A development photography expert, Osaze Efe, has urged photographers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to document stories from the capital for national development.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Efe, who is the convener of the ongoing Abuja International Photo Festival, said this as part of a panel discussion on the importance of photography in development.
The event, supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Swedish Embassy engaged photographers and photography enthusiasts in conversations around visual storytelling.
Efe complained of the state of the Abuja documentary photography community, noting that in spite of the abundance of photographers in the capital, there was a shortage of visual documentation.
He said: “Most times when there is a story to document about Abuja, the home-based photographers are nowhere to be found.
“There are hundreds of stories hidden in plain sight that can be told in a matter of clicks. Photography is a very important tool for national development, which will not happen if we don’t tell our own stories.
“We need clusters of Abuja photography communities to tell the stories in Abuja through photography.
“The city is an oxymoron with empty estates and homeless people, an interesting transportation system and villages embedded in luxury towns.
“It is heart-breaking how photographers from other climes are usually called upon to document the stories of the capital,” he said.
Efe also advised photographers to diversify their foray into various branches of photography aside events and popular wedding photography.
He urged them to examine the social and economic benefits of standing out, helping development and achieving world acclaim with a focus on photography for development.
Speaking earlier, veteran photographer, Uche James-Iroha, tasked participants on examining the real importance of telling visual stories.
He said, “What are the challenges of memory? Why do we need memory and what is the essence of capturing the memory in photography, we need documentary proof”.
NAN reports that the personal photographer to President Muhammadu Buhari, Bayo Omoboriowo, explained the importance of improving photography skills and presentation.
He said, “You can’t dress anyhow as a photographer. You need to look presentable to be taken seriously. Also, find time to hone and improve your skills.”
NAN reports that the 2019 photography festival, tagged ‘Engaging Realities: Examining Visual Stories In A Global world”, also featured master classes, exhibition and a photo walk.