Expert Tips from Photographer AyoFemi “Omoharkin”
Ayofemi is a trailblazer in his field, constantly pushing the boundaries of photography. He strives to create, straying from taking pictures of typical everyday scenes and sights; instead, emphasis is placed on generating a new, interesting set of images with every shoot. He loves to use unconventional props, has fun, and doesn’t take himself too seriously, naturally showcasing his whimsical, vibrant personality in his work. Ayofemi used the eccentric whimsical Martinos event space located at Ikeja, Lagos for a recent photoshoot; the space features unique collector’s items and a lush indoor garden that make for a visually chaotic and interesting site. We talked to the talented shutterbug, asking him for advice when planning a shoot.
Ask yourself, do the elements of the picture fit together? Make sure that nothing is clashing and that everything fits into your planned vision. I also look for cohesion in sets and photoshoot locations, looking for a cohesive element and personality that I can see.
When I take pictures, I try to have things in all four corners. I train my eye to look at everything in the image to make sure that every facet of the foreground and background comes together. I love to have something in all parts of a photo
Materials are important. At a shoot, I make sure that certain textures and materials in the foreground and background work well. I don’t want anything to clash.
There’s no diagram or correct way for a photographer to do lighting because everyone has their own preferences. Because I like to have a lot of control, I think about what kind of lighting I need on a case-by-case basis, try to pre-light (if I have time), and avoid relying on natural lighting (because it’s unpredictable).
One of my eyes is near-sighted and the other is far-sighted, so I actually see everything in real life very sharply. I take pictures how I see. I like to add crisp highlights to my work so that everything looks extremely sharp.
I am a very detail-oriented person. I like to find balance in lighting so that all details of a picture can be unveiled.
I generally look for maximalist locations; spaces that are not cluttered, but there is a lot going on (yet it all makes sense in terms of a picture) are great. When location scouting, I look beyond a clean studio or apartment and focus on quirkiness and spirit.
I am a person who loves to blend different things (textures, materials, etc.). Seeing pictures of a location beforehand is important, and Spacebook does a great job of that. I like blending different materials, angles, textures, and the like. I was able to see all the different angles and elements of the space I used (without even visiting) through Spacebook.
Planning a shoot is very important; it is critical that when I arrive at a location, I know that I will be able to get the shots that I need. I like to control the environment in which I work. My job is to create something, not to photograph things people see every day