Photography in the analog age was fun – Ojeniran
of yesteryear is not enough to carve out a place in today’s profession without some training. Technological innovation has improved photography, but at the expense of those who cannot afford digital equipment. In the analog age, it was cheaper to get proper gear to start with. But with the digital transformation
comes ease and speed.
How did your photography journey begin?
I was inspired by my brother, Dr. Tunde Adegbite. When I graduated from high school in 1997, I was just hanging out on the streets because admission to a higher education institution was not easy at the time. I visited him and he introduced me
to a friend of his who was a photographer. I started to get interested in it and what started as a hobby grew, and today it is my source of income.
How can young people flourish in the profession?
They need to be focused and most importantly, they need to make sure they derive joy and
satisfaction in it. There are days when they would like to give up but this joy and satisfaction will see them through. It will be hard to progress and thrive in anything you do that you don’t derive joy from.
They should have the vision and they should see it as something that gives them joy. Plus, they shouldn’t wait until they have the huge capital to get started. Equipment is now expensive. In addition to the cost, the equipment is constantly evolving. You can get gear today and a few months later more sophisticated gear will come out, but that shouldn’t push them into unnecessary competition. With perseverance, hard work, and God, they would be lifted. They should use everything they currently have to continue developing their talents.
Do you think that photography is threatened by the advanced possibilities of smartphones?
This presents us with a challenge. Almost all phones have a camera. Most people use their phone for their photos, but these can’t compete with what a professional photographer does. No doubt there are some things people can do with their smartphones, but the digital camera in the hand of a professional will always stand out. But the “I don’t need a photographer” mentality affects us. Nevertheless, I must continue to develop myself and improve my works in order to be different and distinct. People believe they can do a lot on their phone, but as a professional, you need to show initiative and creativity to do better.
Some photographers now rely on the digital camera – usually its autofocus and zoom capabilities – as an excuse not to improve their skills, which is bad. It’s not just photography in photography. I always acquire more knowledge to elevate my work and also motivate people around me.
Speaking of the analog era, what do you miss most about photography then?
I miss a lot of things. It was interesting to take pictures at the time because it involved a lot of drama. You only had one chance to get it right and getting it wrong meant more money and wasted film. So you had to make sure that the subject was well prepared with a lot of adjustments and then the lighting and other things. The drama was fun. And people have had to wait days for their photos because if the film isn’t used up, you won’t want to print. There was also no preview option. Imagine the subject blinking after all the drama, you won’t notice it until after a few days when the photographs are printed.
Then the drama in the darkroom. Photography was stressful then, but I kind of built my enjoyment around it. However, the digital age has changed and made things easier, but I miss a lot of things that made photography interesting.
What drives your desire to succeed?
In everything you do, you should see it as something that gives you joy. What you don’t get joy from won’t take you to the next level. Photography is my passion and I derive joy from it. Everything I do related to photography always gives me joy because of the passion I have for it. Moreover, photography, regardless of genre, is lucrative and brings professional satisfaction. There’s a feeling you get with every click of the shutter.