Ambitious Emeka's 'focusing' on future
A TEENAGER has turned his love of photography into a business with the launch of a website for customers and professionals.
Emeka Forbes, pictured below, aged 18, developed the site with web designer Tom Addis, of creative agency Redoko.
The site, www.capturate.com, features a database of photographers across the UK.
As well as making it easier for customers to find and book a photographer suited to their needs and location, the site offers a platform for photographers to showcase their work.
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Emeka, who is currently studying for his A-levels at Newcastle College, said he wanted to offer people a fast and efficient way to contact a quality photographer without having to trawl around studios.
He said: "After establishing a small informal photography venture with a friend, I decided I wanted to combine my hobby for taking photos and my passion for business.
"The new website acts as a modern and efficient way to bring together the fragmented market of photography – the average consumer simply doesn't have the time to trawl through thousands of results on Google anymore.
"I'm a strong believer in the philosophy that you shouldn't simply expect to succeed by relying on others.
"If you really want to achieve all that you desire, you must build your future independently.
"It's my ultimate ambition to succeed in the world of business and to act as a role model for young people with similar aspirations."
Capturate is now building up its directory of photographers.
Customers can compare the services on offer before completing their booking there and then through a convenient, secure and fast online system.
Emeka, of Etruria, added: "Part of the definition of 'entrepreneur' is 'an individual who takes risks' and that risk factor is something that prevents countless people from following their desire to enter self-employment.
"At 18, I'm in a truly unique position. I don't pay a mortgage, council tax, utility bills. This is the best time in my life to take a chance.
"The basic foundation of Capturate is that we provide a service to photographers to help them achieve bookings – think hotels.com for photographers.
"I met up with Tom, who I knew through a friend, and he was immediately taken by the concept and we decided to go into partnership 50/50."
Emeka and Tom are now working to develop the website further. They are currently tweaking the site for use on tablets such as iPad and, with 200,000 hits in its first couple of months, they want to make it even easier for people to use.
The site is free for photographers to sign up to and there are no contracts involved. The business makes cash by charging a 10 per cent commission on any bookings it generates.
Tom, aged 33, of Wolstanton, said: "It's going really well. Photographers want to be out there working not dealing with administration, that's why so many are keen to sign up.
"We are getting lots of traffic and spreading the word. We think Capturate is one of the first, if not the first, website of its kind, although we are aware of other organisations catching on now and planning their own sites.
"However with the benefits we offer, photographers will see it is worth them coming to us."
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