Lola Akinmade Åkerström: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Lola Akinmade Åkerström, Multi-Award Winning Travel Photographer: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary

Black Women in Europe Blog™ 10th Anniversary notes:

I picked Lola as a Black Women in Europe Blog10th Anniversary Shero not only because of her enormous photography talent (my Swede was impressed with her camera when he observed it draped around her neck and resting on her baby bump several years ago) but because of her enormous body of work. She’s been to just about every corner of the world, seriously and has been published in everything from National Geographic to the BBC and took a selfie with Sweden’s Crown Princess before selfies were all the rage. I’ve written so many blog posts about Lola’s achievements that I can’t decide which award is the most impressive.  I know first hand how amazing Lola’s eyes are as she has made me look magical from behind the lens. And I’m touched this globe-trotting mother of two and trophy wife still wears the stylish girlfriend hat. All I had to do was ask (and follow up a couple of times) with the amazing Lola to create something to mark my anniversary and she did not let me down. Indeed she created something museum worthy and for that I will always be grateful.

I will treasure this expose Lola! Tusen tack.

In Photos: On redefining dreams in Europe

Multi-award winning photographer Lola Akerstrom.
Multi-award winning photographer Lola Akerstrom.

Words and photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

As a Nigerian-born, Sweden-based self-taught photographer, my dream as a child was to one day see my images grace the pages of National Geographic which opened the world of exploration to me during my childhood. My professional work has appeared in various publications such as National Geographic Traveller, BBC, CNN, The Guardian, Travel + Leisure, Slate, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s, and several in-flight magazines, and my photography is represented by National Geographic Creative.

photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström
photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

My style is inspired by the conscious act of “listening”. I tend to isolate people or subjects and place almost all focus on them. I make traditionally “mundane” scenes more interesting through isolation. This is something I both consciously and subconsciously do. I observe interactions – how people are interacting with each other, with their environment, and how light interacts with them – to capture a sense of place. This is conscious. The subconscious comes from listening. Because I always try to listen to people and places, I tend to isolate individuals and visually listen to and elevate them. I listen to their verbal and nonverbal stories. I let them tell those stories themselves through my photography. And I strive to dignify them during the process of telling their own stories visually.

photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström
photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

I’m always inspired by strong black women who are actively carving their own creative paths despite the challenges we collectively face and are building successful lives and careers for themselves in unconventional ways. Living in Sweden for a while now, I’ve been fortunate to meet so many resilient black women doing amazing things – from entrepreneurs in the beauty and baking fields to performing artists, photographers, filmmakers, fashion designers, authors, and many more. All redefining what it means to be successful by actively pursuing their dreams and passions.

photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström
photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Follow Lola’s work here

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Meet all of our Anniversary Sheroes.

DJ Candice McKenzie

Lyota Swainson by Odou John Andrews 150x150 Ellen Kountz: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Holistic hair care specialist Lyota Swainson

Ellen Kountz

Financial guru Ellen Kountz


Sister’s Sharing Knowledge – A Black woman in Asia – a travel from the inside …

Laura Bazile from England

Traveling to Asia for work, I experienced my last trip in a different way, for 5 main reasons:


/As a woman

Traveling goes with being yourself in a different place; as far as I am concerned, the dasher version came like that: a “woman/project exec/in Asia/for 1 week & more” eg. training people, mentoring staff in a fast-paced environment, chasing suppliers, building trustful (pro) relationships, welcoming clients, discovering … What I relied on as a stepping stone is that I took profit immediately from the way I network online. Steps you skip online when networking leave space for creating efficiently a contact. In other words, 3 things are set very fast A-uttering clearly who you are B-what are you here for C-let’s connect! … or not.


/As a Black woman

Staying in a country where people can notice your presence from far away, in a crowd, is fun and eventually not a thing to care about when you love traveling. The only thing I consider carefully is what is an absolute “no-no” as a woman according to local culture and religion.

I have to admit that in Asian countries I have been traveling to (including my last trip), when you fly to mainland, you may bump into people who never came across a Black person … except on TV! Reactions are quite different as it might be “not” noticing your presence at all (or) staring at you …. (or) touching you! Once recovered from that surprise, you realise that technology will definitely never ever replace face-to-face contacts, the essence of human relationship. You may be connected to the “entire world” if I may say, (Asia is far ahead in terms of technologies), the ultimate step remains “creating a bridge to” who is standing right here, in front of you.


/As a professional

Technology is everywhere. Good news or bad news? Not my point here … Being honest, I just loved a stressless environment where you work online from your hostel room, set up a network with supplier meeting requirements as tools and solutions are countless, taking notes at the airport while waiting… Being connected here means a bond with the outside world.

/As a traveler

I am not prima facie a huge fan of Asia (as a world traveler), I have to admit. I took professional trips as an opportunity to discover countries I wouldn’t have planned to travel to. All in one, if you are a traveler, you grasp every little tiny situation to simply nurture yourself.




/As a (woman) backpacker

My only fear lied in getting accurate visas. I have got friends who traveled in Asia/live in India: they gave me useful tips and advice, accordingly to “how” I travel. I managed to book decent hostels, struggled a little bit to find cheap flight deals. Although, my experience here is restricted, I would add that traveling across Asia can be quite tricky on a short trip as stopovers might be very long. Keep that in mind if you wish to visit.

What about you? Any feeling of travel you would like to share?

Laura Bazile is an events professional, loves travelling, meeting & helping people, and is passionate about social media, live & virtual arts, and design.