asiko_artist A few things on creativity
Everybody is creative regardless of what people might say. “People believe creativity comes in a sudden moment of insight that is this ‘magical’ burst of idea…extensive research has shown that when your creative, your brain is using the same building blocks you use every day…” Dr R.Keith Sawyer, Washington University
There is no secret centre in the brain that lights up when people are indulging in their creativity. Everybody is creative; it just depends on whether we all tap into it what is inherently there.
Nothing magically appears in my mind, it’s a combination of things I’ve seen, experiences I’ve had and a melting point of internalisation. Every idea I’ve had is thought about for periods of time and planned till execution. I don’t always get them right but that’s another story.

Did anybody catch my interview on the Spot? I didn’t I was bored on the train this morning into London and decided to mess about with the image of @doniaz_nl It was a creative process of loads of addition and subtraction of layers of colours gradients and textures. Makeup by @chalkmakeup Bone crown by @beastandburden
#love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #model #instaart #inspiration #ethereal #beauty #girl #bones #tbt #raw
2d

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Inkwell Ade Okelarin
asiko_artist This is Racquel; she is amazing and knows who she is as a model. I only got to spend about 5 -10 mins with her and she dialled up her energy 100%, I really didn’t have to tell her much. I really didn’t have any ideas; it was one of those tests where you see what happens and pray for magic. I saw some tyres in front a mechanic shop and thought about recreating an old image shot by Herb Ritts, where a male model was carrying 2 tyres. I mentioned it once to Racquel and off she went. I was actually blown away.
Modelling is about confidence. Confidence leads to lack of inhibitions and that translates into solid pictures. Photographers love solid pictures and are inspired by great models. Reservations and inexperience rarely produce strong poses, it’s important to let go of the mind-set of a beginner. Confidence will override any sort of lack of experience. As a model, beginner or otherwise, spending time in front of the mirror and experimenting and understanding your body and angles are helpful in your development. Also watch reality TV model shows like the TheFace and ANTM.
There’s nothing that excites a photographer as when a model knows what she’s doing, experiments and makes the shoot collaborative process. There’s nothing more depressing than when a model says I don’t know what to do after you have given her/him a brief and direction. Honestly I don’t want to give too much direction in any given shoot. Tag a beautiful black model in London if you know any. I am looking for fresh faces for 2015.
#love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #model #instaart #inspiration #herbritts #beauty #girl #fierce
4d

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asiko_artist Focus on the things that are close to your heart.

Make the work personal, deeply personal, to the point of glaring honesty. The things you are most passionate about, use them to drive your point home.

Have you seen Justin Timberlakes Mirros video? How personal was that, a tribute to his granparents who had been married for 63yrs. The video was deeply personal and understated with a strong narrative. It won the best video of 2013 at the MTV music video awards.

When you create something personal, it won’t always resonate with everyone but it will leave a lasting impression and let everyone know who you are as a person and your vision. I would rather be the distinct artist I am meant to be, than a technically gifted bland photographer. I think my site is looking more and more like who I am as an artist. Check out my site and let me know your thoughts.

The image is some client work created for a wedding dress designer EstiloModa UK @estilomodauk beautiful model Jess @itsjesswilliams styling by the Mrs @lotionspotionsme MUA @triciadcosta Hair by @thejosephsexperience My personal work looks like client work
#love #art #asiko #photography #potd #picoftheday #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #smoke #instaart #talent #inspiration #fairytale #beauty #wedding #bridal #enchanted
1w

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asiko_artist A portrait of actress and TV personality Zainab on my recent trip to Nigeria. In between filming of the Spot I was able to grab some quick portraits of the presenters.
Every portrait I tend to create is an essence of my sitter and a reflection of me. In some ways it's a bit of a self portrait. For me photography is not about reality or the truth, it's about something created and an alternate world. #love #art #portrait #photography #model #girl #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #mood
2w

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asiko_artist Be good to each other

The creative work life can be a lonely one, there are odd job hours, hours spent in solitude retouching images or creating, nobody to tell you if what you are doing is right or wrong or even how to do it. The things that keep that hustle going is the food you need in your fridge or the roof you need over your head and sometimes that driving passion. So with that said why should I share or network with possible competing hustlers like myself, surely that’s just plain dumb.

