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“Spotlight” is a series that focuses on young Nigerian creatives and the amazing things that they’re doing in their various fields. It was started because we wanted to share their stories and individual journeys on the path to success.

This week we’re featuring the amazingly talented photographer, Deolu Photography. Deolu Photography is a young landscape photographer that is one day going to take this world by storm. His talent is out of this world and we believe everyone deserves to know about him, which is why we decided to interview him.

In his interview, he tells us about how he got into photography and how he discovered that nature and landscape photography is his true calling. Check out his interview below.

Deolu photography

How did you get into photography?

I got into photography in 2014 while I was still in university. Instagram just came out then I think and I was just checking out photographers and their works, they were white photographers and I really wanted to be like them. My roommate at that time also had this editing software on his laptop called “Picasso”,  so I’d use my phone  to take pictures of myself and edit, and the rest was history. My roommate then was not a photographer though.

When did it become apparent to you that you were born to take pictures?

I think it became apparent that I was good at photography in 2018 when I started landscape and nature photography. Before then, I used to try every aspect of photography. From portrait to event to product photography but I realized that none of that was my niche and I just knew that I wanted to be a photographer but I wasn’t doing something right. But everything became clear to me in 2018 during a vacation to Cape Town, South Africa where I was just taking random landscape pictures and I realized people loved what I was doing and above all, it genuinely made me happy.

DEOLU PHOTOGRAPHY 3

If you weren’t doing photography, what would you be doing?

I’d probably be in the business line. Buying and selling goods. I have always seen myself as an entrepreneur before I got into university, and I learned that from my dad. He is also a businessman and I love the stuff he does. I’m still looking into it though, it is something I’d love to do in a few years’ time.

Does your family support you?

Well, my mum has been my number one fan from day one. She has supported me thoroughly, told me never to give up. Her words of encouragement are the reason I’m still doing this. As for my dad, he didn’t want to come along before because he never saw me having a future in it but he’s coming along now after I’ve convinced him with my work.

Deolu photography

 

What are some challenges you’ve faced as a young photographer?

I personally feel as a young creative in Nigeria, you are bound to face so many challenges, but the major one I face on a regular basis is my content being undervalued by clients. Many people want quality and good pictures but are not ready to pay for it. They are so quick to talk down on your rates and begin to say you are “expensive” just because you’re young. They wouldn’t mind paying that same amount or more to some well-known photographer. So in summary, clients in Nigeria are not ready to support young clients. So you just have to work your a** off to get up there to be valued to an extent.

Have you ever had to deal with people stealing your content? If yes, how do you handle it?

For the type of photography I do, it is bound to happen. People using your content without permission to make money and all that. I have once seen my picture framed and being sold in Lagos traffic. I was shocked, to be honest, and I didn’t even know what to do. I called him and asked him how he got the picture and he said they just go and download pictures from the internet and print and sell. He didn’t even know what he did was wrong and that just boils down to the fact that copyright in Nigeria is bottom tier.

Deolu photography

 

Who’s one of you’re most memorable clients that you’ve worked with, and why?

I have worked with so many brands that have been memorable but the most memorable one for me has to be working with Denola Grey for Dolce and Gabbana. It was a product shoot and it was a perfume called “K” by Dolce and Gabbana. It is like a milestone for me and I’ve never been more proud of myself. Shoutout to Denola Grey also.

What’s one lesson that you’ve learned in your photography journey?

To never give up and to be consistent. It will get difficult at a point, but never give up.

 

What made you go into nature photography?

I just felt I needed a change as I have tried every aspect of photography and I wasn’t just getting it right. I took random pictures at the beach on a vacation in 2018 and since then, it has been part of me and a major part of photography for me.

 

What’s your photography dream/goal?

To work for phone brands to have my pictures as default wallpapers on their phones and also working for National Geographic. I also hope to start a photography agency where we create stock images for young creatives to use for their blogs or help them in graphic designing.

Deolu Photography
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made that taught you a huge lesson in photography?

I think it’ll be not knowing the business of photography from the start. My work was undervalued at a time and I struggled to change that because it felt like I was starting again.

What’s the hardest part of photography?

The hardest part of photography for me is taking the pictures itself. Getting the right lighting and even selecting the right pictures to edit. I personally find editing very very easy.

What advice would you give up and coming photographers?

Do you, find what you are good at and stick to it, find ways to improve, and standout. People will buy your art once you’re focused and consistent. Never think you are not good enough because you are and can always be better.

Who are some of your role models in the photography world?

My role models are my friends in photography because they push me to do better, they advise me on what to do. Friends like Femi flash, Fola stag, and Osbalt.

What client would you like to work with in the near future?

Would love to work with Apple. I feel my pictures will look good on their phones and I really hope it’s something that would happen.

Who are some young photographers you think we should look out for?

Look out for: Blessing Atas, (twitter handle @blessynatas) and Ante (twitter handle @antesart_ )

I love what these guys are doing particularly. I am a fan of their art

Are you working on anything at the moment?

I am currently working on an app where people can easily get the HD version of my pictures for wallpapers for their phone. It is currently in the works and hopefully, it’ll be released soon.


If you’d like to see more of Deolu’s awesome pictures, you can follow him on Twitter and also check out his website.

By: Dammy Eneli