Photography is art in its own form. Would it surprise you to find out that one of your favorite photographer wasn’t supposed to in fact be a photographer?
And that despite all odds from growing up in an area where dreams seemed to be invalid, and living with parents who wouldn’t let nonsense pass them by, the true essence of being DGWC would one day be told. Get comfortable and spend the next few minutes with us, as we go on a journey with Damilola as he walks us through Creating, Art and finding a niche.
• For Those hearing about you for the first time, who is Damilola Adebayo and What kind of person would you say you are?
Damilola Adedayo is an enthusiastic young man from Kwara State, Nigeria who would label himself, a photoartist. Whilst still discovering himself on a daily bases, I would say I’m adventurous, a bit of a perfectionist, artistic and I enjoy to have fun. I guess that makes me a Sanguine yeah. This is who I am.
• Tell us about growing up. Your background story and how it shaped you into getting here.
Growing up for me was one major part I’m always thankful to God about. I was born and bred in the part of Lagos Island where it seems impossible to raise a child and still have the child sane after a while. I’m the second child of four children to our only parents and I must say that my parents were the best to have helped myself and my siblings grow to this point. Sometimes when I see some Instagram skit about “African Parents and their traits” it gets me laughing because I’ve in one way or the other been a victim of some issues acted out, but looking back today I can say for sure all the trainings and scolding were healthy to living a responsible and accountable life.
• As a child, what did you always want to grow up to be?
Funny how life is I had the aspiration to be an actor or a professional dancer. I just wanted to become a lead and a star in the things I used to do with so much ease.
• What event would you say was a life game changer for you?
Game changer. I think it was at the point when I had to make the decision to thread upon my passion for Photography and give up some other things.
Of course it was a rough and though moment then saying to people what you want to do is become a PHOTOGRAPHER. Lashes here and there was really not helpful but I stayed strong for my passion and here we are.
• How did you come up with the name? What was the story behind it.
As brainy as finding a brand name could be, I can say for sure the name DGWC came in divinely and handy. DGWC with full meaning THE GENIUS WITH CAMERA is what I was repeatedly called by a very good friend [but I call my brother] Segun Giwa and I adopted it. Truthfully I can say that was the first best thing that happened to my photography brand.
• How did you get into photography? And when did you see it as an art you knew you wanted to be involved in long term.
Getting into photography was one blind decision I’ve ever made because I didn’t even know any photographer or have a link to one I could train from. I would say being a creative and an individual who enjoys taking photos for pleasure, I was determined to save up to get myself a camera and from there things started falling into place. Whilst I was just innocently having fun with my camera, I got to meet Mr. Debayo Rotilu of Twelve05 Photography who agreed to train me taking photography beyond what I just use to do for pleasure to a profitable source of income as well as satisfying your creative mind and it was in the process I figured maybe I’m not on the wrong lane moving forward.
• You recently launched a collection. What birthed the idea and what was the message behind it?
BELIEVE was birthed under the inspiration of the fact that people only perceives the word as just a conventional word and not maximizing the power behind it not knowing; “BELIEVE is the foundation faith”.
The BELIEVE brand was pushed out after a particular time it looks like my back was against the wall and nothing seems to be working anymore so I had to do some personal checking/discovery and the only thing I was always left with was BELIEVE. BELIEVE IN GOD AND MYSELF. BELIEVE IN MY GOD GIVING ABILITY TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. From there I just made it a mantra, branded it on t-shirt and face caps I was wearing often until I got the idea to make it a merchandise to pass a message across and moving forward we’re looking to make it a movement beyond just the apparel brand to liberate life and make people understand the essence of BELIEVE.
• What is the art of photography to you. How can you describe it to (us) non-picture takers? Tell us about photography – how you see it, and the art behind photography.
In a simple definition, the art of photography is basically the style and creative behind making a photo imagery with depths.
Photography is really beyond just owning a camera and taking pictures. Being a photographer leaves you with questions like; what story is told by your photograph? What universal themes does it connect to? What decisive moment does it depict? A good photograph tells story just the way a good song or a good writing will with depths and movement.
