Lakin Ogunbanwo’s portraits are out of the ordinary. Unlike most portraits, they don’t focus on the face but rather, conceal it, making for an uneasy (if striking) effect.
Born in Lagos, Ogunbanwo studied Law before switching to photography in 2012. “I honestly didn’t choose photography, photography chose me,” he said in an interview with Vogue. “I’ve always liked images (even growing up and for as long as I’ve remembered I’ve always had a camera) and the first time it occurred to me that I could use a camera to produce a distinct feeling was when I made portraits of my sisters.” His artistic calling proved to be successful, with his portraits featured in publications such as the New York Times, i-D, GQ, and Riposte.
In his latest series “e wá wo mi” (translating to “come look at me”) he focuses his lens on Nigerian brides from Yoruba, Igbo, and Hausa-Fulani tribes. “This series is my first time using women as subjects,” he admitted.
“I am very aware of this as a man, and prefer to engage with this work fully as an outsider. It is important to note that this is an expansion on existing forms of womanhood and femininity, and not a way of defining. I can be inspired by women, and femininity, but I am not seeking to say who has access to this, or what this is.”
Take a closer look.