Tell us briefly about you and your profession (brand).
I am Michael Bankole, a Lagos based photographer. I’m in my mid 20s with an engineering background from the Osun State University; Electrical and Electronics Engineering to be precise.
I started photography in 2013, all thanks to ASUU for the 6months strike that they embarked on. I will always count that period as one of the best times of my life.
I spent that period under a photographer in Yaba; thanks to my mum who paid all the fees and other expenses. The location was great; it was just a stone throw from UNILAG and we all know that’s the hub of ladies into showbiz. Only a few students came in at that time because of the strike but it was enough for me to leverage my knowledge on.
I had to find a way to balance school with photography, believe me it was a tough call especially being an engineering student. I remember vividly in 500l, 2015, during the heat of project, I still had to got to Port Harcourt for a 5-day job. It had its effect on me, but hey, who cares, photography is what’s paying my bills now.
Thanks to God, I just opened my own studio in Lagos Island; Suite 33, West Pavilion, Tafawa Balewa Square.
What inspired the creation of your brand?
The inspiration behind my art is Nature and colors, in order words, God is my chief source of inspiration.
Someone once told me that if I had a problem with mixing colors, I should go to the flowers. I never knew then that it would be one of the foundations I would stand upon. I marvel a lot at landscapes, the sky, clouds and the stars. That was the first love I had after fully delving into photography.
Though, in the cause of my art, I started seeing beauty in people and how I can actually portray them into still images in their true beauty not what the environment has made of them. That’s is why I shoot Beauty, Portrait, Fashion and Glamour.
How as creativity played its role in your business growth?
Photography is an art; I don’t see anyone thriving without creativity.
Creativity for me has played one of the primary roles for me as a photographer; I love to tell stories with any image I capture. I believe every moment has its own story.
Between 2015 and 2016, I did a few projects, including a photo documentary of the ‘Olumirin Waterfalls, Erin Ijesha’. These jobs were based on creativity.
What inspires you to keep pushing boundaries?
Truth be told, everything inspires me. I’m working towards a project for next year, and it was a song I listened to a week ago that inspired me
Other times, I’m mostly inspired by photographers like Sue Bryce, Lindsay Adler, Chris Knight and Emmanuel Oyeleke.
What is your present frustration or challenge in the field of photography?
That would be the mediocrity that has cast its shadows on photography.
Everyone today wants to be a photographer, which is not a bad idea, but a large number of this people come in with lack of self respect and that in a way is rubbing off on others.
The first thing that comes to an average Nigerian mind is that been a photographer is due to lack of “knowing what to do with your life”, and that is one of the biggest irony of life.
Another major challenge is our expensive gears, thanks to exchange rate that has it made more expensive. Asides that, I will be a photographer in my second life, it’s the only profession I know that literally allows people to pay you to work and have fun at the same time.
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