By Fatimah Bakare-Dickson
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Wildlife can be fun to watch on national geography, the efforts the Production crew puts into it cannot be quantified. It takes courage, hard work and determination to get wild animals filmed.
This aspect of Photography is not appreciated in Nigeria like other nations. The frustration in filming these animals in Nigeria and the intellectual theft that comes after this hard work is not encouraging.
My friend carved a niche for himself in the area of wildlife photography, he has won a few notable awards in the field but for his likes in the wild bringing us still images of wild animals in Nigeria, they are all tempted to leave Nigeria for a better life, pay and most importantly good working conditions.
In a sane society, photographers are payed to take pictures of animals in the wild for commercial purposes especially tourism. These pictures are basically seen on Safaris, airline tickets, web pages or any form of advertisement and for knowledge purposes.
In Nigeria, when you call yourself a photographer, the first thing that comes to mind is “where is your studio?” A lot of people do not know that photography does not starts and end with celebrations.
My friend, the freelance Photographer, has been arrested about five times for taking pictures. the Police do not have an understanding of what it means to be a freelance wildlife photographer. They often believe he wants to sale the animals, so he needs to take pictures of them and send to customers. Something needs to be done in educating those who ordinarily should know.
However, he has few collections of Gorillas in the Nigeria wild forest…it took him days to get them photographed as they are sensitive animals.
This hard work was posted online without a dime given to him by one of the major ministries in charge of tourism.
He saw his images and he quickly confronted them. he was told he has been given credit for his work so they are sorry for the use thereby it was removed after few hours.
When a Governor’s child for example is getting married, we all know how much it will cost them to get a celebrity photographer for the occasion but when it comes to what will sale Nigeria in good light it should be done free of charge.
Whenever you are paid to handle a social media account that generates revenue, always source for your original materials yourself. Giving credit is not enough, in cases even a stipend is respectful if you cannot pay someone to go into the wild and take pictures for you.
Some of us have pictures online that can be downloaded to teach or for entertainment purposes but not to fill in for other people’s paid jobs
In our Local Nigerian parlance, Monkey de work, baboon de chop.