Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou: A person’s soul can live on within a photograph

Growing up as the son of one of West Africa’s most renowned photographers, it was never in much doubt what line of work Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou would come to find himself in. Like his dad before him, his focus is putting the spotlight on the everyday people of Benin and its capital, Porto-Novo. He tells Alex Kahlabout how he’s carved out his own unique style of photography that stands out in a cultural environment that’s heavily committed to tradition.


Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou’s dad, Joseph Moise Agbodjelou, learned to take photographs while fighting alongside the French army during World War II. When he returned he became one of the most prominent photographers in West Africa. Growing up, it was watching Joseph work that introduced Leonce to the field.


Words by: Alex Khal

September 29, 2020