Danladi Areola is the CEO of REO STUDIOS, photography to him, is not just a profession, its a way of life.
He once again proves to us that studying a course in school should never limit you from going after what you really love, as he climbs the photography stairs of greatness, he briefs us on his journey so far.
DA: What inspired you to venture into photography?
REO Studios: My Love for nature and landscape inspired me to venture into photography. I currently study Forest Resources Management in the University of Ilorin, you know the way it is in Nigeria where you chose a course of study and you get another, that was the way it was for me, So I decided to link up the course with my love for landscape and nature, then after my first year, I went to learn more about photography. Another funny thing inspired me to start photography, I’m a gadget freak, and I loved the shape of DSLRs. (Laughs)
DA: At what point did you discover your talent in photography?
REO Studios: I discovered my talent in photography before I was admitted to the university. I used my BlackBerry phone to take picture of flowers; I look around for tall buildings to photograph and also high point where I can get a good view of landscape to photograph.
DA: How did you start?
REO Studios: Starting photography wasn’t easy for me Ms Anne. I interned under Tope Olorundare -CEO Perfection Digital Reloaded. My parents discovered I was having a huge passion for photography, they feared it would affect my academics, so they stopped plans of getting me a camera, but I went ahead to borrow camera from friends and my boss whenever I had a Job. You know the first shoot we had together; I borrowed the camera (Laughs). Finally one day my uncle saved my photography life by speaking to y parents about letting me do photography, stating the story of Bayo Omobooriowo, the Nigerian Presidents Photographer.
DA: How did you get your first camera?
REO Studios: My mum bought me my first camera, it was a film camera back when I was in secondary school, so I could take photos whenever I went on excursion but I never really fancied it. I bought my first professional camera from a senior colleague Mide Photography.
DA: What challenges have you faced so far?
REO Studios: One major challenge I have faced is getting equipments, photography gadgets don’t come at a cheap price. Combining academic work and photography for me has been challenging.
DA: How did you overcome them?
REO Studios: As regards the issue of gadgets, I do a lot of DIY to make shift for some equipments I don’t have, and also I have learnt to create great images with what I have, and that has helped my creativity. I’m being truthful here; I give 20% of my time to academics, 60% to photography and 20% to other parts of my life.
DA: Who are your mentors in photography?
REO Studios: Adamolekun Oluwole (Mide photography), Prince Meyson,Bayo Omobooriowo, Tope ‘Horpload’ Adenola, Adebayo Abayomi. These guys inspire me a lot.
DA: What is your greatest achievement so far?
REO Studios: I have achieved a lot in the space of my 3-year photography career. But the biggest of them, is getting a Signed Book by Bayo Omobooriowo for creating one of the best 5 images in the Unabashed Ibadan photo walk. I was really happy meeting and getting recognized by someone whose story changed my parents idea of letting me do photography.
DA: What are the first five crucial steps to take for someone venturing into photography?
REO Studios: -Get the required knowledge I.e. basics of photography
-Get a decent photo Camera
-Try out few aspects of photography that appeals to you, from there you’d discover your Niche.
-Always shoot and research more
-Get the knowledge of the business part of photography.
DA: With low fund and no camera, how do I start?
REO Studios: Police has never been your friend, Google is (laughs). I learnt a lot of what I know in photography online. Try and move close to colleagues whom you can borrow gadgets from to shoot whenever you have a job. Remember to save up for your own.
DA: Do you organize trainings? If yes, in what states?
REO Studios: Yes, In Ilorin and Akure.
I’m a facilitator for a business of photography and how to become a photopreneur. It’s happening in Ilorin on the 23rd of January, 2018.
DA: How can we reach you?
REO Studios: Social Media accounts.
Facebook: Areola Danladi Damilola