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If you crossed or ran into Kofo at a weekend party in Lagos, you’d probably find him taking pictures at the occasion (or scouting for the best spots for a shoot). It’s what you would expect of a regular photographer paid to do their job at a wedding or anniversary ceremony. However, there’s more to Kofo’s practice than capturing moments for quick bucks.


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He’s the sort of photographer who prefers the unstaged scenes to arranged poses. He loves getting snapshots of bustling streets and unique architecture, cultural events and sunsets over a rowdy metropolis.

He says he thinks of his photos as narrative, images telling the stories of people and places.

“I love that I’m able to tell stories in a memorable way,” he says. “Still photographs live beyond the photographer and the people, and allows them to have a grasp of the look and reality of places.”

Kofo’s photos are propelling him into the limelight of Nigeria’s world of arts. He’s carving up a niche for himself in Lagos, where a growing number of fans admire his work.

Starting Out

Omotayo Kofoworola found photography without really looking for it. He says he got interested in it while doing volunteer work for The Footprints of David Art Academy in Lagos. The organization had partnered with Canon, a leading producer of imaging technologies, to train teenagers and young adults to use a DSLR camera.

“I was charged with the administrative role for the project,” he recalls. “But I took it upon myself to be a part of the process of learning.”

Soon he got drawn into taking pictures. But because he didn’t have a proper camera at the time, he had to use his phone. When he grew dissatisfied with this, he decided to make a move that would enable him to work with cameras more often.

“I was fortunate; the company I worked for (Connect Nigeria) has a media arm. I met the team lead, and, with the approval of the company’s Chief Executive Officer, I moved to the media department.”

There, he got even more fortunate.

“Due to my commitment, and the large heart of Mr Emeka Okafor (the CEO), he bought me my first DSLR camera– a T6i Rebel — which I used for my professional photography assignments.”

A Photographer, His Role Models, And Hope

Kofo says he’s inspired by some of the leading figures on Nigeria’s art and cinematic scene. His favourite is the film producer Kunle Afolayan, whose movies are, in Kofo’s words, “always great.”


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“When I pause every scene of his motion pictures to catch a still image, they turn up great sights to behold.”

Reproducing this sort of quality is one of Kofo’s goals. Another of his aims is documenting indigenous culture. He believes it’s one way that photographers– and artists in general –can drive positive change in Nigeria.

“Photographers– especially documentary photographers –need to continue producing images that cast the country in a positive light,” he says. “Images that show the richness of our culture and therefore attract tourists who want to visit the sites we have, need to be documented and shared with the world.”

He complains that certain custodians of local culture make it difficult for this documentation to happen; they make “outrageous requests” from photographers who try to do this work. But he insists that it’s important to capture Nigeria’s culture and monuments, and asks the government to support this move.

Words For Aspiring Photographers

When asked about his advice for persons who would like to become photographers, Kofo emphasizes the need for unwavering passion. He notes that it’s what drives true creatives past the challenges that come up on the way.

“Passion is one thing I tell other upcoming photographers they should have. Passion alone won’t pay the bills, but it’ll help you carry on as you keep on grinding.”

Much like every other art form, the trends in photography change with the times. Kofo realises this and says that it’s important for photographers to be smart about riding the wave of change.

“As a photographer, you need to keep evolving and developing your passion. You need to aim at being better at what you do every day. If you can’t evolve as a photographer, don’t try to become one.”


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This article was first published on 18th February 2022 and updated on February 20th, 2022 at 11:51 pm

ikenna-nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.


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