HOW MY LOVE FOR DOGS INSPIRED ME TO BE A PET/ANIMAL PHOTOGRAPHER

20:50:00 Babajide Paws 1 Comments

         
   

          Wow at this stage in photography I want to learn a whole lot more but before that let's reflect on my journey so far, when I started this journey of being a pet photographer, I never thought of being a documentary photographer but the irony was I loved and still love documentaries but its ONLY animal documentaries I love, right from childhood.
          Never really keyed into taking pictures of weddings, birthdays and other social events , don't get me wrong , I do this very well , hire and pay me well 😀, I will get the job done but beyond all this I ask myself 'what's your purpose in life with photography' hmmm.... Pondered and pondered....


   Wait.....


          Let's go back in time, as a child have always loved dogs, grew up being around dogs, I was also artistic in my own way never really blended with my pairs, I was either watching cartoons, documentaries ( WILD AMERICA by Marty Stauffer) etc...
     Watching these things as a child kept me in touch with nature I guess, It came naturally.


     Fast Forward.....

         Taking up professional photography inspired by my love for canines (dogs) was provoked by seeing bad pictures of a lot of dogs on social media, back then ,I asked some photographers to take pictures of my dogs professionally but then I couldn't afford it on a long term , some of the photographers were a bit scared of dogs, after a while I got tired and got myself a digital camera (Nikon L320) I was over joyed because it was my birthday present.

                              

          After months of shooting with it, it gave me some lovely pictures but I wasn't satisfied, it wasn't looking like the images I was seeing on the internet, I knew I had to match up to that standard to get what I wanted.
    One day, I decided to spend a day at a cyber cafe to do a research on pet photographers, then I found this lovely lady, who changed my life but she doesn't know me yet, Carli Davidson Pet Photography who's a pet photographer and a Nikon Ambassador, I was over joyed, I spent the whole day watching YouTube videos of her taking pictures of dogs, parrots, cats etc.... She was using a Nikon D4 , had her studio set up, etc....



     I can count that day as one of the happiest days of my life, I was so inspired I couldn't think of anything else that day, my love for dogs was drawing me closer to photography gradually and unknowingly to me, I just knew I had to get a DSLR  somehow (NIKON of course, I fell in love with the brand because of Carli Davidson) , so I saved up, a lot didn't believe in this dream then, I even went as far as targetting black Fridays but wasn't cutting it close with cost, I tried borrowing to add to the sum I had but then the people I asked didn't take me seriously, it was painful but then giving up wasn't an option I had sacrificed a lot to get to that point, right from my university days as an Architectural Student till when I was serving as an Architect, my love for dogs drew me closer to photography.
     


           So the day I decided to write about 'MY LOVE FOR DOG'S vs SICKLE CELL ANEAMIA' that in a way drew me closer to photography, my purpose was to enlighten and inspire people, although I didn't have the courage to do that ,if not for Mr. Awit Efom who charged me to never be afraid of expressing myself, it was my turning point, he was very blunt and stood for what he believes in, especially being a passionate dog lover , God bless you sir,  I wrote my story and I made some friends in return , some at that point in time encouraged my love for photography and I owe them a lot because they all believed in me , Grown men for that matter, Mr.Gbolahan Ibiwoye, Mr.Ayoola Opere , Mr.Sasa Mihajlovic Weisenstadt, Dr.Titilope Akeredolu (supporting me all the way, God bless you sir) , my cousins Mr.Omoboriowo Michael Adeyemi, Mr.Bayo Omoboriowo , these men at the time encouraged me to seek knowledge and continue to improve, looking back at this, it's quite emotional because its very hard to find people who would support you and not take your passion as being unserious, also loved the images by Adefemi Davies Aderemi Davies of HO3D brothers , doglovers and professional photographers who were inspired to take beautiful pictures of dogs, was immensely inspired by them.



           Finally, I got my first DSLR (NIKON D5500), was so excited as you might imagine, I had spent everything I had getting it. I couldn't wait to try it out on my puppies, I was amazed and happy at the time I would seek advise from the people have mentioned earlier and they would advise me to the best of their knowledge....
           My pictures were great to me as an amateur with the basic knowledge of the aperture, shutter speed and ISO but then as I grew I discovered I wasn't there yet, I had to improve , so I joined some professional photography groups on Facebook , I was just stunned at the quality of work I was seeing by different photographers, I knew I had to do my best to improve, I kept on shooting.


             l have always loved the images posted by Gen. Ahmed Mohammed as  a Nigeria , as a patriot , doglover,  he was just awesome, have always loved pictures of his dogs, right from time and am proud to call him my mentor any day, anytime, anywhere..... As busy as he is, he will make out time to explain a lot of things I didn't understand about photography, he inspired me to read more , practicalise what have read and ask me to take notes, I was doing this and with time I got better and better, I was truly blessed.



