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Life & Work with Oladipo Aluko

Today we’d like to introduce you to Oladipo Aluko.

Hi Oladipo, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started photography my sophomore year of college at NDSU. My friend John Horton gave me a digital camera. It was an old Nikon camera. The reason he gave me this camera was because my roommates were doing something creative. One of them at the time was only a graphic designer (Phondope). My other roommate was producing/engineering (Dammntc) . My boy John Horton gave me this Camera and said yeah might as well try it if everyone else is doing something. After that, I started shooting digital and hated it. I tried so hard to change my aesthetic from everyone else and I just couldn’t find my sauce. Until one day me and a couple friends shot a music video in our apartment. My friend Shaddy came through (ShaddythaShooter) and gave me a film camera. And he said “bro this shit is up next, you should try it.” The rest is history. I got my film developed and got the shots back the next day and they were fire. I got the confidence boost I needed to keep shooting and trying different things. I started going out more, taking pictures of random people, friends, anything you could think of. People started seeing my potential and asked me to shoot with them. I was charging people $20 only which was more expensive than buying and developing film but I didn’t care, I just wanted to get my hours in. A couple of years later my friends and I started traveling to places for events like Rolling Loud in Miami/LA and New York fashion week. These places changed my whole perspective on the power of photography and I started taking my profession seriously.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
When I first started photography it was really tough because this was the first time I set my mind to something else other than basketball. I really thought I was going to the NBA. I really didn’t know what my end goal was at first. I was just doing it just to fill the void of not playing a sport. Along the way, I struggled to pay for the film and get it developed. I was literally just a college student trying to get by. It was far from a smooth road but it was an experience full of learning and growth.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a creative director/photographer. I am known for my nostalgic day to day lifestyle photos. I feel like when it comes to my work you don’t know what you’re going to get. One day I’m shooting parties and the next minute I’m shooting editorial photos. When people see my art I want them to feel some type of emotion whether it’s sad, happy, confused, or calm. I just want them to feel something. My wide range of photography sets me apart from other people. When it comes to my work as an artist I want my art to be timeless. I want people 50 -100 years from now to be like “wow this is a great photo.” I am proud of how far I’ve come with photography because I am a self taught artist. I worked so hard to get to where I am but, I’m not where I wanna be just yet. I spent a lot of sleepless nights trying to figure out what I can do to make myself successful in this industry. I took a lot of Ls, spent a lot of money, and I just never gave up. I’m happy with the amount of people I have met, the friendships I’ve made and how bright my future is going to be.

What’s next?
Some plans I have for the future are being more attuned with who I am as an artist. I will also keep working with my family at Skntones to help keep growing the business. I also want to do more collaborative work with people around the city whether it’s just creative direction, photo assisting, marketing, etc. It really doesn’t matter, I just want my hands in everything around the city. I’m going to keep traveling but more so out of the country now to experience different cultures, art, and people. I have a plan to do a dope art gallery that showcases my favorite work throughout the years and drop my first ever photo book for not only myself but for the people who have been supporting me throughout the years!

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