Tips & Lessons

Yagazie Emezi’s Answer to “How Did You Become Successful in Photography?”

By February 1, 2018 No Comments

Yagazie Emezi is a self-taught documentary photographer from Aba, Nigeria. She began her journey in early 2015 and has since been commissioned by Al-Jazeera, New York Times and UNFPA. She has also been featured by Huffington Post, Nieman Reports, New York Times, Mashable, Newsweek, and Buzzfeed. In 2017, she was a participant of the World Press Photo Masterclass West Africa and is a contributor to Everyday Africa. Yagazie spent ten months in Liberia on a project around education for girls in at-risk communities while working on her ongoing project Relearning Bodies.

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As a renowned Photographer, Yagazie gets asked a lot of questions about how to become a successful photographer like she is. And recently, she shared her opinion and answer to that question on Instagram.

This one na essay sha. A question I’ve been getting from a lot of young ladies (mainly) is , “How did you become successful in photography/how can I do the same?” Um, wait. . I do think that there isn’t a lot of transparency in this space when it comes to openly addressing what really goes on before, during and after the work is done. It’s almost as if people don’t want to break the image of “I’m a serious and accomplished photographer” (which is fair tbh). Images are produced, accomplishments are listed, articles are written, but it goes without saying that people are out there still struggling to keep busy, doubting their own capabilities, trying to hold on to crumbling relationships, hustling to pay the bills. . Success to me is entirely emotional. Am I doing what I love? Am I growing in self? Am I kind? You want a formula? It’s always the same. Obsessive hard work (yum). And sometimes, good things follow that. With plenty of failures, doubts and cringe-worthy moments. The question you should be targeting towards people if you think they’re doing something right is, “How do you work?” Obsessively. Hard. Like there’s no plan B. Like I care. Like I have a wife and kids (too much? Okay 😞😂) – I’m just at the beginning so there’s zero security in the steps I take. I might decide floral arrangement is my thing one day, but I know how I’ll work and I hope you guys will ask me how I’m doing then 😊. 📷: @islandboiphotography #currentlynakedwithnopower #andnodrinkingwater #norunningwater #plsshowmesuccesslol #lagos #whenwillishowernext #ilegitdontknow

A post shared by Yagazie Emezi (@yagazieemezi) on

She said:
“Success to me is entirely emotional. Am I doing what I love? Am I growing in self? Am I kind? You want a formula? It’s always the same. Obsessive hard work (yum). And sometimes, good things follow that. With plenty of failures, doubts and cringe-worthy moments. The question you should be targeting towards people if you think they’re doing something right is, “How do you work?” Obsessively. Hard. Like there’s no plan B. Like I care. Like I have a wife and kids (too much? Okay 😞😂) – I’m just at the beginning so there’s zero security in the steps I take. I might decide floral arrangement is my thing one day, but I know how I’ll work and I hope you guys will ask me how I’m doing then.😊 ” Yagazie-Emezi

We’ve decided to the part where she said there’s no plan B to heart. So, yes whatever art you choose, be obsessive about it, like there’s no plan B.

Follow Yagazie Emezi’s profound work on Instagram and her website.


Featured Image via Punch NG.

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