In the bustling city of Lagos, where the art of photography is a highly sought-after skill, one young photographer is making a name for himself. Meet Tobi Olayisade, a talented and driven photographer who is navigating his way around the saturated photography industry with ease.
Tobi’s journey to becoming a photographer started in his undergraduate years. He would often take his camera with him as he explored the streets, capturing the city’s beauty through his lens. As he honed his skills, Tobi began to realise that photography was more than just a hobby – it was his passion.
Despite the challenges of entering a saturated industry, Tobi has managed to make a name for himself through his unique style and approach to photography. Whether he’s shooting portraits, landscapes, or street scenes, Tobi has a knack for finding beauty in unexpected places. His work is characterised by a sense of intimacy and emotion, capturing the essence of his subjects in a way that is both authentic and compelling. He sees photography not just as a way to capture images but as a way to connect with people and tell their stories. It is this passion and dedication that makes Tobi Olayisade one of the most exciting young photographers in Lagos today. In this interview, he speaks to Style about his foray into photography and keeping afloat in a saturated industry.
How did you become interested in photography, and what inspired you to pursue it as a career?
For me, photography came as an unconventional skill I picked up during my undergraduate years. I went from figuring out my way around editing applications to realising the impact of freezing moments through my lenses. At first, it was just a passion, but over time, I realised I could make a career out of it. I decided to give it a go, and here we are today.
How would you describe your photographic style?
My style of photography has and will continue to evolve over the years. Still, I can say it cuts across artistic photography to beauty, portrait, fashion, and lifestyle photography.
What is your creative process when planning and executing a photoshoot? How do you ensure that you capture the essence of your subjects?
For me, it is all about taking my time and ensuring every aspect of the shoot is precisely how I imagined it to look. A lot of detail goes into the planning of the shoot, and I always ensure these details are captured.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in photography?
Being trendy and following every trend is one thing, and being creative with trends is another. I would always put my personal creativity over trends. I improve my skills by staying up-to-date with techniques; I love to watch videos that focus on photography, and I also talk to my colleagues and learn from them.
What do you think sets your work apart from other photographers in Lagos?
When my clients (new or returning) approach me, I believe they have seen my previous work and trust my creativity and talent, which is what sets me apart. I also love communicating with my clients to get their perspectives and carry them along throughout the process to ensure they are completely satisfied.
The photography market in Lagos is becoming more and more saturated. What are your thoughts on this?
Well, I think almost every creative market is getting more and more saturated all over the world. But I actually like the competition in Lagos; it keeps you on your toes and improves your technique and creativity. I think there is a general boom in the creative industry, and that’s a great thing.
How do you handle challenging situations or demanding clients during a photoshoot?
I hear many stories about nightmarish clients, but fortunately, I haven’t encountered any. Most of my clients are always respectful and well-composed during a shoot, but on the rare occasion of a difficult client, I try as much as possible to listen to their complaints while also maintaining decorum during the shoot.
Can you describe a particularly memorable or challenging project you have worked on?
A while back, I was contracted to shoot a large group of about 300 people in a single picture. The brief came in just a day before the shoot, so there was no time to prepare. As a first-timer shooting a large group, I had to watch some tutorials beforehand and arrive early at the location to scout for the perfect spot. I also arranged the group in a way that ensured everyone was clearly visible in the shot. It was a tough one, but thankfully, the shoot was a success, and the result was amazing.
How do you market your photography services in Lagos, and what strategies have you found most effective in reaching new clients?
Usually, my work speaks for itself, and I get most of my new clients through referrals. However, social media is a significant tool for reaching new clients, especially Instagram.
What advice would you give aspiring photographers in Lagos who are just starting their careers?
Hmm… I would say, find your voice and stick to it; don’t try to imitate anyone else. Keep learning and pushing.