During one of my usual scrolls on Instagram, I came across some images from Isabel Okoro’s project titled ‘Double Trouble Twice Blessed’, it caught my attention due to the playfulness of the subjects, the colour palette and visual aesthetics that made it feel like it was shot on a medium format camera.
‘Double Trouble Twice Blessed’ offers a refreshing outtake on brotherhood. Rather than your usual, alpha-male dominant or aggressive depiction, her view offers a more intimate and delicate interpretation of the relationship between brothers, something that is hardly seen at all in reality. The image of the twins heads bent backwards side by side, conveys a bond between them that is usually seen during the childhood phase of siblings, but seems to be lost once entering into adulthood, the expression ‘two heads are better than one’ comes to mind and I can’t help but think about how the connection between twins that starts in the womb and lasts a life time.
In a recent chat with Isabel, she said “I and the twins had been following each other on Instagram for a long time, so I always knew I was going to photograph them, but I wanted to make sure that it was worthwhile and that I wasn’t just wasting their faces”. From her work you can definitely see that it wasn’t a “waste of their faces”. The studio setting offered enough space for mischief and fun! The long exposure image of one of the twins moving on the chair whilst the other sits, calm and composed, immediately makes me think of the ‘cheeky monkey’ characteristic that follows siblings as children, one causing havoc whilst the other calmly watches, shakes their head and says ‘I’m telling mum’.
Besides the way in which Isabel offers a different outlook on Brotherhood, she also goes a step further with this project by portraying masculinity in a different light, swapping the stereotypical aggressive-macho representations, for a more, soft-gentle approach. A shift which is being explored and conversed by many artists and creatives globally.
“I just wanted to show the beauty of twins” says Isabel while describing the reason behind making the project, she also wanted to play witht he notion of “…being blessed with two and having to deal with the stress that comes with raising them.”
Isabel Okoro is a photographer based between Lagos and Toronto who through her Photography, aims to create a Black Utopia which she calls ‘Eternity’. In her project ‘Double Trouble Twice Blessed’ she collaborated with stylist, Daniel Obaweya as Creative Director, and shot the series of images in a studio using a Medium Format camera.