We love it when we can see how a photographer’s “past life” influences their work: Ike Edeani’s background as an architect is beautifully obvious in the way that he captures clean lines and light-infused spaces. Whether he’s photographing interiors, portraits, landscapes or the details of a new city, Ike’s images are defined by gorgeous light, a raw simplicity and an ability to draw a story out of his subjects.
Ike wears the Bolton Street Backpack in Black.
ONA: How did you get into photography?
IE: A few years ago while working as an art director, I started shooting compulsively as a creative outlet, first on 35mm film, then on medium format. I ended up with a portfolio made up completely of personal work, and eventually transitioned to shooting full time.
ONA: What camera do you shoot with? What is your “go to” lens of choice?
IE: I use a Mamiya 7II with an 80mm lens for the vast majority of my personal work, and the occasional editorial assignment if time and budgets permit. I also carry a Ricoh GR1v in my back pocket at all times for snapshots. For client work with a quick turnaround time or bigger campaigns, a Canon 6D with either a 50mm or 35mm lens. I find I only use zoom lenses for very specific situations, and I don’t actually own one.
ONA: What sort of project drives your creativity? Follow Up: What is your dream project?
IE: Editorial assignments are amazing because you’re tasked with bringing a story to life from your particular perspective. They’re also incredibly challenging because you usually have little to no idea what you’ll encounter or how much time you’ll have to make a compelling photograph/series of photographs. Whether or not you’re successful on a shoot, it’s always a huge learning experience. My dream project is to go home to Nigeria and document the places, spaces, and all of the little details and customs I grew up with, which I’m actually planning on doing this year.
ONA: What is the hardest thing about being a photographer?
IE: Anything that isn’t shooting. Emails. Taxes. Chasing invoices. etc.
ONA: Describe your style of shooting.
IE: I like slowing things down whenever possible, to get into a groove. If I’m shooting a portrait I’ll spend time talking to the subject and getting to know them first, a certain level of comfort and rapport makes the photos that much stronger. With environments or spaces its about conveying a feeling, rather than a mere visual description. I also prefer to show things as they are, so I do very little art direction when I shoot.
ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a photographer just starting out?
IE: Don’t wait around for anyone to hire you, go out and make your own work. Shoot what you know, document your life and your surroundings, the more mundane and familiar (to you) the better.
ONA: How did you hear about us?
IE: I’m pretty sure it was through my good friend Paul Octavious, who has a Camps Bay backpack (note: see where Paul’s ONA goes). I really loved the way it looked, but I remember thinking it was way too large for me, so I was absolutely thrilled with the Bolton Street when I got that.
Thanks to Collin Hughes for taking the photos of Ike.