Tears of a hungry Photographer


It happened at the wedding we covered last saturday (November 19, 2011). Like most of the jobs we get, this was a “referral”. We came highly recommended by a client that we covered her wedding 4 yrs ago. The client had recently started an event-planning outfit and we were her photography outfit of choice to the client that could afford to pay the bill. Along came this couple and we were chosen in May to be their official wedding photographer. Fast-forward to November 19, 2011. I got to the couple’s hotel at 6:10am. Started the implementation of our job description. We documented photographically everything & anything they had spent money on. The makeup artist doing his job, the brides’ maids dressing up, the groom ironing his shirt, the best man shaving his beard; we snapped everything. Fast-forward to the reception. The dj was playing nice jams, the bride & groom were dancing, the bridal train smiling & every guest eating, drinking & smiling. It was at that moment it happened. I began analyzing the entire wedding. First the dj was very good at what he did, playing jams by artists that were considered very successful in the country (the likes of P-square, Dbanj & Flavour). And then I began to analyze the decorator’s works. She was one of the best decorators in town and was in high demand. I looked at the food vendor and was salivating at the beauty of the food that was being served. I never knew food could be this beautiful. So beautiful that I didn’t even have the courage to ask for a plate. As a photographer, I had grown used to being denied a plate of food because I was not considered a “guest”; so u can’t blame me when I couldn’t summon the courage to ask for a plate. I brought out the sausage roll I had bought earlier during the church service and began feasting. As I feasted, I meditated on the beauty of the reception hall venue. It was beautiful. It is beautiful.. I would later find out that the hall was the most expensive single item in the expenses of the wedding. The 2nd most-expensive was FOOD. And then, out of nowhere, tears started streaming down my eyes. I was hungry. Very very hungry. I was eating a sausage roll but I was hungry. I was crying. If you had met me at that moment you would be thinking I had just been jilted by the girl of my dreams. I was crying because I was hungry for a better me, a better photographer-me. I learnt that the groom budgeted and spent about N5 million ($32,000) for the wedding. I realized he only hired vendors that were excellent at what they do. Not that I was unsatisfied with the N360,000 that was allocated for photography; I just felt there has to be more to life as a photographer than making money & getting rich. Don’t get be wrong, I want to become the photographer that gets paid N1 – N10 million just to cover a wedding, but I better be adding serious value to the clients I’m serving and to my society. I was hungry to be the best photographer & person I could ever be. The photographer that will be a role-model in character to many. I was hungry to be the photographer that will partner with God to raise the next generation of world-class photographers. For therein will my joy be full. I was hungry & couldn’t hold back the tears. There’s still so much to be done in this industry, so much to be done in my life. And then my eyes met the gaze of the bride. I quickly wiped the tears from my face although I was still hungry and crying inside. PLEASE GOD, FILL ME UP because I’m hungry……