Photography is no longer what it used to be, especially in Nigeria. The emergence of freelancing platforms that made it easy for photographers to get paid, coupled with ‘celebrity photographers’ like TY Bello raking in millions of naira, contributed to this paradigm shift. Unfortunately, the success in the industry is not widespread and we shall go over the reason for this.
Successful Photographers in Nigeria
The fame accrued by popular icons like Kelechi Amadi, TY Bello, and Yetunde Ayeni-Babaeko are enough reasons to believe that photography is the next best thing in Nigeria. These people have followers all around the globe and they have successfully taken their craft outside the shores of the country. However, a closer look at the industry reveals a stark difference between the upper class and the lower class.
We have these photographers who make more than they can ever get to spend, and others who can barely afford their next meal. Considering the fact that the barrier to entry is ridiculously low, we have a lot of people who pose as photographers, yet, they have nothing to show for it.
Why don’t they succeed? Well, that’s the topic to be discussed.
Why very few succeed at Photography in Nigeria
There are many reasons for this debacle, and we’re going to list the most pressing issues.
1. The People Aren’t Yet Receptive to the Industry’s Boom
This is a fact that many photographers have come to terms with. When you consider the cost of getting a quality camera, the effort that goes into proper editing, among many other factors, the pay an average photographer should receive is obviously on the high side. But then, we have many die-hards who still view photographers with their lenses from the 90s. These people usually say, “Isn’t it just to snap my picture?” “Something I can do with my phone!” “Junior, come and snap us.”
This is why we have many clients who will rather pay photographers with exposure, or better still, with food and drinks from the party.
2. Photographers aren’t Doing Enough to Advertise Themselves
This is ironic, isn’t it? These people who are experts at making people look better than they are actually aren’t adept at doing the same thing for themselves. Why do you think this is so? Are photographers just not interested in advertising themselves, even though they are aware of the tremendous opportunities they stand to enjoy?
The answer is that advertising is much more convoluted that we think it is.
3. Some Photographers Just Aren’t Investing in Themselves
This is a typical scenario we’ve seen in school, work, and other environments. The student who buys textbooks, the co-worker who attends conferences, etc. tend to do better, don’t they? Well, the photographer who puts in more effort too is bound to thrive. Even though it isn’t as straightforward as it appears, the fact remains the same.
How Can Photographers Do Better?
We won’t just tell you the cause of the problem without hinting at the solution, that’s not who we are. Now that the elephant in the room has been addressed, we can tell you more about how you can take the elephant out.
Tips to Excel at Photography in Nigeria
- Invest in your craft. Buy the best lenses, the best cameras, attend trainings, etc.
- Go the extra mile when you’re promoting yourself. A collaboration with an established brand will help.
- Do not settle for less. Rumors fly by quickly, you don’t want to become that photographer who will always do the job for less.
- Maximize social media to the fullest.
An obvious hint would be to join a freelancing platform where you’re able to do all of the above. A platform that already invests millions into ensuring that it’s professionals are being advertised to the right client. A platform that ensures that you are well-compensated for your time and efforts, and that ensures that you are paid on time. Signing up on TERAWORK is a sure way to ensure that you climb the Nigerian corporate ladder as comfortably as possible.