This Nigerian food photographer Fasanmi Afolabi, known as Fola Stag, has crafted a space for himself in the culinary and photography space. After discovering his passion for food, the Business Administration graduate took the bold step of stopping his studies for two years without informing anybody.
This bold step led to the making of the commercial food and portrait photographer and chef Fola Stag, who earns $45,000 to $60,000 yearly.
Choosing the food and photography path
The Nigerian-born chef developed his flair for food while growing up with his mother. He said, “My mum is one of the reasons I love cooking. She lets me stay with her in the kitchen and learn one or two things and at the same time gist with her, which created a tight bond between us until she died.” His love for cooking and his creative way of sketching and doodling led to the habit of cooking and taking pictures.
Although he loves cooking, he took it up officially in 2014 when he bought his first camera. In the past, he took pictures with his phone camera whenever he cooked until he decided to try it out using his camera. After taking the picture, he posted it on social media, and it received tons of positive feedback and reactions from people.
With this, he further harnesses his craft by enrolling in a culinary school. Although needed, he said it was the most expensive purchase he had ever made in his life. According to him, “That shit is expensive, Jesus. I knew I had a nag for food photography and wanted to perfect my art, so I had to get it done even though my friends contributed to it as a birthday gift. The culinary school costs about $500 for the course I study. The full cost is about $2400.”
This eventually paid off for the food photographer. Apart from working with different brands, one of the turning points in his career was when he worked with Mercedes Benz. He said, “I got a direct message from an old friend from school. I got and shot the job with my friend. They paid us in cash. Huge cash I will never forget.”
Life and future plans when not working
He says, “In my free time, I sleep, eat, play games, cook, create new recipes and personal content. At times hang out with friends.
For the future, “I plan to open my restaurant, travel around the world, try different foods and spices, meet different chefs, and talk and learn more about foods. I am also trying out acting. I feel that is another passive income.”
Fola said one thing life taught him was to invest in people. Sometimes, it is not necessarily about money but having the right attitude for every situation.
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