I was thinking the other day about the life of a photographer. At first glance, it seems like a wonderful thing. Imagine spending your time traveling the world, creating beautiful artwork that is admired by all. Unfortunately, however, this dream is often just as impossible as it sounds. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be a successful photographer — on the contrary, it means that in order to be a successful photographer, you’ll need to deal with a variety of problems.
Especially in Ghana where being an entrepreneur doesn’t look lucrative, young Ghanaians who venture in to sole proprietorship in informal economy are exposed a legion of difficulties, with one of them being their vulnerability (inadequate finance). I had an insightful conversation, with Kay Studios; A&R Consultant @kvonlinetalent Creative director, Film maker and Official videographer for Stonebwoy & Bisa Kdei, which focused on his career as a photographer, challenges and where he wants to reach in the arts economy.
The Accra-based photographer who has been increasingly shaping perspectives, changing narratives, capturing emotions through his lens and leaving long lasting memories on the mind of his patrons and consumers, including musicians and brands. With an impressive portfolio, consisting of works of Stonebwoy, Bisa KDei, Fameye, Medikal, Gyakie, Ice Prince Zamani, the young creative is considered a professional in the photography industry and has a solid support system that is partly responsible for his current success rate.
Check out the conversation below
1. Briefly describe your background as a creative person and what led you to become a photographer? Better still, how did you first get into photography?
“My name is Ebenezer Ofori Donkor popularly
known as KAYSTUDIOS, I got my first degree in Land Economy from Kwame Nkrumah
University of Science and Technology, named after the first president of the
Republic of Ghana, formerly Gold Coast. I started my journey into the video
editing and photography world by working with famed photographers, Twinsdntbeg
through which I established and built connection with a lot of influential
people. I pushed him onto the mainstream domain, I have managed to use my
talent very well and has been noticed by the Second Lady of Ghana, Samira
Bawumia, and also known brands like Miss Malaika, Vodafone Ghana Music Awards,
2. What moved you to establish “Kay Studios”? What would you say have been some of the challenges that have come with setting up your business? What are also some of the challenges you foresee in terms of keeping it going in the long-term?
“Motivations for wanting to become an
entrepreneur can vary greatly. Common motivators can include escaping the
corporate grind, taking greater advantage of special skill sets, supplementing
income or a strong drive to achieve personal or financial success. But as
spiritual as I am and how quick I found the purpose for my life, I only wanted
to be remembered as one who has been needful to mankind and impactful and this
was the platform for me to help everyone one I’m
Meeting and the passion for the camera pushed me
to start my Kaystudios business . There hasn’t been any challenges so far
setting up , if serving and working hard is a challenge then that’s my only
challenge be cause I still serve and work very hard as well”
3. As a young photographer living in Ghana, what would you say has been your biggest setback?
“My biggest set back was often
4. How is it that people know a Kay Studio image when they see it? Is this something that’s intentional? How would you explain it?
“Well, I’m sure God’s plan wasn’t regular for me so he need me to be a difference, I have always wanted to be different among other photographers with the intention of making my pictures look different”
5. Every new project you work has a completely different vibe from the previous one. What’s your creative process like and where do you draw your influences from? And, Do you have a favorite project? And why?
“I’m someone whose by God’s blessed with humility, I Love to learn new things, thus far I’m never too big to ask other photographers for Tuition. I see any beautiful piece out there, I proceed to ask how it was achieved, then I learn, add to mine and create magic so everytime I’m learning and creating new stuff. All my works are my favorite and clients favorite because they love the outcome and results of my works everytime and is by grace”
6. Do you ever face any troubles or complications interpreting your ideas and bringing them to life?
“I do find troubles sometimes especially
when I really want it to execute the exact piece of work I have imagined but
lack of resources I sometimes have to improve”
7. You’ve worked with a lot of musicians and brands, including Stonebwoy, Bisa Kdei etc. over the past few years. What does it feel like to be the creative brain behind a great number of album covers and promo shoots? Your experience
“I will say I feel blessed to be a part of
all these big brands it’s jut not a chance but the favor of God and my
preparation met the opportunity so I grapped it . My experience with them has
been amazing and they are big brothers to me, and This relationship has made
both artist built and good working respect and connection”
8. Regarding Stonebwoy, he seemed like a very strong personality, was he picky about how he wanted to be photographed or he allowed you to take full control over the shots and angles?
“With Stonebwoy is always collaboration you know creativity is collaboration so we bring ideas and then execute all the time , and we have a great understanding so I know what he wants to see and how he wants to look we just have our way of communicating for the pictures and visuals”
Connect with Kay Studios below;
Instagram – Kay Studios
Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare Denies Claims By Mark Okraku Mantey Against NDC
Former Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare has stated that, contrary to claims by President of the Creative Arts Council, Mark Okraku Mantey, the erstwhile John Mahama administration left notes on the sector during the 2017 transition.
