For Victor Eddeh, photography simply began as a hobby. “Capturing colourful scenes down the street, capturing market women, dressing up my little cousins so I could take pictures of them on my phone. It pretty much didn't seem like a serious thing for me then,” he describes, “but I would like to think that all these chain of events were what kick-started my journey as a photographer.” But now, after being inspired by his community, fashion and the work of fellow photographer Joshua Woods, Victor’s photography is shining a light on the vibrant side of life in his hometown of Lagos.
Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of Victor’s work is his bold and daring, yet inviting, use of colour. Achieved through his subjects’ clothing, props and his lively backdrops, the photographer’s focus on colour is a way of instilling visual positivity into his scenes, as “colours bring this vibrancy that makes you want to get more out of things”. A brilliant representation of his aptitude for colour is his portrait And Everything Stood Still, an important photo for Victor as one he feels “finally got [peoples] attention”. Featuring his subject in a bold, block red suit, as well as the colourful mix of flowers in her bouquet, the image highlights Victor’s focus on bold colour palettes – a method deeply intwined with his painting practice. Inspired by the numerous photos of his grandparents and friends all over his house, in his youth Victor began painting them. This direct interaction with colour choices and pigments has allowed the photographer to “understand” colour better and “how and when to use them”.
Another of Victor’s primary influences is fashion and its surrounding industry. In his collaboration with the Inathrift store, based in Lagos, Victor hoped to challenge people's perceptions of second hand clothing. Stating that people often find thrifting “dirty” and “for the less privileged”, Victor sought to prove otherwise. Using his trademark colourful style, Victor placed his subjects in natural environments, allowing their clothing to stand out. Through the shoot Victor hoped to “show the beauty in the so-called ‘rejected’”.
Aiming to platform untold stories and experiences is a central feature of Victor’s creative practice. When collaborating with his stylist friend Afolabi, they wanted to create a shoot that focused on how “most people don't really get celebrated as much as they deserve to”. In the photos series – taken against a backdrop reminiscent of vintage school photo set ups – a teenage boy is dressed in a suit holding a trophy with numerous medals around his net. Looking like a scene from an 80s coming of age film, the heartwarming series is a “well done message to anyone that feels their great work isn’t being acknowledged”. Talking of the future, Victor tells us that his main career goal is to see his work on the front cover of magazines, and we have no doubts that his goal will be achieved!
Victor Eddeh: And everything stood still (Copyright © Victor Eddeh, 2021)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.