By Amara Iwuala
“I Have Found Expression, a Voice of Some Sort, as a Photographer” – Blaize Eche Itodo
Blaize Eche Itodo holds a BSc degree in Geology and Mining from the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Advertising and Public Relations from the International Institute for Journalism, IIJ, Abuja.
He taught himself Photography by watching videos on YouTube, reading articles on Photography websites and understudying photographers who inspire him. He speaks to Amarachukwu Iwuala about his undertakings in this vocation.
Blaize remembers that “Growing up, my dad had a Polaroid camera with which he took photos of me and my deceased elder brother during our birthdays, on Sundays and at leisure. I enjoyed it then just for the love of posing in front of the camera.
“The first time I ever thought of Photography as a career was during my NYSC in 2009 when I saw the breathtaking images made by Yomi, a corps member friend, whilst he was a student photographer. Yet, it was not until 2013, when I started working in a media outfit which majored in content production for TV and cinema, that I considered taking it up as a profession.
“I have attended a few Photography workshops, artist talks, master classes and art events, which have enhanced my knowledge. Some of them include Photo-junctions and Lagos Photos Master Class 2015/2016, Art X Lagos 2016, Junkyard Art Workshop 2016, Bamako Photography Biennial 2017, Artist Talk with Fati Abubakar, Portfolio Review and Artist Talk with Caroline Hancock and Nduwhite Ahunonu 2018.
“I’ve had the honour of showcasing my works at different exhibitions, among which are the: Photocarrefour Exhibition 2017, Abuja Art Alive, International Institute for Creative Development, Abuja 2016; Lagos Photo Festival, ‘My Africa’ Competition run by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 2016; Lagos Photo Party 2016; Creo Exhibition 2016 and ‘Yesterday’, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, 2015.”
Blaize is most thankful that he has found expression, a voice of some sort, as a photographer. He was the second place winner at the 2016 Nikon Nigeria Photography Competition with the theme ‘Capture Nigerian Architecture.’
Along the line, Blaize, who started as an event photographer, began to explore Documentary Photography, Photo-Journalism and the art forms of Photography. He is grateful for several opportunities that the vocation continues to afford him, including the knowledge he acquires as well as the chance to travel, from time to time. “All my travels have been inspiring and privileges to learn new things.”
Blaize mentions the inability to earn handsomely as one of the downsides of the business. “I’ve had cause to doubt and rethink if the path I have chosen is the right one, especially when life’s pressures come knocking, though the challenges and attendant low moments have become, for me, a refiner, the reason I am still here.”
He narrates an incident, which is still fresh in his memory. “In 2015, I was robbed of all my gadgets (camera, lenses, lights, laptop, a hard drive with two terabytes of images, some unfinished work and other valuables). Following that incident, I almost gave up on Photography.”
He maintains that Photography is a profession like Engineering, Law and Accounting, advising those who wish to embrace it as a career to have that at the back of their minds. “Luck for me is ‘Labouring Under Correct Knowledge.’ So people who wish to take up Photography as a vocation should stay focused and keep working.”
Facebook: Blaize Itodo
Flickr: Blaize itodo
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this article 165Total views