Photography isn’t a game; it isn’t a joke either. When it started they were called “photoo” with the last O mentioned with disgust. They were most often disregarded and were considered impecunious. Now we all know what a wedding will be like without good photography or the disaster that can befall a couple for them to realize that the camera guy was just flashing throughout the event. That tells you how well this industry has evolved and flourishing like a weed plant. I have on the show tonight a pioneer of photography. His shots are so amazing they could pass for White House standards. He has worked with many local and international clients, majority of whom are celebrities. He is “dope”, like a regretful S.H.S boy will say. Before I spill all the good parts of the wine, let’s just get started.
Perry Tintin: Good evening Nana and welcome to the PTI show.
Nana Twum: Good evening Perry and Thank you for the warm reception.
Perry Tintin: sharp sharp senior. A brief intro for the start will do
Nana Twum: Alright. Well my name is Eben Nana Yaw Duodu Twum Jnr. Born and raised in Ghana. Completed my tertiary education in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Linguistics. I am a Photographer.
Perry Tintin: quite brief indeed. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. How was growing up for you?
Nana Twum: lol I could add some more. Uhhhh growing up I’d say was quite fun. 😁😁 lol. I’m the last of 5 boys. yeah I have no sister and you can imagine how 5 boys could get along. I’d say it was a bit of fun and tons of boy fights here there but I mean family looks after their own. Our parents made sure we were comfortable with all the necessities of life. Our home is a Christian home so we had to read the Bible, go to church, respect our elders and all. At least we were taught the values of life in order to appreciate what we have rather than what we didn’t.
Perry Tintin: Haha 😆😆, can imagine. The academic ladder, how’s the climb been?
Nana Twum: Uhhhh it’s been smooth God being so good. He provided for my family for them to be able to cater for all 5 of us through school. I started out at Ringway Crèche (Osu Ringway estates) – that’s where I grew up. From there I went to Presec staff primary, then St. Andrews Jhs. Then to Koforidua Ghana secondary school. Then finally to University of Ghana, Legon where I studied and graduated with a combined major in English and Linguistics. Hoping to further with a Master’s degree in Management, or International Business and Marketing.
Perry Tintin: oh that’s great. For the sake of the motivation factor for fans and enthusiasts reading, I’ll delve into other stuff maybe some other time. But for now, did you face peculiar childhood challenges?
Nana Twum: Uhhhh when you say challenges can you specify
Perry Tintin: could be academic, social, religious, financial, psychological even
Nana Twum: Uhhhh well yeah. I guess I’ve been through all.
Perry Tintin: give me the story big man 😁😁
Nana Twum: As a kid I got hit by a car and was hospitalized for over a month. Luckily it wasn’t a fatal one cos I was able to survive but psychologically it affected me and it affected my academics since I missed quite a lot.
Socially I was always amongst older peeps and I always felt left out cos I’d be the last to know what’s going on. I was a bit reserved but with encouragement from my brothers I was able to open up to playing with my peers. I was quite stubborn too so my mum used to whip me a lot 😁😁 😁😁 lmao
Perry Tintin: Ellen Tsetse was stubborn, most of my guests have been very stubborn in their infant years. That’s interesting. 😁😁 😁😁
Nana Twum: oh Charlie!! 😁😁 😁😁. I remember this one time I was playing with my grandpa’s car and “mistakenly” released the handbrake and the car rolled down the compound and slammed into our gates. I had to run for hours till late thinking they would have forgotten but I was wrong 😁😁 😁😁 lmao.
Perry Tintin: 😁😁 😁😁oh God! 🤦🏽♂🤦🏽♂🤦🏽♂
Nana Twum: Hehehehe. But Financially I’d say we weren’t all there but at least it was enough to see us all through school. My mum and dad have been amazing, long nights working late and leaving home early just to make steady paper for five children.
Perry Tintin: that won’t change the topic jare😂😂😂😂😂stubborn boy
Nana Twum: Lmao
Perry Tintin: when did the love for photography set in? Was it something u had always wanted to do?
Nana Twum: Uhhhh, I’d say yes and no.
Perry Tintin: tell me more
Nana Twum: As a kid I fancied picking up electronics and breaking them just to see what was in it. I had wanted to be a pilot (every child’s dream) but along the line I realized I had a passion for something else. I grew up loving music so I did a bit of music with my crew and we wrote a couple of great songs that still sound so awesome. it’s a dream I will still pursue in the near future. I picked up photography as a hobby, that was way back in 2008 at church. I joined the church’s IT ministry and we had this small digital camera that we used to take photos. I was fascinated about this so I picked it up as a hobby. I remember shooting my first paid gig in 2013, a concert at Calvary Baptist church, that gig paid me 80¢ at the time (somewhere in July). After that gig I decided to start up something of my own and since I had already picked it up as a hobby it’ll be an easy transit for me and it did.
So I registered the company in December 2013 then known as ICAPTURE MULTIMEDIA LTD. This was in existence till December 2015 when I rebranded to Now GREY MEDIA GROUP.
Perry Tintin: wow. Fascinating. Quite a story there.
Delving deeper into photography, what does it take to be a photographer? is it just the passion, the gadget, what would you say it depends on?
