Hi Ambika and Afolabi, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind the success of CLIQUE has been our community. Not only are our family and friends extremely supportive of what we do, we treat each client we work with as a part of our community, our clique and word of mouth has been our biggest source of new business. Beyond that, with each new big project we take on, we try to think about how we can get our larger community engaged and involved, and how we can benefit them.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Creativity, connection and community is part of everything we do. Keeping those three pillars of our brand in mind sets CLIQUE apart. Not only are we photographers, but we are creative producers. We know what it’s like to be a creative, so we approach other creative’s in the way we would want to be approached. Outside of photography and video production work, we focus on community-driven initiatives and events that allow us to give back to our communities. A couple of projects we are most proud of include IMPERFECT, which was an interactive art show that you can learn more about here, and LOSTPORTRAITS, which was an initiative to gift family portraits to Houston-area families who were affected by Hurricane Harvey – you can learn more about it here.
CLIQUE started from a passion for visual storytelling and people. Both of us (Afolabi and Ambika) have a strong interest in photography and that hobby and our friendship eventually turned into a business. Although we do not have a formal education in photography or creative production, we have learned a lot through passion projects, client work, workshops and from other creatives over the years. Practice, consistency, confidence, hard work, and community building are a few contributing factors to our professional success. We’ve encountered many challenges along the way, which have not been easy to overcome, but have taught us how to manage expectations for different projects that we take on. Staying organized has been a key factor in overcoming challenges. Some lessons we’ve learned over the years include how important partnership and communication are, both internally and with the community we work with.
Our purpose has always been and continues to be producing beautiful visual stories that resonate with people, spark conversations, and foster a positive space for other creatives to express themselves and work together.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If we had a friend visiting, we’d start off by grabbing some breakfast tacos at Brother’s Tacos in EaDo and then take them to Vision Light Studio to take photos, of course, then head over to the Museum of Fine Arts or Menil park to hang out for a while, stop by Down the Street for a beer or Cyclone Anaya’s for some margaritas, get dinner at Mai’s or Nancy’s Hustle, and close out the evening at Better Luck Tomorrow for a night cap.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Again, we owe our success to our community, our CLIQUE. We have built a strong network of other creatives that we like to collaborate with. They have taught us a lot and pushed us to be better. Shout out to the Houston creative community, specifically Stevie Reid (Stevie D. Photography), Vision Light Studio, Ashhad Agyapong (Kwadwo Agyapong), Jon Connor (Midnight Club), Michelle Cofield (Changing Facez Studios), Karmyn Oluremi (Glam Tram TX), Christina Porter, Dishon Isaac, Andrea K. Obienu, just to name a few.
Other: Afolabi Mosuro – @folabi (Instagram) Ambika Kashi Varghese – @AmbikaKashi
All Images by CLIQUE (CreatedByClique)