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  • Nwokedi Obi, Barbie Wedding

  • Nwokedi Obi, Barbie Wedding

  • Nwokedi Obi, Barbie Wedding

  • Nwokedi Obi, Barbie Wedding

  • Nwokedi Obi, Barbie Wedding

Obi Nwokedi

The Black Barbie Traditional Wedding

"The idea for this came about shortly after I saw the Italian Vogues black Barbie fashion shoot. I realized it would be great to do something with the dolls, which would be a bit more related to me and my work. I decided to use the Yoruba traditional wedding for the project simply because as at that time I had never photographed any other type of traditional Nigerian wedding. A couple of weeks later I set about searching for and buying up black Barbie dolls and accessories. This actually took way more time than I anticipated. Almost all the accessories and dolls weren’t available here in the UK, and had to be sourced from the United States and Hong Kong, and of course searching for them and shipping them over really took a while. Making the clothes w as another difficult issue, but then my wife decided to take charge of this and sew them herself. We had to buy a mini sewing machine, and surprisingly enough were able to find ‘ethnic’ Barbie doll sewing patterns from some collector in America. My wife of course slightly modified them to suit our purposes. The set up and posing for the shoot were of course based on actual images I had created from real weddings, and setting up the shoots was another time-consuming aspect of the shoot. Seeing that the dolls couldn’t stand without support, I had to build a mini stage-like studio, and then string the dolls up like puppets for each shoot. Of course the strings were all removed in post. I also had mini led torches rigged up to serve as ‘studio’ lights. The whole project was actually way more time intensive than I ever imagined and I was really happy when it was all over. We actually did start it as a marketing tool for my wedding photography, but I’m quite happy loads of people loved it for so many other different reasons."
Major Works