Dr. Daniel A. Opoku
Photographer & Economist
My way into photography and what you can expect from me
At the age of nine, my grandfather Harry presented me with my first camera. He was a photographer himself as well as my mother, her grandfather and the grandfather of my grandfather, in addition to one uncle and two aunts. This is how I today work as fifth generation freelance photographer. But prior to deciding on this career step in 2015 which I turned into action in 2016, I followed into the academic footsteps of my father.
After graduating as an economist, I earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Bayreuth. I enjoyed combining different models to develop solutions to economic issues. I really liked this creative work. Professionally, I pursued a career thereafter with Ernst & Young, goetzpartners Management Consultants and KPMG in the areas of tax and management consulting. Again, I was in my element when it came to developing creative solutions that did not exist before. The knowledge and experiences from this time are today an important basis for my creative photographic work for companies.
A mature decision
During this time, I grew in the desire to work even more creatively in a formative sense. More and more time flowed into photographing, photography courses and money was spent on equipment. The question if I wanted to make money with photography was raised more and more often. If I followed this course, then not merely as a self-taught photographer, but comprehensively trained. In my research on part-time training opportunities in the photographic field, I came across the Fotoakademie-Koeln. The magazine ProfiFoto awarded a scholarship for this institution and training. I applied for it and was invited to the selection day as one of the top five applicants. Having received this nomination, I decided to move into photography professionally.
A round overall picture
Photography is a tool for me to create emotional connections. My goal is to touch people with pictures. My photographic design (“Gestalt”) evolves all around on the message which is to be conveyed. I admit that an image can deliberately be unpleasant, irritating or puzzling, if that is the intended message. For me, the statement of an image is thus the primary focus of my design. And this is where the circle between photography and business consulting closes: I understand the economic goals of my clients and offer ideas on how images can help to achieve them. This is what I call image-building photography.
Picture strategies for the right images
My clients can expect of me to be passionate about them. This starts with the fact that, upon request, I first work out which images would be meaningful for a specific goal. I call this service of mine “image strategy development”. This will provide my customers with a roadmap that will cost-effectively cover their need for images. Of course, I am available thereafter to implement and realize this strategy as photographer as well. If necessary, stylists for apparel or interior design, make-up artists, photo assistants and videographers from my network can be engaged.
Technologically at the height of time
Moreover, a word about image technology. Things are changing very fast in this area. On the one hand, existing technologies advance. Here I am of the opinion that I do not have to jump on every train, but to be informed about these developments. On the other hand, new technologies are being developed that are changing photography and broaden its scope. One of these areas is interactive 360 degree photography. Other areas concern the connection between photography and augmented reality, which overlays a live image of the current environment with an another image. In addition, “Visual Search” is a new form of Internet search that evaluates image content. These are areas that I also follow closely and evaluate as part of an image strategy whether they can add value for my clients.
Becoming a desired customer?
My favorite customers have one thing in common: an awareness that meaningful images are important and have their value. When the objective is clear, even simple means can achieve very effective results. And if an objective is not clear yet, an image strategy can provide clarity. My favorite customers are looking for the extraordinary, the creative and the exciting, which probably did not exist before. Do you feel addressed?