The fashion industry has many other industries associated with it in one way or the other and the photography industry is one of them.
Over the years, fashion photography has evolved to capture both the said and unsaid aspects of fashion. It is a brand-building tool that fashion entrepreneurs use to tell their brand story, market their brand, and build a community.
Here is a rundown of 5 African fashion photographers that are influencing the global perception of African fashion.
1. Lakin Ogunbanwo
Lakin Ogunbanwo is a Nigerian photographer and artist with an eye for colour. His work is described as bold, vivid, and suggestive and boasts of a very meticulous approach that allows for visually stunning imagery.
Lakin, a self-taught photographer who fine-tuned his talent at the Speos Photography Institute in Paris, garnered a buzz in the fashion industry for his ability to capture extraordinary beauty in his own way. Over time, he has had a series of exhibitions all in different parts of the world, each showcasing a unique aspect of fashion and beauty.
Through his Are We Good Enough project, Lakin has been able to showcase the Nigerian culture in a colourful and thought-provoking way. Using his work, he shows forth the beauty and colour of African fashion and culture.
His work has been featured in the Times New York, ID online, British GQ and Riposte Magazine.
2. Namsa Leuba
Namsa is a mix of Guinean and Swiss descent. Through her photography, she has found a way to represent African identity through Western imagery.
She portrays culture and fashion in a way that is beautiful and hard to ignore. Her photography style showcases African fashion in a modern way without losing the essence of the African culture mixed into it.
Her works have been recognized by prestigious journals such as I-D, Numéro, KALEIDOSCOPE, Foam, Interview, New York Magazine, Wallpaper, Vice Magazine, Libération, British Journal of Photography, and European Photography.
She is also the recipient of prestigious awards such as the PhotoGlobal Prize, First Prize at the Planches Contact Festival in Deauville, France and Winner of the Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Festival.
3. Lyra Aoko
Lyra Aoko is a 25-year-old Kenyan fashion and lifestyle photographer. With her photography, she aims to capture her models in their “best light and create images from the heart to inspire and make them feel beautiful.”
Lyra’s photography exudes beauty and class and shows the beauty in the work African fashion designers do.
4. Yetunde Ayeni-Babaeko
Yetunde Ayeni-Babaeko is a Nigerian photographer that is fascinated with the Yoruba culture. Her fashion photography captures models in everyday scenarios and shows the beauty in African fashion in more ways than one.
She uses her photography to show the beauty of fashion in an otherwise ordinary and uninteresting environment. Her photography style changes the perception people have about fashion and what it stands for.
Ayeni-Babaeko is known for her timeless collection that captured female figures who posed as Nigerian and African goddesses and deities. Part of her work also includes educating women on breast cancer using photography and visual art.
5. Nadine Ijewere
Nadine Ijewere is a London-born photographer of Nigerian-Jamaican parentage. She works in the fields of fashion and portraiture and is known for celebrating the diversity of her models, many of whom do not conform to the standard fashion industry stereotypes.
Her fashion photography style shows how there is beauty in diversity and how fashion does not have to conform to the norms and stay in the box many have put it in.
In 2017 her work featured at Unseen and Lagos Photo Festival. At age 26, Ijewere became the first woman of colour to shoot a cover for Vogue, anywhere in the world. Her January 2019 cover for the UK edition featured images of Dua Lipa, Binx Walton, and Letitia Wright on the Kentish coast.