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Published On: Sat, Jul 20th, 2013

Delta Born Journalist Odita Sunday Takes Photography to another Level

Mr Sundat Odita admiring his works in his photograhpy studio

In the context of journalism, Sunday Odita is a household name both in Nigeria and Diaspora. The Auchi Polythecnic Mass Communication graduate and product of Matson Photo Academy has added another feather to his ego in the field of photograghy with the launch of Razor Media Photography. In this interview, Odita tells Editor-in-Chief of Urhobotoday Oghenekevwe Laba how he gets to this stage

(L-R) Mr Sunday Odita presenting his certificate from Matson School of Photography to Area 'A' Commander Victoria Island an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Imohinmi Edgal

May we know you well sir?
My name is Odita Sunday. But my studio name is Razor Media Photography.
As a journalist its amazing you have been able to come with a power photo studio of this standard. What is the secret?
I am a Lagos based journalist. I have always told people that in journalism, your story is not complete without a photograph. Although, when we were being taught photo journalism, advanced photography and other related courses at Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State, where I graduated, we were not taking those courses seriously. We never knew that the people that packaged Mass Communication curriculum knew that you cannot divorce photography from real journalism.

Child Abuse; One of the action pictures of Mr Sunday Odita

After my graduation and conclusion of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and got an appointment with The Guardian newspaper, I dumped the camera which I used for practical in school thinking o my stories will sell me. But I later discovered that my story alone will not sell me. Any story that is not matched with a photograph is a dead story because of general notion of seeing is believing. There was a period I wrote a story on a lady mechanic in Lagos that is beating men to their job. I only did the story without showing people pictures of how lady mechanic was doing her mechanic job. The story did not make sense. Although I had gone far in my profession when I realized it, I had to go for further training and do a fresher course in photography.
At Matson Photo Academy. The Proprietor of Matson Photo Academy is a product of the London school of photography. Immediately I realized it, I picked up my camera again and ever since then my career in journalism has never remain the same. Any story I produce go with a picture. I match my story with photograph. That has made a lot of difference in my writings.
You have an attractive, well equiped and studio in an attractive location. What does it take you to establish it?
Well, it has been a lot of hard work. In-fact, I was really saving my salary to ensure that I establish something like this. I did not just open it. I had to go for some courses at the PAN African University to develop myself so that I give my clients the best in photography.


What are your products?
Well, we are into events photography. We go out to cover events. My photographers are all over places. We give unique and special touch to events. We also cover political rallies , weddings, birthday parties and society events in general. We add value to events. We are not blue collar photographers. We are white collar photographers. Members of my team are graduates. We know the value of our teaming clients and we treat them accordingly. . We have a lot of products ranging from classical photo framing, laminated photo book, company product catalogue and a whole lot.
Who are the big shots that have patronized your organization?
We make money mostly through photo exhibition. We do this especially in the weekend when I do not go to work. We also attend events during the weekends when I do not go to work. We provide photography services for Lagos State Police Command and other police departments. Photography and journalism has taking me far and wide. It has taking me to Senegal, Cameroun, Ghana and some other African countries.
Good! You have really moved ahead in photography. What would you say are your challenges?
My challenges are not insurmountable. I do not see challenges. I see opportunities. There are a lot of opportunities in photography that are yet to be harnessed. Photography is capable of providing 50,000 jobs for Nigerian youths. Most people practicing photography are not practicing ethical photography. It is not just learning how to snap. Anybody can carry camera and snap. But what makes the difference between our own photo organisation and any other photo organisation is that we practice ethical photography. We do not go to events and begin to ask for drinks or food. If you do it, you are working against the ethic of the profession. We do not go to events and snap people while they are eating. It is against universal standard in photography. But all this blue collar photographers do it. You don’t snap peoples’ privacy, except you are permitted to so. It is against the ethics of the profession.
What part of Nigeria are you from?
I am from Onicha Ugbo, Aniocha North local government area of Delta state. When it comes to my profession, I have gone through a lot of courses. First of all, I attended the famous Pilgrims Baptist Grammar School in Issele-Uku, Delta state. Everything about me started from Boji Boji Owa, Agbor, where I attended Ndala Primary school after which I left to Pilgrims Baptist Grammar school in Issele-Uku. From there, I gained admission into Federal Polytechnic Auchi, where I did my OND and my HND in mass communication, broadcast option. After after completing my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) in Lagos I got a job with Guardian newspaper. I later attended Matson Photography Academy, Lekki, Lagos. I also attended the PAN African University Lagos Business School. And by the Grace of God, soon I would be going for a course specifically in photography and photo journalism at the Ghana Institute of journalism

Mr Sunday Odita

As a journalist, what plan do you have for the future?

My plan is to take my talent to my place of birth. That is taking a replica of my studio to Delta State where people would not just come to snap photography, but it would serve as a cultural museum where you come and see photography of Delta culture. It will be a one stop photography museum where photograph of every culture will be represented. When you come you will know that this people are practicing photography with a difference. The culture of the Ijaws, Isokos, Ukwani, Ika, Aniocha and Urhobos among other tribes will be represented. One thing about Delta State is that it is a state that God has naturally brought together and nothing can divide us..
What do you think you can offer to politicians and those at the elms of government affairs in term of good photography?
Thank you for that question. There are a lot of things we can do for them. We can create photo catalogue of the services they have rendered to their people. We can do photo documentary for them. We have things to offer the fresh politicians. You must have served your grass root one way or the other. Just tell us the story, we will put in pictures and videos. We will come out with something that you have never seen before. We do lovely photo exhibitions of your achievements. We tell stories with photograph and present it to your constituency because they say action speaks louder than words.
How can your clients get across to you?

My clients can get to through my telephone number 2348023562718. They can as well contact me at my Studio: Razor Media Photography, 10, Buraimoh Street, off Ikorodu Road, Obanikoro, Lagos.
For that already in government, how can you project their achievement through photography?
A whole lot of reasons why people blame them are because they do not see what they are doing, and are performing. They neglect photography. You are presenting a cheque to someone with a kidney problem in general hospital in Asaba as a councilor of the local government constituency and you leave out a photographer. It is not about mapping it and filing it somewhere; it is about mapping and documenting it properly like a book and put it in a library. People will come and read it. This is known as photo documentary.
Our prices are negotiable.
What advice do you have for the upcoming youths?
I have a program for them which I do not want to air now. My advice for them is that they should get something doing. I have a program to better the lives of Delta youths as to divert their mind from criminality activities. It would soon come into form. I advice them to stay away from crime it does not pay. Get involve and get busy, you would not even remember there is crime.
Being a crime reporter how can the government use photography to reduce crime?
Like I said before, we have over 50,000 jobs opportunities in photography, if they want to take people out of crime in Delta state, let them consult me, I would engage the youths and before you know it u would never heart of kidnapping again.

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