I am a fast learner and a multi-instrumentalist, piano, bass, drums, guitar, violin. I learnt the piano in 4 lessons from total beginner to playing in a band while at university in the UK.
Roland, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
To be myself, become all that God made me be and teach others to do the same. As a child, mum had a camera and loved taking photos; I didn't like taking the photos so much. After graduating in 2012, I decided to keep busy doing something I enjoyed doing before going for my masters. So I saved up some pocket money, my dad chipped in as well, and I got a SONY A65. As soon as I figured how to attach a fill flash to the camera, that was it. In about two months I landed my first wedding, mum's younger brother was getting married. With no experience of covering a wedding even though I had attended a lot of them, I took the challenge. No assistant, no back up plan just a can-do attitude. The experience and knowledge counted more than the money of course. But I got paid and did 350 edited proofs and 3 16 Ã— 22 wall decoration photos...
Who is your inspiration in life Roland? How do you keep inspired?
Wayne Radford (Australia) and Atunbi (Nigeria) I'll say have been my biggest inspiration in photography. I may strike some nerves by saying this, my faith in Jesus Christ is my biggest inspiration in every way, because it's a call to selfless love and sacrificial service to others. Creating photographs is one means for me to serve people.What I do is beyond just a means of making a living, or even just a passion. I read books, spend time in prayer, sing and remind myself the reason why I do what I do and where I am going with it in life. When I look at the strides other have made, am reminded of the journey ahead and I push further.I have sticky notes in my room, I attend seminars, and rub minds with those who've gone ahead when I get the chance to. Everyone's pretty occupied these days so, whatever time a colleague or mentor gives to me I make it worthwhile.
We all make mistakes Roland; 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.
We aim them up and call them experience don't we... lol. A client was referred to me, booked three months ahead. We covered her 3year olds birthday and forgot to back it up, and then lost the memory card along the way!!! (Talk about ruining your reputation), I called the client and explained to her how the memorable moments of her 3-year-old were gone. It was tough. When I started out, I once covered an event based on trust, without discussing pay and receiving an advance. Then I realised that was charity work and not business
Roland, 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 prioritising your clients’ needs?
Before a sitting, I ask three questions I find out exactly what my client needs, why and when they need it. Then I look up my schedule and give them an expected day. Integrity and reputation are very important to me. Usually, if it'll take a week, I tell them 2weeks.
Please tell us, Roland, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
I had travelled out of town for a wedding I just one camera and my back up camera got stolen. Why I was away, a client was booked for a photoshoot on the evening we were supposed to return. Things didn't go according to plan, and we moved the session to the next day. 3 hours to go, I was still miles off, and there was no way I was going to let this client down. So made a few phone calls but everyone was booked. Clients were a set and waiting. Finally, we were able to get in touch with Ricardo (a colleague) and was able to get a camera to cover the pre-wedding.
Roland, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
A couple came for a pre-wedding photo shoot, and their wardrobe was out of place. I explained to them how it would affect their photos and had them reschedule. After 10-15mins they understood. I love using the rule of thirds, once I applied it on a lady's photos and ended up giving her a crash course on the rule of thirds. She became persuaded afterwards
Roland, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
The day I got an intern all the way from Lagos. Lagos is like the headquarters of photography in Nigeria. Having someone all the way from there was exhilarating and significance of the progress we are making as a photography studio. He just completed his 3months internship this week all this. I was excited because I am passionate about sharing knowledge with people. I do not intend to be a great photographer but to inspire and teach others to attain such height.
Roland, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
A photo I called the mysterious lady. That looked like she was wearing a mask but it was actually the shadow of her hand. It ended up being one of my interesting shots so far. The exciting part was how perfectly the shadow mask was cast on her face...
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
Start by defining "why" you want to be a photographer. It will be a single determining factor as to whether or not you'll go far. If it's for the money, then do yourself a favour and look elsewhere. If it's to meet a need, create meaningful good photos, solve a problem, then by all means do. It's very critical along the journey
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Fashion magazines, high-end retouchers, creative photographers, cultural organisations/models/make up artists and anyone willing to bring me on board.
Roland Nelson @krystalphotos