“Why are there not many photographers like you?”

That was the million dollar question I was asked recently by a client in Abuja. So what happened, you might be asking. Well, let’s start from the beginning. I got a call from my wonderful dad on September 1, 2011 asking me if I was available on September 30, 2011. Now I’ve gotten a little wisdom in my little years on earth to know that when my dad asks me if I was available to do a job for him, the answer will always be “Yes sir, I’m available.” Even if I was not available, I will MAKE myself available. Considering the investments my number 1 financier had made in eloPhotos, I better be available. The set day will be the traditional wedding ceremony of the son of his friend. This friend of my dad happens to be a well-accomplished doctor that owns a renowned (I hope I spelt that correctly) private hospital in Abuja attending to patients of most of the “elite” in Nigeria. I jumped at the opportunity. The traditional wedding was to be held in Lagos while the “white-gown” wedding was to be held in Europe. My dad was calling to “pay” me to cover the traditional wedding. That was his priceless gift to the parents of the groom. September 30th came, our team of great photographers covered the day & I was “6 figures” richer (in Naira i.e.). So we finished the album and I had to go to Abuja to deliver the album. I usually make it my responsibility to deliver personally such client’s albums. I met the mother of the groom, the co-founder of the hospital, on November 9. They just got back from the wedding that took place in Europe. She was the type that wasn’t given too much to facially expressing what she felt within. In other words, it was a little difficult to tell whether she was really pleased with the album. Although she told me she liked it, her expressions were not as excited as I had expected (something I would later attribute to her personality). All doubts were erased in my mind when she gave me a “small token” of her appreciation. Note that she did not owe me any balance whatsoever. The “small token” will later turn out to be what will take care of my airfare back to Lagos. Talk of a new definition for “customer satisfaction”. I was grateful. This was cash I didn’t even expect. She was pleased. So pleased that they even offered to drop me at my lodging. I was happy. I gave them my complimentary card & it was at that moment that the question was asked “Why are there not many photographers like you in Nigeria?” I explained to them that there are actually a number of photographers “like me” (most of whom are even better than me). The dilemma is that these photographers are not crossing paths with these type of clients. Who wouldn’t want to have such a client on their customer database. I concluded that either a lot of “us” are not marketing aright or ……. That’s it. I think it mostly has to do with the average photographer’s inability to determine their target audience and successfully reach them. My main point is this; if you’re a photographer in Nigeria that is “like me” or even better, there are multitudes of clients out there ready to pay for that next house you want to buy…….as long as they’re SATISFIED. They’ll pay you what you think you’re worth. Think, plan, pray. Do whatever you have to do to reach them because they’re patiently waiting for you. There’s enough for all of us, Get your portion. Enough of my writeup. Now answer the question…….

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


  1. Dipo · November 25, 2011

    God bless you Mr Akinsami, my outlook on the business of photography has changed dramatically since I moved close to you in the last few months. I’ve quickly added you to my list of Photography Mentors in Nigeria- Hope you don’t mind? I also think you’re a great writer and I speak as a writer myself.
    May God bless the works of your hands and establish you on your throne to reign.


  2. Linda Adigun · January 12, 2012

    Interesting. A good photographer must be a modest and down to earth person. You are both.


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