She focuses mainly on product and portrait photography but also shoots fashion occasionally. Her product photography clients are mostly small businesses.
Aisha is also passionate about improving the visibility of women in photography and creative genres as a whole and she founded Tiwa, a community of Nigerian female photographers.
Womens photography group
WHY DID YOU SET UP TIWA AND WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE?
I started Tiwa because I realised I didn’t know my peers as a young Nigerian woman photographer and there was no community for women photographers to meet/know each other, grow together, learn or discuss the difficulties of navigating a majorly male dominated industry. My objective for this community is to increase visibility of women photographers in Nigeria, provide a community for budding and established women photographers to interact and grow together, basically a space for women photographers to know that they’re not alone.
WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL PROJECT (SKIN SERIES) AND HOW DID IT COME ABOUT?
My personal project, The Skin Series is about communicating the difficulties people living with acne go through in our community. It was inspired by my personal struggles as someone that has acne and everything that has come along with it.
Ongoing photography project
IT’S OBVIOUSLY QUITE PERSONAL TO YOU, DO YOU THINK IT WILL CHANGE THE WAY THAT YOU PHOTOGRAPH OTHER PEOPLE OR TELL THEIR STORIES?
Making this project was an emotional experience, listening to people speak about their experience and hearing how badly they have been treated really hurt. I initially shot it in 2019 but I didn’t put it out until a year after because I didn’t exactly know how to present it. I think living with acne and working on this project has greatly influenced how I photograph people, it has helped me see people better.
It has also really influenced how I portray my subjects, I want them to feel comfortable and happy. I’m also very conscious about not propagating harmful stereotypes about beauty, especially ideas about how the skin should look.
THE PORTRAITS ARE ACCOMPANIED BY DETAILED INTERVIEWS, WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO CAPTURE THE THOUGHTS OF YOUR SUBJECTS?
It was important for me to share the experiences of other people living with acne beyond myself, their experience is an important part of the story that needed to be told. People needed to see how their lives has been affected by it.
WHAT RESPONSE HAVE YOU HAD TO THE PROJECT AND WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO DO WITH IT?
The response to this project has been emotional to some extent, a lot of people were grateful that I told a story they could relate to and they felt seen. The project has also called people’s attention to their biases and how they relate with people because of how they look.
I hope to provoke thought within people to look inwards and admit how they contribute to making life hard for people.
Personal Work Journal features photography projects & photobooks from around the world.
Making time for photo projects
HOW IMPORTANT IS MAKING TIME FOR PERSONAL WORK? DO YOU EVER SHOW IT TO POTENTIAL CLIENTS AND HAS IT EVER HELPED YOU WIN A COMMISSION?
Personal work helps me express myself and it’s an important creative outlet that I can control fully. I think my personal work helped me get clients as a beginner photographer. Personal work also helps me show my clients the extent of what I can do.
WHAT IS THE PHOTOGRAPHIC SCENE LIKE IN NIGERIA AT THE MOMENT – DO YOU THINK THAT A DISTINCT NIGERIAN STYLE OR ETHIC EXISTS?
The Photography scene in Nigeria at the moment is very amazing, I think it has always been amazing. There’s a great range of beautiful talent. I won’t say there’s a distinct Nigerian style, we’re too broad and different to be homogeneous but the constant thing across board is the amazing quality of talent.