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Hidden Gems: Meet Aderinsola Popoola

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aderinsola Popoola.

Aderinsola, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Since I was young, it was apparent that I had a creative mind. Growing up, I had interests in photography, videography, sketching, painting, and fashion design. I once had the idea that I would be a doctor/artist/fashion designer. That childhood idea has been restructured throughout my life but my interests still remain the same!

Photography had always been apparent in my home. My family had many different types of cameras that I often enjoyed using. We had film cameras, point and shoot digital cameras, etc. In the summer after my freshman year of college, I bought my first DSLR camera for myself, the Canon EOS Rebel T3. I spent most of my summer testing out the camera and watching videos on YouTube about how to use it. When school resumed in the Fall, I asked many of my peers if they would model for me. I had so much interest from them that I had to schedule shoots weeks and months ahead. From there, things grew for me!

I built a website and portfolio and more people started getting in touch with me about my photography services. I became a student photographer for my university and had many opportunities to cover events on campus. My hobby grew into a business and I have been doing freelance portrait and event photography ever since.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Definitely not! My road has been constantly filled with obstacles that I had to overcome. It comes as a surprise to many but I did not receive formal education for photography. My educational background is science-oriented and I now work full time in a doctor’s office while I pursue a career in medicine. Being that photography was a side hustle for me, I had many setbacks. I spent many hours self-teaching and practicing photography techniques. I faced constant rejection from other photographers and employers when I reached out to them in the hopes of landing a photography internship or assistant role. It seemed like these roles always required the applicant to be in a formal photography program or have a degree in the arts and I just never fit that requirement.

In continuation, as a young, Black, and female photographer, I felt that it was a lot harder for me to rise up in the creative world. I’ve experienced many microaggressions where my qualifications as a photographer were scrutinized and challenged. It was very disheartening for me and it led to me being very critical of my work and having feelings of self-doubt. I just couldn’t understand how I could get on the same playing field as some of the other photographers that I looked up to. On top of that, social media began to eat away at my passion for photography. It was very disappointing that the photoshoots and images I put so much time and energy into weren’t well received or acknowledged when I shared them. It made me feel like my work was not good enough and I spent so much time reworking my mindset and revitalizing my passion.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Aderinsola Visions Photography specializes in nonabstract and conceptual portrait and event image curation. It is our mission to turn your vision into everlasting moments. Through our work, clients can expect us to approach each photo session with creativity and passion!

I am the CEO and Head Photographer of Aderinsola Visions Photography. I am a self-taught freelance photographer based in the Baltimore, MD-Washington, D.C. Area. I was first formally introduced to photography in 2013 during a high school elective. At that time, I got to learn the basics of photography and composition, how to shoot with SLR and DSLR cameras and how to develop and edit photos. I have a love for capturing the emotions of my subjects and spotlighting the essence of a moment or concept. I pride myself on my professionalism, attention to detail, and dedication to running a service-oriented business.

What were you like growing up?
I was very introverted growing up and constantly had my head in the clouds. When I got to know people, I opened up and became very bubbly and full of laughter. I placed a high value on my spirituality and relationship with God. I’m so thankful and blessed for all that has been provided to me to shape me into the woman I am today.

Looking back, I have always been an entrepreneur. I recall starting a ‘business’ in elementary school where I would sell crocheted/knitted items, origami, trading cards, etc., with my friends during recess. It compliments the life I have now being a business owner and pursuing my passion for entrepreneurship. I wouldn’t change my life experiences for anything and I am proud of my growth and nurtured passions.

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