I’m a professional wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Lagos, Nigeria. Although my business is primarily shooting weddings and portraits, I love watching and observing people, so I do love my street photography as well. I’m a Nigerian, German, Scottish melting pot and I spent my formative years in the UK, which I still consider home. I have a Masters in Electronic Engineering and was an investment banker for over six years working in the UK, South Africa, and Nigeria. I am very excited and humbled to now be able to pursue my passion, which is, of course, photography.

 

Q. How did you get into photography and how many years of experience do you have?

A. Photography has always been in my life—my dad made me the official family photographer when I was around ten years old giving me his beloved Minolta film camera, which I guess was a huge vote of confidence. Travelling to beautiful countries like India, South Africa, and Thailand further spurred my interest in photography. I would say I gradually made the transition from ardent hobbyist to professional photographer over the last three years.

Q. How did you master your craft?

A. I definitely wouldn’t say I have mastered my craft as there is always something new I can learn. However, I am a sponge when it comes to photography; I attend workshops, online courses, buy educational books, and network with other photographers in order to continue to grow as an artist. Most importantly, I am constantly shooting in a range of environments and lighting situations, which I believe is the best way to learn. The legendary fashion photographer Helmut Newton said: “The first 10,000 shots are the worst” and it excites and motivates me to know that although my images today are better than yesterday, they are going to be even better tomorrow.

makoko lagos

Q. What kind of camera/lenses do you use?

A. I am a Canon girl—it was the first DSLR camera I bought and I love it. I use a range of lenses depending on what I’m shooting but my go to lens is the 50mm f1.4. I’m saving up for the Canon 5D MK III and 50mm f1.2 but I’m hoping that if I drop enough hints, friends and family will contribute towards the cause—it’s worth a try.

Q. When did you realize that photography was more than a hobby?

A. My love for photography is something that has grown the more I shoot. When I realized that I was spending every spare moment studying and thinking about photography, it occurred to me that this might be something I wanted to do professionally. I became a weekend shooter, so effectively working two jobs and then finally this year, I was fortunate enough to be able to go full time and I have truly never been happier.

Q. How would you describe your aesthetic, where does your inspiration come from?

A. I am still figuring out my style but I am drawn to beautiful, emotive, evocative imagery and this is what I seek to create with my wedding, portrait, and street work. It’s amazing the unexpected places you can find beauty if you really set your mind to it. Initially my inspiration came from other wedding and portrait photographers but now I am starting to look at other types of photography and art forms to really try and discover who I am as an artist.

Q. What are your favourite kind of photo shoots and why?

A. It depends on the genre of photography I’m shooting. For weddings, I love the couples session just after the ceremony. The couple look amazing, they are in their own little love bubble and can’t keep their hands off each other. It really is an honour to be able to capture these sort of moments that will help my couples relive their wedding day every time they look at my images.

Q. Describe your fantasy shoot.

A. Oh wow—a million ideas race through my head. I am not a fashion photographer but I am looking to do more fashion inspired portrait work. So I would want an amazing team consisting of a stylist (Rihanna’s or Blake Lively’s would do), makeup artist, and hair stylist. I would want a limited access location such as the Taj Mahal and then a stunning couple who are comfortable in front of the camera (Brangelina would be acceptable). I would shoot at sunset, so there would be lots of colour, lots of drama, and simply stunning imagery. Never say never!

Q. What is your end goal with photography, where do you hope it takes you?

A. I haven’t decided on an end goal quite yet since I am pretty early on in my photography career. Ultimately I think I may want to become an international destination wedding photographer as this would combine my love of traveling with my photography, but only time will tell.

Q. What is your advice to beginning photographers (are there any resources you would recommend)?

A. The most important piece of advice I can give to any amateur photographer is to learn the basics of photography in terms of the exposure triangle and the basics of lighting, etc. This will allow you to take control of your photography and understand how to get the image you want in any environment. I can highly recommend the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson, which gave me a lot of “a-ha” moments and completely transformed my photography. In terms of online resources, there is an endless list but two of my absolute favourites are Digital Photography School and Elizabeth Halford Photography.

wani@waniolatunde.com

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