Kashope Faje is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kashope Photography, in this interview with NIYI OYEDEJI, he speaks on how his passion for analysing pictures led to the establishment of his photography business.
WHAT is your business about?
As you may have guessed, my passion is in photography. I take all sorts of photos. Including lifestyle, events, Portrait’s etc, because I feel that beauty can be found in everything and if beauty can be found in everything, it is my duty to capture it. I preserve memories of happiest moments through The Kash Weddings.
When was your business established and how did you come about it?
I started my business in 2017. It all began when I started developing an interest in analysing the pictures I saw online. I would look at a picture and identify the flaws and see how I could make it better. This made me find people in my immediate environment that were into photography and I began to hang out with them and study them and what they did and that was how I eventually started mine. I also used to go on YouTube to watch tutorials on photography and content creation; it really helped me a lot.
Later on, I found out that pictures tell stories and a good photographer should be able to relate that story with life and also coupled with the fact that I have an eye for detail, patience, flexibility and imagination. I realized photography is a thing for me to embrace. Photography for all intents and purposes is a form of art.
What inspired you to venture into photography?
My love for beauty majorly inspired me. I am a huge fan of nature and our photographs tell us what is important to us. When you ask people what possessions they would rescue from their burning house, one of the most frequent answers is the photograph album or a computer with their digital images. When in panic mood, it’s interesting that we would probably grab photos rather than valuable jewellery. This impulse to save our recorded memories is a powerful force which tells us much about the role of photography in our lives and our constant desire to distil our most precious moments into images.
I found out that in recent times the artists available (as I call us Photographers) have been so involved in preserving memories
What’s most challenging about your photography business?
The fact that a lot of people in Nigeria don’t know the value yet. It’s a highly undervalued industry in the sense that photographers are seen as those behind the scene and not those in the main action. Not knowing that without a good photographer the event or memory is as good as worthless.
I hope with time we would progress as one and show people how important pictures are.
What is unique about your brand?
I think the most unique thing about my brand is the way I tell stories, the depth of field in my pictures and my cinematic tones, coupled with my obsession for the aesthetics; this includes the style, content and post processing. I’m a huge fan of aestheticism and I often put it into use in my work.
Have you won any award or grant so far, and how many employees do you currently have?
No, I haven’t won any award or grant yet but I definitely will, someday.I don’t have full time employees. But I have a team of independent individuals that I work with when the need arises.
What are your expansion plans?
I consider my service as exclusive because of the kind of quality service that I give. My expansion plans include, getting my own photography application, where people can take pictures and use my own edits.
I plan to organise video courses online as photography masterclasses. I have started with this though and the maiden class had a great turnout as we had all available slots for the class taken up.
What was your start-up capital?
When I started up this business in 2017, my start-up capital was 90,000 naira which was used in the purchase of a good camera, with that I have built the brand that exists today.
Now, I get to take pictures of huge brands. I just got back from a trip to London where I got to work with fantastic people, I also got to take pictures of Basket Mouth at his event held in London.
I remember getting huge recognition for pictures I took and edited as a campaign for Mercedes-Benz.
What are the major challenges you have faced since you started?
The challenges I have faced include getting equipment which was a headache for me as when I started, another challenge was how to get my work out there and get clients. It wasn’t so easy at first but with time and persistence, the growth came.
As a general rule, I suggest that the problems both aspiring and working professional photographers face are the same as those any small business owner faces. Not having adequate capital is probably the number one reason.
I would, for one, be happy if government can put more effort in teaching photography as a course and with time, aid the photographers with a starting capital to venture into professional photography.
How do you think government can address these challenges?
A lot of people still do not believe in the creative industry, my dad included, but I wouldn’t blame them. To be honest, people sometimes don’t want to leave what they are used to but I have found my market and social media helps to push but for a lot of younger photographers, their challenge would be getting equipment and this is where grants come in.
There are other struggles an individual will face when trying to set up a sustainable business — they have to be trained in theory and practical for this. It is an investment but they will put what they have learnt back into the economy and this will lead to development. We need to stop having half-baked entrepreneurs running businesses. Entrepreneurs need the structure and the government can provide such platforms for them.
Also, running a business without substantial funds can be very exhausting. The government needs to put efficient operations into place to provide funds and make sure those funds get into the accounts of the entrepreneurs that deserve them.
What advice do you have for young people are interested in what you do?
Don’t wait till you have all the equipment you think you need. Start with whatever you have. I started with my Tecno phone. Make the best of whatever equipment you possess. Be ready to invest in your dream. Invest your time, your knowledge, your money and everything you have got. You will thank yourself for it later. Remember the graffiti at the Lennon airport? Above us only sky, below us only wolves.
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