London & Lagos Based Fashion, Commercial & Advertising Photographer » News and tips for creatives, models and anyone interested in Photography, art, travel or anything creative.

 

A few days ago I read on Jide Alakija’s fb page about a photo walk that was to take place on Sat. I haven’t been on one in a long time and I thought this would be a good time to re-visit the idea.

It turned out to be a great idea. Lot’s of good people, fun, thought provoking discussions and a camera I’d like to have (picture below – you’ll know when you see it. 🙂 ).

Be sure to check out the other photgraphers pages to see other images from the day.

Enimien, Ovo, Jide

Here are a few of mine.

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  • April 11, 2011 - 9:14 pm

    Jide Alakija - Man! So many good shots in here. Love them all especially the first one.

  • April 11, 2011 - 9:28 pm

    stacy - Lot’s of pictures that made me smile. I especially like the picture of someone’s feet opposite the green bush. the first thing i thought was ‘homegrown’

  • April 11, 2011 - 9:40 pm

    Cassandra - These are great david. Let me know next time you go on one of these photo walks, I would love to join in.

  • April 19, 2011 - 8:54 pm

    Ovo Gharoro - These are just amazing. Completely different from how I saw the day

  • April 21, 2011 - 9:33 pm

    Nimz - Love it. I was nice to meet you 🙂

  • April 21, 2011 - 9:49 pm

    Mo - These are amazing images David. I love how everyone’s images from the same photowalk are so different reflecting each photographer’s individual style. You have a great eye for detail. Great work,

  • February 21, 2012 - 1:05 am

    Anna - Interesting London images from a different point of view than mine. I like them!

Well, I constantly get asked about my experience art art school and if I think photography school is worth going to.

It’s 4:30am (don’t ask), I’m online on Melissa Rodwell’s blog(one of the few photography blogs I follow) and came “this post” which pretty much sums up my take on the issue so head over there and see what she has to say. Check out her work as well. I think she’s pretty interesting.

Back to the issue, I really think everyone’s different and you should find what works for you. Unlike Melissa, the technical stuff came easy to me but I wanted to develop the creative and artistic side further and that’s why I chose not to go for a commercial photography course but instead went for something more fine art based.

It’s been worth it for me and I have no regrets but you decide for yourself. I’ll end this here. How it’s affected my work is another post alltogether.

Anyway, Read her take on the issue HERE.

Much love,
David O.

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Every visual artist must know the importance of undertaking personal projects. Not only do they serve to develop your work, they are a great opportunity to do just what you want with almost total freedom. I use the world almost because although there is no direct client, you are still bound by certain things. This could be finances, your comfort level, your access to locations, time etc. But you ultimately decide what is right for the project.

These images usually are a good indication to anyone where exactly your real interest’s or passions lie.

I personally keep a journal with ideas for projects I would like to undertake but also regularly visit and talk to others about their personal projects and have noticed that there are a number of students hoping to survive as commercial photographers out there who seem to have transitioned into doing entirely personal work and then selling or exhibiting said work.
This by itself should not be an issue but it seems that these days, the majority of self work entails looking into “themselves”. Photographing their loved ones and or objects and places from childhood.

I recently came across a feature in the March edition of Professional Photographer magazine addressing the same issue and decided that it’s clearly going on a lot more than I think it is.
I won’t go into the entire discussion as there are several points to be raised but you can pick up a copy from the stands and read if you’re interested.

As an artist I understand the need to want to own your work entirely. To not have to make choices you are unhappy about just to sometimes satisfy the client but at the end of the day, we are photographers and need to make a living off our work.

To continue to create introspective images only could be dangerous. What makes you think your life is really that interesting and that we or clients care enough to pay good money to be taken on your ride. While the work might be interesting, it’s unlikely it’s you’ll get booked from that book.

So while I’m all for personal projects and finding yourself, my suggestion for those that ask me regularly how I find my clients or how I sell my style of work to them is to find a balance and create images that appeal to those who hire you or you could very well find yourself in another profession soon enough.

The logic here is simple, show the type of work you’d like to be hired for.

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  • March 10, 2011 - 1:06 pm

    stacy - i love your end line and could/should be applicable to many things in life

It’s always nice seeing your work in print. I’m not talking about printing it yourself and looking at it.
Yes that’s nice too but I’m talking about when it’s published and in print.

The lovely folks at litebook magazine (in association with Bowens Lights) did a feature on Jon Gray who head’s AIU London’s fashion and advertising photography course and two of it’s students; Karla Uribe and Yours truly, “Moi“.

Feature of David O published in litebook magazine

To view the article, click HERE.

Special thanks to Litebook, David Hollingsworth (editor) and his team, Jon and AIU London.

Happy weekend everyone.

David O.

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  • February 28, 2013 - 6:34 pm

    Nikolay Mirchev - I know how that feels as recently work of mine was published as well in a magazine and the feeling is great.

Freelance artists/photographers must be the luckiest people.  Not only do we get to work when we want. We also get to choose what jobs or commissions we are interested in.

That’s basically fun masquerading as work right?

WRONG

At least once a week I listen to either a friend or someone I meet randomly how easy and fun it must be being a photographer. I personally know of several photographers who got into the business just because they thought it would be easy money while having fun. What a surprise they were in for. They couldn’t be further from the truth.

Most freelance photographers are one man businesses and anyone familiar with with business would know what that means. For those who don’t, it means you pretty much work none stop. Unlike a larger business which would have an entire team (From the cleaner manager and everyone in between; receptionist, accountants, legal, workers, managers etc.), the photographer is everything. He answers all phone calls and emails, Shoots and retouches, takes care of the legal and accounting bits, manages and promotes the image of the business and much more.

So something that was once a fun hobby which seemed to be your ticket to an easy and fun trip to the bank suddenly becomes a nightmare.

Then there’s obviously the fact that unless you’re one of the more fortunate freelance photographers or artists, you’re not going to make enough money from the the type of work you love to accept ONLY those jobs. So, you either live the life of a strugling artist or you go out there and find a compromise accepting commissions you might not love but don’t mind. Once you go down that road you’re faced with the problem of finding the right balance between what you love and what you need to do to survive. But that’s a topic for another day.

For today, all I’m saying is being a freelance photographer is fun but tough. So if you’re going to become one, then at last make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.david otokpa.com logo

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  • November 10, 2010 - 3:19 pm

    Shayla Wallace - Hello there,
    My name is Shayla Wallace. My photography teacher requires me to do an online interview. I was wondering if i can ask you a couple of questions. I would great appreciate it. Pleace contact me back. Thanks! I wont take up too much of your time 🙂

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