Becky Ojezele Adenaike is the mind behind the lenses of Beckylu Photograpy; an emerging videography and photography brand dedicated to capturing frozen memories for film. She speaks with MILLICENT AREBUN ONUOHA on the highly competitive budding photography industry of Nigeria, the challenge of non-payment of wasted time by clients and the passion that propelled her into the profession among others.
How did you develop interest in photography?
I actually developed interest in photography by chance. It all started when I joined the media department in my church and I had the opportunity to play with cameras though as a videographer. Then my darling husband got me a Nikon DSLR 5300 as a birthday gift andsuddenly my interest that was simmering bloomed into a passion. I said to myself that this camera would be good for photography. I’m sorry mine didn’t start from my mother’s womb. Anyway the minute I identified that photography and videography were not just a hobby I could play around with but something I could also make a profession from, I threw myself into learning and gaining as much knowledge and experience I can on the fields of life.
What’s photography to you?
Photography to me is telling a distinct story, meeting new people, traveling and also having fun while I shoot. Capturing life-changing moments and precious memories for people is the essence of photography.
Why do you photograph?
I photograph because it gives me the opportunity to handle things technically and artistically.
Did you go through formal training?
Hmm! Formal training? I’m a graduate of Mass Communication, photography was a compulsory subject and I also got some training from church, fellow photographers and of course Google. I still intend to run a two-year course in photography from 2019.
Do you have a niche as a photographer and whose work has influenced you most?
Every photographer should be able to identify their area of specialization but I haven’t. I am still trying different types of photography though I don’t intend to master all. Currently I am in love with fashion photography and events. I can’t say a particular photographer’s work has influenced me because a lot of photographers don’t allow their photographs to breathe. Too much editing on a photograph.
As a female in the almost predominantly male photography industry in Nigeria, how has been the reception from your colleagues?
It has been awesome. I must say with loads of support from my male colleagues. God created male in a spectacular way and they are easy to work with. Oh well, let me speak for myself.
Is photography financially lucrative as a business in Nigeria?
Yes it is but very competitive. It’s actually amazing how competitive it is when you are a start-up and how lucrative it can be when your work stands you out and people begin to trust you with their to capture their moments or hire you for a campaign.
Which photo-gear/software brings out your work best?
Photography is not about gear but the ability to see, capture, and compose. I have Nikon D7000, 85mm 1.8g prime lens, 16-85mm lens, laptop, backdrop, tripod, speed-light etc. Lightening equipment includes natural light speed light, reflector, diffuser, soft box.
Amongst all of your work, which one is your favourite and why?
You know, photography is an art and I can’t say I have one favourite because I have shot a myriad of occasions and events. For instance burials, weddings, birthdays, fashion, products and more. There’s always a click moment from every shoot.
Are you a member of Lagos State professional photographer association (LASPPAN)?
NO. but yes, I’m aware; a friend of mine is a member. I plan to join them eventually.
These days, there are devices (phones) which deliver almost the same effect as digital cameras. Do you see that as a threat to your career?
Threat? Not at all. Phone cameras and digital cameras are not the same and photography isn’t all about pressing the shutter. Photography is technical.
What has been your challenge so far as a photographer?
The competition is mind blowing; I do not mean competition with the Smartphone’s photographer. Photography gears are expensive, clients don’t like to pay, clients don’t keep to time and they won’t pay for wasting your time etc.
Advice to young budding photographers?
You can start with a small digital camera and upgrade later. Experiment with whatever you have, don’t go chasing money because money will eventually come.
What is fashion to you?
To me, fashion is expression. It is freedom to express how you feel, connect, put things together. Basically, fashion is freedom! Freedom to be and be comfortable in who you are.
My style is comfort first. To me comfort is supreme when navigating the trend’s minefield.
I am a minimalist. What I like is class and style that is subtle so even in my future living space, my idea is that. I am minimalist; I like it when the cut is stylish, simple and elegant.
I have decided to go the organic route. Recently I have been exposed to a lot of exhibition where a lot Nigerian skin and home care brands are really doing so much and I have learnt a lot. These days I use a lot of natural soap that has turmeric, aloe vera or coffee in it. I use a lot of sugar and coffee scrubs too. In a nutshell I am tending towards the organic anti-aging route.
Water! First thing in the morning and lots of times during the day and night. Funny but true, I do wake up in the night to drink water and then go back to sleep. Water is an essential beauty product. Not only does it enhance your skin, hair and nails but it also gives you an inner glow thanks to all its benefits for your body.
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