[Passion to Purpose]: Tayo Ola, Photographer & Chef

Name: Tayo Ola
Profession: Photographer & Chef
Age: 26

I’ve contributed to my industry by offering a unique style of photography and personal knowledge of cooking to people.

At just 26 years old, Tayo Ola joins the growing tribe of men, changing the conversation about what a successful black man looks like. He’s successfully merged his love for food and photography to create “Dinner with Tayo, a pop-up dining experience where he showcases his Nigerian fusion cuisine. As a Photographer for Heed Magazine, he’s captured globally recognized brands such as 7 eleven and famous faces such as actor, Lance Gross, and Blackish star Yara Shahidi. And on top of everything else, he finds the time to independently provide photography services for weddings, fashion shows, commercial shoots, fitness and health segments.

“In my opinion, men of colored are only championed in the mainstream as athletes. The mainstream market doesn’t see enough of the other achievements men of color make, it is important to shade more light on achievements we all make,” said Ola. “My mission is to show others that people of color are not what mainstream media portrays us to be. Day by day, we are accomplishing greater things. My journey is just one of many wonderful stories that are out there—proving that people of color can coexist and be granted the same opportunities as any other ethnicities. We are business owners, doctors, lawyers, and etc. I just hope that my story can show that not all young black men are “criminals” or “thugs.”

“I think it’s very important that BE Modern Men, like myself, are represented across many platforms, because we need to spread more positive awareness about the achievement we all are making as men of color. We have the power to make a difference amongst our generation and generations to come.”

Determined to define his own rules for success, Ola thrives off of doing things differently. “I like to be different; doing things the regular way doesn’t excite me. Why be like everyone else when I can create things my own way and stand out from everyone else? “Work hard, work smart, be strategic, be consistent, be patient and humble. And my favorite is keeping God first. These are the rules that I go by. You also have to be smart and strategic with how you work. You don’t want to burn yourself out.”

When it comes to talking about his greatest personal and professional achievement: “Being recognized by Apple for my work in photography is definitely one of my defining moments thus far. Taking that leap of faith to being a full-time entrepreneur and seeing where I am now is another accomplishment. It still amazes me to know that I haven’t even hit my peak yet and these are just the beginning stages to bigger and better achievements to come ahead.”

Too often many people fail to launch a successful career because they struggle with choosing one passion over the other. Ola’s best career advice: “Don’t be a jack of a trades and a master of none.” We get so caught up in trying to do everything at once or do it all that we truly never get to master anything. In the beginning, I needed to hone in on one thing at a time—photography. So my advice to anyone is to find that one thing you are truly passionate about and become a master at it.

“Today, we live in a world that demands instant gratification. Because of this, our patience level sucks. It takes time. Be patient with yourself, be patient with your journey, and just enjoy the moments as you climb up the ladder and achieve the goals you want. And always remember to remain humble. You can be great at what you do but if your attitude sucks, you might as well say bye to everything.”

The Blackenterprise.com team salutes Tayo for forging his own path to success. We look forward to seeing him continue to blaze trails in the world of photography and food.

It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan.