Temilade Adelaja

Temilade Adelaja

Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos, Nigeria
“Photography has no language barrier - everyone can understand pictures.”


I shoot breaking news, general news and features.

One Shot

“I was on the phone with my best friend when I got a call from my editor to go and cover the incident. I felt the adrenaline rush through me as I picked up my camera, lenses, batteries, memory cards and laptop. I rushed to the scene on a bike without thinking. At that moment, there was nothing more important than getting to the location on time. When I arrived at the scene, I could hear people screaming, the visibility was poor from all the dust from the rubble which made it difficult to access the damage. I was destabilized. I decided to climb a truck to see properly and I started shooting. I was scared and sad but at the same time, I knew a lot was riding on the images I had to make. Nothing prepares you in life to see multiple dead children. The adrenaline was constantly pumping from start to finish.”


A framed portrait of my parents and I always hung on the wall of our living room, and is my earliest memory of photography. I found this special because thanks to photography, I was able to know how my parents dressed while growing up, how they looked while they were younger and also, how cultures have evolved. It has given me the opportunity to appreciate the life before me.

I attended a summer photography workshop to learn the basics, and became fascinated with the medium. Afterwards, I interned in photography for about two years, and am still learning everyday through practice and study. I chose to become a photojournalist because I realised it allowed me to explore different lifestyles and culture. Witnessing the human condition inspires me.

I documented my department’s social week during tertiary education. That first assignment was an eye-opening experience as I took pictures for an average of 16 hours each day.

Covering breaking news excites me the most, because I love the spontaneity and adrenaline rush.

I would tell a photojournalist starting out now to remain focused and never let their fire go out. Keep fuelling your spirit with whatever inspires you, and above all, read. Never stop studying.

I respect female journalists covering war zones. They inspire me. Lynsey Addario is a female journalist that I respect the most because she covers war zones. It’s tough to imagine a job that’s more harrowing, or more important, than being a photographer covering conflicts, violence, and natural disasters on the ground.