“It was literally just heartbreak,” says Lagos based photographer Bade Fuwa about what drove him to create a series of visuals titled “Pepper Soup Love.” Picking up his emotions and thoughts after a series of unfortunate tragedies, Bade uses his visual talents to express himself to the world.
Bade Fuwa’s Camera Helps Liberates His Thoughts
“I can’t really pinpoint the moment when it all started,” contemplates Bade on when he began taking up photography more seriously. But he remembers quite clearly when photography won over his heart. “I picked up a camera first at the Osun oshogbo festival festival that was in 2022, when I went visiting with some of my friends. And I fell in love with it.”
Picking Himself Up From Personal Tragedies
“Photography was a way for me to channel on my grief,” says Bade on how it came to save him from heartbreak. “I was paralyzed for about a year,” says Bade Fuwa. “Then the following year, I lost my mom. She took care of me for the whole period when I was paralyzed. This literally affected me, and photography was a way for me to like channel on my grief.”
Photography Has Been A Journey OF Discovery
“I didn’t really have many people to talk to,” notes Bade Fuwa. “I had just one friend who helped me a lot. He helped speed up the process of learning most of the skills in photography. I think for me, photography has just been a journey that will be about a year long this March. I’ve really enjoyed the journey of telling my stories.”
If you look at Bade’s work, you wouldn’t think that he’s new to photography. A lot of his portraits look to have stories behind them. It’s also his control over ambient light in his outdoor portraits that really impressed me. Bade does note that a lot of his work comes from emotions. “I learned that it’s not really about the camera,” he says when I ask him what gear he used to create all of his work. “It’s more about the person than the camera,” he continued. After buying some videos online to learn about composition and lighting, he invested in a 35mm lens for his Canon 450D. “I have the stories,” he confidently adds. “so everything just came really naturally to me. I didn’t really have to force so many things. I’ve also learned that you don’t you don’t take the picture; you make the picture. I know that even when I take a picture, I can still make it into a hundred different stories.”
What Inspires Bade Fuwa’s Work Nowadays
Waking up feeling lonely is something that Bade has become accustomed to lately. He still feels that those around him don’t quite connect with him emotionally. “It’s not that I don’t have many people to talk to,” clarifies Bade. “I feel like it’s very hard to get connected with people. It’s hard for people to understand what’s in my head and for me to understand what’s in people’s head, also. So I just channel all the energy and being alone, having my own alone time and writing, and bringing out the next concept of photograph.”
Pepper Soup Love
With such a unique title, I asked Bade where he got the idea for this series of photos. And much like with his other pieces, this one, too was inspired by an emotional story. “It was a story about my last relationship,” Bade says. Coming out of that relationship taught Bade many things, not especially that a relationship can’t be forced. “I felt it was just a feeling of me just wanting to be with someone, and it’s a feeling I haven’t felt in a very long time since then. I couldn’t really force someone to stay who didn’t want to stay. It didn’t really work out.”
The outcome of that breakup was Pepper Soup Love. A series of self portraits of Bade. “I felt like I could see things, I could hear things, but no one will understand me.” It was his first ever set of self portraits.
The Reason For All The Blur
“Sometimes it’s just to try and put the focus on the particular story I’m trying to tell,” Bade tells me. “Other times, the blur is to cover up what I’m trying to create and put the focus on what I’m trying to say.” But he notes that the main idea is so that the viewer isn’t really distracted by multiple elements in the frame.
The breakup was heartbreaking for Bade Fuwa. He felt used, and while it wasn’t something he wished for, he worked hard to showcase his emotions through this series of images. “I wasn’t really able to express myself throughout the time I was with that person. And I felt that was all the feeling I felt. I really don’t know how to express it with words, so that’s why I make this series. It’s an experience for me.”
All images by Bade Fuwa; used with permission. Check out his Behance and Instagram pages to see more of his work.