Here’s the thing, I think the photography industry suffers because everybody is keeping secrets and nobody is looking to build others up and the industry as whole forward. I saw this more so in my recent trip home to Nigeria. In sharing and creating amazing work, there is less crap and more outstanding work. There is the avenue to charge more for the amazing work done. I don’t bat an eyelid for what I charge, cos I know what I’m worth and I don’t batter about price with clients (well most of the time anyway). In developing a better creative network we can lean on each other for help, problem solve, job share (yes I said job share), provide critique and provide a valuable resource of information for sharing. That is why I share my experiences and my journey, I don’t know it all, I just understand my journey and I am happy to share to help others. Can’t imagine if we all worked together and put aside insecurities and egos.

Some client work from the summer for Wedding dress designer @estilomodauk beautiful model @chloejasminecjw Styled by @lotionspotionsme Makeup by @triciadcosta and hair by @thejosephsexperience #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #smoke #instaart #talent #inspiration #fairytale #beauty #wedding #bridal
2w

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asiko_artist Exhibiting your work

My work is being shown at the Temple Muse @templemuse Gallery in Lagos this weekend. If you are in town and want to see and buy images from my series titled ‘Adorned’. The images are an exploration into identity and adornment using jewellery. Anybody thinking of exhibiting next year should seriously consider editing their artwork and no I don’t mean retouching.

Before I sent my work to the curator, I had to make sure my work was properly edited which involved letting someone I trusted critique it all. Since I was sentimentally attached to the work, I wasn’t the best person to edit the list of images. The curation/edit process involves organising and removing images that might weaken the selection of images, to produce a tighter and more cohesive edit. I started off with 20 images which were curated to 10, and then the gallery curator selected 6 for the exhibition.

My plan is get more of my work into galleries and get gallery represented by the end of next year. Here’s to a successful 2015. #love #art #photography #model #girl #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instaart #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #inspiration #jewellery #culture #style #gallery #exhibition #nigeria #mood #portraiture
2w

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asiko_artist Your style

Can you describe your images in a few words? Go on and take some time to assess your images, go through and find words to describe your images. Do they evoke any emotions? Are there any patterns or themes through your portfolio?

This simple exercise is a great way to look at your current style of images.

Here are a few words people have used to describe my images; moody, melancholic, beauty, fragility, vulnerability.

My images are not clean or tidy; they are dirtied up with grain and textures. They are not bright and colourful. I love black and whites and warm tone colours.

Now I don’t sit down and think up these words while I am shooting or creating, it is all just more natural to me and I flow with it. When I look at my portfolio there is a pattern and a cohesive body of work (I hope) that is a reflection of who I am.

For those thinking I am a sombre, moody individual that likes to see things in grainy black and white, you need to get out more, it’s not that deep.

Image was from a shoot with the talented @beastandburden who created the bone pieces. Inspired by beauty and fragility. Makeup by @Chalkmakeup Model Sanna Catarina, Adrian's studio. The images were recently featured in Dark Beauty Magazine. #love #art #portrait #photography #model #girl #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #inspiration #fairytale #ethereal #style #bones #mood
3w

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asiko_artist Random musings on style “Style has no formula, but it has a secret key. It is the extension of your personality.” – Ernst Haas. How profound. So how do you find your style? Well for starters, we can find it by better understanding ourselves; How we shoot? How we edit our work? And what we like in the work of others. I feel style is about self-expression, so if we understand what resonates with us, it is a great starting point to understanding why we express ourselves the way we do.

Developing a style is a process, so don’t bother trying to force it. Take your time and keep creating from within and what is important to you. It’s a journey of self-expression. We can sometimes get caught up in the frustration of trying to define our style and comparing ourselves to others. Well don’t!!! Enjoy your journey of self-discovery.

So I have a question, list a few words that describe the images you create in the comments below. More on style in the next couple of posts.

