Stephen Tayo is a true flaneur who roams the streets of Lagos, observing and examining everyone he encounters. The young documentary photographer holds a philosophy degree from the University of Lagos, but has chosen a different path for himself: “I got into photography to communicate what I felt like a little child growing up,” he says. Stephen says, “I also wanted to make a tale out of the people I meet and the locations I visit.”
Stephen’s photographs are candid portraits of everyday fashion on the streets of Lagos. He goes around the city with his camera in hand, eager to shoot women in brilliant blue gowns and gold gele. His images of youngsters dressed in matching dresses and suits are particularly noteworthy. “No one should underestimate the power of children. I wanted to show that kids can be just as stylish as adults. Stephen notes, “I also felt driven to depict the beauty in the way we see kids.” Pictures of small girls wearing green velvet skirts and young boys wearing Places + Faces t-shirts adorn his Instagram feed, turning it into a virtual gallery.
“I think it’s vital to show the beauty of Lagos,” she says. “I want to do my part in showcasing Nigeria’s innovative breakthroughs to the rest of the globe,” Stephen says. His images document ordinary life in the capital of the west African country: youngsters on their way to school, sisters out shopping, and families on their way to church. Stephen explains, “The photographs build a visual tale of normal people doing everyday activities.” He encourages us to reconsider what we consider mundane through his photography and to see beauty in the ordinary.
Stephen’s strength is his ability to improvise: “The most essential thing I want to achieve is making sure I convey my story without overthinking it.” It shouldn’t be difficult to express what I’m going through or feeling.” His images aren’t forced or artificial in any way. They are authentic documentation of Nigerian life and Lagos’ effortlessly stylish people.