Photography: Lifestyle to money spinner



Photography, which used to be a lifestyle, is now a money making venture. But for Ismail Iliyasu, CEO of The Legacy Ng Photograpy there is more to life than just making money. “when you make it, do not build buildings, build people.” Christiana Babayo interacted with some photographers in Jalingo

Photography has since drifted from a trending lifestyle to business among young people and this venture has turned out to be very productive, one will marvel at how much it is intervening in the economy and the lives of other young people. There are numerous benefits to talk about when it comes to this, but the most interesting one is how it is intervening in terms of reducing unemployment among youths.

The industry is a very lucrative one and every year hundreds of talented photographers around the world consider turning this passion into a money making venture and Taraba state is not left behind. Taking a statistics around the capital city, it has been reported that there are over ten very prestigious studios in Jalingo, aside from those practicing as free lancers. Now these studios do not operate themselves neither do their CEOs operate as Islands. They have staff working for them and with them which brings us to the employment aspect of the business.

A fascinating fact about this is that, most of these CEOs are young people, the same young people who were termed lazy by the president at some point.

In an interactive session with one of the photographers who is also a cinematographer, Ismail Illiyasu popularly known as Legacy, he advised that when you make it in life, do not just improve your standard of living, increase your standard of helping others. A catch phrase was taken from his social media handle and it reads. “When you make it, build men, not buildings”
This prompted an interactive session with the young mind and in his words “you can build a building and have slaves working for you but when you empower men, you will have friends, associates and partners doing their own things and these people will forever be indebted to you regardless of how far they go and how big they grow. You will be fulfilled knowing that you have touched lives”

Despite being a graduate with Bachelors Degree in Physics Education from the Modibbo Adama University of Technology Yola, the young man still maintains that having your own thing and stretching a hand to others no matter how little is nothing short of a blessing. And that no matter how rich your parents are, it is still up to you to make something good out of your own life.

Photography according to him is a big industry in the country and over the years, it has provided steady and sustainable income for people involved in it. “Personally, it has affected me positively and also those around me. So it has a lot of prospects in the economy” he noted.

Our correspondent who was there for the grand opening of the juvenile photographer’s studio, The Legacy Ng Photography located Adjacent Customs House Wukari Road, Jalingo, reports that the edifice is state of the art and a structure that will stand the test of time. The young man made it clear that, whatever he does, is not for himself alone but for the greater good of those around him. There is no doubt that when the history books will be written, the historians will have to pause and talk about the lives of these young selfless men who have added their own quota to the growth of fellow young people and society at large.

The idea of improving a country’s or state’s economy should not be the monopoly of one person or group but it always has been. In real sense, it is a duty that falls on every person in the society, whoever it may be provided the person has the capability, men, women and children alike.

While society continues to look at the sad aspects of the trends evolving among youths, thuggery, cultism, violence, theft, addiction, there is a light beaming from some of these young people that we may have ignored.

Sadly, the government and everyone at the upper echelon seem to have disregarded the fact that there are able young men and women with great sense of determination making things happen around us.

Our correspondent took the liberty of looking closely into the photography world among other life changing fields.

In Jalingo we have numerous
photographers and photo studios that have no doubt been making impact over the course of time. Bigdreams, Motion Pixel, Lenx Studio, Wisdom photos, Legacy Ng Photography, Rilshots, El-phil, Pixel hub, A-graphics, Bwanapia, Lashawn, among many others.

In an interaction with some of these CEOs, we gathered that they all had their days of little beginnings but with perseverance, resilience and passion, they were able to scale through and some are employers of labor currently.

Salim Abubakar, CEO of Mpixel relates that when it comes to photography, it is something he has had a flair for back in the days. Even as a university student of Mass Communication, the courses that had to do with photography, editing and graphics appealed the most to him and his career started from way back. “Photography is a massive industry which brings billions into the economy every year. Not just from the direct side of it as photography is used to advertise everything and it is important for virtually every business. I think the world will be a boring place without photography. Interestingly most of the people interested in this venture are young because of its exhausting and time consuming nature”. He said.

For Lucky Peter, CEO of Bigdreams pictures, “apart from being able to actualize my dreams, I have been able to put others on this track and some are still learning. We all do this so that they can do same or even more for others. So for me, it is a “help someone to help someone” concept he stated.

For people like Ismail (Legacy), the business is even more lucrative because they combine photography with cinematography which is also another multi-million dollar business around the world. Legacy however noted that there are challenges associated with the industry, one of which he outlined as poor intervention by the government and fear of investing into the lucrative business by people with the financial strength. Notwithstanding, he encouraged young people to start no matter how little, no matter what it is and persevere because days of little beginnings produce later days of great glory.

If every average Nigerian will begin like these ones and reach this stage, the issue of unemployment will have been beaten down to the lowest minimum. They are all young men from different backgrounds with different stories to tell, yet none of their backgrounds hindered them and what they had to offer to society.

Even if they all set up and employed 4 persons each, they would have employed a good number, which is an improvement that cannot and must never be ignored.


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