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Nigerian Photographers Create Body to Cater for the Rights and Welfare of its Members

Nigerian Photographers Create Body to Cater for the Rights and Welfare of its Members

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A pivotal gathering of major stakeholders in the Nigerian photography industry recently held its inaugural meeting at the George Osodi Centre for Photography in Lagos Nigeria.

Under the aegis of Nigeria Society of Photographers, the meeting themed: Uniting and Empowering the Nigerian Photography Community was focused on creating a unified advocacy and regulatory body for all lens-based artists in Nigeria. The meeting discussed the establishment of the Nigeria Society for Photographers, a body envisioned to unite and strengthen the professionals’ vibrant community. The body will set standards for best practices, engage the government while advising on policies, push for vertical and horizontal partnerships to grow the industry as well as cater for the rights and welfare of lens-based artists.

The photography business in Nigeria has witnessed remarkable growth in recent years, driven by an enthusiastic and creative youth population. Advances in technology and digitization have further propelled the profession, transforming it from a vocation once regarded as artisanal into a dynamic field attracting numerous talented individuals. However, alongside this growth, the industry faces several challenges, which include:

First is the proliferation of Photographers. With the widespread availability of cameras, distinguishing professional photographers from amateurs has become increasingly difficult, necessitating a formal body to maintain standards.
Secondly is the security and intimidation of practitioners. Photographers often encounter intimidation and insecurity while on the job, highlighting the need for collective support advocacy.

And finally is the issue of Copyright infringements. The unauthorized use of photographers’ works remains a significant concern, calling for a unified approach to protecting intellectual property rights.
Parts of the objectives for setting up the new body are, to create a robust association dedicated to advancing the interests of photographers across the country. Unification of the Photography Community, to foster a sense of unity and collaboration among photographers, providing a platform for networking and mutual support.

To develop strategies for protecting the rights of photographers in ensuring their safety while working and to also uphold professional standards within the industry, ensuring quality excellence.

The meeting sets in motion various modalities that will integrate every lens-based talent in Nigeria and help government and organizations alike to understand the industry and grow investment opportunities within the sector. Mr. George Osodi in his opening remark spoke about the opportunities within collaboration, while Mr. Ifeanyi Oputa and Dayo Adedayo emphasised the importance of joint coordinated advocacy, Don Barber, Yagazie Eguare and Ade Adekola went further to expatiate on the need for structure and collective public-private sector partnership in harnessing the unlimited business and revenue opportunities within the sector. The meeting which was anchored by Kola Oshalusi suggests the importance of industry-wide participation while considering the value and cultural system of the Nigerian creative Industry. It went further to set up a working committee to spearhead an industry-wide growth conversation.

It had in attendance were, among others, Mr. George Osodi (Founder George Osodi Centre for Photography) spearheading the initiative, Mr. Dayo Adedayo (Founder, of the Dayo Adedayo Photgraphy Experience Centre) , Mr. Chris Ifeanyi Oputa (CEO Studio 24), Mr. Don Barber, Dr. Timipriye Willis Amar, Yagazie Eguare (Director Gazmadustudi and GAZ education), Mr. Ade Adekola, Yakubu D. Mohammed (LASPAN General Secretary), Mr. Kola Oshalusi (Convener Business of Photography Conference), Princess Alaba Igbaroola (Chairperson Photojournalists Association of Nigeria Lagos Chapter), Kelechi Amadi Obi (Kelechi Amadi Obi Studios), Omoregie Osakpolor, Adolphus Opara and a host of other Visual Artists from across the country.

The Photojournalists Association of Nigeria, PJAN, was ably represented by an 8-man strong delegation led by its chairperson, Princess Igbaroola.

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