We were excited to talk to Tobbie of TCD Photography. In the Nigerian market, where photographers are numerous, Tobbie has been able to differentiate himself with his beautiful and creative images. He has taken portraits of many Nigerian celebrities, and shot their album covers to give a professional and world-class imagery to the Nigerian entertainment industry.
We love how he is contributing to shaping photography as a profession in Nigeria, not just something you do on the side. We ask him how he started out with his photography, and how he sees the industry going.
How did you start out as a photographer, and what motivated you to get better?
My journey into photography started out as a graphic designer who wanted to archive stock images for design purposes. I had the creative freedom to improve my design projects with pictures i shot. From there i branched into various forms of photography. The motivation to get better however came from being my own critic. I feel i can do better than my previous works.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Travelling and meeting new people from different walks of life and of course being my own boss.
What interests you the most about shooting portraits?
The human face interests me the most about portraiture. The face tells a lot of stories about who my subject may be. Some have scars that bring back childhood memories, while some have tribal marks. The subjects’ facial expressions and also the way light sculpts the face as well contributes to the final output.
What the most challenging part of portraiture to you?
The most challenging part of portraiture to me is getting my subjects to the way i picture the final image in my head. Sometimes it takes a while to get the subject to relax and go with the flow of the shoot. Owing to the fact that some of them are not models or haven’t been involved with ” professional photography ” prior to the day of the shoot. So i tend to give creative directions whenever necessary.
What would you advise young people looking to break into the creative industry as photographers?
If you are young and looking to get into photography, I’d advise you take your time to practise and experiment before you start investing so much in it. Try to intern with or assist other photographers with more experience than you. Ask politely though, they don’t owe you anything. If the opportunity presents itself, I’d advise they also attend photography workshops or classes.
How have you seen photography in Nigeria evolve, and what do you hope that landscape will look like in the near future?
I think photography in Nigeria has evolved considerably well. People are starting to realise the importance of photography today unlike before. However photography equipments are becoming affordable too; thus a lot of people lay claims to the “photographer” title. And this is made possible because of the kind of exposure that it has brought the country in this age of social media. There’s been a paradigm shift from the days of ” Wait and Get ” to iphonography”. Everybody with a phone equipped with a 2.0 megapixel camera phone can now capture and preserve precious memories.
In the nearest future, I believe more value would be placed on photography and it would be paid for and appreciated as art, like its meant to be.
Tobbie also shares his knowledge by organising regular workshops in Lagos and Abuja. Go here to find out more. See more of his work on his portfolio. Tobbie also works with major Nigerian brands; we are excited to see how he continues to grow.