5 minutes with Rotimi Okungbaye – INTERVIEW
[dropcap]I[/dropcap] earlier interviewed a makeup artist on my blog and I am sure by now you are wondering who I will interview next. Well seat back, get a glass of drink as I take you through the inspiring story of a photographer who has been able to build himself and make good use of his talents.
Rotimi is an upcoming events photographer who presently works with ANDELA, read his interview below;
Question: Introduce yourself
Answer: I am Oluwarotimi Okungbaye, a photographer and media enthusiast. I love meeting people, I love music and I am a Christian. I am very passionate about photography and how it is a tool to tell stories. I’m a lifelong learner (or I think I am)
Question: Who do people say you are?
Answer: Chai! This is really tough, I don’t really know and I don’t want to sound proud. I am sure some people might see me as nice, cool, friendly, lovely, smart, handsome (babyface things), funny, kind, single pringle, cheerleader, loud, lover of life, Child of God (I can’t sly myself)
Question: Why Photography?
Answer: I started photography in 2015 after graduating from the University. This was because I was looking for a job prior to NYSC but didn’t get one. I already had an interest in photography before leaving school, so I just looked for a way to learn more. I had friends who were photographers in school and I really admired them and Bayo Omoboriowo was a great motivation too. I went for TEDxGbagada in 2015 and I met with Bayo, he talked about his journey and this made me become more interested in photography.
My Elder brother was really supportive and he got me tutorial videos from creativelive.com and this was how I learnt photography. I didn’t attend a photography school, I learnt online and this was really tough and also amazing. I didn’t have a camera but my cousin had a fantastic one and I kept using it to practice and work on myself. I used this same practice to photograph events and I got paid. One person who also made me learn more and understand a lot about photography is Kenneth Nwanchi of Kentucker Photography; he was always taking me with him for his shoots and this made me learn more. I was ready to climb on the shoulders of giants so that I could see more and Ken helped me.
Photography is a unique skill and it takes a lot to be world class or very brilliant. I am not as brilliant as people make me look but I am working hard to learn from people and also improve my photography.
You become world class by doing, by practicing, by consistently practicing. Without all these, world class remains far away”
Question: What is the best part of being a Photographer?
Answer: This question has different answers from all photographers, for me; being appreciated and respected for your job or a particular project you worked on. Being paid well for a great job and seeing people referencing you for a fantastic shot you took. For example, seeing your work on a billboard or on TV, give every photographer joy. When your pictures go viral and people reference you, you get excited and you are proud of yourself. In Nigeria, people are just getting better in appreciating Togs (Photographers), in years to come, it will better and people (Family & Friends) will appreciate better.
Answer: People motivate me, amazing photographers motivate me. People being excellent about their work or business motivates me a lot. People defying the odds in achieving their goals motivate me. Excellence motivates me and I have decided to be Excellent in all I do.
Question: How many books and conferences did you read and attend last year?
Answer: I didn’t read a lot of books last year, the habit of reading is one I am still building. I have a lot of books to read in my shelf but I ﬁnd it difﬁcult. I read more articles than books last year, I am really working on it and I hope this year is better. I attended a lot conferences last year, paid and free conferences. I actually can’t count but I attended a lot, I met people and also built friendships from them too. This year won’t be an exemption too, I will be attending a lot of conferences.
Question: Why the goal to post everyday on Medium?
Answer: This is actually funny; my friend posted on Medium every day of the year 2016, so I decided to post too. I did it to challenge myself, I did it to write more. I am not an excellent writer but I try to write some good stuff. I write Photo Stories, a lot of poems and very fun stories. Most of my posts aren’t about photography, I just wanted to work on myself and see if this habit will stay or if I was going to fail. It has been going very well and I look to the remaining days of the year.
Question: What is the story behind your new job?
Answer: I am a Media & Tech Enthusiast and a photographer. There was an opportunity in Andela for a Media Intern and friends sent me the link to apply and I applied gladly!Andela is one company I have always admired even before I got in, I stalked them online and read about the great things they were doing in Africa. When the opportunity came up, I didn’t want to lose it. The recruitment process was not easy but I am grateful I got in. Andela is a StartUp that is harder to get in than Harvard, so I gave my best at the interviews and I am really excited I got in. There is a lot to improve on and much more to learn there, I am excited about the opportunity and I am really grateful I found a home at Andela.
Question: Describe your job in One word
Question: What is your encouragement to Photographers and other media persons?
Answer: Keep learning and own your learning, we become better by learning. Be optimistic about learning and about becoming a better photographer, attend conferences and photo walks to help you improve. Let your works speak for you, strive to be excellent in your deliveries.
Question: Any Additions?
Answer: I am grateful for the opportunity, my story isn’t complete yet. I am still grinding and striving for excellence, my Success Story is still in drafts. You have an awesome blog and keep doing what you do, cheers!
Social Media Accounts:
Facebook: Rotimi Okungbaye