Being a lady in a male-dominated profession like photography is not an easy task, but Franca Abah, a Jos-based professional and CEO Frankiss Photography tows that path and is not looking back. She shares her story in this interview.
What motivated you to take up photography?
I love the idea of keeping memories, capturing beautiful moments and the joy in them so that pushed me fully into photography.
Photography is said to be for the male folks. How do you cope in this field?
If one is to compete amongst the noise and build a career, efforts are to learn all possible about photography, not just about the skills but theories and professional practices. I try to put in my best and keep learning as often as possible. Secondly, being a lady in a male-dominated profession makes me unique. Every business is prone to challenges.
And for how long have you been in this field?
Professionally, I could say its three years.
Did you get any formal training or you taught yourself?
Yes, I got a formal training, for over six months.
What are your challenges in this business?
Some of these challenges I face are in terms of competition from other photographers. Then the high cost of photography equipment – A professional photographer is an artist, the camera is just a tool one uses to capture art. The mind and sight is more of advantage.
How do you canvass for more customers?
Getting customers has not been easy. It has basically been through social media groups, referrals, through friends and family.
Do you have people working for you in your studio?
I work with three people, two of which are apprentices and one is a permanent worker at the movement but we hope to expand beyond that.
What then does it take to succeed as a professional?
To succeed as a professional, you’ll need Good equipments, an advance knowledge of photo editing, creativity. Most importantly, be ever ready and willing to learn because photography advances as time goes by.
Having tasted this pudding, would you prefer this to a paid job?
I prefer being self employed. My reasons are simple: independence; you can decide your routine. Then there are the financial rewards – a business may become really profitable.
It also enables you to become an employer of labour. That way, you are contributing to the society.
What’s your take on youth and the rising rate of unemployment?
The rate of unemployment is alarming but then as a young person, why wait on the government or a company to employ you? There are lots of skills to venture into and make income, why not try creating jobs for others rather than being idle and waiting to be employed.
What are your words to ladies who would wish to ply the photography lane?
When the passion is there, nothing should stand in your way. Go for it and always work towards being the best.