Tell us a little about yourself, shop or selling venues.
I am an amateur photographer based in Cape Town South Africa. My friends call me Mo, hence fotomo name of my shop on Etsy. I have been shooting ever since I was at school, having worked weekends to earn enough cash to buy my first camera. I have my own Architectural Consulting business, and with the worldwide recession, I found that I have a little more time to spend on my photography. I always shot with film cameras and crossed over to digital about 7 years ago. Currently, I am only selling my pictures on Etsy, but hope to exhibit when I have a larger portfolio and an opportunity arises.
What are some things that bring you joy or inspire you?
Joy and inspiration is all around us, there are amazing people doing amazing things to create a better world. Today, is 18th July which happens to be Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday. To me he is the personification of inspiration, to have been imprisoned for all that time, having fought injustice and essentially given up his entire life to fight for the cause that this country can be free today. And most of all not having any resentment for any of the injustices of his captors or for any of the sacrifices he made.
On a personal level, I am an eternal traveler, who feels I never have enough opportunities to travel. The reality is that I have been fortunate to travel to some incredibly amazing places in the world. So travelling is something that brings me joy. In that environment I find inspiration in everyday things, like somebody who just stops doing their busy routine to spend a moment to help a tourist find something on a map, or someone helping a blind or elderly person across the road, or even someone who just gives up their seat on a crowded bus. Simple, yet inspirational things that just shows mutual respect amongst human beings.
Do you work outside the home, or are you self employed?
I am self employed so mostly work from home, though sometimes when I am doing Consulting work I work at my Clients offices. My Photography takes me to various places, depending on what and where I am shooting. Post processing is done at home though.
How long have you been creating, and why did you begin?
I have been shooting since I was at school, so it’s been something I’ve been doing a long time. My first real encounter with photography was at a friend’s fathers studio. He was often there and we used to experiment all the time. Since then I have always had a camera of some sort, shooting whenever an opportunity arose. However, it was probably more documentary of family events, travel etc.
With the worldwide recession, I found I had more time to spend on researching and improving my Photography. I also wanted to find an outlet for my Photography to supplement my income. I am grateful to a friend Debbie, who has an Etsy shop called singingheartjewelry who introduced me to the idea of starting an Etsy shop, and encouraged me to do just that. So, with her help, I started my Etsy shop at the beginning of this year, unfortunately, I have not had the good fortune to sell anything yet. But, I believe that every piece of art has an expression of the artist and that there is someone out there who will enjoys that expression. I am hoping Etsy will create the platform for me to reach those that enjoy mine.
I believe every photographer has a “point of view” or an expression and photography allows you the platform to be able to show or share that expression. The image that you produce is a way of showing the scene “how you saw it” the moment you pressed the shutter button.
What are some of your favorites (websites, materials, foods, books, other people’s work, etc.)
I see the development of my photography as a journey which is improving with time, with incredible learning opportunities along the way. As a result I often read advice by other Photographers, there is a wealth of information on the internet, and people are so incredibly generous with advice. All of my images are digital nowadays, though they are printed in various sizes on paper, canvas or whatever material my Client prefers.
A favorite website, I suppose at a selfish level, there would be two, my Etsy shop www.fotomo.etsy.com and my blog www.4otomo.wordpress.com.
I love to read poetry by Khalil Gibran as it is truly inspiring in terms of life
Some examples are:
- You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
- And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms from those who work with joy.
- Braving obstacles and hardships is nobler than retreat to tranquility
Where do you live, and do you hope to live elsewhere?
I live in the wonderful city of Cape Town at the foot of the famous table mountain. I am not from Cape Town originally, though I call it home now. I have lived in different places in this country and in the world previously. I am an eternal traveler, as I mentioned earlier, so I guess I could live anywhere, provided there were enough travelling opportunities in the region 🙂
What are some of your short term and long term goals overall.
Short term goals are probably to finally sell one of my images on Etsy, followed by selling a lot more. Long term goals in the photography environment would be to try and find a way of combining my love of travel with my passion for photography, so finding a job in that environment would be the ultimate. Anybody out there looking for a photographer to travel and document places around the world, please contact me JJ
What is your most treasured possession, and why?
These are also very contextual, so in the photographic sense, my most treasured possession is my first SLR film camera, purchased with money I earned while working casual jobs on weekends when I was a schoolboy. I still have this camera and believe it or not, it is still functional.
My blog site has many of my images that have not appeared on the Etsy site…some examples are
best sellers, unfortunately none at this stage, have not sold anything yet L
UPDATE- After speaking with f0tomo (Mo), he has made his first Sales this past week! Congrats, friend! We wish you all success with your amazing work! Don’t forget to check out Mo’s Blog- I have been an active subscriber for a while now, and I look forward to reading it nearly everyday!