UT student runs business, taking grad photos across Texas

Aaron Boehmer, Life&Arts Desk Editor

Afolabi Oyewuwo said he can learn a lot about a person in an hour. 

While taking their portrait, Oyewuwo spends time with his clients, learning not only their best angles but also who they are as a person. 

“When it comes to photographing people, I like making people smile,” Oyewuwo said. “When you see a good picture of yourself, the first thing you do is smile. I like (giving) people that feeling.” 

Oyewuwo runs Afo’s Photos, a photography business specializing in portraiture from graduation shoots to professional headshots. As a sixth-year civil engineering student, Oyewuwo currently takes one class each semester in order to focus on maintaining and growing his business. 

The Austin-based photographer takes graduation shoots for a wider range of Texas students each year. Starting out only taking photos for UT graduates, Oyewuwo said he now takes graduation photos for students at every major Texas university, including Texas A&M, Baylor, Texas State and more. 

One of Oyewuwo’s first unofficial clients, finance alumnus Noble Obriki, said he first met Oyewuwo freshman year. During this time, Oyewuwo photographed various student organizations and campus events for free. 

“We laugh at some of the pictures he took of me freshman year compared to the pictures he’s taken now,” Obriki said. “To be one of his first unofficial clients and then to see him now doing hundreds of undergrad shoots every semester is amazing.” 

Obriki and Oyewuwo grew closer as line brothers for the Epsilon Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a historically Black fraternity within the National Pan-Hellenic Council. With Oyewuwo working as the fraternity chapter president earlier in his college career, Obriki said he sees similarities between how Oyewuwo led the fraternity and the way he runs his business now. 

“It’s kind of funny that Afo does run a business,” Obriki said. “He was a very stern president. To see the parallel between how he runs his business — he’s very to-the-tee with stuff — it doesn’t surprise me after being under his leadership.” 

Obriki said joining Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. provided him with a brotherhood he continues to cherish today. Fellow line brother Maxwell Gitau, a neuroscience alumnus, said his graduation shoot with Oyewuwo gave him the confidence to start modeling.  

“Modeling is a newfound venture, but the idea of it came from the grad shoot I did with Afo,” Gitau said. “That just tells you the confidence that I got from that shoot alone. It definitely helped me in regard to posing (and) noticing intricacies when it comes to the art of photography.”

Another of Oyewuwo’s friends, Femi Yemi-Ese, said he remembers when Oyewuwo took a set of photos of him, which ended up being Oyewuwo’s first posts to reach 1,000 likes on Twitter. 

“When he works with his friends, he’s still oddly professional,” Yemi-Ese, an exercise science alumnus, said. “He takes his business pretty seriously. You can see when he works that it’s a burning passion of his.” 

After watching Afo’s Photos evolve to its current success, Gitau said he expects only greatness to come from Oyewuwo’s business.  

“Most people would just view it as photography, but Afo is an artist,” Gitau said. “He captures life in motion, and with his lens, he’s able to encapsulate a moment that someone will cherish forever.” 

When juggling his studies and photography company, Oyewuwo said remaining consistent is key to all of his ventures. 

“My biggest advice is to stay consistent, enjoy the journey and enjoy the struggle,” Oyewuwo said. “(That) will help you manage all the success that starts to come to you.”