Nikko Jokiaho: A Life Through a Lens
Ride The Wave #3: Nikko's inspiration and life as an exceptional videographer.
Welcome to Ride The Wave #3
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By: Daniel Magazu
This week’s guest features Nikko Jokiaho, a talented and successful videographer. Nikkos had the opportunity to shoot for exclusive companies like Redbull and also work as a videographer for UMass Hockey, one of the best teams in the nation.
You can tell that Nikko is passionate about videography. Because he is passionate about videography, he constantly develops his editing and camera skills daily.
What I enjoy most about Nikko’s story is that he proves that it is never too late to start. He did not become serious about videography until his freshman year of college. I remember meeting Nikko freshman year; seeing how far his videography skills have come is astonishing. It emphasizes how practicing a craft every day can cause an exponential return.
After college, Nikko plans on pursuing a career in videography full-time. He has already booked himself out to shoot for 25 weddings in 2023.
If you would like to reach out to Nikko to discuss videography or a collaboration, I will link his socials below.
Professional Account: @nikkojokiaho
Personal Account: @visualizedbynikko
Let’s hear Nikko’s story.
A Life Through A Lens
By: Nikko Jokiaho
When I think about where I am today in terms of pursuing my passions and goals, I often think of my childhood.
I have been interested in film and video for as long as I can remember. As a child, on most nights, you could find me watching movies, all the classics from Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Jaws to more of the current films that were coming out in my youth, such as The Dark Knight and Inception. I was always fascinated by how the stories were told and how characters evolved throughout films. Most importantly, I was captivated by how the style of the cinematography looked. I would like to know how the shots were filmed and how coloring would be put in place.
As I got older and technology progressed, I began watching more videos on Youtube. This was a website I fell in love with. There was just so much to watch, and many creators were different from each other.
I got very interested in watching traveling YouTubers, such as Casey Neistat. It made me so curious that these people could use just a camera and their creative power to support themselves financially and honestly live an incredible life. I would watch all types of videos and fell in love with different styles and genres.
At the very beginning of my videography career, when I was much younger, I combined my interests in Legos and video.
As a child, I was amazed that creators could make inanimate objects move through stop motion. I had to learn how to do this.
My curiosity led me to where I could get good information - Youtube. I would watch several tutorials on how to do stop-motion videos.
I began making several little Lego videos by taking hundreds or thousands of pictures of slight movements in inanimate objects and stitching them all together in order for them to move.
At the time, I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
As iPads became more popular and iMovie was a thing, I began creating more short videos. My close childhood friend also had a similar passion for video creation, which inspired me to make videos alongside him.
We used to do all types of short films on iMovie. We found good humor in using the trailer feature, which allowed us to make real-looking movie trailers.
Most of this happened during elementary school, and much of what I was doing did not continue right around 6th grade. I only did a little with video work from about 6th grade until I was a freshman in college. The only video work was a simple intro to film editing class, but much of the course was all I had learned in the earlier years. Although, my love for watching creators and videos never faded. That was something that I continued to do.
As my freshman year rolled around, I started worrying about what I should major in as I went into school undecided. I eventually decided to pursue Kinesiology.
I was thinking about my work life and that it may not be enjoyable if I don't do something I love.
I began putting the idea into my head more and more so that I could do what the people I have watched for years can do.
Finally, as we were sent home because of Covid and had to quarantine, I decided to brainstorm. I wanted to pick up a hobby since we could not do much, as most places were closed due to the pandemic.
I decided I would buy a camera and get into some photography.
I bought a Canon 77d and began to take pictures of everything. I would take photographs in many different places, such as the woods, abandoned buildings, and the city at night, and have some of my friends let me take pictures of them.
My work eventually got me some exposure, and one kid from my high school who was trying to start his clothing brand reached out to me to be his content creator. I was excited because this was my first job making money with a camera.
I began creating videos and taking photos promoting the clothing. My work was nothing special, but it had some good aspects. I practiced more and more on my editing skills and techniques, as well as learned all fundamentals that went into making footage look crispy.
With each video I made, I progressed from the last in terms of how professional it looked. As a videographer, there is endless knowledge to gain about the subject to grow your style.
I continuously would use Youtube as a learning tool to grow my knowledge as a videographer, watching tutorials and how-tos.
One of the first freelance jobs I got was for my barber after he had found out I made some videos. He loved it and began to spread my name to the rest of the barbers in his shop, which gave me a lot of new work.
I began getting more individual jobs from different people and businesses, such as barbershops, real estate agents, hockey skills trainers, lawyers, restaurants, DJs and Clubs, and many other companies. I usually get these jobs by reaching out to see if the business would be interested in video or from word of mouth from previous clients.
As I began getting more exposure, I was reached out to by the owner of Spinner Music Productions, one of the top wedding vendors in the New England area. I began to work for them as a subcontractor creating wedding films for couples. This was very big for me as the wedding industry had a far larger budget than I had ever encountered. Weddings are something I started in about 2021 and continue to do today. I have around 25 bookings in weddings for the upcoming 2023 year and continue to get more inquiries often.
One of my favorite jobs was getting the opportunity to work with an exotic car dealer. He was a private seller who wanted me to showcase the vehicles in his inventory, such as Lamborghinis, Porsche, Ferraris, and corvettes. The more work I created, the more exposure to other unique experiences I was getting.
As a child, I was also very passionate about cars, and to think that my passion for film allowed me to sit in some of my favorite cars of all time was pretty surreal.
Other surreal experiences I had the opportunity to work on as a videographer were with BootybyBrabants, Cisco Brewers, Amazon, Red Bull Cliff Diving, and Hockey Night in New England, a hockey show that airs on NBC. That day I was helping to film a day in the life in Boston with Bruins star forward Taylor Hall.
Looking back on all the experiences I have had the opportunity to work with has only inspired me further to continue to master my craft.
I continue to watch tutorials and get inspiration from other creators to further my journey as a videographer.
Entering my senior year at UMass, I plan to work further on my passion for content creation. I applied to work as a videographer in athletics here and was accepted. I now film all the athletics games at UMass, including football, men's and women's basketball, hockey, and many other sports that will come during the spring. I am fortunate for the position I am in as I have learned more about editing and video skills. The consistency of athletics every week always has me constantly editing and practicing.
As I look toward graduation, I will continue pursuing to be a top videographer in the industry.
I will continue my pursuit of freelance and will continue to strive for more work. As a freelancer, I could do many types of video work: cars, travel, food, entertainment, and sports.
I have worked up my portfolio to where I have quite a bit of everything.
My dream job was to escape the standard 9-5 in the same office every week. My love for new experiences and my ambition to do something different than the everyday lifestyle pushes me to hone my skills.
Videography is something that I love to do, and that is why I don't consider it a job but rather just me creating a piece of content for people to enjoy. If I can love what I am doing while getting paid for it, I don't see what could be better than that.
I aspire to be one of the greats I look up to in the industry. Mastering the passion I have had since I was a kid makes me feel like I am truly doing what I should be in my life, bringing the most satisfaction to myself. As I look toward the future, I will continue to grind and expand myself and the work I produce.
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Great story. People skilled at filming and editing will continue to thrive in the future.
Personal filming is def a growing industry