Unearthing Stephanie Nnamani – The Expressionist & Photographer

Before selfies there were self portraits, which throws us back to our nomadic days on Tumblr as we recollect perfectly our early encounters with a photographer who works under the pseudonyms “Teff The Don” and/or “The Expressionist”.

Dousing ourselves in everything from her style which exudes a blend of masculinity with a soft, feminine finish to her adroitness in the art of self portraiture, we’ve  been enthralled for over three years. Reblogging portrait after portrait till “mandatory visits to her blog” somehow clawed its way into our routines.

teff 1

If you’ve ever been –even the least bit– obsessed with the time consuming, deeply engrossing den that is tumblr, you might have come across one –if not more– of her portraits, sitting pretty for a few seconds as you paused your infinite scrolling to quickly reblog because you most likely couldn’t help it… she’s all stylish, flawless physique, emanating self confidence, with head shaved on both sides and a cheeky laugh that’s sometimes present, so why not?
stephanie_nnamani+teff+the+don+expressionist+portraiture+photography+nigerian+african (1)
stephanie_nnamani+teff+the+don+expressionist+portraiture+photography+nigerian+african (21)
 Her name; Stephanie Nnamani, born in Nigeria, a product of two Artists, and was ,surprisingly,  One of those shy-away-from-the-camera kids who eventually found refuge in the Art of photography –taking a lot of self portraits which she learned herself– after shedding off peer pressure from high school.

She began developing her skills as a photographer 9 years after her family migrated to the U.S, and is motivated simply by the overwhelming desire to create transcend into everything she does. “The Expressionist” is what she calls herself, in order to capture the range of media she uses to express her creativity.

 

She’s a fan of the arts, who aspires to dominate in matters of creative conduct, whether in my photography,words, fashion, or in her being. Her chief pursuit is self-fulfillment.
  stephanie_nnamani+teff+the+don+expressionist+portraiture+photography+nigerian+african (12)

 

stephanie_nnamani+teff+the+don+expressionist+portraiture+photography+nigerian+african (9)


stephanie_nnamani+teff+the+don+expressionist+portraiture+photography+nigerian+african (7)

Caption: when you wake up at 7 o’clock in the morning and the Sun is pouring into your living room just right, it’s either you iron your clothes, or risk losing your light. Guess which will take precedence? Haha!

 

 

stephanie_nnamani+teff+the+don+expressionist+portraiture+photography+nigerian+african (6)

Caption: In this particular shot, I am looking at my mum! She caught her “little princess” (don’t you dare laugh) in the kitchen at 7 AM taking photos. She was up, doing laundry and walked by the kitchen and caught me in the act. After a while, she dropped the basket she had in-hand, stood by the doorway with arms folded and watched in admiration. (Probably ‘cause the dress I’m wearing was hers back in the 90’s and I snagged it from her wardrobe. (((:)

I tried to maintain a straight face, but her glare was so intense, I broke. I looked over to her and I just melted.

I don’t think these words do justice to what was encapsulated in that moment, and how significant it is to me.

 

stephanie_nnamani+teff+the+don+expressionist+portraiture+photography+nigerian+african (81)

stephanie_nnamani+teff+the+don+expressionist+portraiture+photography+nigerian+african (112)

 

stephanie_nnamani+teff+the+don+expressionist+portraiture+photography+nigerian+african (11)

stephanie_nnamani+teff+the+don+expressionist+portraiture+photography+nigerian+african (4)

Processed with VSCOcam with c3 preset

She once said that

Your work is the most direct reflection of who you are as an Artist; the Art does not belong to you, you belong to it. In other words, as much as you are not in a photograph, it is very much a portrait of character. The same can be said for any medium of Art of expression; it is natural to leaves traces of your Being in all that you create.

And we agree.

 


CONNECT

Twitter [email protected]

Flickr 

Photography Blog 

Personal Blog

 

 

Credits | Greedmont Park |  Vogue BingeStudio Africa | V Magazine

A conversation on the most interesting, creative works and stories from all around Africa and the diaspora. Discover, share and engage.

4 Comments

  • Reply February 9, 2015

    Cassandra Ikegbune

    She’s amazing!
    I remember stumbling on her tumblr in 2013 and then her look book page. Omgggggggg
    Iade my boyfriend bookmark her site on his phone just because. Haha
    I haven’t been following up on her of late but this just makes me remember why i fell in love with her again so I’m off to stalk
    (Okay maybe not now, I’ve got to read -___- )

    Love your site!

    http://www.cassiedaves.com

  • Reply March 12, 2015

    Nicole Asinugo

    Very interesting read!

HEY, DROP A COMMENT BEFORE YOU LEAVE