Say Hello to Dara Ojo!

Say hello to Dara Ojo, Rare Earth Outreach's Guest Judge for the August 2023 50/50 Challenge! The Match Brief drops August 1st, 2023, so until then we suggest you spend a little time getting to know this month's Guest Judge. This Nigerian-born native has spent many years living abroad, including time in the UK and China, and currently calls Canada home. His early years playing with a busted Nikon didn't translate to a passion for photography until the pandemic hit. With the planet at a dead standstill and left at the mercy of global restrictions on who and how and when we interacted with the world around us, Dara started (quite literally) looking at the world through a different lens: a macro lens! We look forward to helping you get to know more about Dara in the coming weeks and dropping the Match Brief on August 1, 2023, but if this little teaser leaves you wanting more, a quick Google search will bring back loads of videos, interviews, and accolades we just don't have space to include here. Be sure to check out his website and follow him on his socials!

What is the best (or worst) advice you have ever gotten (or given)?

Start taking pictures of people so you can make some money. (Worst!)

What was the last piece of equipment you bought or class you attended?

A headlamp

What is your most or how do you deal with your most challenging professional struggle?

As a macro photographer who thrives in the tiny, intricate details of the world. The complexity and beauty found in the smallest facets of nature are fascinating to me. I find that it provides a new perspective on the world, and it's something I enjoy sharing with others through my photographs. 

As a macro photographer, I often deal with an overwhelming amount of digital files. From high-resolution photos to raw files and edits, my storage can get chaotic. However, I have learned to control my digital environment effectively. First, I maintain a strict organizational system where I sort my photographs by project, subject, and date. I've found this to be a versatile and effective method to quickly locate my files. Second, I use metadata and tags extensively. This not only allows me to locate my photos swiftly but also makes it easier for me to understand the context behind each photograph. Third, I have a routine for cleaning up my digital library. It's an essential part of my workflow that allows me to keep only the necessary files. 

Next, I always ensure my important files are backed up. I use a mix of cloud storage services and external hard drives for this. I've learned it's best to diversify my storage methods to minimize risks. I've also started using Digital Asset Management tools. These help me manage my assets more efficiently, and I find the advanced features they offer extremely beneficial. Lastly, I've set clear goals for what's worth keeping. I've found this to be the key to prevent digital hoarding. I usually keep the best shots from each session or images that meet a certain quality standard. 

Admittedly, managing digital assets is a continuous task, but these strategies have helped me stay on top of my work, making me more productive and organized. If you are facing similar challenges, I'd definitely recommend giving these methods a try.

If there was one thing you could change about the industry or an insider secret you think shouldn't be a secret, what would that be?

Equality when it comes to picking ambassadors representing brands

What do you do to remain grounded, connected, balanced, and/or centred when life feels overwhelming?

I just take a walk through nature with my camera

What is something you haven't done or tried yet, either as a personal or professional goal, that you hope to achieve in the next year?

Shoot a snake (with a camera, of course)

Who do you admire (professionally or personally), and why?

David Attenborough, his love for nature is inspiring.

When and how did you know (or suspect) that you had found your calling as a creative?

When I couldn't believe what I have created.

Do you have any advice to give (or that you wish someone else could give you) about maintaining work/life balance?

Just keep it simple


If "Today" you could go back and tell "Last Year" (or Month or Week) you something, what would it be?

Go out and shoot more


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