The image is quite typical of my style; it’s melancholic, moody, black&white, texture, grainy, beauty. It’s about ghosts of the past and is emotionally driven, which is how I approach creating anything. #love #art #portrait #photography #model #girl #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #inspiration #fairytale #ethereal #style #dress #mood
3w

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asiko_artist Selfie time at the end of shoot. Shot TV personality and actress Eku and Rapper Lynxx on the beach for ThisDay Style magazine. Fun times in the warm weather of Lagos, SIGH! London is going freezing right now.
Have you made your career plans for 2015? Planning is everything and will shape your vision for the year ahead. Benjamin Franklin said if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I didn't really plan in 2014 and hence I didn't have the best year, so I am getting my head down and planning for an amazing 2015. What would you like to achieve in 2015? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
#love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #inspiration #photographer #portrait #fashion #artdirection #nigeria #pepsinigeria #selfie
4w
  •   mylesigwe Loved every bit of it!! PhotoGenius 4w
  •   cautionent Ade you look buzzed! 4w
  •   shomya_lag @asiko_artist, u're in Lagos! How's Segun??? 4w
  •   bespokecity Bros I respect the grind. God will continue to bless those your small hands to continue taking more pics in Jesus's name 4w
  •   asiko_artist @shomya_lag hey beautiful, yes O, we were around a short period during fashion week. We are both good. Hope life's great with you. Next time I'm around I'll drop by your place, hopefully you will allow us in, ur a bigger chic now Elaine 4w
  •   asiko_artist Bayode, thanks bro. wow enjoyment in Malay, nice one. Love to Amaka @bespokecity 4w
  •   shomya_lag Lolll @asiko_artist, I will brig out the red carpet o. Can't forget you jo! Would have been good to see you both. Instead you hung with my bro :( 4w

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asiko_artist How many times have you heard this as a photographer “I saw this photo on Pinterest” or “I love this photo of my friend”. Basic response “I want to give you something different, not something someone already has.” Sometimes clients don't see the big picture and want to rehash the same old same old. It’s your job to help show them something different in your style.

It’s about taking their ideas onboard and running with it to create something better and different.

In these cases, I would ask them what exactly they liked about the image and incorporate it into what I provide. Except if it is colour separation, you know that horrible thing were people mix colour with black and white in the same image, I don't like do that J

Image was created for EstiloModa UK, a bridal designer who makes beautiful wedding and bridesmaids dresses. Styling by Segun Garuba (lotionspotionsandme), Makeup Tricia D’Costa and Hair by Joseph Experience. Our beautiful model was Sinead Blaney
#love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #fashion #bridal #wedding #model
1mon

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Normal Ade Okelarin
asiko_artist A few things you can learn from Solange
Love her or hate her you gotta respect that she beats to her own tune. Her wedding photos went viral in a way that most photographers would be envious of. Being amazing at what you do is about listening to your inner voice and breaking the rules about what is deemed right. Solange wore white jumpsuit to her wedding and everybody wore white. I mean, who does that. Don't be afraid to try things nobody else has tried, be the first to thread the path and be an innovator. Solange is into fashion and has her own distinct style which she translated into the aesthetic of her wedding. What are you into? Who do you love? Use it, it's an inherent part of you and can be translated into what you create. Model Emilie from Lenis, Makeup by Stacy Wodu and assisted by Sandjena Barnes #love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #fashion #model #girl #breaktheinternet #internet
1mon

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asiko_artist Lord knows why I am throwing up gang signs, I think I was feeling happy about the success of the workshop and how everything came together.
I was very close to cancelling the workshop as a result of the sucky rainy weather. It felt like a monsoon in November, raining all night and morning. Note to self, just keep believing things always work out for your good. Thanks to everyone tagged in this picture, you made this workshop a success, and I appreciate your talent and efforts. I think I might do it next year, slightly a bit differently. Thanks Henry for this cool photo #love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #fashion #artdirection #model #nigeria #workshop #tbt
1mon
  •   mlaini13 Just wanted to say hello :) have a lovely weekend. 1mon
  •   ful_stop @asiko_artist too vain *what is wrong with me* 1mon
  •   ful_stop @cautionent *coversface* 1mon
  •   asiko_artist @mlaini13 hello. How funny is that I was going to contact you bout working on a shoot 1mon
  •   vantagephotography The solo workshop that we dint hear about #pained! 1mon
  •   mlaini13 I've been thinking the same but thought I'd need a full on proposal! Glad you've heard me somehow -we're in synch. I've got plenty of ideas- keen to hear what you're envisaging. Speak soon 1mon
  •   mrgudugudu awww but how did i bcom invisible! oh i was holding d light...it was so worth it! 1mon

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asiko_artist Loving the Lagos sun. Loving the view from my pals apartment. Thanks @oluseunie @bimsinq for making our trip memorable. Shot and retouched using an iPhone, snapseed #love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #sky #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #drama #colours #clouds #sun #iphone 2mon

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asiko_artist Who are you?

