routine of a photographer. Yes it is. But, what makes it extraordinary
is that Taiwo Lawal, the photographer, is totally blind.
Lawal, 35, felt her way round the tripod to our correspondent and
explained with a smile, “At the start, I kept wondering how a blind
person could learn photography. I thought it was impossible. But the
person who introduced me to it said it was possible. So, I agreed to do
She gave her consent to learn the art of
photography two years ago. Now, Lawal takes photographs like someone
that is not blind.
She continued: “I’ve learnt a lot about the lens of a camera, the view finder, LCD screen and so many parts of the camera.”
Giving an insight into how she is mastering the art of photography,
Lawal said she uses her sense of hearing and touch to take pictures.
She said, “If I want to take a picture, I would go to where the
person is, and feel his location; then I would communicate with the
person to sense the direction, as the sound of the person tells me where
he or she is.
“Also, if I want to take pictures of nature, I first feel the object
by touching it, then move back and take the picture. When I touch a
flower, for instance, I see the colours in my mind. I can also tell if
someone is happy or sad, because I know it would be reflected in the
Lawal put her skill to use as she took many shots of our correspondent and the surroundings.
“Some time ago in Ikeja, someone expressed doubt on the ability of a
blind person to take photographs. Immediately, I took my camera and
demonstrated to him,”she said, laughing.
Lawal, answered, “Whenever I take pictures, I know it would be beautiful, because I see them in my mind.”
Before photography found her, Lawal had learnt some few trades which
included: bead-making and bag-making. These took her four years.
Her photography has, however, been taking her places. Recently, she
won an award at the International Day of Persons Living with
Disabilites, which held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
“Lawal is the first blind photographer I’ve ever heard of. She’s an
inspiration,” said Mrs. Bitebo Gogo, Executive Director, Keeping It Real
Foundation, which organised the event.
Also, last year, Lawal met American Joe McNally, a globally renowned photographer at a photography exhibition.
“When we discussed, he encouraged me to continue with my work. I was
happy meeting him, because I never thought I would ever meet such
important people. Now, I no longer feel bad because I do not see. If I
were not blind, maybe I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today,” Lawal
said, adding that she wants to pursue a career in photography.
“Taking pictures makes me happy. Also, it has helped me forget my
past sorrows, when some people didn’t appreciate me and I endured a lot
of insults,” she said.