Its been a while, yeah but then, we’re back… and today we bring you something we promised a while ago. something we planned to include in our schedule this year.
Our First Exclusive Interview… and its with renowned photographer.. Mr Wale Adenuga.
Enjoy! and do share your comments at the end.
- · Mr. Wale Adenuga, you’re quite a popular figure in the photography industry and amongst Nigerian youths, but please, do
introduce yourself so the readers would be more acquainted with you.
Erm…Adenuga Adewale is my name, I am young, interesting and a fun person to be with, a Graduate of CU (Covenant University) and a creative professional Photographer by career….does that make sense? Lool
- · With the way you’ve blossomed in the industry at a young age, some would be quick to suggest that the road to stardom was already tiled with gold for you. Did you have hard times on your way to stardom or was it a smooth sail?
Stardom, lool..that’s a Big word! Well…there were hard times…..I mean when I started fully as a professional, I remember; after acquiring all the basic equipments, for about 3 months, we didn’t get a call from any client…ah! …lool… At a point I was feeling like mayn….I hope we didn’t invest wrongly, but over time, we realized the concept of’ I scratch your back, u scratch my back’…..money isn’t always everything, but overtime…the money started rolling in.
· Photography is not a career many parents would consider their wards venturing in. Were your parents supportive from the beginning or did you have to convince them later on?
Ha-ha..convince ke? Lool….Well…I actually Graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Building Technology from CU, and when I finished, I did NYSC; worked at 2 construction companies and at the end of NYSC, that was it for me..the trend back then was, after NYSC, we all do Masters abroad and then come back to Naija to join everyone else on that same queue of unemployment and end up in the same Rat Race, some of our parents are still in, so instead of searching for employment, why not be an Employer? You feel me? And employers are always happy, cos they love their jobs, they are their own Boss….and at that point it hit me….if you have fun and at the same time love your job/career, then you’ll never have to work a day in your life….
Were my Parents supportive from the beginning?! Not Really…and they had their reason; they thought it wasn’t lucrative, felt it wasn’t professional, and questioned me for the sudden deviation from Building technology to photography…And to be honest, I like Building, as a matter of fact, I wanted to be an Architect, but in all fairness, I love Photography, you can call me up in a bad mood, n I will still want to take pictures, I can shoot long hours and forget to eat…have got a Passion for it, I enjoy doing it, to me it’s fun. When my parents realize this, gradually they started to give me a chance, and it became clear to them one time, when they were aware that I spent a large percentage of my savings to buy cameras, and lighting equipments. Lool…they knew this Boy was serious. And then my works started to impress them, and they indirectly gave a go-ahead.
- · Is there any pressure on you considering your age and also considering the fact that older people are the major pros in the industry?
Well….I know it’s our Big Bros that are the Major Pros in the business, might be because of their years of experience too, but as you can see…we youngsters aren’t doing pretty bad at all, the Future is Bright, very very *smiles*….and there’s no pressure at all, I am very young. lool
- · Your first photo shoot or appointment. How did you win the confidence of the client and how was the final product?
Oh! That’s one Funny story, I didn’t think I was that much of a professional during my first photo shoot, cos then I took photos for fun….lool..it was for a Newly launched Gospel youth Magazine. The CEO approached me one day and said I’ll like to see your works, and I showed him, and as he was looking through, he stumbled upon a black and white photo of a reading table I took about a year before that time, and that was it…he was convinced, by just that photo…so I can say…my works did all the convincing and confidence the Clients needed. The final look of those photos were however quite impressive, I still showcase some of them.
· Of recent, you’ve organized photo shoot sessions with popular personalities, most notable of them; Eva Alordiah, D’prince and Dr Sid. How was the experience?
It was fun, challenging too, cos you have to ensure that you properly present a selling side of these celebs wella, so you don’t spoil their image too…Even though, we still haven’t released a large chunk of the photos yet, but shooting a celebrity kinda bumps up your credibility.
- · One peculiar thing about your art is the quality of your pictures. Your skills are quite obvious with the arrangement of the set and the angles at which you take the shots. How did you manage to achieve that height of expertise?
Ermm….wow! Thanks for being so observant….well…when you study a course like building technology….you’ll learn a thing or two about paying attention to details.
I learn on every shoot, I visualize the scenario of my set before shoot day, try to achieve it, as Best as possible…even to its last detail…..It makes the Photo Complete.· A lot of people have been inspired by your sheer humility and the mode in which you have fun even when on the job. How do you maintain that character and standard even with criticism?
Criticism ke? Hahaha…well, I feel everyone has their own point of view, My Photography is Art, what you see is what u get.
And I am a humble guy…I enjoy a good laugh, lool…if you tell me you don’t like a particular work, the first thing I will probably do is laugh…it’s just me.
· Amidst all the photo shoots you’ve handled, is there one that you’ll say got your attention and intense concentration the most and why?
Ermm….well, I am always very focus when am on set, I try to make the best out of every photo shoot, but to say the most intense….err…..I’ll say the Exquisite International Model’s Photo shoot. Why? Because it was a BIG project and it took about 3 consecutive days to complete the job….we had to go to various locations, I was fagged out, I thought I wont have a clean mind to shoot to the best of my capacity… but, I was wrong..the photos came out amazing! I had visualize the outcome of the photos even before they were taken, so I knew what I was looking for, and the moment I got it, ‘its a wrap!’
· Do you have any major project you’re working on currently?
