Q&A: Photographer Lubabetu Abubakar shares bold new series and talks Lagos Photo Festival

Based in Port Harcourt in Nigeria, fashion photographer Lubabetu Abubakar is quickly making her mark in Nigeria’s fashion and photography scenes. The 24-year-old photographer, who was part of our story on 17 West African womxn photographers, is a lawyer and art director, and has been featured in publications such as Vogue and Fader.

Lubababetu, who recently collaborated with Nataal Media and creative agency A White Space Lagos to produce portraits at ArtxLagos (images below), is on the line up for this year’s Lagos Photo Festival, kicking off on 24 November. The emerging photographer says she started photography professionally in early 2016 and is interested in the notions of self, colours and documenting emotions. She also recently shot a collaborative editorial feature  with stylist Ronami Ogulu, which she also shares with us.

What is a normal day like for you as a photographer?
It depends. If it’s a shoot day, I’m out in sun. If not, I’m usually somewhere slaving away on my laptop.

Can you tell us a bit about your photography methods?
Well I’m mostly a digital photographer, so I rely a lot on software applications like Photoshop to get my images where I want them. I’m also a natural-light junkie. I feel like the sun and I have a thing, like a romance thing, so I’m usually working with the sun.

What do you think your role as an artist is?
Being an artist puts you in a position to document and sometimes influence society. So the arts can and will play a huge role is shaping not just how Africans are perceived abroad but also how we perceive ourselves.

Which photographer do you look up to?
My taste in photography tends to change as I grow, as with my interest in photographers. So many photographers have influenced my style and growth but if I had to pick one right now I’ll say Harley Weir, I’m still very intrigued by her eye for color. 

Describe your experience as a woman in photography?
It is still definitely a male-dominated industry and I hope to see more female photographers using cameras to do amazing things. But my experience has been okay so far, sometimes I get odd stares as people usually don’t expect that I’m the photographer in the room but its been an interesting journey.

What has been your favorite image that you’ve taken?
This is such a hard question and tends to change with time, but I recently had the opportunity of taking portraits of random strangers at ArtxLagos and in the process I got to meet and photograph so many amazing people.

How has being chosen for the Lagos Photo Festival changed your career?
I’m very excited to share my work on a reputable platform and to be selected amongst such incredible photographers. I think its important that we get to tell our stories ourselves; that we are in control of how we share our own version of the world.

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