It’s lights, camera, action for Peter Oghina
2007-07-19 15:12:06 -

 In the latest instalment of Metro Eireann’s Meet The Boss, SANDY HAZEL speaks to Peter Oghina, a photographer and documentary maker based in Dublin

Peter Oghina, originally from Nigeria, has a five-year plan, and is pretty sure that it’s all going to happen.  He has just started to invest in his business and is confident in his skills as a photographer and videographer to market himself more in the mainstream. 

“I have a degree in art and literature from Benin Univer-sity in Nigeria,” he says, “and when I came to Ireland first I looked around and did some research on how my skills might find a market here.

“I decided to further my studies. I studied digital video editing techniques at Film Base in Temple Bar in Dublin, and I went to the Dun Laoghaire College of Further Education to do Television and Video Production. 

“I knew that I would also need a good grounding in running a business in Ireland and that’s when I did a course with Equal Emerge in starting and running a business. 

“That really helped in showing the logistics of getting started: there is a lot of paperwork involved. That course emphasised the importance of keeping account of business and planning.” 

Oghina also completed a certificate course in Management and Leadership at NUI Maynooth last year.

“Getting started was tricky, I was willing to get experience for little or nothing in the beginning just to get my name and reputation known,” he explains. “Also, my [lack of] papers for residency at the time did not allow me to earn. So all the while I was building up experience.”

Out of that willingness to share his skills, Oghina now has contracts that include documentary making for the Dr Mercy Obeimi Foundation in the US, which will be using Oghina this August as a cameraman for a documentary about their projects in Nigeria. Oghina records events and edits to clients’ specifications. The finished product of any project is a professional DVD with duplication as required. 

Oghina also records events for the Nigerian Embassy, and his work has taken him to meet President Mary McAleese at Aras an Uachtaráin to document a book launch for Pamela Toyin Akinjobi’s HerStory. 

“I love what I do and am hoping to get more photography work, too,” he enthuses. “I have started to invest in more equipment to help my business expand as the camera, lights, background and reflectors all need to be state-of-the-art. It is a technology-driven industry but there is a great creative side to it too.” 

Oghina is planning a website to showcase his work to potential clients. 
“I have my domain name and now have to decide whether to contract out the website build to someone else or if I should build it myself,” he says. “The problem is finding a good course that will be practical and cost effective that would enable me to do that. I am investigating this now. A website is an integral part of any business now, even if it is to act as a shop window.” 

One of Oghina’s biggest influences is his late father. He says: “My dad taught me that although business is not easy and that the profits and rewards are not always available as soon as one would like, if it is something you love doing then it is worth doing. I remember him every day.” 

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