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……

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20 comments

  1. Makinde Adeniyi · November 23, 2011

    Wow!!! Quite an interesting piece; The Hunger for More.

    Like

  2. Mojisola Adejuyigbe · November 23, 2011

    Hunger is what God loves, just need to go to the next step of crying out. He will satisfiy your soul wih good so that His name will be glorified. Ps 107 vs 1 to 9. SHALOM

    Like

  3. Justin Bonaparte · November 23, 2011

    Powerful story! I hope you achieve all that you wish and more.

    Like

  4. Jide · November 23, 2011

    Hmmmm

    Like

  5. tola adeyinka · November 24, 2011

    Recently I learned that our “work” here on earth should have a higher purpose other than paying our bills and enriching our bank accounts. I pray you find that.

    Like

  6. Anonymous · November 24, 2011

    You are a man of purpose. Keep moving and God will satisfy you.
    Blessed are they that hunger… for they shall be filled 🙂

    Like

  7. queenstolu · November 24, 2011

    You r a man of purpose; Keep moving and God will satisfy u. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

    Like

  8. Mike S · November 24, 2011

    I recommend reading books on photography, that has helped me a lot. I don’t know if you can find them in your local libraries or if you have to buy them, but if possible read books on Photography, using the RAW format, and using Photoshop or some other RAW editor, you will be amazed at how much you learn and how much power you have to improve shots using the image editor. Also the Olympus Yahoo group you joined has a lot of expert members who contribute very useful information.
    Best Wishes,
    Mike

    Like

  9. Dipo · November 25, 2011

    Wow, great article! I sooo understand how you feel. I commit to doing the little I can to see this vision come to life. God bless you bro!!!

    Like

  10. rajib das · November 25, 2011

    some times it happen in life at the time of extreme happyness tears comes out and also at the time of deep sorrow a madly laughs comes out…..

    Like

  11. Dami · December 8, 2011

    Intense…..

    Like

  12. adeola d photoposesideas · December 8, 2011

    To raise the next generation of world-class photographers:you have already began , as I am been inspire by you and setting at your table – I seen my self at world-class level soonest.
    I know if see it, you can have it with a dedicated heart.

    Like

  13. Oluseyi · December 9, 2011

    Wow..Seun. Nice piece. You might have to consider writing a photography book soon. Well done and thanks for inspiring us.

    Like

  14. Obi · December 10, 2011

    just out of curiosity, your photography contract doesn’t state that you and your team have to be fed on the day?

    Like

    • elophotos · December 10, 2011

      It doesn’t state that because we believe we charge enough to be able to take care of that. We come with our own snacks just in case we’re denied food. I hope that will change soon

      Like

    • Jesus Buck · March 1, 2012

      @Obi, I wonder if the guests that were fed on these big days carried some sort of “commitment” or contract to enjoy that benefit from the host. As a host you are not obligated to, but it takes your goodwill as a human being to consider letting them enjoy that hospitality. But, unfortunately, and funnily (permit me to use the “English”) a Photographer is not considered a guest. Not that we are complaining, I am just saying that you don’t always have to be bound by terms to do what is good.

      Like

  15. Anonymous · December 10, 2011

    I pray that we photographers will think and see in the way of God. Well done sir …

    Like

  16. Anonymous · February 23, 2012

    very touching……….inner hunger that no food no matter how beautifully prepared can quench.

    Like

  17. kingofotos · March 19, 2012

    One thing that stands Photographers (Artists) out is, seeing things that people don’t ordinarily see and ‘thinking outside the box’. This was just what came to my mind after reading your story. You did not just focus on your photo coverage but …’thinking outside the box’. The structure of your story is inspiring.
    How did you develop such writing skills, are you a literary artist? am inspired by your writing skills.

    Like

    • elophotos · March 20, 2012

      Thanks a lot for ur kind words. Can’t really explain logically how d “writing skills” were developed. All I can say is dat the more you write (or do any other thing), the better you get at writing. Call it d almighty formula, it worked for me. Wish u d best. Cheers

      Like

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