‘Before photography, white-collar job was my target’ | Dailytrust

‘Before photography, white-collar job was my target’

Kayode Oyeleye
Kayode Oyeleye

Kayode Oluwaseun Oyeleye is the creative director at Semex Photography and Cakes. The youngest in a family of six hails from Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State and holds a Higher National Diploma in Electrical/Electronic Engineering from the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta. He spoke on the challenges in the industry and how he has evolved.

 

What is photography to you? 

Photography is an art of observation. It is all about finding something interesting in an ordinary place. Always look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lenses of the camera. 

Was your decision to practise photography planned? 

I did not have the intention to venture into photography or any vocational business, even though my late mother, Mrs Comfort Amope Oyeleye was a professional photographer. A white-collar job was my target before photography got my attention.  

It all started from the idea of the pinhole camera principle in physics. When I was in SS2 in 2005, we were taught the principle of a pinhole camera. When I got home, I practised the procedure with my mum’s Pentax analogue camera. 

Kayode Oluwaseun Oyeleye

She used my attempt as an avenue to teach me the operations of a camera. I got to understand more about the principles I learnt in school with the explanation she gave me. Each time she was not around, I would take the passport photograph and keep it for her to process. She was always curious about what the end product would be like after production. She was very inquisitive to ask these questions: “What was the aperture I used? Hope it was focused well?” When the finished image is out, surprisingly they didn’t look like pictures captured by an amateur. So she encouraged me to do better.   

As an award-winning photographer, how have you evolved in the industry? 

Evolving in the industry is not easy because it is full of competitive and creative minds. I ensure I give the utmost respect to creativity and put my best into every image. I have chosen to learn and study as power in this profession. My routine checks on top photographers/mentors have helped me a lot. I am still working tirelessly to evolve more.

Do you think photography is threatened by the proliferation of sophisticated smart-phones and digital cameras? 

The digital age has created a boom in the number of skilled and unskilled photographers. As technology evolves, the technical challenges of photography shrink. You don’t need to own a camera to become a photographer. Smart-phones have made everybody a photographer, regardless of their level of skill in photography. But there’s always a difference in capturing, composition and framing an image.  

The proliferation of camera phones seems likely to cause a significant dent in demand for photographic services. The average person is becoming increasingly confident to take their own pictures, even at events. Everyone can shoot an image, but it takes a skilled mind/professional to apply creativity and get a creative result.  

The threat by sophisticated phone users has been tackled by the camera manufacturers by making sure that there’s no substitute for a sophisticated camera when there is a need for high-quality images.  

Is it necessary to acquire any formal or informal training before practising photography? 

Dr Seuss said, “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you will go.” It is very necessary that one is trained, either formally or informally before practising photography. Many things are learnt during training. As we all know, learning is a continuous process.  

What type of photography do you practise?  

Wedding photography is where my passion lies, and that is so because I enjoy so much joy capturing happy, joyful and remarkable moments of love. Wedding stories are a reflection of awesome and memorable moments. But I do lifestyle and other kinds of photography. Basically, I love using cameras to bring out the beauty in all things.  

Access to equipment is among the challenges of some photographers, how have you fared in this regard?  

Photography is capital intensive. If you want to stay up-to-date as a photographer, you have to invest in gadgets and equipment. Just recently, we equipped our studio to meet modern standard. And we are not yet done in procuring equipment. Access to equipment is challenging, but the results afterwards are superb.  

What other challenges do you face in the industry? 

Our present state of the economy is another challenge because it has really affected pricing in all ramifications. 

Photography changes with time, technology and talents, what are you doing to ensure you get to the peak in your career? 

I am looking forward to a photography coach mentoring platform for young minds, to speak on different platforms about photography and creativity. I will be fulfilled when my impact is felt. 

God is my supreme mentor and motivator, but a top Nigerian photographer whose works I admire so much is Mr Jide Odukoya of JOP Studio.

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