“So what do you do for a living?”, the kind gentleman by the steering of the Toyota Hilux asked the pretty babe he just gave a ride.
“I’m a photographer,” she replied. There was silence for about 15 seconds. As if trying to understand the correlation with being a beautiful lady and being a photographer, the gentleman was momentarily short of words.
“Is it that you are unlearned that’s why you chose photography? Didn’t you go to school?” The seemingly-insulting questions were short of making the “babe” burst out in laughter. She smiled at him.
“Actually, I studied Nursing but decided to pursue my passion. The course I studied was to please my parents and the career path I chose was to please myself. You should know also that my boss studied Accounting but practices as a PHOTOGRAPHER.” Her response surprised him. Another 18 seconds silence ensued.
“Most definitely your boss must have some sort of connections to be a photographer. Perhaps one of his contacts will just give him ONE job and it will be worth N1million. Because I don’t see how someone without any connections can make it as a photographer.” That was his logical reason & response.
Fast forward to 4 hours later when the beautiful babe will finally report the incident to me. I smiled. This wasn’t the first time people would imply that photography as a career option was for the jobless and uneducated.
If only they know Kelechi Amadi-Obi who studied Law but practices as a photographer. If only they know Shola Animashaun who studied Accounting and practices as a photographer. If only they know Femi Adewuyi who studied Medicine but practices as a photographer. If only they know Kikelomo Koleosho, Wani Olatunde, Michael Adebiyi, Lara Tiamiyu, Abayomi Siffre, Leke Adenuga, Olalekan Okeowo, Afolabi Oloyede, Lilian Isioro, Olamide Bakare, Seyi Body-Lawson and other great men & women of photography in Nigeria. If only they know….
These are all people who spent at least 4 years in a higher institution (not including the extra years ASUU went on strike) just to come out to pursue their real passion: PHOTOGRAPHY. Hopefully the world will soon realize that the creative arts is an industry that’s here to stay. Not for the jobless and uneducated, but for those for want to live their dream and make a path where there hasn’t been any.
If only he knew that my name is Oluwaseun Akisanmi and I am proud to be PHOTOGRAPHER.