The beautiful Bisola Ijalana is the cover of the debut issue of FABMUMNG monthly e-cover. She is the Creative Director of M12BabyStudio and a yummy mummy of two. Her job entails capturing the essence and purity of life through her newborn, baby and maternity Photography. In this chat she lets us in on life as a mother, wife and a foremost children photographer in Nigeria
Please take us through an average day in your life?
I wake in the morning and prepare my first son for school. I take my second son who is a year old to work with me every day. At work, I have my photo-shoots slated for the day. I sometimes have 2-3 photo-shoots in a day. Some may be at the studio or at the clients’ home. Whenever I don’t have a photo-shoot, I am editing, clients’ pictures. I have employees and interns, so as part of my daily routine; I give them various assignments and supervise them. I also read and respond to enquiries via email, text messages and social media platforms. I do not run a walk-in studio so all our photo-shoots are planned with the parents. It could be a maternity, newborn, baby, kids or family shoot. We discuss the theme, costumes, props to used etc for the shoot and fix a date for the shoot.
You are a wife, mother and a fabmumpreneur. How do you juggle these three roles almost seamlessly?
I will say it may be difficult to juggle the three roles if you do not have a supportive family. But, I am very blessed to have a very supportive husband.
Running a child photography business is no walk in the park for a Nigerian mum. What is your why?
Child Photography comes with its own challenges especially since you are shooting babies and little children. Children, especially babies can be cranky and throw tantrums. It can sometimes be difficult to predict the time it will take you to photograph a child because they can sometimes be very uncooperative. The shoot may take a much longer time than I initially planned. I have to calm the child, get him or her in the desired poses, get the mum the feed the child etc. Shooting children is quite different from shooting adults in terms of getting their attention and cooperation. I sometimes shoot twins and triplets. You can then imagine what it feels like to get three babies to be calm. In spite of the challenges that go with children photography I love my specialty. Over the years, with practice, training and learning from renowned international baby & children photographers I have mastered the art.
In what ways does your husband complement your roles as a wife and a fabmumpreneur?
I have a very understanding and supportive husband who has played a key role in my life and career. He is a caring husband and father. He understands the nature of my work. Sometimes, when I am very busy with photo-shoots especially on weekends he supports my role as a mum and my career. We understand each other very well. There are times he has accompanied me for my photo-shoots and he offers advice on how I can make my business a success.
I have a very understanding and supportive husband who has played a key role in my life and career. He is a caring husband and father. He understands the nature of my work. Sometimes I am very busy with photo-shoots especially on weekends. He supports my role as a mum and my career. We understand each other very well. There are times he has accompanied me for my photo-shoots and he offers advice on how I can make my business a success.
What are some of the things motherhood has taught you?
Motherhood has taught me to appreciate God the more. I always thank God for my kids. When I remember my joy when I knew I was pregnant, my labour journeys up to delivery, I always have cause to thank God. God has given my husband and me our children to care for and raise as Godly children.
What do you consider to be the most fulfilling thing about what you do?
The joy of knowing that I am putting smiles on the faces of parents by creatively capturing their bundles of joy with my camera makes me fulfilled. The joy of knowing that the M12 brand is a household name in baby and children photography in Nigeria also gladdens my heart. Finally, the joy of knowing that I am a source of inspiration to some established and aspiring entrepreneurs and photographers excites me.
How do you relax? Do you get to spend me-time?
Once in a while I find time to relax. I go to a restaurant or fast food alone or with my family. I sometimes travel out of the country.
Once in a while I find time to relax. I go to a restaurant or fast food alone or with my family. I sometimes travel out of the country
Is your husband a hands-on-father when it comes to raising the children?
My husband does his best. He is a loving father. He loves our children and he is always there for them.
What support system do you have?
I have a great support system personally and professionally. My family, friends, fans, media platforms etc have been of immense support to me.
Who has had the greatest influence on your role as a mum and why?
My late mum has been my greatest influence. In spite of the fact that she died when my siblings and I were still young, she taught us the spirit of love and care. She imbibed Christian values, which have helped me tremendously in my role as a mother.
What do you like the most about your business?
I enjoy my life as a baby & children photographer. It has been so much fun for me. My speciality in baby & children photography in Nigeria has given me recognition, accolades, patronage from families, professional colleagues, friends & fans. Early in my career as a photographer, I came to the realization that ‘You cannot be everything to everyone’. I saw an opportunity in the market place-a need to specialise in a particular field of photography and I decided to specialise in shooting babies. The M12 brand defines Baby Photography in Nigeria.
How will you describe your motherhood experience and what is your parenting style?
My motherhood experience has been fun. I have 2 boys and I love them so much. I make out time to perform my role as a mother to them. My first son sometimes stays with me during my photo shoots when he is not in school. He tries to assist in his own little way. He will sometimes suggest props to use. He is beginning to understand mummy’s craft and is always willing to assist. My parenting style is to raise up my children in the way of God.
It’s never easy being a mom trying to juggle a full-time job with a family life what are your top tips for achieving your work-life balance?
In simple terms, I will say pursue a career that will not negatively affect your role as a wife and mother.
In simple terms, I will say pursue a career that will not negatively affect your role as a wife and mother
Any advice for future mums?
Motherhood is a thing of great joy. Children are wonderful. I will advise future mums to be positive role models to their children. They need to raise Godly children who will be a source of pride to their parents, their generation and their society.
What is your personal style?
I am a very simple person and this reflects in my fashion choices.
How do you measure your success as a parent?
I measure my success by how well I am playing my role as a mother and as a wife.
Who is a fabulous mum?
A fabulous mum is a mum who has been able to have a good work-life balance. She is a success in her career, a loving wife and a caring mother.
What do you love about fabmumng?
I love Fabmumng for providing a platform for Mothers to share their motherhood and career experiences and also for providing tips on motherhood and parenting.