by Doyin Jaiyesimi
For Jesse Okoli, capturing the beautiful moments of life through a camera lens is his passion. Barely two years after setting up his own studio, he already has his eyes set on international exposure and his hunger for success cannot be missed.
Read more about Jesse and his plans to take his career to the next level.
Let us know more about you; who is Jesse Okoli?
I am basically just like the guy next door who always looks out for people around me to take care of them; even to the point of displeasing myself just to make my loved ones happy.
Have you always wanted to be a photographer?
I won’t say I have always wanted to be a photographer but I am a lover of pictures. It all started when photographers used to take my picture. The love for photography grew as I enjoyed directing the photographers and giving them the concept to achieve in a particular picture.
At what point, then, did you begin to consider it as a career?
For a year I worked in a photography firm and I had to go through training. While working there, I started strategizing on how to make it in the industry which later turned out to me starting up my own thing.
Tell us more about your company, JEO Photography.
First of all JEO, is a name got that from my name Jesse Ebuka Okoli. I decided to use my initials because there are a lot of names out there that sound alike. In other to stand out I chose JEO. I had to start JEO because I want to create the awareness, for lots of youth around the world, that you don’t have to wait for a white collar job before you can be successful. Self employment sure pays also.
What challenges have you faced being self-employed?
I would say when clients end up not keeping to agreements and when friends sometimes end up mixing business with friendship because they have a personal relationship with you. It’s all good though; it’s just phase.
How do you stay on top of competition in the industry?
I try to give my clients the best when it comes to quick delivery and some other wonderful package outside what they expect at the end of every production.
Tell us your best experience as a photographer.
There are lots of experiences that I can remember but it is always good whenever you work with clients who are flexible and are ready to give you that great shot that will make your shoot memorable.
Are certain events harder to shoot than others?
Not really. The only thing that happens most times is when it rains, you find out the pictures taken are way different from when the day is bright. As a photographer, I try as much as possible to get at least one good shot out of hundreds taken.
So what exactly does it take to get that great shot?
Everything being equal, the weather and also camera lens focused right helps to achieve that shot. Also, the client being playful in front of the camera enables me get that perfect shot.
Looking back do you regret your decision to be a photographer?
No, I don’t regret being a photographer: it has exposed me to a lot and I thank God for giving me the idea.
What should we be expecting from you in the future?
I love my job because it’s flexible and it makes me to travel to places I have not even dreamed of. In the near future you should be expecting to see my works on high fashion international magazines by God’s grace and JEO shooting most of the photographic adverts in Nigeria.