A morning on the street of Lagos
Street photography in Lagos
What have you heard about photographing on the street of Lagos? Is it the scare of area boys, theft, or being slapped, haha!
Lagos is so interesting to photograph, from the colours to its humour to how busy it can be. Shooting in the streets of Lagos can be scary but they say “face your fears”. Today, I documented the streets of Lagos with my friends: Taifayan, Olutayo and Lanrupacoco. As a storyteller attracted to light, I stepped out in the morning around 8 am to get the sunrise effect but to my surprise, the sun didn’t come out on time, premium tears!
The location for today is the new Oshodi Bus Terminal- located in the centre of Lagos. Oshodi Transport interchange is the Biggest Bus terminal in Nigeria and West Africa. It is also one of its kind in Nigeria. The Oshodi transport interchange is a world-class bus terminal in Oshodi, Lagos State, Nigeria. It is a multi-three-story facility featuring three separate terminals linked by the skywalk bridge. It is one of the newest infrastructural development in Lagos to boost the transportation sector with inter and intra-state trips.
While waiting for my friends, I took some pictures and interacted with a bus official while trying to get access. To my surprise, I noticed that he speaks fluent English, so I engaged him in a conversation. He’s an ND (National Diploma) holder working as an agbero- a street name for a bus conductor. He’s limited to jobs due to the economic situation of the country, there are few jobs with thousands of people to compete. He got into an accident at age 25, which reduced his self-esteem for several years and he accepted fate at a point. Man must chop! The new bus terminal only employed educated workers with at least a National Diploma (ND) degree. He mentioned that BSC holders work in the station too.
In contrast, the bus terminal is still filled with area boys that will unnecessarily collect money from you, everything about Lagos is money. This makes Oshodi one of the most dangerous places in Lagos to photograph. We decided not to pay a dime to the area boys and shoot with full awareness. We walked around the park stylishly photographing things and people that interest us.
By 10:10 am, we decided to go to another location: Festac town!
Festac town, originally referred to as “Festival Town” or “Festac Village”, is a residential estate designed to house the participants of the Second World Festival of Black Arts and Culture of 1977 (Festac77). Consisting of 5,000 contemporary dwelling units and seven major avenues, the town was designed in an efficient grid to accommodate more than 45,000 visitors as well as any Nigerian employees and officers working at the Festival. We got in around 20 minutes later and trekked into the town. Festac town is a place I’ve always been curious about, I’m glad we were able to visit. I loved the architectural structures which were giving retro-old school, you can truly tell thousands of people still live here. We spent an hour at Festac and headed back to our various destinations.
It was amazing photographing the streets of Lagos: I enjoyed every bit of it. I advise anyone who’s intentional about street photography to take note of some things.
- First, Plan ahead; research the area you’re going to what kind of pictures or stories you want to get and why are you photographing the street, this is key and will give you a sense of direction.
- Second, go with a friend if possible.
- Third, dress like the street. Don’t put on flashy outfits, dark colored outfits are the best.
- Furthermore, use simple gear. A camera body and a wide-angle lens are perfect, you don’t need a whole studio set!
- In addition, be friendly, and don’t be too rigid. Smile often and use street slang.
- Lastly, Shoot away.
Enjoy the gallery of photographs I got from the walk below.
Texts and Photographs by Taiwo Aina. Read about my ongoing projects on my website.
Texts edited by Anuoluwa Aina.