How to become a good photographer

THE photography industry has grown a lot from what it used to be in the past, as many have embraced the once-ignored business in Nigeria. All thanks to technology, which has simplified photography as one can now make cool money at a click.

Despite the ease at which the business can be set up, it is not easy to become a successful photographer, as there is no shortcut to becoming a good one overnight. But all the same, Michael Adeleke, MD CEO of Picture Perfect, Olatunji Shopping Plaza, PWD, Oshodi, Lagos, gives some tips on how to become a great photographer, especially in the fast-growing Nigerian Entertainment industry.


Covet techniques

“Whenever you find a photographer producing great images, steal his or her technique. If someone is doing something good, learn how and do the same. When you have collected enough techniques, they will blend into what will eventually become you. Stealing or copying from others is allowed in photography.


Setup goals

“When you know what you want to shoot, think about what you need to get there. Make plans for what you should accomplish in one month, a year and three years. Also, make a list of what you need to learn during that time. For instance, what clients do you have? What do you do? If you want to get somewhere, you need to know where you are heading.


Invest in cameras

The falling rate of the Naira is not helping many upstarters to get the best cameras, but if your heart is in this, you will put your money into it. I have five cameras now. The cheapest is Nikon D40 and it costs about N 150,000 now. Some cost as much as N350,000, while lenses cost as much as N1 million. When I get to work, I am always confident because I have the tools and I don’t spare money. You can start with fairly used cameras which can be bought at Oshodi.


Grow your network

“You’ll be amazed how far someone will go to help a friend. A friend, that is, not someone you’ve never talked to. When you need help with something, such true friends will most certainly be there for you. Friends made TY Bello what she is today. I remember she started out at the Fountain of Life Church at Ilupeju. The pastors and church members partonised her a great deal. Now, she is Nigeria’s queen of photography.


Decide what you want to photograph

“You should not be a photographer that shoots ‘everything.’ In the beginning, of course, you’ll need to shoot some portraits, some children and some weddings just to make the ends meet financially. But as you go along, you need to become the guy that makes those awesome miniature landscapes or that shoots stunning black and white ambient light studio portraits.


Find your sources of inspiration

“Other photographers are awesome for inspiration. For me, LeFaythz back then in Yaba was an inspiration. Same was Alpha Photos in Ibadan when I was at the University of Ibadan. They were at the top of their games then. Also, magazines, movies, music, art, sports, love and hate could be the things that will ignite your passion and a part of your brain fires up to want to make the good stuff.”

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