Rodney Quarcoo: Championing Storytelling Through The Pinhole Of The Lens

Rodney Quarcoo. Photo Credit: Benjamin Adu

It is almost a cliche now, but the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is true – even today.

This saying is meant to explain the complex messages that one single shot can capture and convey.

For more than a decade, Rodney Quarcoo’s lenses have captured more than his fair share of ‘a thousand words’ and there is no indication he is toning it down.

As a documentary photographer since 2007, Rodney has been responsible for telling stories through the power of his lenses.

Since 2013, Rodney has also had the opportunity of sharing his knowledge with a different batch of students every year.

The Old Tom, which is what alumnus of St Thomas Aquinas Senior High School are called, studied at Christ The King International for his Basic Education Certificate Examination.

After Senior High School, which was called Senior Secondary School during his time, Rodney traveled to England for his tertiary education where he studied Business and Operations Management.

There is no doubt that the training in business has helped him survive in the creative space as an “independent” service provider for as long as he has.

However, Rodney gives all the credit to his dear father for his journey in life as an entrepreneur.

“My father played a big role in inspiring my entrepreneurial pursuits,” Rodney told in an exclusive interview.

“Growing up he was always into one interesting venture or another,” Rodney explained.

For Rodney, his exciting venture is the business of “telling stories using photography and film and other types of moving images, like mo on graphics, for the benefit of businesses and organizations.”

Sometimes, he is responsible for capturing the images that would then be used to save millions, if not billions of lives.

Yes, the very survival of our race, the human race.

We are currently living through one of the worst pandemics the world has ever seen. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on various sectors of the economy, rendering millions jobless.

One key sector or aspect of human life that the pandemic is affecting is agriculture. There are fears that the pandemic could trigger a global hunger crises, especially when certain countries are refusing to export food as they want to keep it for their own citizens. For instance, there are reports of Vietnam banning the export of rice because they want to keep it for their own citizens.

The pandemic is challenging the very survival of humankind and it’s not just about healthcare, but the global food system as well.

That is why, Rodney’s recent work with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, ranks among some of the most memorable projects he has worked on.

The project, which he started working on last year for IFAD was the start of a recent campaign to prevent economic shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic from triggering a global hunger and food crisis.

“Definitely something I am proud to have been a small part of,” Rodney told

Rodney’s work has given him the opportunity to work for some of the biggest institutions in the world including the World Bank, UN agencies, embassies, banks and non-banking financial institutions and NGOs.

Despite his success story, Rodney has had to battle with some challenging business decision, among them was deciding to close down his first business in order to venture into an all-new business territory for him.

He was faced with the decision to slowly close down a perfectly well known business venture called RQV and start a new bigger one called Quarcoo Media in its place.

“My service offerings have evolved and Quarcoo Media reflects more of where I am today than the ‘popular’ RQV did,” Rodney said.

Winding down one business while starting another, he said, has taught him one valuable business lesson.

“I learned through a few hard lessons the need to scale up once your business reaches a certain point,” he said.

“Planning ahead is key to determining when you need to expand your operations,” the entrepreneur said mostly as a word of advice to others.

Rodney has proved that just as one pays attention to what the lens is capturing, there is also the need to keep a close eye on the business behind the click.

Juggling the need to capture that image that is worth a thousand words and ensuring that the business runs smoothly is one of the defining qualities of Rodney. Even in a pandemic, he has found ways to adapt to the changing landscape.

No amount of planning could have prepared any entrepreneur on the impact of the COVID-19 and now even in this pandemic, Rodney is still helping organizations to tell the stories they want to tell.

He is doing all of it, through the power of his lens.


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