Stephen Tayo on how philosophy has helped him define his photography on his own terms

The Lagos-based photographer spoke to us about his creative journey thus far, as well as talking us through two recent projects.

21 July 2020
Reading Time
1 minutes


Lagos-based photographer Stephen Tayo was the first speaker at June’s Nicer Tuesdays and he detailed how his education in philosophy has been formative for his photography practice. It’s a subject which has provided both an ethos for his work and an inner peace when it comes to comparing himself to others – it’s helped him define his work in his own terms.

Furthermore, philosophy has allowed him to understand better the ethics concerning photography and to be sensitive to these. “How do I protect the dignity of the subject of the photo?” he asked. “How do I protect the value of the person, not just do what I want? It’s always a collaboration, two people working together, not forcing my own way [of thinking] on the people I’m shooting.” He then proceeded to share two projects, one titled Ibeji, meaning twins, and an exclusive look at a new series about ballet in Lagos. In this work, he’s exploring why the art form seems so foreign in Nigeria, uncovering its history in turn.

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Nicer Tuesdays is our monthly event of creative talks. You can find out more here.

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