Ethiopia /

Ingrid Koedood (1970) born and raised in the Netherlands, is a documentary and travel photographer. The combination of photography with travel she is passionate about. She prefers visiting countries which are unknown to the general public. She wants to enrich her life by experciencing and understanding other cultures. It is her greatest joy to wonder the streets, or just sit and watch the people passing by waiting for a interesting face or situation. In addition to making beautiful images, she tries to capture the beauty of the unknown from a humanitarian approach in order to create awareness.

Ingrid Koedood surrounded by Surma youth from southwestern Ethiopia

Since childhood, photography has been a common thread in her life. Her father was an avid amateur photographer. As a little girl she used to stand in the dark room with her father. The smell of chemicals. The magical moment when the image appears. The result that used to hang on a clothesline in the utility room to dry. This all contributed to her love for photography. She no longer develops her own photos. But her love for photography never stopped and has even become more and more, and for this she travels all over the world.

Egungun (Yoruba masquerade) in Benin for ancestor worship

She really took photography seriously about 15 years ago after being guided by the Dutch travel and lifestyle photographer Hans Zeegers. He taught her to learn to see differently. What makes a photo powerful? And how can you tell a whole story with a single photo? Later, GMB Akash, international award winning humanitarian photojournalist from Bangladesh taught her more about documentary and street photography. He taught her to focus more on the composition and less on the technical aspect. He showed her the daily struggle of life to survive in the outskirt of society of Bangladesh. It was an intensive and impressive training in the ‘field’. Two years later she went back to Bangladesh.

Zangbeto vudú (guardianes de la noche) en Grand Popo, Benin

Her inspiration comes from various sources; documentaries, books, social media. She loves to go through other photographer’s work. On Instagram he came into contact with Joan Riera from Last Places. Ingrid accompanied Joan on her trip to Congo Brazzaville. For years she wanted to make a photo documentary about the Sapeurs of Brazzaville. The sapeurs of Brazzaville and Kinshasa are followers of a movement or subculture that embodies the fashion and culture of their colonial predecessors. This movement is called as 'La Sape' (Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes' or Society of (creators) of Elegant Environments and People.

Last Places organized a tailor-made trip for Ingrid in which she visited Brazzaville as well as Benin. She spend in total three days with the Sapeurs. When sapeur Maxime Pivot received the trophy for best sapeur from the Congolese Ministry of Culture , Ingrid felt like one of the group.

The sapeur Maxime Pivot, winner of the trophy of the best sapeur of the Congo

In Benin she attended the masquerae dances. The people use masks to dance with for ceremonies. They believe that the mask is a deceased person’s spirit.

Egungun (Yoruba masquerade) in Benin for ancestor worship

In the coming five years she wants to travel and stay longer in one place for more depth and better understanding of the local people and their customs and to photograph them. Further she wants to publish a book with the best portraits she has taken.

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Photos by Ingrid Koedood:
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