            I can't forget Miss Grace Chon , a pet photographer, who's works inspire me a lot, she's so passionate about her work, which is just divine, a lovely person if I must add, after watching and interview of her I just had to contact her, trust me she's great, also discovered Mrs. Kaitlyn McCall of Ragamuffin Pet Photography, listening to her interview via a podcast exploded my inspiration....



          Then, I met Mr. Kushimo Olalekan who also agreed to mentor me, he was patient with me, he also encouraged and helped me improve my photography, always there when you need him, also was humbled by his creativity, he helped expanded my mind.
         As I continued, I decided to chat up a few professional photographers for advise in some areas I wasn't too clear about, these people were open, never turned me down, advised me and always encouraged me to go at my pace, because it is a gradual process a big thank you to Miss Ipheellusion Ojiaku the most creative 'NEW BORN' photographer I know, Mr. Adeniyi Adeolu , Mr. Adewale Yusuf, Mr. Tony Nwosu, Mr. Ayodimeji Chukwuma Olugbewesa D'mayo, Mr. Paul Odijie (all were and still are, creative, detailed and brilliant)  and a lot more ...



     Then I met Mr. Hakeem Salaam hmmm.... What more can I say, have only spent a few weeks with him and wow, its just been mind blowing, he opened my eyes to things I didn't see, being a mentor to me as really been a blessing in disguise, that's all I will type.
            Now my dream has evolved from taking beautiful pictures of animals to documenting (telling stories) them, keeping records and potriats for the future generation, I am not where I want to be but am getting closer with each passing day....



            My new series 'DOCUMENTING WITH LIGHT' which is basically documenting / telling real life stories with pictures, purpose of this is to enlighten and inspire people with my genre of photography, will be starting in the month of MAY (date will be announced via my social media pages, so follow us 😀), trust me you don't want to miss this, you can see them via social media on Instagram @jideajayipetphotography , twitter: @JApetphoto , Facebook: jide ajayi pet photography.



           I want to encourage anyone/everyone reading this to NEVER give up on your respective dreams, no matter what it is, just,don't give up, nothing great comes easy so you got to fight even when you reach the stage I call 'EPIC AWESOMENESS' just keep fighting to make your dreams become reality. My dream is to influence the health sector positively with my photographs, be a Nikon Ambassador, National Geographic photographer (documenting animals), to influence Nigeria and the rest of the world with my photographs, for my photographs to promote the rights of Animals etc... It's a long list , so you see there's no time to waste, make your mark while you can, write your dreams down and stair at them every day, don't rest till you achieve them all, you are special in your own way, know and understand your purpose in life and work towards being better at everything you lay your hands on with each passing day, mistakes aren't failures, they only show you your wrongs so you can make them right.



            Oh! If you are in Nigeria or anywhere in the world ,dog lover or animal lover and you want great portraits of animals in general , am your man 😀😀😀, I look forward to shooting your amazing pets/animals and I would be honoured to document your stories with them as I continue my journey with my genre of photography..,..



                My journey as really been funny, happy, sad, relaxing, enlightening , stressful etc.... But in all I thank God and everyone that has supported this dream of so far, Mr. Manni Oyewole, Mr. Rufai, Mr. Taiyelolu Lawal, Mrs. Salma Uche-Okeke Seton, Mr. Kunle Balogun , Mr. Omoniyi Ewete, Mr. Seun James Taiwo, Mr. Adeleye Eljay Ajibike, Lily, Mr. Oshadipe , Juwon , my family, Ma Mere Kennels and to everyone who as supported this, I thank you all, you are just too many, I'll fry my system mentioning you all but know that I appreciate you all... God bless you. 😊



#isupportthedreamjideajayi

Photo-credit: Jide Ajayi Pet Photography and Seton Farms.
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1 comment:

  1. Good job Jide. Absolutely beautiful shots of our furry friends.

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