Afolabi Sanusi X ThisIsMotown


“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


Obligatory Birthday Post

Humble beginnings to the birthday – shampoo got in eye. Alas, the hair gods took a pity on me today, praise.

Not much has changed since a decade ago. I still have a low-key crush on the Sprouse twins. I still don’t like sharing my food. My room is still a mess.

I’ve become so predictable that my host family of two weeks already knew to buy me a cheetah scarf. That makes 300 of them now.

Thinking that my actual birthday was much more memorable for my mother than it was for me.

One thing I’ve already learned from turning 20: it’s never a good idea to wear four inch boots while prancing around in Paris. Pretty sure my ankled snapped >5 times. Regardless, still felt like a magical grungy ballerina. Enjoy all the shots from the birthday camaraderie and 3 outfit changes.

All of my filters are different today, plz don’t judge me too hard, thx.




Off to dinner feat. Red Lip and BentKneeStraightLeg x3


When you become a part of the literal “squad goal”


Blurry, but loved



Photo credits: Ameeqa Ali, self, and various others

PFW Street Style Series ~ Day 7 Finale

Even though Fashion Week lasts two more days (?), I’m sure you’re all getting tired of seeing my face everyday for a week straight – I know I am.

Opened umbrella to find it broken. Unshockingly became more broken and rained harder with each subsequent open. Walking in the rain + riding the metro + blaring Where Are Ü Now on the headphones = feeling like the love interest of a cheesy alternative music video. Highly recommend trying it.

You guessed it – understood zero in my art class today. Took the crown for worst painter there ever was/ever will be. Wanted to cry but decided against it. Bottom eyeliner is too important to mess up for self pity tears.

Treated to the most bomb pancakes and coffee, at my new fave time 3 PM (see last post); tasted extra good because they were free. Despite lunch that was heavy on sweets, went HAM on dessert.

Thanks for tolerating all the narcissism/mediocre jokes for 7 days. I don’t know how you did it, but I’ll take all the pity laughs I can get. But really, sending love to each and every one of you for your support ;*









Photo credits: Tania *insert last name here*

MVP: Ameeqa Ali