We’ve all heard the old adage, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, but Jide Alakija, world class photographer extraordinaire, takes this thought to a whole new level of interest. With an eye for marvelous color and an aesthetic that is both eclectic and completely original, Jide travels the world capturing stories and sagas, armed with a few good lenses, his camera and an incredible insight and sense of life that infuses his every shot.
Vastly talented and respected for his creative expertise the world over, Jide is particularly sought after by the African royalty and social elite from Manhattan to London, Europe and beyond, having traveled even as far as Sri Lanka for his distinguished clientele. After being awed and wowed by the scope and depth of Jide’s luxe wedding portfolio, we jumped at the chance to go deeper with the engineer-turned-photographer. Where does his inspiration come from? What’s the most interesting thing he’s done to get THE shot? What exotic destination is on the horizon?
We love the heart behind the lens of these phenomenal photographs, and we just know that you will, too! Sit back and absorb Jide’s refreshing vision and captivatingly activated picture planes. This taste of something a little outside of the box is the perfect antidote to the cookie-cutter wedding album and seen-it-a-million-times-over shots.
Be pleasantly surprised and enjoy this little encounter with artistic mastermind Jide Alakija– we certainly did!
TBC: WHEN AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A PHOTOGRAPHER?
JA: I took up photography as a hobby in November 2004 whilst I was writing a PhD Thesis in Biomechanics. I did this because I had an interest in capturing beauty and design. I also had quite a bit of time on my hands.
TBC: WHAT EXPERIENCE CAN A BRIDE EXPECT WHEN WORKING WITH YOU?
JA: I’ve been told that I am a very friendly and calming person. I love to interact with people and make them feel at ease around me. It’s not just about capturing the beautiful stories that is of interest to me. It’s about sharing in the joy and happiness of the bride (and groom).
TBC: WHAT THREE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE?
JA: Dramatic, thought-provoking and joyful.
TBC: WHAT ARE THE TOP 5 QUESTIONS A BRIDE, OR COUPLE, SHOULD ASK DURING THEIR RESEARCH FOR A PHOTOGRAPHER?
JA: How did you get into wedding photography? How much experience do you have shooting weddings? Are you comfortable shooting in low-lit conditions? What do I get for my money? What happens if you can’t make the wedding as a result of an accident?
TBC: ARE YOU AVAILABLE TO BRIDES OUTSIDE OF THE U.S?
JA: I frequently shoot weddings abroad and love to travel. Yes, I am.
TBC: HOW MANY WEDDINGS DO YOU SHOOT A YEAR?
JA: Last year I shot 30 weddings. The year before, I shot 35 weddings.
TBC: WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATIONAL IDEAS FROM?
JA: Firstly, I’m heavily inspired by the moment. Most of my ideas come from the works of many great documentary photographers such as Sebastao Salgado and Steve McCurry.
TBC: HOW DO YOU MAKE THE BRIDE AND GROOM, AS WELL AS THEIR BRIDAL PARTY AND FAMILIES, FEEL COMFORTABLE IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA?
JA: First and foremost, I make sure that we are all well-acquainted. I spend time speaking to different individuals, or the bridal party, before I start working with them. It’s important that they feel comfortable around me so that they can forget the camera is there. Building trust is vital for me to capture the images they want.
TBC: WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED AS YOU’VE PHOTOGRAPHED WEDDINGS OVER THE YEARS?
JA: The best lesson I’ve learnt is to trust my gut and instinct more than anything else. I’ve been hired because my client believes I am the best person to get what they want.
TBC: WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A COUPLE ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY?
JA: I would advise them to enjoy their day to the fullest. Not to let anything or anyone take their joy away from them. It will help me make the best, and most memorable, pictures of them on their day.
TBC: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ELEMENTS TO SHOOT DURING THE WEDDING?
JA: Portraiture and The Decisive Moment.
TBC: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RECENT PHOTO YOU’VE TAKEN AND WHAT WAS THE CREATION PROCESS BEHIND IT? WHAT MOVED YOU ABOUT THE IMAGE?
JA: I recently captured a very tearful mother as her daughter (bride) was walking down the Aisle. The bride stopped just before she went to her groom to hold her mother’s hand. It was a moment that even got me slightly teary-eyed.
TBC: WHAT WORDS OF WISDOM WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEWLY ENGAGED BRIDE ABOUT MARRIAGE?
JA: Enjoy it and communicate as much as possible. Be open to eachother and be sensitive to eachother’s needs.
TBC: GIVE US YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE(S).
“If you wait, people will forget your camera and the soul will drift up into view.”Steve McCurry
“In a leap of faith, failure has to be an option, but fear is not.”James Cameron (Director of Avatar)
TBC: IF NOT IN YOUR PROFESSION AS A WORLD RENOWNED PHOTOGRAPHER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
JA: I can’t think of any other thing I would be doing. Most likely it would be a Psychology.
TBC: WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY (PROFESSIONALLY, AND/OR PERSONALLY)?
JA: Being able to inspire other photographers. Being told that I have created images that are phenomenal to my client (basically, blowing their minds)
TBC: TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT NOBODY WOULD GUESS.
JA: I used to cycle 30 miles daily because I was obsessed with cycling.
TBC: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO TRAVEL TO?
JA: South Africa, Brazil and Singapore.
TBC: WHAT ARE YOUR MUST-HAVES WHEN YOU TRAVEL?
JA: A camera, a laptop, an internet connection, clean, running hot water and a soft bed.
TBC: WHAT IS YOUR ONE FAVORITE INDULGENCE?
JA: Trying out new restaurants.
TBC: IF YOU COULD PICK ANYWHERE IN THE WOLD TO SHOOT, WHERE WOULD IT BE?