Eric Adeleye


Eric Adeleye
United States
State / Region
North Carolina

I was born and raised in Pennsylvania. I'm a veteran of the United States Army. I currently work as a freelance photography providing my clients with portrait photography services. I also work as a volunteer photography for Hearts Apart. Hearts Apart provides military service members with free photography services.

Our readers would love to get to know you more Eric. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?

I was born and raised in Pennsylvania. I'm a veteran of the United States Army. I currently work as a freelance photography providing my clients with portrait photography services. I also work as a volunteer photography for Hearts Apart. Hearts Apart provides military service members with free photography services. 

Eric, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?

My passion is portrait photography. I strive to and aspire to do fashion, commercial, and lifestyle photography. At the age of 12, my junior high-school in Philly was looking for a cartoonist for the school newspaper. I gathered my graffiti to show the teacher the type of things I drew. That teacher scolded me and trashed my artwork because it was too 'ghetto.' I felt so bad after trying out for the newspaper that I quit drawing that day. Harsh words can kill dreams, my love for drawing was snuffed out that day, but my love and appreciation of art still lingered on. Fast forward 32 years later to today, I no longer use pencil and paper to express my love for art. I use my camera to capture and tell stories. I believe in the power of photography to not only tell stories but to heal people. 

Who is your inspiration in life Eric? How do you keep inspired?

I keep inspired by constantly working on improving my knowledge and techniques about the craft of photography. I surround myself with a small circle of like minded creatives who are photographers, painters, and others. I also try to work on personal projects as much as possible. Sometimes those projects are related to street photography or landscape photography. 

We all make mistakes Eric; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer, you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I think as a photographer, we have to constantly work at establishing and maintaining the value of the work and services we provide to clients. I must always remind myself to never allow others to under value, under estimate, or marginalize the photography and art I create. If potential clients don't respect my work, then it is perfectly okay to seek out individuals who will respect me as an artist.

Eric ,when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?

The very first thing I do is communicate with my clients. I get to know them so that I can learn about the culture my clients are in. I listen to their requirements for a photo session and make my client realize that they are a member of my creative team when I am hired to work for them. I seek out the input of my client so that I can fulfil their expectations before, during, and after the photo shoot.

Please tell us, Eric, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?

I would have to say that one of the most taxing and rewarding projects I have done to date is a Project 365. The Project 365 was a personal project that I undertook a few years ago where I would have to take a new photograph every day for 365 days. I had to strategically plan many of the photo sessions I had during this time, and be very creative with some of the concepts that I photographed for any given day. The project was a success and incredibly informative in allowing me to experiment and discover the genres of photography that I liked and disliked.

Eric, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
The closest situation I've experienced in regards to this statement is during my initial interview with Hearts Apart. A colleague had told me about Hearts Apart and the services they provide military families. Since the main Hearts Apart studio was in the city I lived in, I decided to stop by one day just to see what the organization was about. During my initial visit to Hearts Apart, I met the Director of Photography who was in the middle of a photo session with a military family. The Directory of Photography asked me if I had my camera and gear with me. I told him yes I had my gear. This was during my Project 365, so I had my camera and gear with me everywhere I went in case I came across a moment that turned out to be a good photograph I could use for my daily project. The Director asked me to grab my camera gear so that I could shoot with him in the studio for my work to be evaluated on the spot. I wasn't expecting to have to do any photography work when I went down to the studio to meet and introduce myself to the Hearts Apart organization. The photo session went well, and I was taken on as a volunteer photographer for Hearts Apart. I believe that a person must constantly prepare and be ready for that moment when the opportunity presents itself. You cannot control when an opportunity is revealed to you, but you can control how you prepare for that moment before hand. Always be ready for anything. 

Eric, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
I would have to say one of my proudest moments was being selected as a recipient of the Arts Council of Wilmington's Regional Artist Grant for my street photography project called Streets of Wilmington. I was so happy to have my work and effort acknowledge by my peers and my community. This achievement of receiving the grant to fund my project allowed me to see that my community believes in me as an artist. It was a humbling experience.

Eric, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I worked on a personal self-portrait project called Radioactive. This was probably one of the hardest concepts I ever attempted. Because I wanted to be faithful to the actual definition of a self-portrait, I had to do everything myself to include pressing the shutter button. The logistics of the shoot were challenging in getting the supplies together and then taking the photographs. Self-portraiture is rewarding but requires a degree of trial and error. After two sessions, I was able to put together a good amount of photographs for the project.

What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?

Learn the fundamentals. There are no shortcuts to being a photographer. You have to put in the time to develop experience and knowledge in the craft of photography. Don't be in a rush to jump straight into the business aspect of photography until you can use consistently product well-exposed photographs in any lighting situation. It's not about the gear; a camera is a tool, it's about a photographer's ability to evaluate the needs of a client and apply proficiently apply their knowledge and skills to accomplish the task. Don't be afraid to take on personal projects to experiment. Clients don't hire you to experiment on them during photo sessions; they hire you for results that you can produce. Get things right in camera the first time because there are no retakes.

Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes, I am looking to collaborate with fashion talents, model agencies, and photography vendors. I have done collaborations with artists that I respect and admire in photography and other artistic disciplines like a painting. I'm always open to working with creatives because that's one of the ways I discover new ideas for personal projects. With some of the vendors I have worked with, I enjoy doing reviews of gear. I also facilitate workshops so I work with vendors on that front, getting them to sponsor educational opportunities for photographers whenever I can.

Now for the best part Eric! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Photo Credits:
Photographer: Eric H. Adeleye @ericadeleye
Model: Alyssa James @alyssavibes
MUA: Maria Blair Serrano @mariabserrano
Retoucher: Abuzz Retouch