Lagos- based photographer, Stephen Tayo, is showing the beauty in everyday Fashion; having studied Philosophy at the University of Lagos, he turned to photography with a love for its purpose to capture the images of people around him. In contrast to the typical coldness of street-style photography, Tayo’s images radiate happiness. There are no people wearing designer outfits given to them by PR agencies and no ‘candid’ poses whilst standing on their phones. Instead, the person photographed, young or old, shows pure joy for both the clothes they’re wearing and being photographed. And so, we caught up with Tayo on his eye for seeing beauty in the style and presence of the people he passes by.
What do you see that makes you want to stop and take a photo?
I normally stop to take a photo of something captivating and fascinating. So it’s always a must for me in that moment and sometimes it doesn’t seem possible then I have to note it down.
There’s so much energy and happiness in your work; does photography let you connect with the people you ask to photograph?
It is important for me to connect with the people I photograph. I take sometime to ask about them and what interests them, then I find a balance on how to capture them in their element. I’m kind of always lucky for these people to accept to listen to me.
What is the creative scene like in Lagos at the moment?
The creative scene in Lagos is unequivocally beautiful, there are a lot amazing creatives holding it down from fashion to music and art to mention but a few. I think it’s definitely a good time in Lagos. It’s exciting to be part of it.
You studied philosophy at university and have taken photography up in your own way – do you think that philosophy has influenced the way you understand photography/ create images?
I believe my background in philosophy has helped me to always see things from a different perspective and to generally always have a different approach to the visual image and photography. I feel so blessed for studying philosophy and it definitely has had an effect on my photography.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty to me is anything that is aesthetically pleasing; I think this is different for every person and subjective to an individual.