Career Story: Fiyin Atinmo

How did it all start? (what piqued your interest in photography)

I’ve always had a thing for beautiful images and cameras. My earliest memory is of me (Circa 2010) always asking my cousin for his camera at family gatherings to take pictures instead of sitting to eat.

What was the major challenge you faced starting as a photographer?

Funding to start properly. It’s a really expensive craft, and I had to do most of the initial fundraising myself; talking to cousins and uncles to help. It’s still a costly craft, but I balance it out with consistent skill improvement and, eventually, better-paid jobs.

You are also a medical student; how do you balance these two careers?

This is my most asked question😂. Well, I understand the importance of both in my life, but I still won’t put my education and training at risk because of my business. What I do is strict time management. I hardly take jobs during the week when school is in session. Very tough decision, but it’s for the best.

So are you planning to merge both Dentistry and photography in the future?

If an opportunity or idea presents itself, I’ll definitely take it. I still have other interests like Politics, Governance to pick from.

Politics??? You do that too?

Yes, I’ve been into student politics since my 100 level. I was part of Kuti Hall’s Student Representative Council, Assistant General Secretary, Public Relations Officer and now, Vice President of my faculty.

Wow… Let’s get back to photography, though. You said photography is an expensive craft. How did you source income to start?

It is actually really expensive to get standard gear to start up (Thank you, Nigerian Government!!). I spoke to siblings, cousins and uncles to help in any way possible. I also did a business collaboration with Henry (I mentioned him earlier), which made purchasing easier. I guess that’s why people say you need to be passionate about something to actually make it happen.

ASUU is currently on strike; how has this affected you and your business?

It’s affecting school, but I have time to work and improve. I don’t joke with any free time I get to work or improve. The only unfortunate thing is that I can’t pitch myself for opportunities I want because school will resume eventually, and those opportunities require all my time, for a long time (Again, thank you, Nigerian Government 🤦🏾‍♂️)

Have you ever gotten in trouble in school because of photography?

No/Not yet 💀 I try not to have them clash, and if they do, I always find a way not to have either suffer.

What is your worst and best memory since you started your photography career?

Worst memories would require four more interviews after this

LOL! Just mention one, then

I did a job for an elderly person in 2020, and after so much back and forth and personal expense, she totally spat on my work and refused to pay me to date. The worst part is that she’s a family member (or at least they said she was)

What advice would you give anyone looking to get into the photography space?

1. You might be tired of hearing it, but passion and dedication are the main ingredients to improvement and eventually, success.

Asides from Dentistry and photography, what do you do in your free time?

Student politics, public speaking, swimming, basketball and watching movies. I also enjoy being around my friends.

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