This is the first of what will be a weekly blog entry called Behind the Viewfinder, where we will do a Q&A with photographers and designers who are trying to carve out their own piece of this fast-paced and competitive industry.

It is only fitting that the inaugural post of behind the viewfinder is someone who has amassed what seems to be a cult following on Instagram, someone who’s camera and editing skills is on par with some of the best photographers and digital artist around.

Tola Osokoya, @Hi_tola on Instagram is a self-tough and extremely creative photographer whose talents can be barely contained in the square box that Instagram gives us.

If Instagram is a place for more than just photographers, but creativity driven individuals, then I feel that this is only the beginning of where Tola will take us on his creative journey.


Whats your style of photography, what type of images do you identify with most.

I won’t say that I have a specific style but I get a great deal of satisfaction when I can take an image and make the viewer go on a mental journey.

Which photographers influenced you.

Since I’m self-taught, I don’t know that many but I remember as a kid watching my uncle back home in Nigeria as he developed black and white images and I loved what he did.

What technology (camera/software) do you use most?

I originally started with an iPhone and eventually upgraded to a Canon 7D. But all of my edits are done on my phone. In no particular order, I use VSCO, Afterlight and Snapseed to edit.

What motivates you to continue taking pictures

It was a hobby that grew into a passion. The love for it is what makes me keep going out to shoot.

Which is your favorite lens? Why?

I love capturing moments and emotions and the lens that I’m most successful with is the 50mm.

What camera gear do you wish you had? Why?

I love long exposures and the one gear I can’t wait to get my hands on is the filter that allows me to capture long exposure in the daytime

How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?

By constantly practicing.

Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?

I just recently started shooting ballerinas and I have to say they are my most favorite to shoot. Everything they do is so graceful.

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

9. Knowledge in Equipment l is a flaw that I feel in due time ill get a handle on.

What makes the good picture stand out from the average?

When you can convey your concept to a view without uttering a word, and he/she understand the concept behind the image then I believe you have an image that stands out above the rest.