Oluwaseun Moyinoluwa Ariyike: Capturing events through her lenses
Explaining how she ventured into photography, the primary four pupils of Cedarcreek School, Egbeda, Lagos, said it all started when she was two years old and played with her father’s camera, including toy cameras that her parents bought for her.
Her fascination with the lenses grew over time, and her father, upon noticing this, began teaching her how to handle the camera and other things used for taking pictures.
She said: “I started playing and learning how to operate cameras at the age of two. I became a professional photographer at the age of four. I am still learning. In fact, I learn new things in photography every day, especially as my dad does the teaching bit by bit, not wanting me to be overloaded for now.”
She said her father believes if she is well-grounded in photography now, she could go into the profession full time without finishing school. As such, he wants her to combine photography with her studies.
In 2018, Ariyike participated in different photo exhibitions and art shows. But this year, she has had to turn down many invitations to be able to concentrate on her studies.She said: “My parents cancelled all invitations for me to participate in different exhibitions and art shows this year because they want me to pay more attention to my studies. I spent the major part of 2017 and 2018 on photography, attending different events and exhibitions. But this year, I have to limit it because of my schoolwork.
“I have won many prizes and awards, including the Kidpreneur of the Year 2017 and 2018, Nigerian Child Summit Award 2018, Dream Outreach Kid Entrepreneur Award 2017 and Pre-Teen CEO of the Year 2017, among others.”
Ariyike, who takes pictures on human interests, events, and portraits, disclosed that the beginning was a bit challenging, as many people underrated her ability to take quality photographs, due to her age.
She said: “I used to be pushed aside a lot at events because I am small. Also, many did not know anything about me then. But now, the story has changed and my works speak for me. I get calls from different people, while some of their own come to my studio for photoshoots.”
Explaining that she works majorly on weekends and on holidays, the CEO of Ariyike Studios said her first income was about N100, 000, and that she was able to reach her current position because she pays attention to details, picking every single item that adds to the beauty of a clientele.
“I get 100 per cent support from my parents and without that, I will be nowhere. They do not only teach me but also tell me what to do at any point in time,” she said.
Ariyike disclosed that she does not just take pictures for the fun of it, but to showcase a person’s positive side, bring out the person or object’s uniqueness and this differentiates her work from others.
The young photographer urged parents to give their children the opportunity to develop and showcase their talents, and that every child has a specific skill, which can only blossom when given the right opportunity and encouragement.
Ariyike said she is just starting her career, and that there is still more for her to do, especially with the new technology in the industry. Looking into the future, she said her plan is to own and run a studio and photography school, where children, young people, and adults would be trained free.
“I look forward to owning a studio and training school or have a platform, where I will train people, including adults on photography and cinematography for free. I also hope to give out cameras to the less privileged, especially children and young people, so that they can fend for themselves and even be better than I am in the profession,” she said.