Environmental issues, social issues, culture
When I was about 12 years old, my father gave me a disposable camera that I would take to school and make pictures of my classmates, friends, teachers and the school band of which I was the leader.
I am a self-taught photographer. I started with disposable cameras, and then while at university, I graduated to a small point-and-shoot camera that I would take with me when I went on walks (forcing my sister to pose for me). After graduation I got a professional camera and continued to practice and improve my skills. This involved a considerable amount of reading, watching tutorials and taking part in a few workshops. Of course, there was the baptism of photographing on the streets of Lagos… a whole other story on its own.
Travel feeds my soul, and I always knew that I wanted to be able to capture and share the experiences I had, the stories I heard and the things I learnt while meeting people on my journeys or perhaps even just out and about in my own community. I wanted people to be able to see the world through my lens.
My project on logging and deforestation, for which I was awarded the Reuters Yannis Behrakis Photojournalism grant, left the biggest mark on me. It is one of the longest projects I have conducted and while doing it, I made some beautiful connections with many people. I’m a very eco-conscious person but the project further opened my eyes to the depth of the human impact on our planet. It gave me a stronger sense of responsibility towards our natural world, and conducting the project also gave me a deeper understanding, respect and acceptance of other people’s way of doing things.
Projects where I travel, or interact with a different culture, language and people excite me the most. It’s very fulfilling to be able to see more of the world, learn about other cultures and be a part of other people’s lives even if for a limited amount of time. It’s what I live for.
I know we all want to be validated and have our work recognized but be genuine. Create work that you truly care about and most of all form an honest connection with the people you co-create with; I believe that human connection is one of the most important aspects of the work we do as image-makers, and it does show through.
Photos are everything nowadays. More and more, people want to consume imagery. They read the stories and hear the words, but they always want to see. Some would say, seeing is believing. I think that photojournalism has a solid place in the world’s future.