The Life of a Photographer, Some Major Issues Discussed

Five Of Our Amazing Photographers Tell Us Issues They Face In Photography. Very Insightful! 


We went about asking some of our photographers what it was that challenged them most about being a photographer. As a photographer, you may be able to relate with some of these issues. What’s your story? Don’t hesitate to share your story.

1.   Adebayo Adebusola 

        Adebusola Adebayo is a creative beauty, fashion, advertisement and commercial photographer. See some of Adebusola’s works


One of the challenges is CALLING YOUR PRICE, like one of my mentor said: “you have to be able to convince yourself of your worth before you can convince others”.


The second challenge is the ABILITY TO BE BETTER THAN WHO YOU WERE YESTERDAY. One of my everyday quotes is 'strive to be better at every attempt'. Most photographers tend to stay in one spot too much for a very long time and most of the time it isn't their fault and at the same time it is. The economy is not encouraging and their own (photographer's) fault is the inability to get out of their comfort zone to be inspired. I, every day, challenge myself to be better at every attempt and by God's grace, it's working out for me. I pray it pays off.


Third challenge is CLIENTS' IDEOLOGY ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY. Sometimes, after calling your price to a client, and it seemed over the bar for him/her, you'll hear something like ' is it not just to be snap?’ yeah right, you can imagine. Personally, this has been a challenge for me and I seldom try enlightening some clients, but how many do we have to enlighten?


Fourth challenge is GEARS. Photography is a capital-consuming enterprise. Apparently, you get what you pay for. This challenge can only apply to one if one is pretty sure his/her skills of photography. A photographer is not limited by the gears one has.


        2.    Abayomi Akande

Abayomi Akande is an Abuja based Photographer. See some of his works here:

The problem I’ve had the most challenging are with CLIENTS, the ones NOT WILLING TO PAY FOR WORK, for instance a wedding I shot last year November in Lagos. I figured it was a mistake on my part too, I was paid half to cover the wedding for a client, not long after the wedding, the groom told me he wanted soft copies of the wedding so they could view through their honeymoon trip, and till now the client hasn't paid me.He ignores my calls, and I have stopped calling him. I figured he had gone to complete the job elsewhere, but I haven't been able to really meet with him because I live in Abuja, but I’ve figured a way to avoid such mistakes in the future. I have contracts that I and the client sign and all, I think that’s about it for me.

        3.    Diko Kingsley

        Diko Kingsley is a wedding Photographer. See some of his works here

In every business there are challenges we face, that is why sometimes we can’t complain or do anything about it.

As a Wedding photographer, I have the following issues:

First, there is the issue of dragging space with guests to shoot at the reception.

Second, trying to get to the couples location very early as 6am to start shooting.

An third, shooting for the whole day without taking a full square meal.

These are just a few I have in mind at the moment.



        4.    Prince Meyson


        Prince Meyson is a Lagos based Beauty and Portrait. See some of his works here


I would say the major problem of photography in Nigeria is Affordability and Availability of Gear in Nigeria. The biggest seller of camera and camera gear in Nigeria is still one man called Okey Japan and he is expensive. Also, the type you might want to buy is not always readily available. And most of them are not up to par in terms of quality. For example, I want to buy a stand and this particular stand is called a C-stand and it goes for about N40,000 (200$). When you think about it, by the time you pay for shipping and all that if you’re buying it abroad, the cost escalates. So you say, instead of going through all this stress, why don’t I just buy it with Okey Japan. And you go to Okey Japan who probably sells it for an extra 10,000 or 15,000 but it’s usually not the same quality because chances are that he’s buying them from China and they are inferior. So you end up paying more for something that is worth less.

Also, photographers abroad usually have the option of instalmental payment where you pay gradually for a really expensive gear over some months. In Nigeria however, you normally have to pay outright. If you’re thinking of buying a lens for 2000$, you’re paying 2,000$ and cash for that matter.


Secondly, location for people that shoot landscape and the rest, I would say lack of locations. For example, somewhere in Nigeria or in Lagos, what landscape or hill do you want to shoot? You can’t just walk on the streets and go and shoot because most places are not even clean except, you’re going for a ghetto look and even for the urban looks, there aren’t so many awesome areas around.


Lastly, lack of collaboration with other fields involved with photography. For example modelling, make up and stylists. It’s pretty hard for an upcoming photographer to work with a major stylist because the latter would rather want to work with people that they think are on the same level as they are which doesn’t help upcoming photographers. Because there are a lot of them out there looking for who to work with and how to show how good they are.



5     5.    Tobbie Maguire

        Tobbie is a Commercial Photographer and a Globe trotter. See some of his works here


There are so many challenges. But the main one I would say is that people normally devalue the work of a photographer. People need to be educated, so they can see photography as an art and something that can actually be paid for. I think more photographers would be able to enjoy what it is they do and continue because inasmuch as you can say you’re very passionate about photography. It’s a very expensive venture to go into. And you need to be encouraged in a way and the only way you can be encouraged is if someone values your work and is willing to pay for it. I would say that this is the biggest challenge of a photographer.


Other challenges are based on where you find yourself. But other times, photographers create their own challenges for themselves. Like a beginner photographer wanting to be paid the same amount that another photographer with years of experience is being paid. Also photographers that now decide to do these jobs for free or for next to nothing reduce the value of their work because the client would usually not value such work the way they would something that they paid for.


And then some clients also say that:“isn’t it just pictures you are taking?” not realising that you are preserving the memories of whatever event you’re capturing. You’ve probably spent hours standing trying to capture perfect moments and you’re normally the least paid of everyone involved during the event when after the whole event, it is these photographs that they will need to look at. And because photographers aren’t very well paid, they might not give you the best that they have to offer anyway. Then they start to complain about the photographer. Meanwhile, they probably decided to go with a mediocre photographer because they didn’t want to pay the price for a better photographer.

These are the challenges that we as photographers tend to face every time.