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  • Cole Oehlers

"How do you change the world with a camera?"

It's an interesting concept isn't it? What is actually possible with a camera? Do we magically hold a more and more powerful weapon in our pocket everytime we buy a new iPhone? (I know my wrinkles and receding hairline become more and more visible.)


Over 95 million photos and video are shared on Instagram everyday. Over 4 billion snapchats (yes...billion with a B) are sent every 24 hours. Over 240 billion ( yes billion with a B again) photos have been "pinned" in Pinterest to view again and for the past 500 years we have all been looking at and studying the painting of some woman named Mona Lisa. It's safe to say that we as people have found an obsession, or "infatuation" with photos, and it has only grown larger and larger as technology evolves and accessibility of sharing increases. Yet...Why is not as common to be a full time photographer? In America we spend an average of 1,300 hours on social media. It seems like there is plenty of demand for content and plenty of eyes to consume and admire it... Well that's where Pop-Up Paparazzi comes in.


My name is Cole Oehlers and I am a software tech nerd and entrepreneur who spent years fighting people telling me "I shouldn't pursue art or music because it's not a real job and I will never make money." They were right. Kind of.


I grew up obsessed with music. It's all I wanted to do and beyond just a fun hobby it provided an outlet and a voice for me to escape the bullying I experienced for stuttering. With the power of music and art I felt true liberation from this crippling thing that seemed to be the root of ever problem that existed. Dating. Class participation. My choice to do strange hobbies like yoyo and juggling. Nevertheless, when I decided that music was my passion and I would work to make it my career, I got some push back. Like most artists, the reality of things like food, electricity, transportation, rent all struck me and for some reason everyone in my life KNEW that being an artist would never provide those things.


Fast forward a few years and I had proved them wrong. I taught in schools, ran a recording studio, recorded albums in some of the same studios as artists such as Nirvana, I opened up for Third Eye Blind on a Saturday night at the world largest music festival. I made it. Until I suffered a lip injury which happens to be an important factor in playing the trumpet...That's how we ended up here.


After years of working in software and business I learned a lot and while I know I am not the artist I used to be; I now have a knowledge and skill set that can help me be an artist in a different kind of way. Reflecting on my time in pretty much two totally different worlds I came to the realization that artists are NOT entrepreneurs (thank goodness honestly) but that unfortunately creates gaps which makes it near impossible to be an artist full time. You like to take pictures? Well I hope you are also a genius marketer, web developer, accountant, booking specialist, legal counsel, and hopefully find time to edit your photos too!!! Ummm no thanks


That's my mission and all of our mission here at Pop-Up Paparazzi. Help empower artists to make more art, share more art, and pursue art in a grand fashion without needing to be an entrepreneur too. So can you change the world with just a camera? I don't know for certain but I believe you can and we are here to try.



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