So everybody is posting pictures of beautiful naked girls, that doesn’t mean you should as well. Don’t follow the trends, trends are for sheep. Follow your heart.

Go against the grain and be who you are meant to be. We have too many clone photographers and a lot less individuality. We can’t progress and grow our photography as a community in that fashion. If everybody shoots fashion, doesn’t mean you need to shoot fashion. Shoot what is important to you, and this is where soul searching comes into play. If you are interested or moved by spousal abuse or the vanity engulfing aspects of society, then create something around that. Whatever it is, friging create work inspired by that. Your passion for the subject matter will come through and you will be known for something amazing.

I create images inspired by African culture and heritage. I also create images inspired by fantasy and melancholia. These are all deep rooted in who I am, how I grew up and what I am into. Who are you?

I’m sure you are thinking about the money aspect, yea passion isn’t about money. Branson, Jobs, Gates were not driven by money, yes they made a heck of lot of money, but were not driven by it. The words are PASSION and DRIVE. Create something individual today and stop following the crowd.

Looking fwd to meeting some of you at the workshop. If you haven’t signed up, then do so through the facebook group (link in my instagram bio) or email me on ade(at)asiko.co.uk. Only 2 spots left. #love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #fashion #haunting #colours #model #ethereal
2mon

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asiko_artist Let your Passion lead you

I came across a great article in the CityAM paper about Richard Branson and his unwavering passion. “The best advice I could give anyone is to spend your time working on whatever you are passionate about in life,” says Mr Branson. It is said we spend 70%-80% of our time working, what is the point if it is something we don’t love, seriously what is the point. “If you’re miserable in your job, it’s probably because you’re not interested in what you’re doing. My advice would be to do something you’re passionate about.” One way to do this, he says, is to start a business in your spare time, keeping hold of the security of a salary. “Doing this also gives you more of an idea about whether the business can work, before you eventually take the plunge and quit the day job.” From the article, Richard Bransons words, not mine.

Taking stock of 2014, have we lived a passion filled life? My response, not always, I’ve already started making changes, 2015 is going to be passion filled.

The haunting image is from a test I did with Emilie from Lenis models a few weeks back. In a few days I will be touching down in Lagos, have you booked your place in the workshop I am putting together? Check out the Facebook group page and get involved to know more details (link in my bio). #love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #fashion #haunting #colours #model #ethereal
2mon

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asiko_artist Retouching, it’s the little things ………….. I discovered that retouching is about the little things, a little dodge and burn here, a selective application of saturation and contrast there. That’s what happened with this image. Sometimes it’s worth spending time with an image and doing the little things. The image was shot in natural light outside using a reflector to give light to Emilies beautiful face. Because of her amazing freckles I only removed blemishes and made a few skin corrections. I tend to use Portraiture (software) for skin work, but I didn’t for this one. Burnt in the freckles to further enhance them and contour her face. Dodging to light up the blue eyes. Never underestimate the power of dodging and burn. For those thinking, what the hell is he talking about; Dodging – lightening, burning - darkening. These are both brush tools in Photoshop and Lightroom (or any other retouching tools). Colouring in warm tones and a bit of contrast to bring the image together and create a bit of an atmosphere. Model: Emilie from Lenis models, Makeup by Stacy Wodu and assisted by Sandjena Barnes.

#love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #fashion #freckles #model #eyes
2mon

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asiko_artist Workshop in Lagos on the 5th Nov. Email Ade(at)asiko.co.uk Come and learn how to define your style, creativity, business and an actual shoot. Repost and share with your photographer buddies. Join the Facebook group to get updates (link in my Instagram profile). #love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #fashion #artdirection #model #nigeria #workshop #africainspired #africa 2mon

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asiko_artist Stick to who you are

Here’s @asa_music an amazing artist that I got to photograph during her concert. Had the opportunity to chat with her backstage, she knows who she is as an artist. She is not into copying or following the trends of ‘hot’ music. Stick with who you are meant to be and you will be fulfilled, and yes the money will come in time, once people see you are distinct and like nobody else.

