Rani Olukayode Tahouf is a family and portrait photographer based in Lagos. “I love to tell happy stories and capture meaningful moments in an artistic way,” he says while describing himself.
He picked photography up as a hobby in 2012 when he was an undergraduate. He was inspired by landscapes and historical buildings around where he lived and wanted to document them before leaving. Rani, however, never thought he would end up as a professional photographer.
When asked about the challenges he has faced while building his career, he responds, “Where do I start? I never thought to become a professional photographer so when friends and family started paying me to cover their events and take pictures, I did not know how to charge because it was something I liked doing and it came easy to me. As time went by I realized that I had to implement some sort of business structure if I was to survive. Thank God I studied Business Management in the University. I had to do everything myself from the beginning, so I became an accountant, web developer, marketing and sales person, delivery guy etc.”
Rani Tahouf also had another big issue which was finding a unique selling point he could offer the photography market in Lagos. “To be honest, it is so saturated! Right now, my strongest selling point is my signature style of family portraits. I guarantee that no one else takes family portraits the way I do,” he reiterates.
The Lagos based family and portrait photographer usually visit art galleries in his spare time. He draws inspiration from the paintings and sculptures he finds there. “I want my work to be seen as a fusion between photography and art,” he explains.
He has been able to complete quite a few projects, but he believes the most significant one was when Jidenna came to Lagos and he had the opportunity to document his (Jidenna) stay. “It was like a dream come true because I was such a big fan, and my images circulated so many blogs and Instagram pages.”
Rani would like to own a commercial high volume studio in the future. He explains that based on research, there is such a huge market for photography in Nigeria, and he thinks he has a lot to offer to consumers in the long run. He would also like to run a platform to train youth who are serious about pursuing a career in professional photography. This is his form of participating in youth empowerment. “Right now there aren’t so many schools that teach photography, especially from the perspective of running a business. I think that is the most important aspect of it all. If you know how to take great pictures but lack the business acumen then you won’t be successful as an entrepreneur,” he concludes.
You can connect with Rani on Instagram @raniola. Also visit his website to see some of his work: www.ranitahouf.com.