Episode 7: Photographer... Temi Coker

My name is April Basi and today I will be interviewing Temi Coker. I met Temi about 4 years ago a while back at an RCCG youth road trip to San Antonio, Texas. He’s such a nice guy and has remained a great person all through the years. I love that he has gone ahead to make something great for himself. He is living his truth, which a lot of people can’t say so much about them selves these days.

I have switched up the way I do these interviews, where, now I focus more on the individuals’ craft, rather than ask them all these questions about their personal views and lifestyle. I feel it will be more beneficial to whoever wants to pursue a certain career path.  Let me know if you guys like this method of interviewing better. I personally do.

Ok! Enough said, now grab a glass of juice or whatever puts you in the right mood and get started reading ….I’m sure you will enjoy reading this one not only because hes a fine boy..lol, but also if you love photography like I do, you will appreciate this interview!

What is your name?
Temiloluwa Coker

How old are you?

Where are you from?
Born and Raised in Lagos, Nigeria, but currently live in Arlington, TX.

Are you in school, If yes, (What school do you go to?)
Not anymore. I graduated May 2014 from the university of Houston (Go coogs).

What do you do for a living?
I’ve been doing photography and graphic design full time until last month when I began to sub at my old HS. I’m currently pursuing teaching and now have the opportunity to teach photography and video at my old HS which is pretty cool!

What is your dream career/ job?
My dream Job would be to be my own boss and work with different Ad Agencies doing graphic design/ photography or even work with top brands & Companies like Adidas, Nike, NFL, NBA, Olympics etc.

Now that we have gotten these personal questions out the way, my blog readers and I would like to know more about your photography?
Awesome! Lets get to it!

 What does photography mean to you?
Photography to me means capturing something that conveys some sort of emotion or story. Photography uses photographs as a voice. Pictures are really worth a thousand words

What first drew you to it?
The idea of just being able to freeze a moment and look back at it weeks or months later and still remember how you felt and why you took that photo.

How does black and white vs color play in your work?
Good question. Black and white helps when you want people to be more focused on the subject rather than the colors. Whenever my images are black and white, my idea behind that is to make the viewer focus more on the subject than the colors.
I love my pictures to have colors too, but I’m not a fan of having my pictures too contrasty (if that’s a word). I’m very sensitive when it comes to how colors are shown on my images.

What difficulties did you encounter when you first started?
My biggest difficulty when I first started was that I kept comparing myself to photographers who had been shooting for about 5+ Years. I was always comparing my work to theirs and felt like I would never get to their level.

Who are your all time favorite photographers and how do they influence you?
I Absolutely LOVE Henri Cartier-Bresson. He is an amazing photographer from the 1900’s. He was very passionate about photography and capturing authentic images that evoked some type of emotion.

 What role has social media played in your photography?
Social media has given me a platform to reach more people and more importantly share my view of the world and be able to share it .

Who are some photographers you follow recently?
My favorite photographers that I follow are @Laurenmarek, @ChristianGideon, @RayNeutron & @CarraSykes.
All the photographers listed all capture authentic images. They strive to capture the essence of a person, environment or thing. They take pictures that evoke some kind of emotion and I love it

 Do you take more pictures of yourself or others?
Ha! I take more pictures of others! I love portraits and capturing people in their element. You can learn about a person from their portraits and that’s what I strive to do with my portraits. Make people feel like they could relate to the individual.

Among the gadgets that you own, is there something that you wish you  hadn’t   bought? Why?
Umm, I bought an external hard drive that crashed on me so yeah I wish I didn’t buy that specific brand.

 Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?
My Favorite would be a shot from my recent trip to Nigerian (See more here http://temicoker.vsco.co/journal/temi-x-nigeria). I shot a picture of a man on a canoe that just got done cleaning the lake. These people sometimes don’t get paid to clean, but they wake up very early to clean. It was a sigh to see. I have a big print (16 x 20) in my room of the picture.

Whose work has influenced you most?
I’d say Henri Cartier-Bresson, but I also think I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from a lot of photographers. As far as foundation though, I’ll give that credit to Henri Cartier-Bresson. I think he set the standard for photography for a lot of photographers now.

What keeps you motivated?
I get motivated when my pictures make people feel something. That’s all I care about. I don’t care if it’s a bad emotion or good emotion, but if they feel something, I think I’ve done my job. I do hope they feel what I felt when I took the picture though ha!

Does your photography represent your culture in any way?
Hmm, I think it does. Nigerians are hard working and very action and emotionally driven and that’s what I think my work represents.

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you first started taking pictures?
I wish I knew the responsibility that came with taking pictures.
I wish I knew that photography required consistency and focus. I spent more time comparing my work to others and their tools than I did shooting pictures and learning my craft.

Which is your favorite lens? Why?
My Favorite lens is my 35L F1.4 Portrait lens. It’s just amazing and is now my all around lens! I rarely take it off my camera. If I could afford the 85mm f1.4L, I would! That lens is an amazing portrait lens.

What kind of gear do you use? Ie camera body, lens tripod, filters?
I use a Canon 6D and I have a 35mm f1.4L and an 85mm f1.8. I have a cheap tripod I got years ago which I rarely use now.

What advice do you have for anyone who is just getting into photography?
For anyone getting into photography I would advice them that its an expensive, frustrating (at first), yet rewarding experience. Consistency and focus are two big things I’ve learned in photography. Don’t be discouraged when you’re just starting out. Keep shooting and learn to shoot manual. Shoot more pictures and watch less photography videos. Find photographers who are better than you and shadow them. Ask them questions and learn from them. Use what you’ve learned to find your own 
style and what works for you!

Webstie: Temicoker.me

Thank you for your letting me into your world of photography I am sure my readers have learnt a thing or two about photography. Please visit his website and follow him on instagram to check out his work, he’s seriously good at what he does, you wont be disappointed.

Also stay tuned I will be having a very good friend of mine next who is an upcoming artist next. Y’all know I got y’all.


  1. Great post April! Always great to introduce new people, its great that he is about entrepreneurship!


    x Kellie

  2. I follow him on Instagram! Discovered him after he shot these two super cool couple that eloped for their wedding (can't remember their names)
    I think he takes dope pictures


    1. yea you're talking about Dave and Kellee. I loved that shoot as well. his pictures are phenomenal

  3. Love the interview and his work i'm a fan lol x


    1. Thank you Titilayo glad I was able to make you see how dope he is

  4. He is really good! Thanks for sharing, I picked up a few tips for taking my photos for my blog