Glenna Gordon

Even with endless guest lists, Nigerian weddings still draw plenty of uninvited guests. Everyone in the community attends these brightly decorated multiday events, where food is plentiful and gifts pile up for both the newlyweds and invitees. At larger weddings, dozens of photographers mob the bride and groom like paparazzi.

American photographer Glenna Gordon often appears among the wedding crashers. (Whether invited or not, she always introduces herself to the families of the bride and groom and asks permission to photograph the event.) The 33-year-old freelancer attended her first Nigerian wedding in 2012 with one of the official photographers. She had been living in Uganda for five years, working as a writer and photographer for international media outlets, but had started focusing solely on her photographic work, including assignments throughout West Africa and personal in-depth documentary projects.