Away from all the tips and tricks, to meeting amazing photographers who are making a difference in their circles, our high-flying photographer of the week is a proper professional who has built himself from the ground up. His career is still blossoming, and he shares his journey, so far, with me.
I love your space. It is comfortable. I’m sure your clients really enjoy shooting here.
Yeah, they do. I try as much as possible to prioritize client comfort alongside being as professional as possible.
That is what we like to hear. Let’s get straight into it, chief. Introduce yourself.
My name is Akinola Ibrahim Ayinde a.k.a. Tublackimagery. I’m a creative wedding, portrait, lifestyle, and event photographer.
Great. How did you get into the business, and how long have you been a photographer?
It’s been four years officially [since I] have been on this journey. My love for photography started way back in 2011 where I used to be a photo lab printer. I did that for couple of years before I went for my Ordinary Diploma (OND) in Math and Statistics at Yaba College of Technology [Lagos, Nigeria] from 2012 to 2015.
After my internship with Leadway Assurance and Guaranty Trust Bank, and a four-month relief contract stint with Eco bank, I delved into photography fully.
What made me delve into photography fully was that it took me four months to get a placement for internship [with Leadway Assurance and later Guaranty Trust Bank], so I decided to invest more in my potentials rather than credentials, at that moment.
I jettisoned my Higher National Diploma (HND), which I can do anytime, and started learning photography. I attended several exhibitions on photography including Nikon exhibition and Elo photos academy.
Fast forward to 2017 when I join Klala Photography and Films, that’s where I learnt the practical aspect of photography. I was also able to showcase my skills because there was a platform there for such.
In January 2021, I left Klala and started Tublackimagery and, so far, so good. I have been doing well for myself since then. Not fantastically well, though [because] it’s been challenging but I keep pushing hard and trusting the process. Alhamdulillah for the gradual growth.
Beautiful and inspiring story! I can tell you really want this, and I want it for you too. Now tell me, what does photography mean to you?
Photography [to me] is art and a way of expressing one’s abstract idea into reality. Photography is life. I don’t think there is a place in the world that photography is not essential to them. I stand to be corrected, though. So, shout out to every photographer out there. We’re doing a great job.
Nice one. What is your most trusted gear set up?
I can’t really say I have a “most trusted gear set up”. I’m currently using Sony gear. Once I have my light set up well – the common ones like Godox Ad200 pro, Ad 600 etc., I’m good to go achieve lovely images.
What are your camera and other equipment settings for studio photography?
I use the same settings for both. Just like I said earlier, once I have the equipment I listed earlier, I’m good to go.
Nice. So how do you select which photos make it to your portfolio both online and offline?
While shooting, I already know those pictures [once my shutter clicks], so while doing my selection, it’s quite easy for me to know the pictures I would select – be it portrait, candid pictures or any other.
Which photographer do you look up to or would like to work with?
I can’t really say at the moment. Though I have worked with an A-list photographer, Klala, before. For me, I can work with any photographer as far as you’re putting quality pictures out there and I can also tap one or two [bits of] knowledge from you.
Nice to see how confident you are, Tublack. So far, which shoot of yours till date is your favorite?
I have some, when I was working with my former boss, but I cannot claim them because it’s not my intellectual property. So, I will pick the one I did under my brand, which is the Edo bride collaboration shoot I worked on with some colleagues, simply because it featured on Bella Naija without paying them a dime. I see that as an achievement for me, you know, as a brand that’s as new as anything.
Which of your shoots, till date, have challenged your skills as a photographer the most?
I can’t really say at the moment because every shoot has its own unique style and, as a professional photographer, you have to train yourself for any of them. You have to be versatile.
I agree. You either shape in or get shipped out in the creative industry. Tell us how you stay motivated in this very challenging industry.
I stay motivated when I think of what have I jettisoned for photography in the past and where I’m taking my career to. It keeps me going and I keep working hard to achieve the level I want.
Awesome stuff, Tublack. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, and we look forward to your exploits.
Thanks for having me.
Connect with Akinola and his brand, Tublackimagery, on Instagram via the handle @tublackimagery.