Happy Friday….it’s going to be a quick one today but just wanted to share the awesome news – got featured in BusinessDay’s Inspiring Woman article today. You can check it out here and below. Go on guys – live your passion.
Have a fab weekend. 🙂
Beautiful best describes her inward and outward attributes. Little wonder her works speak great volumes of her personality. A graduate of electrical engineering from Sheffield University in the United Kingdom, an investment banker who is also aprofessional photographer…who do you relate all of these to this very brilliant and highly multi-tasking beauty? Well, that’s the stuff delectable Wani Olatunde is made of.
Amiable and hard working Wani is the Managing Director of Wani Olatunde Photography and with the high stake she has raised for herself and the art of photography in Nigeria and beyond, your guess is just as good as mine with the standard she has so far achieved in life. Daring and creative, you would say? She tells more of this her love, “Photography is a passion. As a young child, I discovered I had no artistic talent whatsoever; as a matter of fact, my art teacher, literally laughed in my face when I told him I was thinking of doing art for GCSE. He let me know in no uncertain terms that doing so would be a waste of his valuable time. At which point, I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I got the science genes while my siblings (both talented artists in their own rights) got the artsy end of the gene pool. So to discover that I could be creative without having to draw a single line, well quite frankly was a revelation to me. And to further discover that people actually liked, even loved, my work – well… this is the stuff dreams are made of.”
Continuing with a wide grin, she adds, “first time, it’s finally hit home that sometimes, the only thing truly holding us back from what we really want to do or be is our self and the fear of what we can truly achieve if we put our minds to it.”
Combining engineering with banking and a love for photography may be quite demanding, but Wani tells why she is so much into her new found love-photography. “In December 2009, I decided life was too short and I didn’t want to have any more regrets, so I decided to focus on my photography. I started my blog, started putting my work (and myself) out there and the response from friends, family and even complete strangers – some of whom are incredible artists has been nothing short of a blessing. It is this response that has given me the confidence to keep on going and actually believe that I can achieve my goal of becoming a full-time professional photographer. Capturing a moment that is soon gone, an expression that is soon lost, this is what got me started with photography and it has pretty much evolved from there.”
Think she is done with her explanation on deeply rooted love for photography, but not yet, as her face even comes alive with a deeper enthusiastic zeal. “Photographing a couple on their wedding day, showing in a few shots the mutual love and overwhelming joy of the day, having fun with a family and showing the deep bonds between parents and their little ones, shooting a portrait session that manages the delicate balance of capturing the essence of a person’s personality and showing them as they want to be perceived or walking around in a new environment and looking for the images that speak to us, although we have different backgrounds, we are ultimately the same – this is what I am passionate about. I’m a wedding and portrait photographer but enjoy shooting a range of subjects.
“When I spot a moment I need to capture, my eyes light up, my pulse quickens and my heart beats a little faster. My fingers eagerly fumble for the on switch of my camera while my eyes remain locked on the scene that has caught my attention, fearful that I will lose it if I look away, even for a second. I raise my viewfinder to my eye and I furiously click away till I’m satisfied that the moment is firmly within my grasp (or at least embedded on my camera’s sensor).”
Sharing particularly on her photographs at nuptials, Wani admits, “I love to take pictures, whether it be the adoring gaze of the groom as he catches the first glimpse of his bride walking down the aisle or the unconditional love a mother exudes as she holds her baby in her arms or the cheeky grin of an ‘urban’ child whose demeanor belies the truth of his surroundings or even a glorious sunset, which reminds me that I am but a small part of a much bigger picture. So to sum up, here’s what I’m asking: What’s your passion? What’s your talent? What’s your gift? Are you doing what you love? If not, what’s stopping you?”
Interestingly, inspite of Wani’s robust flair, she is surely not free from everyday challenges, especially those concerning her work. Again, it’s vintage Wani speaking: “Balancing work and family life won’t be seen as a burden even as my love for photography is also included and the reason is, when you have passion about something, obstacles become blurred to you; thou, that is not saying I do not have challenges in photography. There are times I get harassed by area boys for taking some snap shots and though such acts are deterring, it has not stopped my love for what I do, that is passion”
Reminiscing on the role family has played in where she is today, she opens up, “My parents and husband are indeed very supportive. My father has indeed been a pillar of strength, he believes so much in me and it brings joy to my heart, I love him a lot and I am glad he is my father. I look forward to challenges because with a great dad like him, I know I always have a shoulder to lean on.”
And for her parting shot, take it, “whatever you are passionate about, run with it and make sure you achieve it, nothing can stop you except you and once your eyes are on the ball, there is no stopping you.”