Shade Okoya at 40 Photography by TY Bello for This Day Style

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I’ve photographed Shade Okoya for over ten years. I love this woman. She absolutely understands where I’m trying to go with the images and she actively works alongside the whole time as if she wasn’t the client . . an amazing collaborator. This is one shoot where I never need a stylist .. she knows what works .. she just does.
For her 40th portrait I looked for interesting ways to pay homage to some of the strong images I had made of her in the past. The red outfit that seemed to float over the furniture was a mimic of the portrait I made of her years ago in water with fabric floating around her. The gold outfit with the net was a remake of portraits I made at her wedding. We brought in some interesting jewelry she designed her self from the day as well.. amazing ..It was fun finding new ways to revisit old themes. 

This is what growing up is about .. owning ALL our experiences .. the lessons we’ve learnt..our triumphs and even our failures.. ..growing up means wearing them as badges ..knowing we earned who we’ve become .. Beautifully growing up means wearing them as crowns.. celebrating the journey .. This beautiful woman celebrates her 40th birthday today. I’m taking this opportunity to celebrate her kindness. 

A few months ago .. I had mentioned in conversation that a friend of mine who stayed not too far from her was ill. Shade called back to get her number … got her address and organized meals for her twice a day .. everyday..I don’t even know how long this went on. .For someone she had never met. 

Its become clear to me .. its our virtues that really adorn us .. much more beautifully than what we put on. Thank you for being beautiful S.O happy birthday 

#tybellophotography #SO@40

Hair by @chiomagoodhair and @bernardsmiless

Makeup by the super @shomya_lag . @dharmiesho @shutterjenius and Ibrahim..