THE PHOTOGRAPHER WITH A SUPER-BIKE
Photography is the art of creating durable images and it is a new wave most young people are obsessed with at the moment. Probably because it is a job that requires a lot of mobility, or it could be the fact that you can easily setup a work station from your comfort zone, or probably just the fun aspect.
Whatever reason most young people are having a thing for photography, I cannot say for sure. But I sure do know one individual who is really spicing up photography in Nigeria with his style.
Captain Ifeatu Chukwuemerie is a Nigerian based photographer and super biker. His passion for photography and love for super-bikes has taken him across and beyond the country.
I had a conversation with this amazing super biker and photographer. The major lesson to be drawn from his story is; determination.
As long as you are brave enough to start, you will succeed.
Captain was not born with a silver spoon. When he moved to Lagos from eastern Nigeria, he served in a food canteen just to make ends meet before he stumbled on photography and it became his passion. He did not allow his background to define him, as he always dreamed big and was inspired by top business executives. Captain is a self trained photographer.
Captain claims growing up was a struggle as he did not have the ideal childhood or anyone to ask him what he wanted to do with his life when he got older. This condition made him realize that he had to take charge of his life and destiny.
As a photographer, Captain stands out because he rides a super bike. Although not yet verified, Captain feels he is the first photographer to distinguish himself with the use of a super bike in Nigeria. With the combination of Captain’s job as a photographer and a super bike rider, he has visited almost all states in Nigeria and some West African countries also. When he gears up to ride in response to calls from clients, people are always fascinated and stare in awe and amazement when he arrives.
Captain is also known to capture unique moments in an artistic way he sees and understands, leaving his models or clients looking back at those memories with pride.
Nothing good comes easy. His initial challenge or struggle was being unpopular and not having a lot of clients patronize him. Also, lacking the right equipment at an early stage was also a challenge for him.
With limited resources, Captain pushed himself to be his best and satisfy his clients. He started getting good referrals and invested his profits to get the right equipment for his job. Having the right equipment makes his job a lot easier now.
With his super bike, Captain is always trusted to arrive early to any event.
Captain also understands that the economy of Nigeria is still growing and in most cases, he is flexible with his pricing and gives his clients pocket friendly payment options. In cases where his clients cannot pay in full, a deal is struck where they can pay in installments.
As a way of giving back to the society, Captain provides free photography lessons to youths and unemployed Nigerians who wish to venture into photography in his studio. He plans to take it further by establishing a free photography school in the nearest future for the community.
As a photographer, Captain claims he is definitely not spared of criticisms and he feels criticism helps him to learn.
Some funny moments for Captain includes; bumping into highway robbery attacks while riding through some states in Nigeria during his tours. He has never been stopped or bothered by these highway robbers. They just tell him to carry on, probably in fascination.
Captain also feels it is wrong for people to assume that photographers are poor. He claims at some events, people tend to look down on photographers, but that does not stop him from proceeding with the job. He tells other photographers that as long as they know their worth, they should not be bothered by such. Photographers can also boast of exotic cars and properties across the country.
Captain once asked one of his student why he chose photography, his response was: “I want to be like you sir, and own super bikes someday.” That was a misguided answer according to Captain, because he believes some skills in life take time, passion and mastery to perfect. His advice to young aspiring African photographers is; to believe in themselves, remain consistent and improve every day. “…Of course, along the way, you may get confused and have questions, but like my son would say: ‘Google it!’ To succeed at anything at all you do, you must have a passion for it. You must be consistent. You must endeavor to be the very best at it.”
Captain also has a very supportive family. His son who is multi-talented, while at secondary school won the best photographer award in his school and this made Captain proud.
As a photographer, Captain’s personal goal is to become a person that is looked up to; a role model for the younger generation. On a professional level, his goal is to be a renowned photographer called upon to capture moments and cover events all over the world.