Monday, 4 July 2016

How to start a photography career in Nigeria (2)

A career in photography is one a lot of youths will willingly take up. But, with limited information on how to go about this, a lot of Nigerian youths have been discouraged from taking up photography as a career. This notwithstanding the lucrative nature of photography and the fun the profession offers.

Two weeks ago, I provided little information that would guide anyone who wants to start up a photography career in Nigeria. Follow to read if you missed. In a quest to provide further information on this topic, I sought the opinion of young photographers. You would learn a lot from these photographers as they all started their photography career in Nigeria and has some experiences to their names.   

Neec is the brain behind Neec imagery and he runs a photo blog where one can easily get access to his works. You can as well follow him on instagram @neec.imagery to see his works. Neec is a graduate of UNN and he is one of those who have proven that a photography career can begin with just a mobile phone. Riya, on the other hand is the Boss of Riyality Photography. She is one of the fast emerging female photographers in Nigeria. Riya's career started in 2013 at a wedding. Whereas she was meant to be in the bridal train, she abandoned that, just to grab her blackberry phone to do some camera work. Charles Ofikhenual won't appeal to you as a serious person ordinarily, but that's when he isn't with a camera. With a camera, he sees stories in what would have otherwise been ignored. The chap is one photographer to look out for in the nearest future. These youngsters may not be counting millions from photography, but they make enough from the craft to be enough inspiration. This trio's words would guide every budding or aspiring photographer. Don't forget to drop a comment if you find this piece interesting. Thank me later.   

First, you need to have a camera, and be sure you are a photographer by passion. Find a niche and follow it. e.g: Am I a wedding photographer?; Am I a fashion photographer? Make sure you master the techniques required for them. For example: light, computer applications etc. Business is secondary.   

Secondly, you need to build a portfolio and learn how to shoot to sell, how to treat a client etc. Third, you need an online presence, like creating a website, instagram account, facebook and twitter etc. where you can put out some of your works for view, critique and possibly, patronage. Be sure to watermark your work.     

Riya of Riyality Photography 
Over the years in Nigeria, photography has become a very lucrative aspect of business and expertise, especially, to the youths. A lot whose passion stemmed from using merely phones to capture shots and moments have decided to grow their passion in a more professional aspect as to even taking it up as a career. Photography is not a form of occupation that one can just start up as a lot of gadgets are required to pursue this form of business, but honestly there are still possibilities. A certain quote said, "Do not wait to have it all before you start, but start with whatever you have" It's not about the gadgets, but about your shots and the messages they carry. I know Nigeria is a highly competitive country, hence, everyone is speedily moving to get to the top. But, it's always little by little. Start with whatever tools you have and on the way you can acquire the more sophisticated ones. Gadgets could also be hired if one feels the need to upgrade, there is no harm in such. 

As well, social media has become a part of everyone's life, it has also become a promotive ground for almost everyone in different lines of business; photography inclusive. Through social media I for one got my first job and still do get few jobs from clients who go through my works and find interest. Photography is very challenging and can be really fun as well if we can just develop the right mindset and interest into developing oneself.     

Charles Ofikhenual 
Because it's not tips on how to become a pro photographer but how to start out, I think I can relate and share some vital tips. From my understanding, there are three thousands (3,000) compulsory tips to start a successful photography career in Nigeria. Lol. Since, I'm not a bad Jss 1 teacher, I would share just one hundred and fifty (150) of them and I will squeeze them into the smallest possible piece, to make it easier, I would start from number 150. Lol.   

No.150 :  LEARN- when starting out, after you made the decision not to work in Cheveron or sell the very expensive tomatoes but to pursue a carrer in photography, all you should be after is to learn. Learn everything about photography, the science and art of photography. First little secret; the word "learn" will take you places and give you access, trust me and these are ways to learn; (a) Online : there are a lot of very useful information and tutorials on photography online, all you have to do is to propose to google, make her your friend and she will let you into a lot of videos and articles both for starters and pro through your small phone or laptop. (b.) ASSISTING : you will agree with me nothing like practical, right? So link up with photographers in your locals and present yourself to assist them for free, be humble, be punctual, ask questions, have an idea what the photographer is doing, mind your business  and carry bags and lights. This way you will learn how to deal with clients and interpret their creative needs, know how to price, have confidence in your skills   

No.100: SHOOT FOR YOURSELF (imagine why there is no 149,148,147....bla bla bla it's because they are saying the same thing; learning)- since people and brands still think you are too young to shoot for them, then shoot for yourself, get a small camera or rent one, send yourself on an assignment, come up with a concept and call that handsome bobo or beautiful lady living in that corner of your street or your church/mosque or in the house or your friend, shoot them for free. This can help you garner experience and most importantly, form up a good portfolio to go after clients. NOTE: every photograph you take can be useful to individuals, brands, organisations etc   

No.50: SOCAL MEDIA- that little 'f' or bird symbol can put you before the world. Connect with people and photographers you admire their works and learn from them. Connect with people and brands you want to work with and learn how they operate, share your works, you don't know who is watching. Second little secret, there is R.O.I (Return of Investment ) online nowadays. 

No.1: PLAY HARD- the last one and very important tip is to be like me and play very hard. Lol. 

Don't forget to have fun telling and re-telling moments with your camera.

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