Samuel Ojo And The Documentary Photography World

29 Apr

Hello Presh Nation,

A pleasant Sunday evening here with Ojo Samuel. Someone who thrives on taking pictures of situations around him. He believes there are so many people that will never get to see his corner of the world, and there are so many corners of the world that he will never get to see but with a complete Body of Work they get to see things happening around him. We talked for a bit and here’s a glimpse of what we discussed.

PRECIOUS: Hello sir, good day

OJO SAMUEL: Hi, Good Day

PRECIOUS: Your name sir?

OJO SAMUEL: I’m Samuel Ojo by name

PRECIOUS: OK Mr Samuel what do you do?

OJO SAMUEL: I’m a Photographer and I’m passionate about telling people’s story which is why I am a Documentary Photographer

PRECIOUS: As a documentary photographer what are the things you look out for?

OJO SAMUEL: The Number one thing is figuring out things that happens around my daily life. I focus more on things I see around me day to day and I use Photography to talk about them also questioning those things using Photography and finally getting answers to those issues I see everyday using Photography.

PRECIOUS: How is that?

OJO SAMUEL: This is where Project come’s in. I try to express some of the issues around me in a Documentary Project. There are so many people that will never get to see my corner of the world, and so many corners of the world that I will never get to see but with a complete Body of Work they get to see things happening around me

PRECIOUS: Why did you choose photography?

OJO SAMUEL: Photography is a powerful tool to reach out to people in the world. Photography is about communication and like I said earlier I’m passionate about telling people’s story so I see Photography as the only medium I can use to communicate to people around me.

PRECIOUS: When did you start off being a photographer

OJO SAMUEL: I started Photography 6years ago but for real I use to tell myself that I’ve not started

PRECIOUS: When did you choose documentary as a path in photography?

OJO SAMUEL: That should be 2016

PRECIOUS: What prompted that decision?

OJO SAMUEL: My favorite part of being a Photographer is being with people, getting into their lives and taking their pictures. I love telling stories which is why my style of Photography is Primarily Photojournalism. I get tired of regular things so easily. I’m always particular about the ‘Irregular’ A lot of people just follow trends. Documentary Photography is something am passionate about, it’s the passion that keeps me going. I strongly believe in one thing which is to Photograph what you love, this makes your works better and if the work is good, people will eventually gravitate to it and you are then rewarded for being able to Photograph what you love to do.

PRECIOUS: You hosted lenses and colors, how was the experience?

OJO SAMUEL: LensesAndColors is the First Photography conference/seminar I’ll be hosting and I can say it was a mind blowing experience as a lot of people came and we were all inspired and were motivated to do more.

PRECIOUS: Is there going to be another?

OJO SAMUEL: Yeah Sure, Our plans are making steady progress

PRECIOUS: Can we have a briefing of what goes on at lenses and colors?

OJO SAMUEL: Lenses and Colors is a 5days intensive training on Photography, Retouching, Graphic Design and Make Up Artistry… It happens to be the first of its kind in Ogbomoso where Professionals, beginners came together under the same roof to learn, motivate and inspire one another. Lenses and Colors had an audience of 26 People though 135 showed interest initially but due to Easter Break then, A lot of people couldn’t make it. We also have people that came from outside Ogbomoso to learn. The most fulfilling part is seeing works of our students after the conference and how well they are doing which makes the time and energy worth it.

PRECIOUS: What kind of camera gear do you recommend?

OJO SAMUEL: It’s not about Gadget. I think the most important thing a Photographer needs is a seeing eye. We all can look at things but only few can see. Once you can see as a Photographer, half of the problem has been solved and with your seeing eyes you’ll be able to use any camera be it Full Frame, APS-C, Crop Sensor, Mirror less and even your Phone Camera to create WOW images. I’ve seen photographers that use their Phones to create Images. So no matter the camera you’re using, try always to frame it right from the camera.

PRECIOUS: What kind of tools do you use for post processing?

