To be a creative entrepreneur is not an easy endeavor for it requires a level of dedication, drive and consistency. To be a creative entrepreneur is to think outside the box. To be open to the new and unfamiliar. To push and stretch yourself to expand your horizon.
Emeka Ihekweazu lives and breathes such creativity. He is the photographer and videographer for Dkinboss Studios Inc, a logo and brand he manages. Though he professionally started his venture into photography in just 2016, he is a well-known lifestyle and food photographer. He’s worked with several high profile bloggers, designers and start-ups in Abuja.
I had the pleasure of conducting an interview with Emeka. In the interview, we discuss his start to photography. We discuss how Emeka consistently builds a satisfied client base and his advice to new and upcoming photographers. Through the discussion, Emeka lets us into his world of photography as he enlightens us on how he captures the best shots and why he goes the extra mile for every opportunity he finds himself in.
Tell us about what you do and the different projects you involve yourself with?
I’m a Food and Lifestyle Photographer who has ventured into numerous projects centered around start-ups such as Akt fashion magazine, Abuja Next Top Model, Shark Express Sea-foods and many others.
When did you start photography and what led you to it?
I started photography in 2013/2014. Then, I was using a Nokia Lumia 720. After, I obtained a more sophisticated phone with a good camera “Samsung K-ZOOM.” I went professionally into photography in 2016.
The need to create still images of my choice from a point of creativity drove me into photography. It was also due to the fact that while in school, I was in the Media Unit. It made the gap easier to bridge as I fully knew multimedia and most of what it entails, which includes videography, graphics, photography and audio mastering.
You’ve worked with notable bloggers and designers in Abuja. You’re often the man behind many great shots. How did you/ do you build your client base?
It’s just like the saying goes “Anything worth doing is worth doing well,” and when you do a good job with one person and invest in a good client relationship, you would automatically get referrals. The pyramid expands from there.
Therefore, I’ve built my client base by focusing all my energy and creativity into a particular client. One whom I knew was equally as creative and hardworking as I am and wasn’t afraid to go the extra mile just for that extraordinary shot that would make her friends and fans stare in awe.
Is there a particularly memorable event that you covered? How did it come about?
I have covered many events but the most memorable that truly inspired me was in 2014. I can’t remember the month but it was back in school at Afe Babalola University. There was this cultural event that was going on and a friend of mine dragged me there to be his designated companion. While the event was going on, there were several photographers covering the event. For some weird reason, I walked up to where they were all gathered and asked if I could join them in taking a few shots with my phone (THE NOKIA LUMIA 720). I began taking some pictures and eventually some videos of the event.
Thereafter, I was compelled to wash the photos at the school’s Photo Studio. I packaged the photos and dropped it off at the office of the Founder of the University. He would later call me and say he liked the fact that I got him while smiling. This was a bit difficult to get as most shots of him made it seem as though he was always frowning. To my surprise, he reached out to his office cabinet and handed me an envelope that contained a huge sum of money. After that day, I said to myself that I would always go the extra mile whenever I can at any opportunity.
For photographers who are starting out or have been in photography for some time but can’t find work or gain exposure, how would you advise them?
There are three main things I would tell them:
a. Find your Niche first,
b. Re-develop your skills and attend events (Network yourself)
c. Commit all of you to God
When I think about my career goals, I’m motivated by many amazing people like the media mogul Oprah Winfrey, the inspiring YouTube host Marie Forleo and authors like Brene Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert. Is there someone that motivates you when it comes to your art or lifestyle?
When it comes to people who motivate me to work hard, I would say Henry Orji, also known as “Big H,” Eleanor Goodey and a Youtuber called “The Bite Shot.” These folks inspire me. For instance, Big H does Portrait and Fine Arts Photography. Eleanor does Fashion and Lifestyle Photography and “The Bite Shot” does Food Photography so their work really amazes me. I’m also amazed by how effortlessly they make it seem.
What are some of your goals for your photography?
I would hope that some of my photographs would be on display at National Buildings Nationwide. I also aspire to take some shots for Brands like NIKON, CANON, FUJITSU and many others.
What’s a fun fact that many people might not know about you?
In as much as I love food and cook a lot, I also hate pastries like cakes and pies.