Asas sound is distinct and has her DNA is all over it. She could have gone down the afropop/ afrobeat route or tried to be a Beyonce type clone for the sake of money. Stop following and define your style and produce your art.

PS The Asa concert was h-amazing and she has a great spirit, enjoyed meeting her very much. My very talented friend Bumi Thomas @bumisees Supported Asa, Bumi is amazing (another person I love that beats to her own drum)

Workshop Alert: The countdown has began and the creative teams are taking shape. If you are interested in creating great images, harnessing your creativity and just creating fulfilling work then check out the facebook page (link in my Instagram profile). The spaces are limited and filling up fast. #love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #fashion #asa #music #nigeria #woman #folk #africainspired #africa
2mon

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asiko_artist The most powerful element
So sometimes people ask me how this image was created? I’ll break this bad boy down. I had an idea inspired by African mythology based on Mami water (African mermaids) which I pitched to the creative director of FAB magazine for their swimwear shoot.
I visualised how I wanted the shoot to look and then worked backwards. For this image I got the model to stand on a green box (simulating floating in water) and shot against a green screen. Why green? Green is easier to remove in post production. The lighting was to simulate an underwater shot with light coming from the top, so I used a 4 light set up, one from the top (for simulation of light from above), one from the front (illuminating the model), one from side back (to help separate the model from the background) and last for the green background (which would help in cutting out the green in post production). If you study how light falls on a subject you can figure out the lighting used by other photographers.

Once the shoot was done, the epic post production involved using layers of blue water, dolphins, and bubbles all combined in photoshop. These separate images were sourced from stock photo sites like getty and istock. The final composite is colour toned as well to bring all the elements together.

So what’s the most powerful element for the shoot? It’s not the green screen, or the post production or the lighting. The most powerful element is the idea; it drives everything and gave the shoot a story. And the idea was born out of me, my culture, my heritage, my love for mythology and fantasy. Develop your ideas.
#love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #fashion #artdirection #model #nigeria #woman #africainspired #africa
2mon

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asiko_artist Friday rant, let’s talk skin retouching, these are my views and opinions, its not gospel. Why do people feel the need to over retouch skin to the point where it looks like plastic and why are some people in the industry and some clients subscribing to this? I don’t get it and it seriously erks me. Guys it’s about making your retouching work not look like the skin has been retouched to death. Rant over. (And yes I made this mistake in the past as well, using the blur tool, I am ashamed as well)

The image is from a project I put together sometime last year in celebration of some of the Matriarchs from pre-Nigerian independence. We created portrait series of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Mary Slessor, Queen Amina of Zaria and Lady Oyinkansola Abayomi. The inspiration for the shoot and styling where drawn from the look and fashion from their respective eras while adding hints of a contemporary spin. Head over to the blanckdigital.com to see the full series.

Styling by Bella Adeleke, Styling assistant by Toyin Jolapamo, Makeup by Mikhalia Pratt and Model Emma Witter. Emma modelled as our re-imagining of Mary Slessor. Happy Friday

#love #art #photography #asiko #photooftheday #potd #picoftheday #portraiture #bestoftheday #instagram #instagramhub #instahub #igdaily #instadaily #igers #instamood #instaart #talent #inspiration #photographer #portrait #freckles #artdirection #model #maryslessor #nigeria #woman #redhead
3mon
  •   thisisayodele I love your work! One day. 3mon
  •   idowu_ally It'll be all the pleasure to work with an amazing photographer like you @asiko_artist give me the chance 3mon
  •   mylesigwe When are you back Uncle Ade ughh 3mon
  •   asiko_artist @mylesigwe I'm in town at the end of Oct just before fashion week 3mon
  •   mylesigwe Will be humbly waiting at the airport 3mon
  •   alexispaka I'm humbled that you would follow me and I appreciate the advice you give in your posts. I'm still a beginner and I'm learning a lot from you. 3mon
  •   tonikemi 3mon
  •   staramaris Beautiful !!!! 2mon

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