My first time meeting Mr Tosin was at Tirzah’s beyond the surface campaign hangout we had sometime last year. And my friend, Seun mentioned that we should thank Mr Tosin for her because bringing him to the program was not a small thing as she possibly can’t pay him for what he did for us. And yeah, the campaign was a success. So you can also help us thank him too. Lol.
Some of the things that caught my attention was his story, how passionate and purpose driven he was. His ability to thrive even after what seemed like countless failures, and to not give up is worth emulating. I’ve been a huge fan ever since.
And when he agreed to feature on our series……I couldn’t hide my excitement!
I wish you an inspiration filled read!
Can we meet you?
My name is Tosin Opeyemi Olateru, a native of Ikirun Osun State. I was born and brought up in Ilorin, Kwara State, into the family of Mr & Mrs Olateru. First out of five children, but I now live in Lagos Nigeria.
I’m a Cinematographer/Photographer, also the CEO of Couvercle Media Impression. My background major is in Video Editing and Documentary photography, but over the years, I’ve become extremely passionate about photographing weddings, fashion portrait photography, as well as filmmaking.
Growing up, I use to paint, draw, mold clay and carve wood. Art has pretty much been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember. But my initial dream was to be a Chartered Accountant, along the way I discovered IT and Photography, and Filmmaking became my passion – the thing I love and find joy in doing without stress.
I love telling stories, and how amazing I tell it with still/motion pictures! I’m not a writer; but I use photography & cinematic to communicate the plots.
I got certified in digital photography at BNM Associates, National Open University of Nigeria (CLL), and Alison.
Also, I was certified in Cinematography at Master Shots Film & Television Productions. I have deep interest in people development; most especially the youth, which I express through training, inspirational speaking and mentoring – helping young people reach their maximum potential and see beyond their limitation through a non-profit organization called Project Reason-2-Live.
Wow! What a profile!
Y’all think you can write a CV? Please see Mr Tosin for consultation. Lol.
What has been the most life transforming experience you’ve ever had?
When I had to drop accounting for film making and photography after an effort at tertiary education.
How did you develop courage to start what you do?
At first I was terrified, then I asked myself what are you afraid of? I was afraid of failing as a starter and I reminded myself that fear can not harm me, because fear is just a chemical and I did not allow that to flood my brain.
What I’ve learned is that recognizing bravery, no matter how insignificant the situation may seem to me, is empowering.
It fuels my self confidence, personal and professional power; and the continued dismissal of how I demonstrate my courage.
Have you always known this is the area or line of business you will go into?
No, My initial dream was be an accountant.
When did you start your business?
I started my Business in March 2013.
How has being a Cinematographer and photographer been like?
Being a cinematographer/Photographer has not been that easy because someone has to go through a lot of element; such as get trained and knowledgeable regarding all aspects of photography, including special effects, filmography, modern equipment; as well as possess a marked talent for communication with film directors.
Has your background at some point been a limiting factor?
How were you able to break free from the limitations?
Well, my parent did not agree with me when I told them I wanted to be a Cinematographer/Photographer because they wanted me to be an accountant, but I had to fight my way out. So I began my career with nothing, had to work to make enough money in order to pay for my photography and filmmaking tuition fees.
Today, they are both happy that I am successful in my Career/Business.
What were the challenges you faced, still facing while (starting & sustaining) your business and brand?
Keeping up with goals, making big decisions, and directing a roster of associates.
Motivation is first; after finding the right employees and building the right team, the next step is keeping them motivated. Because motivation and great team are essential to the success of any company.
Also managing scalability is one of the biggest challenge; It can be chaotic and exhausting to lead a company without a clear set of goals and feasible action plans.
How do you cope with competitions and distractions?
I often refer to this moment that we’re living in as the age of distraction, so by contrast, I think there’s a competitive advantage to really being able to be the master of your attention to put your attention where you want it.
A winning strategy is critical for a company to become a market leader. Successful businesses make their mark by expressing their unique capabilities.
Businesses need a unique selling proposition to differentiate themselves in the market. This attract target customers to our door and away from competitors. There apparently is a thirst for advice on how to deal with the distractions of modern life and our addiction to tech tools. You can find rafts of books on time and performance management online.
Hmm….. I smell marketing 101.
Have you ever thought of quitting, or going into another line & What keeps you going?
