PHOTOGRAPHY in Nigeria is one of the fastest growing professions today. Nigerians have come to realize the essence of photography and how it affects our everyday lives. Unlike before, photography is now seen as a proper profession.
Most photographers earn as much as six figures per job and get up to three jobs in one day. Photography also used to be known as a male dominated job, but recently, females have proved the saying, ‘What a man can do, a woman can do better’ right, as they have embraced photography and are doing great at it.
ENCOMIUM Weekly brings you some of the female photographers in Nigeria…
‘It’s been adventurous and challenging’ -ORIMADEGUN SHAKEERAH, Spicy Inc. Studio
How and when did you venture into photography?
For me, I never planned to be a photographer. I lost my job as a banker and I was home doing nothing for almost a year. Later, plan B came into existence, which was to go back to writing as I had some unpublished novels and articles. But something caught my eyes while I was going through my books, an old jotter. In it, I had written some proposals for possible business in the future. Part of it, was photography. How I’d love to own a photography studio and employ a photographer, Photoshop editor and so on.
So, I just thought about it, why can’t I be the photographer and editor, all of which I am presently doing today. With the help of Google, online tutorials, feedback from friends and experienced people in the industry, gate crashing of my friend’s weddings and some birthday shoots. And as I continued to grow, I had the opportunity to gain more knowledge at some photography workshops and conventions home and abroad. Seven years later, I can say vividly that I’m one of the best photographers in Nigeria to reckon with.
How has the experience been?
The experience has been amazing. It’s been adventurous and challenging. I guess that comes with running a small business. We just strive each day to keep the business going, deliver the best and put our name out there.
What type of photography do you do?
Weddings and lifestyle photography. We also handle corporate events, luncheons, studio, adverts and fashion photography.
What’s your unique selling point as a photographer?
Our unique selling point is our simple, yet classy, vibrant, clear/sharp images and our end products. And our ability to tell our client’s story in a way they will cherish forever, coupled with our customer service and relationship with clients. We just don’t shoot, deliver and move on. We still keep in touch with our clients since we started. And we still get to photograph other phases in their lives.
Can you remember the photography job that gave you your big break?
I seriously can’t say. Big break? No name has even come to mind now. We’ve been opportuned to cover many big weddings. But each and every of our wedding add to our growth. Because my take is to take each wedding and make it as memorable as possible for my client and family, which in turn bring their friends and family back to us or entirely new leads from them.
What are the challenges of being a female photographer in Nigeria?
Are there any? I don’t see them, if there are. I can climb or stand on a chair to take some angle shots, lay or sit on the floor just like any guy would. In fact, I get more advantage as a female when we do weddings. I can dash from the bride’s room to the groom’s without stress unlike the guys who will have to excuse the bride at some point. And I don’t get intimidated by anyone either. When I do my events, what is on my mind is delivering my utmost best to my clients. And I don’t settle for less until I achieve that.
Photography is seen as a male oriented field, why did you go into it?
You haven’t heard? Nothing a man can do that a woman cannot do better. Okay, maybe not procreation (laughs). I love photography passionately. I did a little bit of modeling, I have always had something to do with the camera. So, when I wanted to make a career change from banking, I had many ideas to choose from. But it was only photography that stood its ground. That is how I started photography and I’m glad that I followed my heart.
How do you handle male admirers on the job?
I handle them the way I handle male admirers every other day. Say thanks, smile and move on. If they insist on getting my card, I give it to them and the rest depends on if I accommodate their advances afterward. I’m always afraid to open up to male admirers at weddings because you never know who is watching. And men will always be men, even with their wives in tow.