What are your degrees?
I did my primary education at Foresight School, Moniya, Ibadan, Oyo State. Then I went to Posit College, Arulogun also in Ibadan for my secondary education. For my upper secondary education, I went to Holy Mountain College.
I then studied agricultural economics at the University of Ibadan.
Why did you decide to get into photography?
I started to learn photography as a means to achieve my ends. I’ve always wanted to have my own farm, and I still have that intention. I would love to have a plantain farm in the future. However, I knew it would take a huge amount of money to get started, so I decided to learn photography during my freshman year in college.
I officially started photography in July 2017.
Together with some friends – Obaloluwa Akinniyi-Tayo, Ayoade Aderinto, Femi Amuwo and Doyin Olumo-Deji – we rented a studio in the heart of Bodija, Ibadan.
What is the greatest distance you have traveled for a job as a photographer?
I’ve had jobs in most southwestern states across the country and look forward to working in other parts of the country and beyond.
After the camera, what is your most important work tool?
Aside from the camera, my second most important tool is my laptop. Just as it is important to take photos, it is also important to edit and deliver good photos to its customers. In fact, when I started photography, I wasn’t editing images on a laptop; I was using phone apps. I only started editing with a laptop after about six months in the business.
There is no doubt that photography tools are very expensive. How were you able to obtain the necessary equipment to start the business?
I started small. I also thank God for my mother who supported me at the beginning of this journey. She bought me my first camera, a Nikon D60, which cost N85,000 at the time. With God’s blessings and a good culture of salvation, I have been able to put more things together since then.
How many workers do you have?
I currently have four trainees and interns helping me with the production process.
How have you been able to leverage the internet, especially social media, to expand the reach and visibility of your business?
Being in the online space is one of my least favorite things about being an entrepreneur. In my business, I’m the producer, director, CFO, social media manager, and many more, so my online presence fluctuates. However, it’s something I’m continually working on and improving.
What are the main challenges you have encountered in the business so far?
One of my main challenges is the high cost of work tools and materials. I didn’t know that photography was so capitalistic.
When people take photos, they are usually very careful about how they want to look. How do you keep your customers satisfied?
I pride myself on being able to listen to my clients and see things from their perspective. I try to listen more than talk when communicating with clients. I believe that our faces are different, our preferences are also different. I always make sure to take the customer into consideration. My goal is always to make them happy and satisfied.
How do you handle difficult customers?
I rarely have difficult clients. There are none that I can remember at the moment.
It is known that some big brands offer promising photographers “exposure” as compensation. Have you had such an experience?
Yes, I have had such experiences but as an economist I weigh the costs and benefits before making decisions. I believe everyone should do what works for them. If you think a brand giving you the exposure you need isn’t up to the task, don’t accept the offer. Someone called me once, offering me an exhibition in exchange for my work. He almost beat me on the phone because I refused his proposal.
Some photographers do not respect the time when they are invited for work. What is your opinion on that?
I have never had such an experience. Rather, it is the customers who barely respect the time.
What is the biggest loss you have suffered while running your business?
I haven’t suffered any loss yet.
How do you stay up to date with new photography accessories and equipment?
When it comes to photography, staying up to date is an endless journey.
On average, how long does it take you to edit a photo?
It takes me between 20 and 30 minutes to edit a photo. This is the part of the job that I like the least.
Where do you see your brand in the next 10 years?
At that time, I may not be actively photographing anymore. However, I see my brand having branches in different parts of the country.