Photography in Africa, a new lucrative venture
“Gone are the days where parents in Africa wanted their children to go to school and be doctors and lawyers”.
The 21st century has brought about remarkable change. White and blue-collar jobs are phasing out, creating a new paradigm shift. Professions that were once frowned upon in Africa are now becoming so lucrative and prestigious.
Professions like music, football and now “photography” are the new generation lucrative professions. Being a photographer once meant you stood outside an event taking “wait and get” photos. There was only a hand full of photographers you would say were “making it”. Fast forward to the present, photography has evolved, and everything is now digital. From cameras, lights, and post processing, technology has re branded the art making it easier and accessible to everyone.
Back in the days, there would be only one or two prominent photographers in the scene who would be seen to be making it. The rest would struggle to make ends meet. Now however, the industry is saturated with thousands of photographers making it in their own right
“In Nigeria (and Africa in general), photography has becoming as big as banking or lawyering; one out of every ten persons you meet would tell you he is a photographer”.
What is truly amazing is the fact that each one out of the ten persons is a graduate, a master’s degree holder, and use to be a professional in an industry, but left to “follow their passion”. This is because due to this so-called paradigm shift, creative industries like entertainment, the arts, and culinary arts are being valued and respected. I can boldly say that there are photographers now that make what directors at banks make. For instance, wedding photography is the most lucrative genre of photography in Nigeria, and there are some photographers that charge seven figures for a day’s job. That’s what some people make a year in their professional fields.
However, before you run to go get a camera, photography has its pros and cons like everything under the sun. It might take a while before you start making the big bucks, so you have to be in it for the passion first, then all else would follow in due time. “First you study photography, then you practice photography, then you serve photography, and finally one becomes photography” – Ralph Gibson