Eseosa Ikponmwosa aka Mr Wentz isn't your average photographer, he doesn't aim the for the glamor shot, he prefers the grit and dirt of the streets of Lagos as his muse. He has adopted the streets and it seems to have offered itself to his camera lens. With a unique perspective, he captures images that offer context and story in the simplest manner. The CONTENT:NG team met with this 'street agent' to learn more about his passion and inspirations...
Lets start from the genesis, what made you fall in love with photography?
I don't want to say I've always loved photography but let's say I've always appreciated a good photograph. I was always fascinated by the ability to freeze time.
At what point in your life did you realise that you have the gift or vision required to make the transition from photography as a hobby to photography as a profession?
I think it was after I got the CNNAfrica feature for my "Abandoned in Lagos" series. It came with a lot of positive reviews, which in turn gave me the confidence to pursue a career.
How did the family react to your choice to take photography seriously?
At first, of course they weren't too please because they didn't really see a future in it, until I started getting recognised for my work.
Now, you’ve identified yourself as a street photographer and I can imagine the complexities of Nigeria offer striking imagery, do you see your environments with a different perspective now that you understand the power of imagery?
Actually I just want to be addressed as a photographer, and yes definitely through photography I've been able to see different perspectives to the subjects I photograph and I also have a better understanding on the importance of imagery.
Do you have a favourite picture you’ve taken?
Favourite picture? I'm not sure I can narrow that down but I love the picture I took of the Ikoyi Bridge from my perspective.
Before we go any further, congratulations on your partnership with MTV Base and your feature on CNN, you seem to be getting the recognition you deserve. How does it feel when you hear about these successes especially coming in such a short period of time?
It feels good to be honest, but I'm not really getting carried away by all that, I only just got started...the journeys still far.
I want to know your worst experience as a photographer?
Worst experience definitely getting mobbed by area boys, but that's normal level... it's something you deal with every time you shoot.
Any advise for up and coming photographers?
Shoot all the time, be proud of your photographs!
In your words, how is photography important to ‘The Culture’?
It’s the most important if you ask me, the culture needs to be preserved and documented. Photography is that tool that can preserve whatever is going on in our time.
Mr. Wentz. Thank You.
Check out images from Mr. Wentz's portfolio below...