Sunday, 11 December 2016

Why I dumped my University degree to become a Life Style Photographer—Enitan Seyindemi + Why he is called ‘Prof’

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Ademola Enitan Sehindemi, CEO, Prof Pixel, Lagos

Creativity Pays, however, documented creativity pays more because it lingers in the memory of the bearer for ages. This axiom seems to be the guiding philosophy of Ademola Enitan Sehindemi, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Prof Pixel, a highbrow Events and life Style photography company in Lagos—South West Nigeria. Tall, handsome and very amiable, Enitan is one of few Nigerian and perhaps, African young Turks who are presently breaking new barriers of self discovery in an age and era when the stock of a School degree is losing value in the job market.
 This Lagos based top-quality events and life style photographer who covers high-end events especially wedding ceremonies in Lagos and Abuja studied Business Administration at The University of Ibadan (U.I.) but signed  himself to his passion—photography which he has taken as work.
Enitan whose dad is an ex Inspection Controller at the Nigeria Ports Authority shocked his parent when he decided to go against their career preference to chase his own path in life. He chose to be an Events and Lifestyle Photographer and today, he earns the least of his pay as N300, 000:00 just to cover a wedding event.
His weapons of impression are; his multi-million Naira camera, his sharp lenses, a creative shot on every captured picture coupled with a drama filled act of paparazzi. Behind his complimentary card is this word “Memories are worth every penny” and with that, Enitan has become the darling of many organizations in Lagos. Recently, during an event at Radisson Blu Hotel, Victoria Island—Lagos, your soar away Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika ran into the Ogun State born entrepreneur and he shared the story of his life with us. It is a story of courage, determination and pragmatism. Enjoy the excerpts.
Mr. & Mrs. Sehindemi
You are one of Nigeria’s most sought-after events photographer, how did you achieve this feat?
Enitan Sehindemi to the GDA...'My Dad's lifestyle engrossed me totally'

