Jide Ajayi is a dog lover and possibly the only pet photographer in Nigeria at the moment. We had a chat with him on what inspires his work, his passion for photography and his love of dogs. If you are into pets and love photography, you might learn a thing or two from him.
How did you get into pet photography and how long have you been at it?
Have always loved photography, I was inspired by my dogs to get into photography because I wanted to have better pictures of them and was encouraged by a lot of friends, family members who were photography inclined, I began in 2014.
Do you consider yourself a dog breeder? If so, how do you strike a balance between being a photographer and a breeder?
Frankly, I consider myself to be an aspiring dog breeder, not a dog breeder yet. I try to strike a balance by always planning ahead of time although this is not always easy.
Did you take any professional photography course or are you self-taught?
Both, I took some photography courses online, did some personal research and I have mentors who I continuously learn from.
When did you decide to take pet photography serious?
Year 2015, when I realised how much I enjoyed and loved photographing animals and also that it could be lucrative.
What do you think it takes to be a good pet photographer?
Patience, love for animals, not minding getting dirty, understanding your subject ( the animal), passion for pet photography, humility and constant practice sessions.
Where do you find inspiration to keep your photography creative?
Well…. my dogs inspire me, my environment as well, the subject’s personality (pet’s personality), movies, cartoons and so many other things.
How lucrative is it to be a pet photographer in Nigeria?
From my perspective, it’s a growing branch of photography in Nigeria that has the potential to serve as a full-fledged form of income to full-time pet photographers in the nearest future. I am extremely hopeful that a lot of Nigerians will one day come to appreciate this aspect of photography.
Would you at some point consider photographing other animals?
Yes, I’m currently working on some projects that involve other animals.
Do you consider it a challenging job? How do you get the animals to stay and “pose” for you?
It is challenging at times but then again, the passion and love for what I do keep me going. To get the pets to pose, I exercise a lot of patience; I also took a course to be a certified canine handler which has really helped in getting the pets to pose, especially with the restless ones.
Of all your works, which is your favourite?
Hmmm… That’s a tough question. I have a lot of favourites; each of my work is unique in its own way, so I can’t really pick a favourite.
Any advice for dog lovers or aspiring photographers out there?
My advice is to never let your interest in dogs fizzle out. Also, if you have got a passion for photography work towards being the best you can be in your own way, take online classes and do some research. It also helps to have people in the industry that you look up to.
Advice on how to reach Jide Ajayi below:
Twitter : @JApetphoto
Facebook: Jide Ajayi Pet Photography
?: 08020598525 , 08109604431