of advertisement since he had so many friends and followers. His work at nightclubs also provided Sambe with the opportunity to photograph Bill Bellamy,Toni Braxton, Mike Epps, Nelly, T.I., and others.
Following graduation he felt as though his clientele had grown enough to support owning his own photography studio, so in 2007, he took a risk and made his dream of opening Sambe Photography & Graphics a reality. Within a short time Sambe became so successful that he was forced to expand the size of his original photography studio.
Sambe’s work remains in high demand based on its uniqueness, high quality and same day turn-around on portraits. While other photographers are often limited to standard background features, his expertise in graphic design allows him to incorporate any background imaginable into his portraits. Beaches, landmarks, or any other design can be custom placed into the photo as if the person were actually on location.
If the customer doesn’t have a particular design in mind, Sambe is creative enough to find the perfect complimenting scene.
“I usually go by what people are wearing and I tweak the image…I like every image I capture to be different.” – Babacar Sambe
This concept also applies to business cards, fliers, banners and invitations.
Although every photoshoot is enjoyable, Sambe admits that weddings are his favorite venues to shoot.
“I like doing weddings because I like capturing the excitement and joy of the moment.” – Babacar Sambe
Sambe Photography & Graphics is open 7 days a week but primarily operates on appointments. Don’t miss your opportunity to have your image captured by one of the most gifted and pleasant photographers in the metro Louisville area.