Chief S.O. Alonge did something previously unheard of during his 50 year engagement as the photographer of the royal court of Benin, Nigeria: he focused his lens back onto his own people. As the first indigenous royal court photographer, his photos shied away from the rigid, formal style of his colonial predecessors.
Alonge’s photographs and legacy are remembered in a newly opened exhibition at the National Museum of African Art, “Chief S.O. Alonge: Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria.” The exhibit runs through Sept. 2015. You can read more about Alonge, as well as the exhibition, here.