• Would you say you have ‘blown’? If yes or no, why?
DGWC is still in its process stage. Still learning on a daily basis and believing some day or maybe soon AMO SHINE.
• What would you say makes your work different from other photographers. How do you stand out? How did you carve that niche for yourself.
One thing I can say makes my work different is my concept of creating my photographs.
To be honest I think considering the fact that a large population of Nigerian photographers are majored in just some type of photography that pays steadily, carving a niche that stands you out is one of the dopest (if that’s a word) but tricky thing to do as far as you can be patient enough till the national cake is passed to you. And also, in a situation where your works are not really appreciated because clients are used to a certain way a photos are been taken or maybe your photography art is just weird or not professional enough as they may say.
• Is there any one particular person, or a group of people that inspire the pictures you take or how the pictures come out?
My photos sometimes are inspired by photos I come across while checking Pinterest, Instagram or Google but I try to be sure my photos doesn’t look like a replica. That way I allow my creativity to stretch itself to deliver. And of course, SHOUT OUT to every Nigerian photographer doing the photography industry great as well as inspiring us up coming and coming quick creative.
• If photography wasn’t in question, what would you have been doing today?
Err… I’m not sure I know but I’m certain it will not be anything out of the confine of art yh.
• What would you say are the required skill sets to be an entrepreneur?
Self-discipline, people management, integrity.
• What can you say about your industry? Based on your experience and what would you tell people considering moving into the photography business.
For anyone considering moving into the photography business, truth is you might not get booked as often as you expected but let your passion keep you strong and dare to be different because the world rewards difference and not similarity. Create your own photos while waiting on the next job to come. Besides, its fun being on the job especially if it is your passion but one needs to be aware that putting in your best with integrity on every job and persistence keeps you up and running.
• On finance, would you say photography is profitable? Is it a sustainable business for the millennials and is there room for financial independence?
Absolutely! The business of photography if one finds his/her foot in the right path with the right people is profitable. If a photographer can be deliberate about his/her brand and represent it professionally, people will definitely sort for and refer the brand to more people. Like I said, integrity and persistence keeps you up and running.
• What are the top three things that would be with you if you were teleported to a dessert island.
LOL, got that on my bucket list and I had better be teleported soon. 3 things that will definitely be with me are; My Camera bag, Tripod and Meal management system.
Lol, meal management system.
• As far as a business is concerned, what business decision would you say you regret getting involved in, and how did you rise about it.
None to regret yet. I only run 2 businesses and one of them is deliberately on a low due to the business restructuring while the other one is still running and representing well.
• What would you say is your greatest accomplishment and also what has been your greatest challenge?
Greatest accomplishment so far was DGWC SURFACING Solo Exhibition 2017 which took place at the Freedom Park, Lagos, Nigeria. And as regards challenges, I believe there is really no challenge if there is a solution to it and thankfully I’ve not had course to be faced with anything beyond control.
• Describe a day in Your life 10 years from now.
Fulfilling purpose and living joyfully with my family.
• Top 5 inspiring people/events in your life.
The top inspiring event in my life will be when i made the decision to pursue after my passion and nothing else inspires me more than my dreams for myself, my brand and my family.
• Asides photography, what other interests do you have?
Creative directing or a Protocol officer.
• Describe yourself in one word.
Well, DGWC might have been able to convince us that, being a photographer isn’t so bad, and that despite all you do, knowing what you want out of an experience is surely the safest way to go. There will be hard times in life, as an artist, as an entrepreneur, as a millennial and as a human being.
But the truth is, no situation is really too difficult because there’s always a solution. So, chin up, raise your head very high above the clouds, and do your very best in becoming the best version of yourself and whatever it is you’re involved.
You can get personal with Damilola via his instagram page here, and find out what he’s usually up to when he isn’t busy taking pictures, or spending time granting interviews. And you want to have a feel of life, through the lens of the genius with a camera, then here is where you want to be.
Remember, the world rewards difference and not similarity.