I wanted to quit several times due to the fact that it was hard to get traction and I was completely overwhelmed with all the contents out there. Lastly, I didn’t have enough to sustain my business.
And that to the rabbit hole you often find yourself in when trying to navigate all the content out there, and it can feel like you’re running on a hamster wheel without any real progress to show for the hard work and time lost. But the one thing that kept me going is CONSISTENCY.
What is the best part of being a filmmaker and photographer?
The best part of filmmaking is that job changes constantly. Pre-production, production, to post-production. They’re such incredibly different jobs with different crews, different temperaments, different paces and skill sets. The only real constant is the project itself. And that looks incredibly different from one week to the next. It’s a job that never stays the same.
What is the worst part of being a filmmaker and photographer?
It’s the fact that I never get to spend more time with my family and all the things I could have done better. Some of the politics can be frustrating. Bad reviews.
What’s your mantra about life?
Your tomorrow is determined by what you are planting today.
Wife, kids, business. How do you strike a balance?
I pride myself on giving 100% of my attention to the task at hand. So I apply that same thinking to my time at home or on vacations giving my family my full focus.
I’ve found that allows me to recharge, so I can give my all during the workweek without burning out.
Would you consider what you’re currently doing to be your passion? Yes.
If yes, how were you able to convert your passion into money?
I love telling stories, and how amazing I tell it with pictures! I’m not a writer; but I use photography to communicate the plots. I take exceptional delight in still life and editorial photography and find pleasure creating lasting memories in weddings; fashion and glamour events. That’s exactly how!
What service(s) do you offer?
Our services revolve around Cinematography Studio & Outdoor Photography, Graphic Design & Print, Audio-Visual Productions, and Media Consultant.
To what do you attribute your success?
My most useful attribute is being organized.
I design systems for storing information that allow fast and intuitive retrieval, making things easy to find.
Most people spend a lot of time looking for things, whether they are physical objects like car keys, or electronic documents, like a certain email or a digital image.
When items are properly labeled and stored, you can save hours, weeks, or even years of your life that you would spend looking for things. Organizational skills will also make you more valuable in any job that you do.
In addition to the important skill of being organized, it’s important to understand that fusion is what makes you unique.
As a Creative Director/CEO, what are your responsibilities?
- Preparing and justifying job estimates.
- Study the creative marketplace, assessing where Couvercle Media Impression’s work stands against competitors’, as well as our clients’ competitors’ creative work.
- Drive constant improvement in Couvercle Media Impression’s creative quality and capabilities.
- Managing outside resources, including vendors, photographers, colour separators, printers, freelancers, make-up artists, models, fashion designers, web and interactive subcontractors.
- Quality control, including proofing, reviewing, measuring and evaluating staff performance, creative output and project process(es).
- Writing and presenting cohesive and persuasive rationales for campaign approaches.
- Leading the unified process of marketing/concept/design and post -production execution.
- Managing the evolution of the agency’s technology needs, marketing technology and digital marketing capabilities.
Do you have people working for you?
How many employees do you have?
3 staffs and Freelancers.
What do you look for in an employee?
Commitment, Excellent Learning and Analytical Skills.
What’s your business goal?
Our goal is to capture every nuance of your unique story and help clients preserve memories and portray themselves in the best light.
Do you work locally or nationally?
Locally and Internationally.
What is unique about your business?
We use our collective and personal talents to translate complex information into compelling communications; that makes us unique.
Does your company support charities, community or social work in any way?
Yes. I have deep interest in people development; most especially the youth, which I express through training, inspirational speaking and mentoring – helping young people reach their maximum potential and see beyond their limitation through a non profit organization called Project Reason To Live.
Have you ever turned a client down?
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, confused about what to do. What would it be?
My best piece of advice if you’re looking to get into filmmaking or photography is to not get good at anything else.
“Life is all about risk, don’t allow any discouragement and condemnation…keep going and if you fall, get right back up and try again”. Tosin Olateru
My take outs from this feature are:
First, to succeed at anything in life we’d have to learn to take actions. You can’t convince nobody with something that is still in your head. Nobody wants to invest in anything abstract.
It’s OK for people to think the path you’re threading is foolish but don’t prove them right by giving up.
Success doesn’t come to you by doing nothing. Even scripture affirms this by saying God will bless the works of our hands.
You will need to define and know your craft well to convince people.
Okay, don’t let me bore you with my lessons. What are your major take outs? Head over to the comment section.
Love you guys,