Yes! There is an on-going project atm, however I can’t reveal the details, but it has to do with celebrities, also the WA photographyTraining 201: Advanced Photography 1 is coming up soon.
·Role models. Every successful person has one or more person(s) that he or she looks up to. Who is that person in your life?
Erm….My Role Model, I actually met him December 18th, 2010, at my first wedding shoot, his name is Tunji Sarumi; an A-List Fine Art Wedding Photographer in the United states…I definitely wanna be like or even better than him when I grow up. lool…His works inspire me a lot!
And there’s the big bros like Kelechi Amadi Obi, Jide Alakija, Don Baba, Kola Oshalusi, and the likes whose works push me daily to think outside and around d box….you dig?
· Wale Adenuga studio, Photography 101. What exactly is this program about?
Its the first of its kind from Wale Adenuga studios, it’s a Basic 101 training for Beginners and intermediary wannabe photographers on what the Basics of Photography is all about…We recently just concluded a 4-day session last year, December, and you can find photos and details about its success on our blog-> www.waleadenugastudios.wordpress.com
Talking about financial benefits, how lucrative is Photography in a setting like Nigeria?
To be completely honest, In Nigeria, sort of, but the Photography business is more lucrative abroad than down here in Naija, cos u know our people na, we are fully yet to appreciate the value of quality images…kudos to Big companies who employ pro Photogs and pay them all they deserve, but not all Photogs can get an MTN or Guinness contract, so they are left with the very few clients who slightly appreciate, but can’t afford the bills.
Every regular client is looking for a quality job with little bill, but that won’t work out well for the photogs, but over time, as soon as a photog attains a higher level of credibility, the appreciative clients will come.
· Do you ever have time for yourself amidst all the appointments and photo shoots?
Lool…..I try to have some free time, socialize, make friends, just to stay sane, he he habina, cos photography takes away a lot of your personal time, even sleep, especially in the aspect of Post-Production work. So if you Work Hard, you get to Play Hard too.
· We made a brief visit to your profile on digital photographer, and your details, though outdated say you play basketball and football. Do you still engage in them or is it strictly work now?
Oh! Wow! I see you’ve done your research, you’re good o! Lool….Yes o! am starting to go outta shape, even though I probably still look skinny, lool, but I love basketball, haven’t played in a while…I still play football sha, on my laptop I mean *big Grin*
· Coming down to the fans, how do you manage the fame?
Ah! Fame ke? All these big words you’re using for me, lool…its okay, I try to stay humble, not let it get to me, am an open guy, I can talk hours with someone I don’t even know…so to me, I see it as having a lot more friends.
Shout Out to the people who appreciate quality images, they are amazing!
· You are renowned to be a good looking chap and as a result, it’s expected that you have a lot of female fans, how do you cope with that?
Hahahahhahaha……me ke? *strokes Goatee* it’s not easy naa…lool….like I said, I stay humble, even though my friends believe am a flirt, lool…its not my fault na
· Bringing it to a broader perspective, what role do you play in restoring the image of Nigeria?
Ah! That one na Jonathan question na, lool…ok, let me be serious, like MJ song said, as I paraphrase: ‘if u wanna make a change in the world, then you’ve gotta start with the man in the mirror’…start with yourself, so I will like to change our mode of trading at the Public Market, re-create it into a healthy, organized and standard environment. Its a Big future project, so watch out!
And definitely to improve our photographers to a standard that will enable them to receive proper recognition as real Professionals.
· What would you say is the major incentive as regards the current unemployment crisis in the country?
The Major incentive for the current unemployment crisis in the country definitely are Parents and our schooling system in my own opinion, a large number of the parents in Nigeria, believe in the notion that if you’re not working for the bank, or as a Doctor in a Medical hospital, or a Lawyer involved in politics or an engineer working for a Big Oil company, then you’re just as equal to unemployed…which is wrong! The Rat race wasn’t designed for everybody, and neither is it a standard for Employment basis. Our Universities even make the issue worse as these courses that parents push their children towards are the only programs the universities offers with a good staff strength….it’s the 21st century, and things have changed, entertainment, Art, Music, those are the new fields of interest, so why not delve into them?! Even Abroad and am talking even other African countries, Professions are been derived from these New fields…Jobs are been created, graduates become Employers. In the US, there are tons of art schools; offering courses from cinematography, visualization, photography, Acting, and more. And these programs have produced various vast professions across their nation.
If we can give our nation this level of opportunity, Unemployment will be drastically reduced, a graduate won’t finish school and be roaming the streets of Lagos looking for a rat race job, but will instead locate a problem in a society, provide a solution and turn it into a Profession.
Choi! I don talk plenty oyinbo o! But it’s the truth, our parents and the society just don’t want to accept these new fields because of the fact that it’s not been Nationally called or referred to as a profession, yet, but with the help of the universities I hope a revolution can be made…
What really got me pissed was when I read somewhere that the state Government flew down a Fireworks specialist to ensure that the Lagos Countdown fireworks display will happen successfully, are u kidding me, ‘fireworks specialist???!!’ And that’s a profession o! But if a Nigerian kid says: mummy, daddy I want to be a specialist in fireworks, they will probably shout him down and say get a real job! Yet one guy is getting paid to be a specialist for banger? Lool…*sigh* and they probably flew him down in first class too…Do u know see our problem?
· Finally, what advice would you give a Nigerian who’s planning on pursuing a career in photography or any other profession?
If you’re gonna go into photography for money, then get an 8-5 job. #shikena
Thank you for your time and consideration
Pleasure’s mine…thank you for having me.
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