OJO SAMUEL: Basically, my kind of Photography does not support post processing. But if it happens that I shoot a wedding or a portrait I use Photo Mechanic, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop and sometimes Capture1 for my post Processing. My work flow for Portraits and LookBooks is Intense. But most of my Documentary works are straight outta camera. I don’t edit them.

PRECIOUS: Whose work has influenced you most?

OJO SAMUEL: The list is endless but George Osodi, Andrew Esiebo and Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi are on my top list. These three I don’t joke with. I’ve been opportuned to meet and work with them and this has given me the opportunity of them reviewing my works.

PRECIOUS: What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started out?

OJO SAMUEL: If I had given the composition of my works a lot of attention it would have helped me all this while but meeting some Masters has helped me alot. I’ve been told one on one, Ojo your image is rubbish and for real I made the same Person that rubbished my Image Proud that he came back after a while and said Ojo I’m Proud of You. The day Uncle George reviewed my works is one-day I can never forget. He was so mean on me and this actually changed my game of Photography and helped me improve my composition skill and how I frame my creating an image.

PRECIOUS: Did you go through any formal training?

OJO SAMUEL: I started out as a self taught Photographer but am currently undergoing a Photo journalism course at the Nigeria Institute of Journalism and also I don’t joke with conferences and most importantly Photo review

PRECIOUS: What inspires you?

OJO SAMUEL: The Hunger to always talk and luckily Photography is a good medium to talk. I’ll say what happens around me everyday inspires me, the life of the ordinary people inspires me. Also things that I see inspire me, I just tell myself what if I create an image from here how is it gonna look. It’s not as if I create images anyhow Atleast before I pick up my camera and click I ask myself what story do I want to tell with this picture and once I can provide an answer to the question through what am seeing then I know am good to go.

PRECIOUS: What makes the good picture stand out from the average?

OJO SAMUEL: COMPOSITION. We are all photographers as far as you have a phone with a camera on it. The only thing that’ll differentiate an artist/professional from a beginner is simply the composition of our works i.e the way we frame and things that we allow to get into our frame. It’s the composition of your works that make people see your pictures and be like WOW. I like the fact that when people see my works they ask me how I did it. If as a Photographer no one has ever asked you how you created an image then you’re just another photographer. I never wanted to be just another Photographer and this is why I take my time in creating an image and also I go an extra mile in getting it right.

PRECIOUS: Locations and weather conditions seem to be a crucial aspect to a successful picture. How do you handle these unpredictable factors?

OJO SAMUEL: Oh! Yeah. But once you have a full understanding of Exposure Traingle, you can work anywhere and anytime. Though there are some works that I don’t do in the afternoon when Sun is harsh but once you can play around the exposure triangle you don’t have any problem again

PRECIOUS: Do you have any advice for our readers who want to join the photography path

OJO SAMUEL: My advice is that the best time to start is now. There are several opportunities. Photography is a Powerful language to engage the society and to reach out to people in the world. Thank God photography is pretty easy to learn, what you need is consistency and personal development. With this you’re the next Pete Souza and the next Brown F. Peterson

PRECIOUS: And also your contact for those who’ll like to see your beautiful works

OJO SAMUEL: 08133486035

_samuelojo on all social media platforms

PRECIOUS: Thank you so much for your time, we do hope to see you again

OJO SAMUEL: Yeah, thanks for the sweet too.


There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed. Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. Till I come your way again, I remain Presh of Symplypresh. Do have a lovely week ahead. Ire oo 🍻

About Author

Precious Olawumi
Precious Olawumi

.. .. .. CEO Symplypreshblog Founder of The Olawumi Precious foundation Has a ton of experiences in various industries from food to insurance to fashion. He's an introvert with a vision to one day preside over the most populous black nation on the planet. He's quite innovative and driven. In a bid to make a difference and to motivate people to become better, He chose a path that helps him relate with more people. He was a partner at the Icons Fashion Show 2019. He recently bagged a Bachelor's of Technology degree in food science and engineering.

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