I am someone who sees a photograph as a sentence. - Interview with Bisi Alawode (part one)
Here is Bisi's story in his own words: - "My name is Bisi Alawode and I love photographing people. I love images that tell a story and stir up emotions. This reality comes to bear when I photograph weddings. I approach each wedding with a unique perspective, aiming to capture the love, joy and energy that is shared on this day. I see my role as not just the photographer at your wedding but also a friend who is entrusted with creating images that reflect the pure emotion of love on your wedding day. My goal is to create images that are not just a piece of paper on your table or wall but a treasure of the heart, mind and body." Check Bisi's work at www.bisialawode.com
In the nutshell, Bisi speaks about his journey from Nigeria to Canada. He also tells very inspiring stories about his drive in photography. Bisi shared his interests, the importance of photography education and the need of having a mentor in this interview. This blog post also covers life experiences of being a full-time photographer from Bisi's perspective and advice from Bisi on how to overcome your fears and turn them into your abilities.
Below are the brief responses from Bisi Alawode on the questionnaire from the interview: -
- Who is your favourite entertainer?
My Son (no doubts)
- Who do you most admire and why?
My wife, I admire my wife a lot. She has seen me when I look so crude and not very refined. She is someone who believed in me and want to walk through life with me. On the stage it really takes sustained power to do that, I really admire my wife a lot.
- What book has impacted you the most?
- The book? WOW there are whole lot of books, and I read a lot. Since last few months, I am not reading very well so, what I did is I downloaded the app on my phone called "Auto books". Some of the books that have really touched me so much One of the books is "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren really impacted me. There is another book also from a Nigerian paster " Discovering the destiny" It helped me to really push through my passion over photography after reading the book. There is some other books that really impacted me as a person, I have tons of books at home I can't really pin point to one, but I have several books I have read over the course of the years that have really impacted me. I like reading autobiographies also and stories of people.
- How do you relax?
How do I relax? Oh , I watch movies yes that's what I do. Yeah, I loving watching movies I would have said I play game but I don't very frequently because I do have a PS3 Which I don't even touch. But I love watching good movies that are intelligent and make you appreciate the work of art and creativity of some people.
- What is your most embarrassing moment?
hahaha, let me think about it. I remember a moment it was not embarrassing, but it's funny because it was three of us. So, I was doing the shoot one day here at Lambton College and I was taking photos of someone posing for me and I was moving back. There was a pond, that was close to me, and I fell into it. Yes, I fell into the pond and I kept shooting for the next 2 hours. That could be embarrassing but I just find it was funny becausem I was so into the shoot I was doing and I wasn't conscious what is around me.
- What career would you opt for if you could do anything else?
As I said earlier, that I love reading autobiographies. I have read some autobiographies that make me realize how versatile people can be. So, I probably would be the teacher and I love working with the people. Therefore I would be doing something that is related with the people. I think I would have been in the education department. I love to connect with people and help them.
- What do you love most about living in Sarnia-Lambton?
Ohhhhh, The beach!!, The small community, and specially the wonderful people. I would not be leaving this community. People come together, they embrace for who you are. They are also ready to learn about your unique culture background. So I love the small community and I love the fact that I can easily travel to the States even though I don't want to go there now.
- Name three things on your bucket list-
- I want to go sky diving. My wife doesn't want that.
- I want to buy a nice Yamaha R1 or Suzuki I want to drive around.
- I want to travel to Australia with my wife and kid.
- I want to go scuba diving someday
- I want to travel to space and shoot a wedding on the moon.
- What is something that few, if any people, know about you?
Seriously, I am a shy person. But I don't know how, my wife even finds that amusing that people find I am not shy. I like to work in the background really. And I think that is why I always hide myself behind the camera. I don't want to to be seen like this is the person doing the thing. Recently I got interviewed by the newspaper in Petrolia, ON and they said I should send some pictures of the project I did recently and one of myself, I sent all the pictures of the project but intentionally didn't sent my own picture. Because I do not want to show my face I just want my work go out there. I am a shy person, but people don't see it. Even when I smile I am trying to hide how shy I am.
- What local resident has influenced you the most?
Richard Beland, He really motivates me to do some really crazy stuff and yes he helped me as a person to grow my career and also he developed my talents such that I am wanting more. I don't want to settle for less, so I am really inspired by Richard. Whenever I have a story to tell, I go to Richard and I tell him I just achieved that and then Richard tell me another thing and I am like I am just starting out a game. So yeah Richard is one who wants me to do more.
- Can you tell us about yourself and your journey towards photography?
That is a very good question. My journey started in 2004. I was in university studying electrical engineering. It was an open field and there was a beautiful landscape behind us and I got my friend's phone and took a picture and I was like WOW, It wasn't just the scenery, there were some words that jumped at me. And because I am someone who sees a photograph as a sentence. When I see a photograph, I want to make a complete sense out of this photograph. Then I started seeing photographs as I walked around like scenery and it opened up to me, like they are speaking to me.
Read the second half of interview with Bisi's journey into photography here.