My name is Lagbaja Alakori Tamedo, chief photographer at Lagbaja Alakori Tamedo Photography. I am one you would consider a professional photographer: one whose main source of livelihood comes from providing people with the photography services they need & want. I’ve been in the business now for over 1 year and I think its safe to say that I’ve “paid my dues”.
I recently sat down one saturday morning and attempted to diagnose the source of some of the symptoms I seem to be experiencing in my life and business. I realized that business has not been “moving” in the last 6 months as much as I thought it would and I decided to pen out reasons why I don’t think I will turn out to be a “GREAT” photographer in this industry.
First of all, I realize that I don’t seem to rub minds with photographer friends and colleagues that have been labeled as “successful” by many standards. I mostly hang out with fellow photographers that don’t challenge me to be a better person all-round. I realize that even though I’ve been to seminars where the likes of Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Scott Kelby, Shola Animashaun and Tunji Sarunmi have lectured, I still haven’t seen the effect on my business. Could it be that I procrastinate on the implementation of the advice given me by these people. I think so. I prefer gossiping with my fellow like-minded compatriots on how much better “technically” we are compared to those so-called “successful” photographers that depend on the use of Adobe Photoshop to make their works stand out. Heck, my pictures are wonderful straight out from the camera. ….Yet I seem not to make a comfortable living from this booming venture.
Secondly, I realize that I’m not too keen on making my customers satisfied no matter what. On the contrary, I seem to be meeting a lot of customers that complain and nag about how they want their face airbrushed or the background of their pictures changed to the White House. Why can’t they just understand that I don’t like any form of “advance” editing that will distort the state of my original artwork. Yes, I know they’re the ones paying but for heaven’s sake, I’m the one creating the images…I’m the artist.
All these people that call themselves “clients” are just so hard to please. I’m tired of returning their missed calls or calling them just to say hello and wish them “Happy Birthdays” & “Happy Anniversaries”. Their complains break my heart. If only they know how much I try to please……. Perhaps I should really consider reading the 2 books recommended by my psychologist Sam Adeyemi: 1) How to win friends & influence people by Dale Carnegie & 2) You can negotiate anything by Herb Cohen. Maybe the books will help. Maybe not. I would never know until I read them.
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Thirdly, I can’t seem to remember the reason why I decided to go into photography in the first place. Was it the passion I thought I had or was it because I was inspired by how much money could be made when I saw photographers like Yomi Siffre & Fred Eikonworld charging big bucks for weddings 5yrs ago. Was it just for the money that I ventured into this business. I can’t seem to remember. All I remember was getting a $4000 loan from my uncle Bill Gates Tamedo to buy the Canon 5d MK II kit that I started my business with. May God help me
Lastly, I seem not to have the capacity to collaborate with people that are bent on promoting the industry for good. For example, one would think I would be glad to witness the recent launching of a Nigerian photography magazine, PICTURE THIS. The first thing that crossed my mind was “who is this Igbo guy trying to rip us off by selling in print what we already know about”. Then to make matters worse, the publisher chose to use Kelechi Amadi-Obi as the front cover of the first edition. By what standard are they even using to say that he is a role-model. If only they know how much better my works are than Kelechi’s…… The point is, it’s just difficult for me to support or be a part of anything that will help the industry grow beyond catering for my bank account.
These are some of the reason why I feel I “MAY” not turn out to be a great photographer. Maybe I should consider being a make-up artist or carpenter….. May God help me. Perhaps more importantly, I should seriously consider attending the photography workshop organized by eloPhotos on November 4, 2012 at Ikeja.
This is my plight. This is my dilemma. Or what do you suggest I do to remedy my situation?
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