My Breakthrough Moment: Flo Ngala

Fresh from her BTS shots of internet-breaking music video WAP, Flo Ngala discusses how an early commission to photograph Cardi B helped her earn her stripes as the artist’s go-to photographer for everything from the Met Gala to her daughter’s first birthday party

I started photography in about the eighth or ninth grade and then went on to major in advertising and design. I wanted to be an art director or creative director but photography kind of pulled me back. I was literally interning and still being hit up to do stuff with Atlantic Records and so eventually I thought, ‘Alright, I’m just going to try and do this full time.’

When Cardi B got signed to Atlantic Records [in 2017] and her single Bodak Yellow blew up that summer, shortly afterwards I was invited to take photos of her down in Miami for an awards show. After that, I kept getting called back for videos, appearances on Jimmy Kimmel, I shot her daughter’s birthday party. For cool, big moments, I’ll be the go-to person that will be reached out to, I think over the past three years I’m the photographer who has photographed her most consistently.

Top image and above: behind the scenes on the music video for WAP by Cardi B

I’ve always been really interested in life as it happens, natural moments, candid photos, and I think that’s one of the reasons why people really appreciate my work with her, because it’s not just this paparazzi look of her life, it’s a more intimate and personal thing, that’s just the kind of photographer I am and always have been. It’s cool to be able to work with someone and have a subject that is so seen and so celebrated and photographed, and have the trust of her team to show this other perspective, this other side.