Oluwaseun Moyinoluwa Ariyike is following the footsteps of her father – photography and steadily turning out to be a choice photographer in Nigeria’s financial epicenter – Lagos.
What started as “hobby and passion” grew into business. The eight-year-old runs Ariyike Studios pushing boundaries of creativity in photography and her works are immaculately extraordinary.
Ariyike gets calls to cover events through her lens from different classes of people including politicians.
Arikiye’s love for photography started when she was about a year old. “I was told I used to have a toy camera, which I got so used to and I take it everywhere I go,” she tells The Guardian.
She was about three years old, when her grandmother, who is also a photographer gave her an old camera, which became her “best companion” then. “I still have the camera. It’s specially kept in my room,” she says.
Photography for Ariyike is a family tradition and she’s the third generation on the line. Her father noticed her fascination with the lens and began training her. At the age of two she started learning how to operate the cameras and two years later became a professional photographer.
Ariyike is still learning to refine and redefine her craft, saying: “In fact, I learn new things in photography every day, especially as my dad does the teaching bit by bit, not wanting me to be overloaded for now.”
Arikiye has had some training and supports from a lot of photographers. First among them her dad, the creative director of Mo Photography. She also had several opportunities to learn from other great photographers like Fototide, Oyerounkeh Foto, Omotgraffix, Bami Ligali, and Chazi Photograffy.
Currently, she’s undergoing extensive training under Buckles Memoirs, a kiddies photography company.
“It’s been a great honour working with all these wonderful people. I won’t forget to mention my grandma who has always been a great inspiration to me in the art,” she said.
In 2018, Ariyike participated in different photo exhibitions and art shows. But she has had to turn down many invitations to be able to concentrate on her studies this year.
Despite the successes, Ariyike said she used to be pushed aside a lot at events because she’s small. “Also, many did not know anything about me then. But now, the story has changed and my works speak for me. I get calls from different people, while some of their own come to my studio for photoshoots.”
Ariyike’s first income was about N100, 000 ($275). Her attention to details, picking every single item that adds to the beauty of a clientele is what made her choice photographer in the Lagos state.
“I get 100 percent support from my parents and without that, I will be nowhere. They do not only teach me but also tell me what to do at any point in time,” she said.
Ariyike said she is just starting her career, and that there is still more for her to do, especially with the new technology in the industry. She aims to own and run a studio and photography school, where children, young people, and adults would be trained free in the future.
“…I also hope to give out cameras to the less privileged, especially children and young people, so that they can fend for themselves and even be better than I am in the profession,” she said.
Ariyike has won many prizes and awards, including the Kidpreneur of the Year 2017 and 2018, Nigerian Child Summit Award 2018, Dream Outreach Kid Entrepreneur Award 2017 and Pre-Teen CEO of the Year 2017, among others.