Nana Twum: Errrrm, what does it take to be a photographer? it takes a lot to be a tog (photographer). it’s not just about the gadget and flashy stuff people carry around. Photography is an art and is an excellent career choice for anyone who wants to get paid for using their creative talents. It’s one of the few fields where age and degrees aren’t as important as a good eye, a quality product, and self-discipline. Photography is a competitive field, so be prepared to start small. Then perfect your craft and build a portfolio of your best work. The profession depends on quite a lot. You need to be consistent and You have to be professional. The camera depends on the photographer to make beautiful pictures.
Perry Tintin: real insightful remark there. What’s been your greatest challenge as a photographer?
Nana Twum: Greatest challenge!! hmmm the job is demanding and also equipment can be really expensive. When you put out your charge, clients tend to feel it’s a bit much then I’d have to go into explaining to them exactly what they are paying for.
Perry Tintin: 🙂
Nana Twum: Also another challenge has to do with some colleague photographers who undercut others just to land a job. We have had this issue come up so many times and at least the Association of Professional Photographers are trying to come up with a standard pricing system so that everyone can get jobs with a base rate. That will be the norm if all things go well.
Perry Tintin: please elaborate more on the undercutting part
Nana Twum: Ok so I had an incident recently. I had a lead on a client and I was to shoot their wedding. A week to the event they called to cancel. I found that quite awkward since we hadn’t had any misunderstanding, only for me to realize another photographer had offered them half the price I charged and providing them with all the deliverables (albums and prints).
Perry Tintin: oh wow, quite awkward. that’s bad.
Perry Tintin: how did your family take the photography profession? supportive? negative?
Nana Twum: Errrrm, when I started my mum wasn’t all that supportive cos she didn’t understand why I’d go to school for four good years and after all the fees and handout money, only to become a photographer. With time I had to make her understand that it’s not just photography but a passion as well as responsibility, cos I’m running my own business and I’ve gathered enough experience on the field to know my way around. I can say for now that she is supportive although she sometimes brings up the idea of doing the regular 8-5. My dad and brothers are fully supportive and that’s what drives the passion.
Perry Tintin: 😁😁😁why always the mothers
Nana Twum: lol I dunno mpo.
Perry Tintin: well, you mentioned Association of Professional Photographers. never knew. since when?
Nana Twum: The association has been in existence for a while, the hope is to have a united group of photographers in Ghana with a representation which is the association.
Perry Tintin: is it more like a governing body or just an association?
Nana Twum: It’s the two if I can say
Perry Tintin: of course you can say 😁😁
Nana Twum: ah Perry paa 😁😁 😁😁 (both laugh heartily)
Nana Twum: Cos the association will have a governing code that all registered photographers under the association must abide by.
Perry Tintin: does that mean one has to register with the body before practicing photography in Ghana?
Nana Twum: Eventually yes to be a recognized photography business you would have to register with a recognized association to practice the profession.
Perry Tintin: I see. quite interesting. So apart from photography, what do you do?
Nana Twum: Errrrm I do photography full time. I’m trying to build an empire by 35. It’s not going to be easy but God is faithful.
Perry Tintin: hehe, for sure. God got u
Perry Tintin: away from profession, are you emotionally attached? Has a daughter of Eve captured the upper auricular section of your blood pumping organ? 😂
Nana Twum: Lol. Ebei!! Bra Aden? 😁😁 😁😁😁😁 😁😁
I’m single … and will be ready to mingle soon. When the time comes I’d put out audition notice so the girls can pick up forms from mtn. Lol
Perry Tintin: hahahaha, mtn! I laughed!
Nana Twum: Lmao
Perry Tintin: it’s been insightful, simple, precise and concise too. Any word of motivation to your fans out there?
Nana Twum: Well the little I can say is to never give up … rate your success by the number of times you tried again till you pulled through not by how close you got … always be sure to be principled, be humble and most of all God should be the center of it all.
Perry Tintin: awesome, before I take leave of you, how do people get in contact with you?
Nana Twum: I’m the Founder and CEO of GREY MEDIA GROUP under that are
GREY STUDIOS (photography)
GREY SOCIAL (social media marketing)
GREY CONSULT (consulting for business startups)
GREY FILMS (Videography)
Well you can find us on Instagram and Facebook
+233 (0) 26 188 9312
Perry Tintin: awesome. thank you for the time. all the best Nana Twum.
Nana Twum: Welcome Perry and God bless you for this initiative, God richly bless you bro.
Perry Tintin: 😂 Amen, thanks.
The CEO of Grey Media has spoken about Photography. All the Photography lovers out there, get in touch, you can learn a lot and of course do business too, its healthy. Quite a precise and concise dose of inspiration. Like I always say, you can be whoever you want to be, except Judas 😂 😂 😂, provided you put your head to it and get it done. Lemme just use this opportunity to encourage us. We are better than the people at the other side of the globe, trust me, we are better and can be tangibly better provided we think and work up that food chain. Lemme not mince words, hope you loved this episode too. Keep the comments coming, it motivates me too in the least. Till my next guest arrives, its ADIOS!!
Video episodes of the interviews will come your way shortly. For sponsorship, enquiries, submissions, kindly contact me via the following platforms.