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How I Met Eniola Micheal, A Fellow Creative & Drone Pilot

Nigerian creatives are killing it right now! I see how creative and consistent a lot of you are and I think to myself there is hope for the future (with the right funding). Raise your hands if you’ve ever had a client you delivered some media work and whose views on the final deliverables just didn’t align with yours. Then you end up spending more time editing it, not once, not twice, you keep going back and fourth, and finally after delivering, your client decides the music isn’t right, demanding you change the audio used. WHAT A NIGHTMARE. FYI it’s so annoying! As a video editor, it’s the most gut-retching thing you could ever ask us to do and it’s the same for even photographers, it’s annoying, don’t ask your photographer to just edit 50 photos when you only paid for 5. Please, dear clients, treat us with more respect for our craft, and dear creatives please provide signed agreements for your client saves you from vexation and feeling like you didn’t get paid your worth. It’s not your client’s fault, it’s yours for not trying to be professional. The hustle is real in these streets I call home, my city, Abuja. I understand to an extent, that you need to work to make money, and as you grow older that realization couldn’t be truer. Anyway, this short story and interview is really about spotlighting Eniola, neither he or I experienced these issues when we shot together this year but I’m pretty sure somewhere along our career path we may have had similar encounters and made similar mistakes with our clients, friends, or family.

I discovered a young gentleman by the name Eniola Micheal on Instagram. I’ve been told that I have worked with or at least know every creative in Abuja. By creative, I mean people who work in the arts and media industry, professions such as directors, art directors, artists, artists, photographers, and the list goes on. Eniola is a very creative photographer and drone pilot I eventually met in person. He is a Nigerian content creator and cinematographer. As a content creator at heart, he started sharing his work in 2020 and never looked back. He enjoys creating content surrounding lifestyle, travel, and fashion editorials. With a degree in industrial chemistry (typical, unfortunately, our Nigerian education system may fling you to the polar opposite of what you might specialize in, in the future), he plunged into the world of art and initially began his career as a wedding/event and lifestyle photographer, before expanding into filmmaking and cinematography. He’s based in Abuja but has creatively explored and worked in other different cities in the country. He has also worked with several notable international brands and organizations, such as Beyoncé’s approved Luxury Fashion brand, Enangcio. For the LOVE OF ART, Eniola thoroughly takes pleasure in creating content and relishes the very process of it.

After many months of chatting via Instagram, we decided we wanted to work together, rather than wait for a client to hire us, we took the initiative and planned a shoot with a Horse called “Adamawa”. We had so much fun accompanied by Peter, who I now actually work pretty closely with, and my close friend and sister, Halima who is just as talented, busy harnessing the power of her photography skills. After the shoot, I asked Eniola if he would agree to be interviewed for my blog and he said yes!

For me home is where I feel most comfortable and that’s usually my house where I stay at the moment. It’s basically where I find solace, sometimes “outside” can be so loud and home is just where I try to find peace and some quietness. I always tell people my working style is just basically doing what I love, there’s no serious pattern or attachment to how I work because creating is always just a thing of fun for me, I don’t see it as “work”.

I’m actually 29 years old, and most people don’t believe that because I look nothing like my age so most times when I’m being asked I just skip it or let them decide. As for when I started photography, I would say about 2-3 years ago, so around 2019 – 2020. I decided I wanted to create more video content online and I started shooting content with drones in 2022.

I think my favorite photographer and someone who inspires me would be NIYI FAGBEMI, I love everything about his style of photography and concepts. He’s someone that inspires me to be better and to think outside the box.

The camera I use is dependent on the kinda photography or content I’m creating. For wedding photography, I use a Nikon D750 and if I am also hired to record videos I would use a Sony a7iii with my go-to lens, 50mm.

Well being a content creator, for both pictures and videos, I use CaptureOne, Lightroom, and Photoshop for my photos, and then for my videos, I lean towards Premier Pro and Davinci Resolve.

I think I’m more of a natural photographer, basically, I don’t like faking pictures too much or altering them excessively, I love to play with my surroundings too because I’m a huge fan of nature. I love natural lighting but of course, I can still use any form of lighting provided. And I can’t compare my work to anyone’s cause most times what I do or create comes randomly from my head, although I might be able to pick one or two inspirations from people I always tend to tweak it to fit my style. Naturally, I’m a huge fan of outdoor photography.

Most people don’t know this but sometimes go searching for locations even when I’m not trying to, I can spot a location just by going through my normal day-to-day activities and I’d always find a concept that goes with such locations. Sometimes the kinda concepts for a shoot I may want to create is determined by the kind of location I’d love to use. I tend to use the internet a lot so I get to see places I could potentially shoot there too.

Photography means a lot to me actually I know this sounds like a cliche answer but it’s sincere. Most times when I find myself in a bad state, photography feels like my own way of healing or taking my mind off the bad situation. Photography really helps my mind in terms of being creative with my thoughts. So it’s been amazing doing photography, from meeting new people and other photographers, going to different cities and locations, it’s been really amazing. Photography to me means connecting with people and nature.

Honestly, I’m a huge fan of “ONE DAY AT A TIME” but hopefully I want to be one of those names that every single person in Nigeria knows about, I want my work to be recognized in different parts of the cities too, and hopefully be the best drone pilot you can think of and yes I’m a drone pilot too Shushi.

I think I met you online, I love the fact that you are different. Yes everyone is different but some people are still different from the others, you were doing your thing and just having fun with it. I love such people, people who don’t care about fame or money just doing what they love and I saw that in you, and I reached out, and yeah the rest was history. I did a shoot with you cause it seems like we shared the same mind and ideas and we were both available to find time to schedule a shoot. It was fun and easy breezy.

Eniola is one of the most pleasant individuals I have had the pleasure of meeting. Thank you for taking these amazing photos and I look forward to working with you in the future on projects that are going to be worth our while, creatively and financially. I manifest it, I believe in it and most especially Eniola, I believe in you too.

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