From his vantage point behind the camera lens, Oisi certainly sees a lot. After working with him on location for a photo shoot, I knew there was more to this corporate photographer and delving into his world reveals as much. I drew this Mr Quiet out of his shell in the ensuing interview:
What’s your business about?
My business is about wedding and lifestyle photography. This means I basically create lasting photographic impressions for my clients on their big day. I also do the well known general photography which can range from portrait photography to fashion, commercial photography etc
Tell us about yourself, growing up and education
I am Godwin Oisi Ibrahim. The first of three kids for my parents. My growing up was really a modest one. My parents were disciplinarians and so we grew up as kids having to be serious children especially with academics. I graduated from the Federal University of Technology, Akure with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical/Electronics Engineering and a Masters of science degree in Information Technology Security from the University of Westminster London.
So where does science meet art?
Well to me science is art and art is science. Just kidding. Art for me had always been there, hidden down in my heart. I remember then in early secondary school, I was always eager to help my friends with their drawing/art assignments. I simply loved the fact that I could create something with my hands. And even as science came along in school and all that, the artistic part of me was always looking for some form of expression. Even though I didn’t take it seriously I knew one day I would return to it.
So how did you get started?
I started playing with cameras in university; I had a small compact camera then. I graduated and got a job with a financial institution and had to go through a class based training for some months. During that period, I was the go-to person for class pictures and my colleagues liked what I was producing and encouraged me to put some effort into formal photography training. So without a proper professional camera, I started reading about photography, I stockpiled several literature on it and I only got the much needed training and exposure when I was in the UK for my masters program. I saved some money at the time and bought myself a mid-range professional camera. And the real professional journey started from there.
What inspires you and your work?
I get inspiration from God who is the source of all knowledge and also things around my every day life. I do lots of research especially works of great photographers and they inspire me a lot too.
Who have you worked with and on what projects?
Because of the nature of my genre in photography, I have worked with several couples planning their weddings. I have worked with some fashion designers, some corporate organizations who I may not be permitted to name.
Do you have mentors or icons in your field?
I do have icons and people who inspire me greatly. Sue Bryce, Sal Cincotta, Susan Stripling, Kelechi Amadi Obi, Lee Varis, to mention a few.
What’s the best part of your work?
The best part of my work has to be the excitement and satisfaction I get to see when my clients receive their finished work from me. It is such a fulfilling experience to know my job is appreciated.
How would you define your work?
Refined, soft, contemporary
Tell us about the challenges you’ve faced.
So many challenges I must confess. A few of them include lack of business support and training as a new business owner so I had to learn on the job. Also getting people to appreciate and pay for the kind of job I do is a challenge. This I believe is because there are so many “photo snappers” who have devalued the job of some of us who are professional photographers. Then photography is a capital intensive venture and to consistently produce good results, you have to invest in equipment, training a whole lot more. That’s not so easy for a small business owner.
How have you been able to cope despite these challenges and the pressures of work and family life?
When you really love what you do you just get along no matter what. I do love my job, the passion to keep getting better drives me everyday. I also have a supportive family so it’s easy on that part.
Where do you see your establishment in the next few years, say 3 years?
In 3 years, my brand should be a go to brand for most things photography, media and multimedia. I also hope to expand my services beyond Nigeria.
Okay. What would you do differently, anything?
I will probably prepare well for the business of photography. The business is a lot more than taking photos, it’s about knowing the right clients for your type of work, creating relationships with them, expanding the client base etc
Is there any particular job that stands out in your mind?
Many I must say but a recent one is a wedding I shot in Abuja in August. It was the wedding of Ernest and Comfort. Everything went as I planned it. The clients were super supportive too.
What’s your personal mantra or philosophy?
My life has a purpose and that purpose has to be fulfilled rightly and excellently.
Advice aspiring entrepreneurs
For aspiring entrepreneurs, it’s important to follow your dreams. No one will spoon feed your dreams to fulfilment you have to do it by yourself. There will be challenges on the way, but the more challenges you overcome, the greater your chances of becoming who you dream of becoming.
Phone : 08094832786
Instagram : @GodwinOisi
Facebook : Facebook.com/GodwinOisiPhotography
BBM : 7915D0E6