Photographed by Evan Hunt PhotoName: Lyndah Wells Age: 30 something Occupation: Photographer Place of birth: Lagos, Nigeria Current residence: Freeport, Grand Bahamas My siblings and I were born and bred in Lagos, Nigeria – the homeland of our parents. We moved to London when I was five years old and in my early teens I was sent to boarding school in Stoke-on-Trent. Boarding school was where I learned to be independent and take care of myself. When I left school at 15 my father moved us to Nigeria so that we knew where we came from. It was huge culture shock! On top of adjusting to change we had to accept the breakdown of my parents marriage. When I left after four years, Nigeria left a sour taste in my mouth. Now I love it! When I took my husband Douglas for the first time I noticed how much things had changed socially. I couldn’t appreciate the social life when I was a young woman. Especially not with three brothers threatening to break the bones in every potential boyfriends body.
Mother, Daughter and Grandmother
My day begins at 7am when my daughter wakes up and says ‘hi’. We head to the kitchen to make my daily cappuccino (I don’t have breakfast). Then, we play for an hour before she eats (or doesn’t eat) her breakfast. As a full-time working mother I’ve leant how to juggle clients, editing, photo-shoots and grocery shopping, but regardless of how many things I have to juggle, I always try to make an effort with what I wear. Layla loves nothing more than dressing up in my clothes too.
When I started out as a photographer, I spent a lot of time copying what I saw. It takes time to define yourself through your work. Eventually you get to the stage where you can step back and see your style clearly. My style of photography is honest, clean and simple. It’s fresh and full of light and air. I love how people respond to my work. I became a wedding photographer by accident, but I enjoy being a part of one of the happiest days of a couple’s life. That happiness is infectious and it shows in my work. I went back to university after leaving Nigeria and studied Furniture Design & Technology at London Metropolitan University (formerly London Guildhall University) and then went on to get a Residential Interior Design diploma at The Design School in London. I met my husband on a ten-day visit in the Bahamas and it changed my life. I never thought I would leave London, but I absolutely love living here because it has allowed me to become an artist and photographer. I have had so many wonderful opportunities and met so many kindred spirits. I love being able to put on a t-shirt and denim shorts in December, I love being able to raise my daughter in the sunshine and not worry about who is looking at her in the playground and most of all, I love the friends I have made in the seven years I’ve lived here. The best thing about being a mother is hearing Layla’s laugh and snort when I tickle her, the way she kisses whichever part of my body her lips can reach and gives me a pat on the back after a hug. I went back to work three weeks after giving birth because I have a great support system at home and my husband is a wonderful hands-on dad. There are times when I feel guilty for working so much, but I do make sure that I spend quality time with Layla, have date nights with Doug and go dancing with my girls. I am a ComplexdWoman because I am independent even as a wife and mother. I have courage and the conviction to be me even when I feel insecure. I’m not sure it’s necessarily about being a woman, but it’s definitely about being Lyndah. My advice to other women would be the same advice I will give to my daughter. Be the best you can be in every way possible, don’t look outside for assurance because it all starts from within and the beauty that was created in you. If you believe in that beauty, there is no stopping you.