Entrepreneur Spotlight: Kehinde Yusuf and her Journey to Build a Photography StartUp

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Entrepreneur Spotlight: Kehinde Yusuf and her Journey to Build a Photography StartUp

“I am a young lady with little words. I speak with my photography which is my own way of connecting with the society at large”- Kehinde Yusuf.

Our entrepreneur spotlight this week is on Kehinde Yusuf the Founder of Ken Yousuff Photography. Capturing people and everyday life was something Kehinde developed a passion for while in her 3rd year studying Sociology at the Tai Solarin College of Education. She had taken a journalism course which required her class to get pictures and it was on that assignment that her insight into the world of photography and what would eventually become a hidden passion bagan.

Kehinde describes her journey as one that was meant to be. She never looked back after that and went straight into buying various types of cameras and photography equipments over the years while at the same time taking photography lessons and courses when she could. As one who is very shy, Kehinde derives great joy in capturing “Kodak moments” and freezing time within a lens frame. One of her earliest photobook collection was capturing her nephew’s early years. From when he was a baby, taking his first steps and up to his first days at school.

From some of her main collections, one can easily tell that she enjoys capturing various aspects of life and living in Lagos and Nigeria. She recently did a narrative about capturing life within Makoko, one of the slum settlement areas in Lagos. In her own words, her intent was to capture everyday life and living of Makoko residents despite the everyday challenges they face.

 

Despite the gradual increase in Kehinde’s clientele, she realized that giving herself full-time to this passion also meant that she needed to generate sustainable income from it. Essentially, she needed to build a proper business structure for her to be able to scale her idea and develop a business model that would enable her transition her passion into a revenue generating and a profit making venture. Her sister asked her to look into the Aspiring Entrepreneurs Program (AEP) at FATE Foundation to which she subsequently enrolled. She describes the AEP experience as one of her best decisions in 2017. “AEP taught me so much, from knowing how to structure my business, to record & book keeping, and expenditure & finance tracking”. She also mentioned that her client referral network grew as she got a lot of additional engagements from and through her classmates at FATE Foundation.

Kehinde captured so many beautiful moments from her class. FATE Foundation was able to use some of the pictures she took for the AEP 60 & 61 call for applications. She has also enrolled in the 1-year FATE mentoring program where she is working with her mentor, Dr. Uyi Ima-Edomwonyi to put in place lessons she has learnt and develop a well structured business. Her sister who advised her to enroll joined the AEP 59 class while another sister of hers is expected to start with the 61 class.

 

 

Shortly after the completion of her AEP, Kehinde enrolled and was selected as the first runner up for the maiden edition of “The Fashola Photography Foundation Exhibition”. The program organized by the former Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola received over 1000 entries.

 

 

After being initially shortlisted for the top 13 photography entries, she took part in a 6-Day program organized by the foundation and facilitated by A-list photographers including TY Bello , Shola Animashaun, Lukesh Olaniupekun and Yetunde Ayeni Babaeko after which they exhibited some of their work for charity. Kehinde and the overall winner will be going on an all-expense paid trip including full-time scholarship support to the New York Film Academy for a 4-week photography course.

 

 

Kehinde had this profund words as we wrapped up our short interview for this piece: “Consistency is critical. Continue showing signs of improvement at what you do: look for information, explore and enhance yourself because you don’t know who is watching”.

We are proud of this great milestone for Kehinde to further improve her photography skills and look forward to following and supporting her entrepreneurial journey.

For more information on Ken Yousuff photography, please visit @ken.yousouff on Instagram and @Ken.Yousuff Photography on Facebook.

 

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