A chat w/ Ifebusola Shotunde
Updated: Apr 15, 2020
Ifebusola Shotunde is a Lagos born photographer and graphic designer who focuses on documenting the people and places on his life's journey. In the past year, we have grown to become good friends and I, an admirer of his art.
A Femi Johnson Photograph
Like many other crafts, you need a fine balance of talent and discipline. Luckily for Ifebusola, he has had time to develop his skills as a street and candid photographer, and he has been able to fine tune his craft. "I've been photographing for about 6 years so I've learnt a lot within this time".
We are COVID-19 isolating together so I've had time to learn more about the nature of his work. I was interested to know how he got into the industry.
"When I started, I really wanted to get a camera but my dad was not really in support of photography as a career. Hence, no money. I decided to put a pause on photography and learn web design and development - to raise money."
"I learnt under Kadara Enyeasi. He wasn't happy I had put my photography on the back burner and offered to loan me his camera whenever I needed one. This really helped me regain my focus. We went on to work together for 5 years and co-founded a studio in 2019."
When I asked about his current tools, he listed a mirrorless camera, a wide angle lens, and a telephoto lens. He also takes a lot of pictures on his iPhone.
So far, he has done a number of exhibitions and "Out of the 7 exhibitions, I'd say my favourite was the 'No Place For Our Dreams'". This was an augmented reality exhibition aimed at provoking conversation about the political landscape of Nigeria.
I asked him about which aspect of photography was the greatest teaching lesson and he said "My most important lesson has been to be consistently curious. The urge to learn new techniques and to experiment has definitely helped improve my skills".
On his tour of the eastern region of Nigeria - "This was an amazing trip, we went by road. The plan was to explore, and spotlight tourist attractions (as part of a long-term plan to boost tourism in Nigeria)."
We visited various local attractions but one stood out to me - the Odukwa caves, in Ezeagu LGA, Enugu. It is a massive cave and waterfall, with a little community of farmers eager to show us around and urged us to tell people about the caves."
Advice to people getting into the craft - "Though not cheap, I strongly recommend practicing film photography in your early stages and taking lots of photos. Focus on understanding composition and the exposure triangle."
He is currently working on a COVID-19 documentary where he is capturing people's experiences from around the world, how it has affected their lives and what different governments are doing to curb the spread.
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