Seun Idowu is a talented photographer. He is a lawyer by training and a creative person by nature. Seun is from Nigeria and he has lived there all his life. Seun’s photographs tell a story of Nigerian life flow and depict a lovely picture of its culture and people. It was a real pleasure for us to take an interview with Seun Idowu and learn some interesting facts of his biography. We wish you a pleasant reading and viewing of Seun Idowu photography.
AP: Hi Seun, thank you very much for finding the time to give us an interview. It’s a great honor for us! I hope you will enjoy the interview questions we have prepared for you today. Please tell us what got you started?
Seun: I’ve always loved photographs. As a child, I liked going through albums, as a teenager, I started keeping pictures and organising and archiving them because I began to see the importance of having 20, 30-year old pictures around. My uncle shot a lot of our family pictures and that they were so good and evocative. Family pictures gave me a good idea of history, of connection to a time before me. So I knew, that the pictures I kept, would one day become important.
As a full-blown adult blessed with a creative mind and exposed to a lot of art, history and all forms of photography, I decided a few years ago that I would take up photography one day (as a hobby then) and I finally did buy a DSLR for the first time in September 2012. It’s been shoot, shoot, shoot since then. In the end, I know my creative well will not dry up because the Earth still remains and God, who gave me the creative mind in the first place, will continue to give me insights and ideas.
AP: What an amazing start! Do you have an education in photography or were you self-taught?
Seun: So far, I’ve taught myself all I know about photography. I do intend to get some sort of formal education in photography just to make up for whatever I haven’t been able to learn by myself.
AP: And how do you get new knowledge in photography?
Seun: Google is my best friend! I have learnt just by performing Google searches – so I stumble upon the odd article, video or presentation here and there. I also buy photography magazines, books and I get subscription emails from Digital Photography School. My background as an avid reader keeps me interested. I want to find out more and more especially when I see good work online by other photographers. I want to know how they take their pictures (technique), because I know it’s not just the equipment. The Social Media sites and the photo-sharing sites like 500px (I simply love it), Flickr and even Google Plus have helped me develop a sharper creative eye and broadened my horizon. Sometimes I just soak in knowledge from discussions on these fora.
AP: This is great that you learn a lot from all kind of inspiration sources. By the way, what genre are your photos?
Seun: I have a bias for street/documentary, nature, landscape and family photography. Natural things we have around us really fascinate me and I always want to capture images in a way that will draw attention to both the picture and the inspiration behind me, the Creator of the Picture. I have not done much in the area of family photography or even weddings, but this is just because I am trying to restrict myself for now to natural-light photography, so that my creative mind is kept sharp by shooting without the aid of gadgets (artificial lights from flashguns etc.).
There were some difficulties at the beginning, but once I learnt enough about my camera and basic photography techniques, I adjusted quickly. I like weddings, but like I said, I’ve not done much in that area simply because I don’t want to shoot photos like the ones I see around all the time. I want to capture moods from a very creative angle at weddings. So, in essence, I am creative but mostly so with the natural. I want to shoot the natural in a creative way. That’s why I don’t see myself doing studio photography.
AP: I absolutely share your point of view. Natural photography always requires extra photography skills. How would you describe your pictures?
Seun: My pictures are unique and I do have a few that are unusual. I do like Fine Art and Abstract Photography, so I have one or two pictures on 500px for instance that people ask me questions about and it will only take an out-and-out artistic person to know what they mean-from their own eye.
AP: What kind of equipment and techniques do you use to take your pictures?
Seun: My assemblage has nothing high-end there. I just use the basic tools. I have one camera and that’s the amazing Nikon D5100. I shot a lot of my photos with the kit lens (18-55mm). I only recently got a Tamron lens (28-75mm). I love night photography and long exposure photography, so I need to start investing in filters and cable/remote releases. I edit my pictures entirely in Adobe Lightroom. As a beginner, I only used Picasa and Nikon’s View NX2 and the results were still very satisfactory. I don’t see myself using Adobe Photoshop much in the future too.
AP: Do you have a dream project? What is it?
Seun: I really would want to do a lot of travel, documentary and wildlife photography before I leave the earth. So I would want to start with a photo-trip around Nigeria, then I’ll go on to a trip around Africa and then on to the rest of the world. I want to capture lifestyle, culture, street life, life and nature on all those trips. I particularly would want to leave that legacy for Nigeria. A photographic legacy.
The other project is from my daydreams: I sometimes fantasize about turning my wife first into a photographer’s assistant and then to my sweetest model and then to a photographer herself. Just dreaming.
AP: What nice and lovely dreams! We wish your dreams to definitely come true one day. What is the formula for success in your activity?
Seun: I do believe in putting your work out there. I am a media person and I actually do run a Social Media, Photography and Ideation outfit called Imago Pro and I want to push the brand more than my own name. So the photography arm is aptly called Imago Pro Photos. I am preparing myself for online photography contests and I did participate in an exhibition that ran from late last year to early this year and my pictures were appreciated. I want to do more of learning, contests and exhibitions in that order (maybe, maybe not).
AP: Is there someone who supports you in your creativity?
Seun: A lot of people around me like my pictures. I deliberately engage them in chats and I think they still have their fears about the possibility of me dumping law entirely for a “hobby” like photography. All I can say is that I won’t inform anyone if I ever take the decision to become a full-time photographer. They’ll ask me to do it themselves what I probably can’t see. Yet another daydream?
AP: Yep, why not? 🙂 Who is one person you would like to see interviewed on AstrumPeople?
Seun: Kelvin Okafor – the guy whose pencil sketches look like photos!
AP: Thanks, we will definitely get in touch with Kelvin. Could you give any piece of advice for those who try to discover their talent and cultivate it?
Seun: Don’t let go of anything that resembles passion. Once you’ve identified it, nurture it till it consumes you. Talent is one thing that people have and take with them when they are leaving the earth. They leave everything else, but your talent, you go with it, because we are all created in very unique way. What you have inside that head is what you really are. So dare everyone and follow that crazy idea.
Seun, thank you very much for sharing such an interesting story about photography. We wish you great success, continued inspiration and make all of your dreams come true. To learn more about Seun Idowu photography, please visit his personal website.
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