‘We saw this tree filled with goats’: Stephen Tayo’s best phone picture

·1-min read

The Nigerian photographer on an unusual encounter on the roadside in Morocco

As a professional photographer, Stephen Tayo’s usual reason to travel is for work. Since visiting Marrakech solo in 2019, however, he had been raving to friends about how much they all needed to go. Bored after a year under Covid restrictions, he eventually rallied five friends from his home town of Lagos, Nigeria, to join him on a mini road trip. The group began in Tayo’s beloved Marrakech, then decided to head to the beach to slow the pace a little.

“We hired a bus and headed for Essaouira on the coast, but stopped any time we saw something interesting. Shortly after a roadside coffee break, we saw this tree filled with goats taking shelter and resting,” Tayo says.

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His muses usually take human form, but he’d never seen goats in a tree before. “I thought it was spectacular,” he says. “They were so relaxed and serene. Our driver helped us ask the friendly farmer who owned them for permission to get closer. I didn’t need to disturb them – some just happened to be looking our way.”

In the end, Tayo reached for his camera only a couple of times during the friends’ 10-day trip. “I was more documenting it for myself,” he says, “and a phone always seems less intimidating when I’m exploring different communities,” he says.

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