“How many times in a day do you look into someone’s eyes?”
This is the question pondered by Afolabi Sanusi that has been his driving inspiration since picking up photography a couple years ago. Currently a MA student in one of Stanford’s engineering programs, he found that photography allowed him to become more intimate with others and truly discover a person’s being. His photography style is very distinct: often close-ups of faces, with the subject looking directly into the camera, the eye of the viewer; confrontational for sure, uncomfortable for some. If anything, his photos invite the viewer to think about the deeply connected relationship between subject, photographer, and themselves.
We got together on a day where Mother Nature was at her most fickle – blue skies for a good 20 minutes, abruptly turning into a light mist, only to leave us with a blindingly sunny sky but cold breeze (note the goosebumps). We first shot before an oceanic mural under the California Ave Caltrain station, amidst a few speeding bikers, curious tourists, late brunchers, and hurried train riders (they missed their train).
We then decided to creep out from the depths of the station and brave the weather, finding ourselves along a bridge with – wouldn’t you know it – a couple of abandoned trucks and cars, looking as if they belonged in a ’70’s horror movie rather than the “paradise” that is Palo Alto.
And thanks to my thin ringlets, the rays from the sun gave me a beautiful halo – if I do say so myself.
What’s up next for Sanusi?
Collaborating with a fellow Stanford photographer, they will be “…embarking on a photo project to showcase and highlight Black Beauty, challenge western standards of beauty and create Black art that is beautiful in and of itself.” Something to look out for, for sure.
Be sure to check out Afolabi Sanusi’s tumblr and keep up to date with his new projects in the future – he’s a true talent in the making.
PC: Afolabi Sanusi