My name is Enitan Sehindemi, my friends call me Prof, and it dates back to school. I don’t know why they call me Prof; I think everyone just sees this very serious part of me that I don’t see. I studied Business Administration and I was going to practice in the official world but due to many other factors, I discovered it wasn’t my thing; I have always been an event person. Back in school I did events all through, I was a club activist through and through, I used to do a lot of club activations and parties and all of that. So, when I got into Lagos because I schooled in Ibadan, I decided to pick photography because generally I have always done pictures for all my events. Right from my university days I had always taken my pictures by myself and I felt ‘why not monetize this?’
Enitan Sehindemi to the GDA....'I took the decision to practice photography against my Parent's wish'
(Cuts in) You monetized your passion?
Exactly! So, at some points I checked out on what aspect of photography will catch my interest the most and I figured that I really liked activities and all that. So, I picked events and lifestyle. So, basically I am an event and lifestyle photographer. I major in Wedding Photography and I do a lot of side events but my major is wedding photography.
'I love Event & Life Style Picture' Enitan says to the GDA
And you studied Business Administration?
What was it like studying Business Administration at University of Ibadan and why Business Administration and not Theatre Arts or Mass Communication since you love photography?
The Prof, Enitan Sehindemi aims a shot
Well, I was a Science student in secondary school, I was actually a science student but I found myself in Business Administration for some reasons that will be long story for now, let us just leave it out (Laughs)
Maybe Parental influence
One-on-One with Enitan Sehindemi the Prof
No, no, no it wasn’t my parent. I just found that I will rather do something in administration. As at that time I taught I was going to just focus on administration and become a consultant in administration but along the line, photography came up and it’s being worth the while for me. I started business on a very low scale. As a matter of fact I didn’t even have the finances to get my cameras as at then but a friend sowed the camera into my life and that was how I started and I think that was the motivation because I didn’t want to disappoint the friend that sowed the camera in my life. So, when the camera came, I was like ‘Enitan, you have to do this’ and I got on it and it has been a very short period but I always tell people that in the short period, I think my success rate has been great if i have to measure what I have done and all. And I always thank God that I have grown so fast in a short period.
Enitan Sehindemi to Asabeafrika....'Even though i studied Business Admin at UI, i went for my passion, Photography'
Can you tell me your experience on the first day you covered an event as a photographer?
Enitan Sehindemi to Asabeafrika...'In school i was a club activist'
It was breathtaking I must confess. I was very scared because while studying to become a photographer, I had this basic knowledge from my teachers that ‘Never cover your first event by yourself’. Because you cannot be right, you will always need somebody that is experienced on the field. So, this friend of mine that has been in business for like four years before I got in was supposed to be on the event with me to guide me along. But he bailed out on me that morning.
The Prof speaks to the GDA at Radisson Blu Hotel upper lounge
(Cuts in) You mean he dumped you at the venue of the event?
Yes, he just dumped me. He called me and he was like ‘Enitan, I know you can do it, I have something else to do’. And I was like ‘what!’ He gave me the shock of my life. It was someone’s wedding and I couldn’t imagine not doing it right. I went on and I did it and I realized there was nothing to it.
Enitan Sehinindemi to Asabeafrika 'I love youths who challenge themselves'
You were surprised at your ability?
I was very surprised at myself. Although the bride herself was wonderful, she knew I had not done anything before. She wasn’t bothered and she as at that time paid me handsomely. It was one of my best paid jobs and that motivated me. She paid me well; she was like she knows my person and she know I won’t mess it up. I put everything into that event and I delivered.
Enitan Sehindemi doing his thing at an event
Can you tell me your highest paid job in this industry?
The highest paid job I have had was early this year that was in February to be precise. There was this events company that called me up and they told me they were going to offer to pay me N850,000:00 (Eight hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) to cover an event in Abuja and I was dumbfounded because before then my highest paid job has been N250,000:00 to N300,000:00 on the regular. So, Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand was something surprising and it was just the photography. The video aspect is not involved. And I was like ‘ok, seriously?’ I first doubted them.
The Prof & The GDA in session
You taught they were kidnappers (Laughter)
I am telling you; in fact I went on internet searching them. I searched the couple, now, searched the best friend of the couple. Everybody that was associated to the couple’s Instagram page I checked them out and gave my wife all their details that in case something happens (Laughs heartily) and you can’t find this person, find this other person. So, it was like that. But the deal turned out to be real and we flew to Abuja did the event and handed it over. It was a very pleasant experience for me.
Can you talk about your lowest paid job?
The Prof & The GDA after the encounter
Oh, there are lots of them, for me, photography is something I love to do. So, it is not always about the money. I am one of those photographers that tells my client that there is always a way to make you happy. Especially when it is your wedding, there is always a way to make you happy on your wedding day. If you can’t even afford the big things, it is our job, it is our craft; we know how to make it happen even with a little budget. Though I am not saying I don’t want the money. But I know how to deal; I can deal with very low budget. I have covered a wedding for as low as N80, 000:00 before. And that was the client that saw me the day I picked my camera to cover my first wedding event, she is my friend way back and she was like ‘I know by the time I am ready to do mine, you would have become so expensive but I am booking you from today’. And she told me that she has N80, 000:00 as at that time, that was two years before she now got married and I didn’t change it.
Prof marks the Shot
So, you honored her after two years by taking N80K despite the fact that you have grown in value?  
Yes, I honored her. Definitely I had become expensive by the time she was doing her wedding. By the time she was paying me N80, 000:00 my lowest fee at that time was N300, 000:00. But I had to be truthful to my promise. I promised to honor her on her wedding day and I didn’t falter. For me, it is all about sincerity of purpose. The passion to be creative and deliver is key.
'Prof' Ademola Enitan Sehindemi (Professor of Events Photography)
Tell us about your family, are you the first born?
I am the 4th born of my parent; I am born to Prince and Princess Sehindemi. My father’s name is Ademola Enitan Sehindemi; I actually bear my father’s name. I am Junior in the house, I am the 4th born, I have two brothers and two sisters, my parents are alive, they are fine and they live in Ikotun area of Lagos. My elder ones are all married.
The Prof assessing his weapon of boredom destruction
The Sehindemis are from which part of Nigeria?
We are from Ogun State. I am an Ijebu Ode by blood.
 What was growing up like?
The GDA & the Prof after the encounter
I must tell you, picking photography was very difficult for my family because I grew up on a very, very good standard. An average person will expect that I am probably working with a Multi-National or a Blue Chip firm. My elder ones all work with one organization or the other; we have one in the Nigerian Custom Service and one in the Nigerian Immigration Services but I was just never interested in all that. At first, it was like ‘photography?’ and that was serious for me. We all went to Private Schools throughout and even up to the University, we had the best of training and they were like ‘where is this (photography) coming from?’ but with God’s grace I haven’t disappointed with the progress they have seen. At least, photography has sustained me and my family and I am in a position to even give feed backs to them in the house. So, it has been a great experience for me. I thank God for his mercies and blessings.
The Prof & his Love
What about your wife, is she also a creative person or an administrator?
Well, my wife, my wife doesn’t do anything but cook. She loves to cook.
(Cust in) I am not surprised you look well fed
The Prof & his jewel of inestimable virtue
(Laughs) She will cook continental, African dishes and all of that. So, basically, she is a caterer and both of us complement each other. In our courtship days she always told me that she wasn’t going to go to school to stay behind one desk to work for somebody. That all her degree program was just for the formalities and then, it is straight to her own business and that if I wasn’t going to settle for that, I should just let her go. And she has been doing catering ever since.
The Sehindemi Couple
So, you refused to let her go because of the food?
I am telling you(laughs), as a matter of fact, it was her catering link that got me to the event you saw me for this interview. Because someone knows a friend she supplies food to their company and people just kept recommending her and it goes on like that.
In a nutshell, her business compliments yours?
Yes, it does because if you need a photographer it means you definitely have an event and you need food. If you need food, you definitely have an event and you need a photographer to keep the memories.
Enitan with wife, Mrs. Sehindemi

