Culture is unique to the owners: by Ayoade Aderinto

Our cultural identity is gradually fading away and we need to get it back, Ayoade Aderinto argues while in conversation with Random Photo Journal, as well as with his photography on reading them. The objective of this argument, we believe, is to reinstate in the minds of everyone how important it is to preserve culture, to talk about it – the African heritage – and of course to educate the global village on how to have a change of perspective about heritage as well as revolutionize the entire habit surrounding such conversations using five simple characteristics: Culture is to be learned, shared, based on symbols, integrated, and allowed dynamism. 

Hello Ayoade and welcome to Random Photo Journal! Briefly introduce yourself, What do you do and what got you started on your photography journey?

I feel ecstatic to be here. My name is Ayoade Aderinto also known as Koregold, and I’m a self-taught portrait and Documentary photographer. I am Nigerian and based in Nigeria at the moment hoping to explore the world through photography. Photography for me started during my University days when I accompanied a friend to his jobs in school, then I got drawn to the craft. I thought to myself ‘’I can do this, put my mind to it’’, made Google and YouTube my tutor and here I am today, it’s a journey and I am still on it. I call myself a self-taught photographer because I can remember learning the basics myself. At first, I contemplated learning from a senior colleague, but when I had an idea of the cost, I had to put myself to work. And I also thank God for letting me meet good people that guided me.

What is the basis of your photography, why do you think your work is necessary?

I get attracted to people, places, and cultures naturally. I’m drawn to the faces of people that reflect their culture and their roots. Things like this make me take out my camera to capture life as it is.

I loved History in secondary school. Sometimes I’d think to myself, ‘’who are these people that preserved this knowledge we are using as the basis of our knowledge?’’ I feel my name should also be put into the books as one of the people that preserved the culture and way of life of different people.

What message would you like to get across to the general public with your work?

Culture is rapidly fading due to the continuous advancement in Technology and Africans are letting go of various things that make us Africans. I want my work to always remind people that culture is unique and no one can do it better than the owners of the culture.

How long have you been a photographer?

I have been photographing for 5 years but I’d say I started photographing professionally in August 2019.  

Who are some of your photography inspirations?

 I have a lot of people I draw inspiration from. List a few, Bayo Omoboriowo, The Adebayomi, Tolani Alli, Pete Souza, Steve McCurry, Ademola Olaniran, World Press Photographers, and the likes.

What difficulties do you face while making street pictures?

I’d say fear of the street itself, a lot of people can be hostile to you while photographing on the street because they feel that’s the right thing to do. I have been in a situation like that in the past and it wasn’t a good one but it’s part of the job we can’t avoid. 

In your opinion, what makes a good photograph?

Personally, a good photograph is what the artist says it is. Photography gives you an opportunity to explore and these days we do not just create photographs but we create Art which are sellable. A random person can look at an image because it’s not sharp and think it ain’t good but when the photographer explains the photograph, he/she comes to the realization of the masterpiece the photographer has created.

Do you have any upcoming photography projects that you would like everyone to know about?

 Definitely, expect a lot from me, especially projects that talk a lot about culture and places.