Season 2,

036: African Woman On Top Of The World Of Travel Photography | Lola Akinmade Åkerström

May 23, 2018

Lola Akinmade Åkerström is an award-winning Nigerian-born travel photographer and writer based in Stockholm, Sweden. She worked as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for 12+ years in the United States before transitioning to work and travel full-time as a Photographer.

She is the editor-in-chief for Slow Travel Stockholm and the 2018 Travel Photographer of the Year Bill Muster Award recipient. Her work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, BBC, CNN, The Guardian, Travel + Leisure, Slate, Travel Channel, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s, National Geographic Channel, several in-flight magazines, New York Times online, amongst others.

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In this Episode

She shares the stories of how she started out in her career and how she made the shift from being a programmer to an award-winning travel photographer.

I know you are thinking, “How do I get paid to travel and be a photographer?” – She answers this question for us too.

How she has managed to overcome so many rejections in her life to be published in all the major publications and has won many awards.

How she is breaking the stereotypes and fighting against being placed in a box.

She shares the biggest challenge she has faced in her career.

Advice to young Africans: We need to redefine what success means to Africans.

If you had 10K Africans:

Figure out if what they are doing and if they are passionate about it, then put the skills to use changing the world.

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Lessons and Advice

– Volunteer in your field of choice to gain experience and make some contacts. Test the waters and do your research.

– Be audacious and do not fear rejection

– Know what you want (Pitch stories and ideas)

– Believe in yourself and believe in your story.

– Once you know your strengths as an individual, it is easier to switch industries and still work towards your strengths.

“The difference between black women and others is OPPORTUNITY.”


You can find the video podcast on YouTube:




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