Meet our WCW: Documentary photographer, Yagazie Emezi

Emezi didn't start her photography journey till 2015 but she has quickly carved out quite an accomplished career for herself.

Born and raised in Aba, Nigeria in 1989 to a Nigerian father and Malaysian mother, Yagazie Emezi is an artist, self-taught documentary photographer and poet who loves to tell stories as they are. She lived in Nigeria till she was 16 and moved to America to complete her studies.

She is a graduate of Cultural Anthropology and African Studies from the University of New Mexico and had always had the dream to be an Egyptologist, but life had another thing coming.

Emezi didn't always know she was going to become a photographer. In fact, she didn't begin her journey until 2015. However, she had always been an admirer of other photographer's works.

In 2014, she moved back to Lagos, Nigeria from the United States to ‘document life in Nigeria as it truly is’. She got a gig as a photographer at Lagos Fashion Week with a borrowed camera, and that began her journey.

Since then, she has carved out a career for herself with the goal of preserving African culture through photography.

So far, she has been commissioned by Al-Jazeera, New York Times, Vogue, Newsweek, Inc. Magazine, TIME, The Guardian, Refinery29, Everyday Projects, and New York Times Magazine.

In 2017, she was a participant of the World Press Photo Masterclass West Africa and is a contributor to Everyday Africa. After ten months in Monrovia, Liberia documenting the impact of education for girls in at-risk communities, Yagazie returned to her ongoing project Re-learning Bodies which explores how trauma survivors with African communities, outside the narrative of violence and abuse, adapt to their new bodies while marking the absence of an effusive culture around body positivity as a noteworthy cultural phenomenon.

In 2018, she was a recipient of the Inaugural Creative Bursary Award by Getty Images. She is also a selected participant for the 2018 New York Portfolio Review.

Her charming personality and outstanding work has attracted the attention of various notable print and online media, such as: British Journal of Photography, Huffington Post, Nieman Reports, Mashable, Vogue, Feature Shoot, and The Washington Post.

Emezi is mostly based in Lagos, Nigeria and her favourite thing to photograph is people's faces.

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