We had the good fortune of connecting with Olivier Kay and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Olivier, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
I did not go to a photography or cinematography school. I self taught everything I know, even music. Thanks to YouTube I’m able to learn different tips everyday and improve my skills.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m from the Democratic Republic of Congo and I came in the U.S. in 2004. Ten years later, my siblings and I went back home (Congo) for a two week vacation. I remember we had a family camera that nobody knew how to use. It felt good being back in my neighborhood, meeting my cousins and childhood friends. However, things weren’t the same. A lot of things have changed but it didn’t matter to me. I was so happy being there. That was when I started taking pictures of my friends, family and nature without knowing the rule of 3rd, aperture and iso, etc. I

I bought my first camera in 2015 and It wasn’t a dslr or a mirrorless camera. It was actually a drone, dji phantom 3 pro. I paid for some classes and got my license within two weeks then I started getting booked here and there. My first paid drone gig was about $200. I was able to save to enough money to buy my first mirrorless sony camera.

Learning photography was not easy at all. It was stressful because I didn’t know nobody to teach me nor had the money to sign up for courses. I had to watch countless videos everyday on YouTube and practice whenever I was free. It was frustrating at some point that I almost that I almost sold my gears. But I kept pushing myself.

I’ve always wanted to start a business since I was kid. For example, In 1997, my mother bought me a Sega Saturn and two games for my 12th birthday and I was the only one that had it in my neighborhood. My friends and other people were coming to play after school in my mom’s garage. I was charging them the equivalent of $1 to $2 per round. I made enough money to buy more games within a month.

My journey as videographer started in mid 2017. I was looking for wedding gigs for months and I couldn’t find anything and clients were not booking me because I had no experience in that field. I have purchased almost $2500 worth of gears and I was slowly getting discouraged until my homegirl booked me for her wedding. I was so confident and excited but I knew I couldn’t do it by myself. So I called my friend Javier and we flew to Canada for to shoot the wedding . That was my first paid gig as a wedding videographer. It was a success over all but still learned a lot from it.

A year later, in 2018, I decided to create my company O.KAY MOTION llc and Javier officially became my business partner. Together, we worked on different projects, not just wedding but also brand commercials, short films etc.

I believe God blessed all of us with different talents but it was up to us to discover what they are and used them wisely. That’s why I’m always looking for ways to improve my skills and learn new things.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would normally ask him/her what they’re into a week or two weeks in advance so I can plan our day. Most of my friends know I love cooking african food and I know good african food restaurants in city.

Our journey will probably start around 1pm. I know some restaurants in the Bronx, on 116th or 125th street in Harlem. After that, we’ll get on the ferry to Staten Island. If they want to take some photos, I know some dope spots in that area.

After that, we will probably hit some rooftop spots, bars or clubs with drinks and good music in midtown Manhattan then go back uptown on 125th st in Harlem to check out some Afro music performances.

There are so many things you can do in NYC. It all depends on what you’re into and I’m sure you will find something.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, I’d like to thank my friend and business partner Javier Rivera. He helped me figure out how to use my first video tools the right away. I wasn’t confident using them, I was inexperienced but he was there to train me.

Second, It’s my friend Miguel From TheXperience. He inspired me and helped me improve my editing skills and shooting techniques. We’ve worked on a lot of projects together

Third person is my wife. I want to thank her for her love and support. She helped me make a good business decision. She closed business deals with clients and was my assistant numerous times. I appreciate her and her support a lot.

Instagram: @okaymotion

Image Credits
Model : @iammyownstyle Photographer : @okaymotion

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