Do you have a philosophy and what is it like?
The Prof at Work
My philosophy is simple, be creative and seek though your thought process. I have always been a strong minded person. I always tell people, no matter what happens, stick by what you believe in, my philosophy has never changed. There are some basics I will tell you, I told my mum sometimes when I was way younger that, with the training I have been given, even if I have to live in Australia, my dos remains my dos and my don’t remains my don’ts. So, stand for whom you are.
Are you a Christian?
The GDA & The Prof of Events Photography
Yes, I am a Christian, I am an Anglican. I believe you must not deviate from your principles. Stand for who you are, stand for what you believe in. Sometimes in future, it will pay off.
Do you have a role model and who is he?
My role model? Honestly it might sound funny but I will tell you he is my father. I am completely engrossed in the way he lived his life, he is one father that looks into our faces and tells us that no matter what happens, when he is dies, he is one father that can proudly tell us that no woman is coming to say he has a child for him somewhere. So, my role model is my father. He is one person that tells us again, that he has been in a public position in Nigeria and he is proud to say EFCC never came after him.
What was his position in government?
The Prof taking a shot at an event
He was the Inspection Controller of Nigeria Ports Authority and he is like he will never do anything to jeopardize his name. So, my biggest role model is my father. I just hope to be able to live up and surpass where he got to.
What about mum, what is she into?

My Mum is a fashion designer but she stopped doing that a little while ago. She is a trained fashion designer, she went to a fashion school and she did very well in her time. Her role is to balance the power equilibrium in the family. She is a disciplined woman.
Enitan Sehindemi to Asabeafrika....'In my job, empathy counts'
If you are to find yourself in the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, what is going to be your chief project?
Ok, that is difficult yet; but if I find myself in a leadership role, I will appeal to Nigerian youths to first redefine themselves and stop putting all of the blames on the government. The first problem is that we don’t want to define our brains anymore; we just want to make money anyhow. We (youths) need to understand that we need to crawl before we walk and then, walk before we intend to run. But Nigerian youths now, just want to run and that is quite bad. So, if I find myself in a position of the President, I will try and empower more youths, pick out as many as possible and strengthen the laws against crime.
The Prof speaking with the GDA
Lastly, what do you think an average Nigerian Youth need to do to get out of his hopelessness?
The GDA in the heart of the chat with the Prof of Events Photography
Ok, my advice to Nigerian Youths will be to sit back, take a chill pill. Don’t rush into any action. Everyone has something deposited in them, try and discover yourself. As human beings, wherever we are placed, we can survive. That is one great thing about human beings. So, we need to discover our survival instinct and stop running for the pleasures of the world. We can make our own comfort from our own abilities. So, my advice to them is ‘be creative with your thinking’.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog


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