Earlier this weekend, I e-interviewed Nathaniel Nii Sowah Patterson to share his life and career journey. Be inspired!
Akosua: I can see you are really good at what you do. Why this Choice?
Nat: I’ve always known I will one day grow in the art industry, so the love for this has been there way from 5yrs if I’m right. I remember during primary days, my cousin and I (Osbyna, who is a Fashion designer now) used to do art competition at school.This went on for a long time. I was a Visual Arts student and Graphic designing was part of my electives in High School, and that’s when I realized that is the exact field I want to be in.Unfortunately I didn’t get that course at the University so I had to be learning the graphic designing on my own through YouTube tutorials etc.
What actually made me become serious with graphic designing was… one day, a very close lady of mine, Tina, wanted a design work for her business so I contacted a friend to help which he ended up not doing lol. So I was like“ah me kraa this thing I can do it if I learn it”. She liked it, and brought me some few designing deals for people and that pushed me to do more and work hard at it.
Akosua: Let’s take a Journey through your life.
Nat: Well, I’m Nathaniel Nii Sowah Patterson born in Koforidua and later moved to Accra (La, Labadi) at a very tender age. First attended GAKU preparatory school in Labadi for my basic and junior high education. Then to St. Margaret Mary SHS in Dansoman for my Senior High Education.Later, I got admission to KNUST. I completed my undergraduate (Integrated Art) in 2014. Due to no available work after University, myself and a close friend; Jacob Danquah came together to set our first business ChipTech I. T Solutions situated on the campus of Knust.
During that period, I got admission to Knust School of Business for my Masters. After graduation I decided to set my own business back in Accra and that’s when Danok Media became a reality.
Akosua: Danok Media Ghana sounds expensive to me. How did you come by this Acronym?
Nat:. So for starters, Danok is coined from the names of three different people very dear to me
Da- Daniel Patterson (the breadwinner of the family)
N – Nathaniel Nii Sowah Patterson, me)
OK- Okpoti (Stephen Okpoti Patterson thus, my dad). I’ve always had the dream of setting up my own business so once in a while I sit to think of names to use, and that idea came in mind.
Akosua: I like the fact that you actually sit to create ideas and make them feasible. Did Photography ever come in mind?
Nat: So from the start Danok Media was supposed to be only a designing firm till my Uncle, Daniel Patterson was like now photography is the deal now, why don’t I add it. I had no idea of what photography was so I had to fall back on YouTube for tutorials again 😅Now here I am!
Nat: And now I feel really attached to the photography side than the graphic designing …Interesting right? I know ☺️
Akosua: On a scale of 1-0 rate Photography in Ghana.
Nat: Photography in Ghana as compared to the Western worlds is now picking up. We don’t really understand why someone can go to a photo studio for an expensively charged photo whiles the person can do that with the phone. So it’s not really that paying now, but I think that story is changing now. Now people understand the importance of a high quality picture so they will pay what is been charged.Photography in the art field is now the most expensive industry in Ghana after painting and sculpture. So it’s paying gradually.
Akosua: How is the promoting of your social media been?
Nat : it’s been well and gratifying.
my personal Instagram page @nii_Sowah_comerAnd my works too on my business page @danokmedia.ghFacebook
Business page – Danok media
Personal – Nii Sowah RustyTwitter
Akosua: Educating yourself can be worth it and igniting the spark in others. How do you do that with your Media Work?
Nat: I have three ways of educating myself to take better pictures from YouTube. There are numerous tutorials on everything you want to learn on YouTube.Secondly, I compare my works with the big time photographers in the industry.
Always thinking of how can I get this similar dope shots like they do. Lastly, I love doing trial and error a lot and asking my clients if they are satisfied with what I’ve done for them. I love to allow people criticize my works, it gives me an idea of what people actually want.
Akosua: What was the Patterson’s reaction when they realized that you have veered into Photography?
Nat:. In my story, everyone know I have a thing for art, so they didn’t give a negative reaction to when I went into doing photography, actually my uncle Daniel Patterson funded the business from scratch to date. I think probably because of how opened minded my family is on professions that everyone has various abilities and fields they fit in well, me choosing this field didn’t really bother them that much.
Akosua: Do you think your brand is more special than other Photographers?
Nat: I wouldn’t say my brand is that special yet. I just started, this year, some few months ago.. and it’s these big photographers you just mentioned are the ones I look up to as a standard to perfecting my works. Till I get to that world class branded business I’m not that special. Even though I started not long and I didn’t go to any special school for all those skills I think I’m doing best comparing to some few already in the field and those academically trained for this.
Akosua: Any best moments with Danok Media?
Nat: One of my best moments so far is somewhere February, we went to cover a funeral at a suburb in the Volta region. My first time there and that was my first biggest gig with enough pay. After the program we went sightseeing etc.
Akosua: When you look back at your life, what are you proud of?
Nat: Each and everyday I look at myself and couldn’t be any prouder of myself. Like I said comparing myself to others already in the scenes and my standards now, I think I’m really doing perfect. That aside, I pinch myself always to make me push in harder cos I have a certain level I’ve set before me that I need to match.Till my brand is requested all over the world esp America (my dream country) then I’ve not reach yet but still proud of what I’ve achieved so far. I can boldly say I’ve set up two business already at my age and more to come if God permits.
Akosua: Should I then conclude your price range is affordable?
Nat: For the photography side I do both studio (indoor) and location (outdoor) shoot including weddings, parties, funerals etc. With the pricing it’s 70/50ghc for studio and 170ghc for location shoot. The plan is to give the least price for the best quality photos and works in order to capture the industry and people for like a year. After, I can now use the industry standard pricing (300ghc per hour for all shoot).
Akosua: What is your favorite lens?
Nat: So far my favorite Lens is the 70-200mm lens, that Lens is like a god 😅 it gives you details even at a long distance. Mostly preferable for outdoor events that you can’t really come close to the focus so from that 200mm you can still get a perfect shot of the person in focus. And it’s perfect for Depth of field (DOF), blurs the background leaving the central focus on point.
Akosua: ☺️☺️ Interesting. I hope to pass by your studio for some awesome shots.
Nat: Sure Akosua. Always at your service 😉Some shots by Danko Media
Ghana PersonalitiesAkosua & Nathaniel