Photographer Nadine Ijewere Reflects On Her Visual Journey

By Bianca Gracie | November 15, 2021

(Above: The cover of Nadine Ijewere’s debut monograph, Nadine Ijewere: Our Own Selves Photographed by Nadine Ijewere)

Ahead of the release of her first book, Nadine Ijewere: Our Own Selves, noted photographer Nadine Ijewere reflects on her visual journey that is rooted in identity.


Model Achok Majak poses for Garage magazine’s “The Cowboy Who Fell to Earth” editorial in September 2018. Photographed by Nadine Ijewere
Model Achok Majak poses for Garage magazine’s “The Cowboy Who Fell to Earth” editorial in September 2018. Photographed by Nadine Ijewere

There is a new wave of photographers with intentions set on dismantling the fashion industry’s archaic mindset, and Nadine Ijewere (nadineijewere.co.uk) is helping to lead the charge. The photographer fuses the vibrant culture of her Nigerian and Jamaican heritage with her experiences growing up in South East London to create a world that she didn’t see growing up: one filled with women of color who come in all shapes, shades, and sizes. Ijewere’s inclusionary mindset has led to her becoming a coveted fashion photographer, and she is now celebrating the journey with her debut book. Titled Nadine Ijewere: Our Own Selves (Prestel), the monograph is a collection of over 160 photographs that is projected to be released on January 25, 2022.


Models featured in Nataal’s “Love Buzz” editorial in June 2019 Photographed by Nadine Ijewere
Models featured in Nataal’s “Love Buzz” editorial in June 2019 Photographed by Nadine Ijewere

“This book is an insight to my journey thus far; it is a book about women,” Ijewere explains. “My work has always had underlying themes of identity and diversity, celebrating our differences, reframing what beauty has stereotypically been, and creating a space to elevate women of color.”


A model poses for Garage magazine’s “Black Cotillion” editorial in February 2019. Photographed by Nadine Ijewere
A model poses for Garage magazine’s “Black Cotillion” editorial in February 2019. Photographed by Nadine Ijewere

The book is a celebration of a refreshing perspective that dismantles society’s beauty ideals through Ijewere’s subjects, whose gaze ranges from fierce to vulnerable. It also highlights her signature throughline of intimacy and enchantment that’s elevated with dreamlike color schemes. Inside, the book showcases advertisements with clients like Stella McCartney and Dior; her first exhibition, Tallawah, alongside celebrity hairstylist Jawara; and various magazine photoshoots including two that catapulted her career. In 2018, Ijewere became the first Black woman to shoot the cover of British Vogue (featuring Dua Lipa, Binx Walton, and Letitia Wright) in the magazine’s 125-year global history. The photographer repeated history when she accomplished the same feat with Selena Gomez on American Vogue’s April 2021 cover.


Model Adut Akech featured in American Vogue’s “Family Values” editorial in December 2020 Photographed by Nadine Ijewere
Model Adut Akech featured in American Vogue’s “Family Values” editorial in December 2020 Photographed by Nadine Ijewere

“As a young Black woman, I didn’t imagine that I would one day have the opportunity to shoot a cover for American Vogue,” she shared in a heartfelt message at the time. “I’m so honored to have been able to work with my fellow sister [stylist Gabriella Karefa-Johnson]. I hope this encourages Black women that there is space for us to take in this industry. Thanks also to the team for working hard during these difficult times.”

Alongside the myriad images, Our Own Selves includes an essay by Dazed’s Executive Editorial Director Lynette Nylander, who also contributes to titles including Vogue, Elle, AnOther Magazine, and Net-A-Porter, among others. With this upcoming release, Ijewere’s name will further be cemented as one of fashion’s most innovative eyes.


Models featured in WSJ magazine’s “Kith & Kin” editorial in September 2020 Photographed by Nadine Ijewere
Models featured in WSJ magazine’s “Kith & Kin” editorial in September 2020 Photographed by Nadine Ijewere

“MY WORK HAS ALWAYS REFRAMED WHAT BEAUTY HAS STEREOTYPICALLY BEEN AND CREATES A SPACE TO ELEVATE WOMEN OF COLOR.” –NADINE I JEWERE


A model poses for Garage magazine’s “Que Onda?” editorial in April 2020. Photographed by Nadine Ijewere
A model poses for Garage magazine’s “Que Onda?” editorial in April 2020. Photographed by Nadine Ijewere


From top: Models Manami Kinoshita, Pan Haowen and Luna Wu pose for China’s Rouge Fashion Book in September 2019. Photographed by Nadine Ijewere
From top: Models Manami Kinoshita, Pan Haowen, and Luna Wu pose for China’s Rouge Fashion Book in September 2019. Photographed by Nadine Ijewere


Model Shanelle Nyasiase poses in various looks from Vogue Ukraine’s “Haut” editorial in July 2019. Photographed by Nadine Ijewere
Model Shanelle Nyasiase poses in various looks from Vogue Ukraine’s “Haut” editorial in July 2019. Photographed by Nadine Ijewere


Photographed by Nadine Ijewere
Photographed by Nadine Ijewere

“I HOPE [MY WORK] ENCOURAGES BLACK WOMEN THAT THERE IS SPACE FOR US TO TAKE IN THIS INDUSTRY.” –NADINE I JEWERE


Model Tia Sinclair featured in Nadine Ijewere’s Tallawah London photography exhibit in January 2020 Photographed by Nadine Ijewere
Model Tia Sinclair featured in Nadine Ijewere’s Tallawah London photography exhibit in January 2020 Photographed by Nadine Ijewere


Model Selena Forrest poses for British Vogue’s “Moment of Clarity” editorial in September 2020. Photographed by Nadine Ijewere
Model Selena Forrest poses for British Vogue’s “Moment of Clarity” editorial in September 2020. Photographed by Nadine Ijewere


Photographed by Nadine Ijewere
Photographed by Nadine Ijewere


Various photographs from Nadine Ijewere’s Cuba Project series in 2018 Photographed by Nadine Ijewere
Various photographs from Nadine Ijewere’s Cuba Project series in 2018 Photographed by Nadine Ijewere


Photographed by Nadine Ijewere
Photographed by Nadine Ijewere

Photography by: (Images credited above)