The Ghanaian photographer James Barnor comes from a family where a lot of people (mother, cousins) are attracted by shooting. This autodidact is born June 6, 1921 in Accra the capital of Ghana and has made his first pictures outside in the 1940's. Called "Lucky Jim" by his friends he opens his first laboratory in 1953 and buy his first camera after selling portraits he begins to make. Engaged at the "Daily Graphic" James Barnor helps to develop the press in the Ghana before the independence and improve also himself with street photography. The "Daily Graphic" works in collaboration with the London "Mirror" and this link will facilitate the James travel to London and also will help him to meet Jim Bailey the owner of the famous South - African magazine "Drum". Bailey want to open a "Drum" office in Accra and he takes James with him for shooting the independence ceremony and the Nkrumah speech.
Under the James Bailey advises James Barnor goes to England and arrives there in December 1959. James understands quickly that the concurrence is tough and he must have a lot of creativeness. At this time making colored pictures isn't easy to do. You should send the pictures to the Kodak laboratory for developing them without being sure of the result but at the same time laboratories become to be develop. James works with the Colour Processing Laboratory where he learns the technical. The James Barnor pictures show us a British multicultural society where the Black community has founded his place. He immortalizes the social events, the sportsmen (Mohammed Ali), the actresses (Marie Hallowi) or young women he meets in the streets (Erlin Ibreck, Constance Mulondo) but doesn't make any politic pictures. James Barnor will open a laboratory in Accra (X23) and go back there when AGFA - Gavaert will nominate him as technical adviser. Unknown for a long time his work will be recongnize in the 2000's.