Mr Okraku-Mantey, who was speaking during an event at the Accra Tourist Information Centre, had stated that workers of the Ministry had informed him that, zero investment had been made since the Creative Arts was added to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
But speaking on Hitz News @ 1 on Thursday, Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare urged Mr. Okraku-Mantey to stop the blame game and get serious. This according to her is because there is a lot of work to be done.
“He should stop the blame game and work. Ghana needs money, the Creative Arts industry needs money so if you just sit there and say they didn’t leave any money for us, there is no money in our coffers, what is that?
“He should get serious please, and please let Okraku-Mantey know there is a lot of work to be done which he hasn’t done.
“For him to say he is President of the Creative Arts, he should make sure that the law is passed otherwise he is president over nothing,” she said.
While listing some achievements by her office, the former Minister said they drafted the Creative Arts Bill which was ready for cabinet but lost power in 2016.
She added that they also ensured the passage of the Film Law which would include a fund.
Madam Agyare revealed that the Creative Arts industry was given GH¢1 million to work with, making allegations that investment was not made in the sector false.
“The Creative Arts industry was given GH¢1 million and Okraku Mantey can speak to that as well, and so if you say we did not make any investment in the Creative Arts industry what does he mean?
“Every year we took money from the Tourism Development Fund, so we could have given them another GH¢1 million if we hadn’t lost power in 2016,” she said.
Rating the works of the NPP, she stated that the government has not paid attention to the Creative Arts and did not continue from where they left off.
She advised Ghanaians especially the Creative Arts stakeholders to re-elect former President John Dramani Mahama to continue his good works.
“Mahama Made No Investments In Creative Arts Sector” – Mark Okraku Mantey
The President of the Creative Arts Council has stated that the erstwhile John Mahama administration left no notes on policies initiated for the Creative Arts industry during the 2017 transition. According to him, workers of the Ministry also alleged that zero investment was done since the Creative Arts was added to the Tourism Ministry.
“In 2017 we met the Tourism Minister, Elizabeth Ofosu Adjare to find out what they left behind in terms of monies, investments and after an hour of talks, nothing was mentioned about the Creative Arts.
“So I took time to find out why and her team told us that since the addition of creative arts to the Ministry, they have not made any investment,” he said
Speaking at the CreativeArts4More campaign at the Accra Tourism Information Center on Wednesday, Mark Okraku Mantey disclosed that his team had to start from scratch.
“Indirectly, this government inherited zero note for the creative arts so we are starting afresh,” he said.
Check Out Pictures From The Burna Comics And Audiomack Event In NYC
Over the weekend, Brooklyn hosted the special pop-up event Burna Comics, which saw Burna Boy‘s comic book world come to life. Hosted at Anyone Comics in Brooklyn, attendees were able to browse and grab limited editions Burna Boy comics, merchandise, and food, as well as enter a chance to win tickets to Burna’s next concert in NYC. The event was free and followed health guidelines.
If you remember, Burna Boy’s latest album Twice As Tall came accompanied by a comic book to “put the project in perspective abs some insight into the album title and why I chose it,” the artist mentioned. Well, Burna and the team at Audiomack helped that come true IRL.
Speaking about the Burna Comics event, the Nigerian star mentioned: “The best part about creating a project is the idea of your listeners being able to engage with it! I haven’t been on tour in months so I’m excited for my fans to have a chance to engage with my art! I feel blessed!”
Check out pictures from the Burna Comics x Audiomack event in NYC below.
Photo via Audiomack/Purple Agency PR.
“Stonebwoy Has The Best Team” – Kay Studios Commends Stonebwoy For Establishing A Team Of Professionals
Just because you’re an independent musician, doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with a great team of people to help progress your career even further. Kay Studios, a Ghanaian professional photographer and videographer, has commended Stonebwoy for establishing a team of professionals working to accelerate the Burniton Music Group (BMG) and Bhim Nation brand to a well deserved apex.
In a Instagram post sighted by www.gbafrica.net, the photographer and videographer revealed that, the reggae/ragga & dancehall artiste’s great team of people including, manager, publicist/PR, lawyer, booking agent, radio plugger, distributor, publisher, designers, photographers & videographers work in a coordinated way, towards a focused, agreed goal.
According to him, he has noticed that, his team of professionals disburse projects that define or are in synchronization with the ideology of his brand. He added that, the team also help land more exposure for his music and other public relation matters by pitching it to publications including the music press, online blogs and playlist editors and more.
Kay Studios commended Stonebwoy’s legal team who help navigate the complexities of his music licensing, racking up deals, and also giving advise on legal issues and disputes. He also gave props to road manager, manager, and security details for delivering timely duties.
Kay Studios is an Accra-based creative who has been increasingly shaping perspectives, changing narratives, capturing emotions through his lens and leaving long lasting memories on the mind of his patrons and consumers, including musicians and brands. With an impressive portfolio, consisting of works of Stonebwoy, Bisa KDei, Fameye, Medikal, Gyakie, Ice Prince Zamani, the young creative is considered a professional in the photography industry and has a solid support system that is partly responsible for his current success rate.
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