Welcome to Tender Photo, a bi-weekly newsletter on African photography.

Every Wednesday, I feature one photograph and the photographer who took it. You’ll read a short introductory note from me, and more importantly, a statement from the photographer. 

My goal for Tender Photo is to create a publication where people can learn about photography together, through the work of African photographers I admire. I want to reach readers willing to give some thought to how photography impacts their lives and shapes their perceptions. And I want to pay homage to the work of a diverse group of African artists working in different forms of photography, including fine art, fashion, documentary, and editorial photography.

The process of choosing the photograph I present is simple but collaborative. I send 3 photographs to a photographer born or based in Africa (selected from their portfolio). They choose one of those photographs and respond to questions about their technique and motives. Then, I edit the responses into a short statement that forms the main content of the weekly newsletter. See the archive for the growing list of features.

In March 2023, I launched a Saturday edition of the newsletter.

My goal for the weekend edition is to produce expansive, eclectic pieces of writing:

  • From March 4–May 20, I am featuring commentaries by readers who have supported the newsletter. I have asked them to find “correspondences” between 3 photographs from the archive, and to write short commentaries on their choice.

  • Afterwards, beginning in June, I intend to share (and mostly republish) lengthier narratives and essays on photography I have written in the past.

  • And later this year, I would begin to work with older, more established photographers, born or based in Africa, to present ideas on their work.

Thank you for reading, and sharing with your network. 


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Emmanuel Iduma
Writer and art critic. Author of A STRANGER'S POSE, a travel memoir, and I AM STILL WITH YOU, a memoir.