A chat with Moyinoluwa, six year-old professional photographer
Who is Ariyike?
Ariyike is a brand name of a photography company owned by 6 years old Moyinoluwa Oluwaseun
Why photography and when did you start?
My love for photography started when I was about a year old. I was told I used to have a toy camera, which I got so used to and I take it everywhere I go. When I was about three years old, my grandmother, who is also a photographer gave me her old camera, which became my best companion then. I still have the camera. It’s specially kept in my room.
Is photography just a hobby for you or a business?
It started as a hobby and a passion, but grew into business. It is a family tradition; I am the 3rd generation on the line.
How did you get your first professional camera?
It was a gift from my Dad on my 5th birthday.
Have you had any photography training? Tell us about it?
I have had some trainings and supports from a lot of photographers. First among them is my dad, the creative director of Mo Photography. I, also, had several opportunities to learn from other great photographers like Fototide, Oyerounkeh Foto, Omotgraffix, Bami Ligali and Chazi Photograffy. I am currently undergoing extensive training under Buckles Memoirs, a kiddies photography company. It’s been a great honour working with all these wonderful people. I won’t forget to mention my grandma who has always been a great inspiration to me in the art.
How did you get your first client?
My first client? Uuuuhn…! It was an award presentation event. They saw my posts on Instagram and gave me a call. I am sure they were not expecting much from me until they saw my enthusiasm and passion. I guess I wowed them!
What are people’s reactions when you’re introduced as the photographer of an event?
They are always happy to see me; they are glad that I can do what adults do. I get adults undivided attention; it inspires me. My clients are always eager to see my pictures. Of course, the first shot is all I need to get anyone’s full love. They are always wowed.
How do you stand out from other photographers? Why should a client pick your services over others?
People chose me because I inspire them and other kids. My pictures are beautiful.
Do you do everything yourself? Picture taking, editing, packaging and delivery?
I cover all kinds of events and I am still learning how to edit pictures, but I partner with my Dad’s company, Mo Photography, for editing, packaging and delivery for my company.
What has been your biggest challenge since starting your photography business and how were you able to overcome it?
No challenges really. It has been fun. The challenges came at the initial stage when ushers and organisers at events always try to push me back because they didn’t believe I could do anything with the camera. They usually see me as obstruction to the event flow. The story has changed now. I get more recognition now because I didn’t give up.
Have you had any Recognition for being a photographer and how did you feel when you got it?
Yes, it was the Amazing Amazon Initiative Greatness Award. That was on Children’s Day, May 27, 2017. I was so excited. I still feel so happy each time I pick up the award in my room. You know that feeling right?
What are your dreams as a young photographer?
My dream is to build a world-class photography studio with my four year-old sister, who has been working with me, though she hopes to start her fashion business soon.
How do you combine school with being a photographer?
My business does not affect my school activities since I do only weekend jobs, and my clients understand this. I have special arrangements or events during the week.
What Advice would you give to kids who want to be like you?
I advise kids to believe in themselves and their dreams. They can achieve their dreams if they don’t give up. It is always good to start early and it is fun too. Start Now!
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