In an interview with KINGSLEY ALUMONA, professional photographer and videographer, Elvis Ugo discusses his career and the impact he has made in his community. Although he did not study photography, Ugo began his career in junior secondary school, where his cousin, a photographer, introduced him to the art. Ugo worked as his cousin’s assistant for four years and learned most of what he knows about photography from him.
When asked about the socio-economic benefits of photography and videography in his hometown of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Ugo explains that the art form has numerous benefits, such as boosting people’s confidence and self-esteem, preserving memories, reconciling relationships, and increasing sales for businesses. Additionally, photography has given many youths a sense of direction, reducing the crime rate, and enabling individuals to support themselves and their families.
Ugo used to work as a paparazzi photographer but now runs a corporate photography company called Studio10 Photography. His clients span various sectors, including politics and entertainment. Ugo has worked for prominent figures such as former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Hon. Waripamowei Dudafa, Hon. Gesiye Isowo, Governor Senator Douye Diri, former Governor of Delta State Dr Emmanuel Oduaghan, as well as senators, House of Representatives members, and business executives.
Regarding which social events attract the most customers, Ugo notes that weddings, political events, family or official portraits, and birthday shoots are popular. While clients vary, Studio10 Photography offers flexible pricing to meet every client’s needs.
Ugo explains that while most people use their phones to take photographs, professional photography provides a level of quality that phone cameras cannot match. Professional photographers possess the necessary skills and creativity to capture high-quality photos.
Despite advances in technology and selfie photography, Ugo believes the future of professional photography is bright. He emphasizes the importance of training and retraining and recognizes that the business goes beyond knowing how to take pictures and requires managerial skills, social skills, networking, and more.
The major challenges Ugo faces as a photographer/videographer include finance, the mindset of some clients and up-and-coming photographers, and staff retention. Additionally, Ugo stresses the importance of customer engagement and satisfaction.
Finally, Ugo discusses his partnership with People’s FM, Yenagoa. The partnership has been a boon for his business, providing increased exposure and business opportunities.