When it comes to finding creative ways to fund your education in order to succeed in your career goals, entrepreneur and photographer, Oye Diran perfected a recipe for success. Oye Diran is a self-taught, fashion and commercial photographer based in New York City. As a student of business at CUNY’s College of Staten Island, Diran was able to overcome the obstacle of financing his college education all while living out his dream as a photographer.
In a feature in Black Enterprise he explained how he found ways to monetize his creative talents. “I live on my own in Staten Island, N.Y., and my photography gigs help with my school and living expenses,” he says. “Photography helps me bring in an income, and I learned about the business aspect of it all over time. I got professional advice from established photographers and researched how much others charge for their services via the Internet. I also read up on marketing and customer service—skills that are critical to this business. Taking photos is maybe 30% of the job. The business is 70%.”
He began his career in 2010 as an event photographer and used the time to establish himself in the industry, gaining skills and improving on his ability to capture the true essence and raw emotions in his subjects.
Diran passed along the following advice for other entrepreneurs seeking to find ways to fund their education and dreams:
1. Tap into the child in you and use talents that showcase your passion.
2. Search the Web and use campus resources to find ways to monetize your creative talents.
3. Gain inspiration from your family, culture, or community in creating a niche for what you offer to clients or consumers.
To view some of his signature images and detailed motifs visit his website, OyeDiran.net.