Long limbs and extended necks. Full body organza gowns coat glowing skin. Photographer Asamaige Ogaga‘s editorial pays homage to the Igbo Goddess of earth, fertility and creativity through the title of the work ‘ALA’ and the images. Having moved on from taking photographs of friends on an iPad to getting a camera in 2015, Asamaige’s portfolio now includes fashion photography coupled with a number of personal projects.
I spoke to Asamaige to find out more about the editorial and the Goddess that inspired the work.
How do you like to describe your work and your practice?
I’m fascinated by fashion and people in general, so I’d describe my work as an attempt to capture people, tell stories and eulogize the colours, lines, textures, and most importantly the beauty in them.
Who do you see as your audience?
I see my audience as people with curious eyes; people who love variety, people who love fashion/colours and a fresh point of view.
Please share more about the photography space in Nigeria?
The photography space is Nigeria is really large and steadily growing. Many young Nigerians are waking up to the beautiful possibilities that lie in the craft and the beauty of documenting the culture for the future.
Please share more about the Igbo Goddess of earth, fertility and creativity?
The goddess goes by a lot of names but we chose to use ‘ALA’ for this project. She represents the start and end of the cycle of life. It is said that the water of life flows through her. She is the highest goddess in the Igbo pantheon. She’s known as the goddess of creativity/fertility because life was created through her.
Why was this Goddess the source of inspiration for the editorial?
Firstly, the Creative director (Ikechukwu Urum) and I both have Igbo backgrounds so we decided to choose a goddess close to home. We chose this goddess because of what she represents – ‘a woman being viewed as the source of life on earth’. In our little way we’re trying to inspire a positive change in the way women are looked at in our community, country and even globally.
What are the visual and conceptual elements that you deliberately included to pay homage to this Goddess?
The location of the shoot. We wanted to use a place that embodied the beginning of life, a sort of Eden with the river, the greens and beautiful blue sky. For the styling we didn’t want to go over the top. We used simple elements that could accentuate the beauty of the goddesses (the models).
Photographer: Asamaige Ogaga
Creative Direction/Stylist: Ikechukwu Urum
Designer: Bola Yahaya Nigeria
Models: BOLA ALADE & OLUCHI EKERUCHE
Agency: ZANA Model Management