Onyinye Ubah

It all started in my secondary school days. Those were the days when Nokia 6212 was still trendy and the in-thing. So, I remember taking pictures of myself and my classroom with that phone. It was a simple phone though, but the pictures were quite outstanding to me. In 2015, I went for a computer training to learn digital printing, word art, Ms Word, Corel draw, graphic designs and e-flyers. There, I discovered a treasure for myself. It was Photoshop.

In those early days, I mastered the art of manipulation of pictures. After a while, I got admission in Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) to study Financial management and Technology in 2017. I was torn between my studies and my job. There in school, a friend introduced me to Deezey Media where I would continue my digital arts. I can confidently state that was when photography became a serious business for me. I remember about three years ago when a friend had a birthday celebration and the photographer he hired disappointed me because he didn’t have the money to pay for it. I stepped in and did the job for him and I saw the joy on his face afterwards. That incident clicked in me that photography might of course, be my calling. I wasn’t wrong.

One of those things working and schooling thought me was time management. I always make sure none is lagging behind. Each day, I would set out with goals and plans to make sure my dreams are realised.

Stretching my versatility in photography is what I enjoy doing. Whether it is portrait or event photography, I’m all out for it. For me, I see photography beyond camera and clicks. It’s a good mix of fine art and visual art. Photography is not only about taking shots. It’s beyond that. There comes in composure, apparatus, lightening and angle of camera. So, if you watch closely, I was able to combine what I learnt in my early days at the computer training and photography. Pictures are not only memories but also visuals that keep the memories worthwhile.

This profession is not without it’s own sets of challenges. One of its many challenges is the business side of photography. One has to be business minded to pave way for yourself in this industry. It’s quite competitive and the equipment used are quite expensive. I got my camera from my cousin in the U.S who decided to invest in my business. Then, at the same time, you are also been faced with people who would look down on you because they see you as a mere ‘camera man.’ I remember going for a shoot in an estate and coincidentally met the owner of the estate. I was harassed and asked to leave his estate. The embarrassment came as a rude shock and it occurred to me that it is one of the occupational hazard involved in photography.

Looking back at how I started and how far I have gone, its clear I have pushed my boundary in redefining myself and changing the narrative from being a camera man to an image maker.

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