A Photo Session with the Twins at 2

So my nephews (or is it nieces) were 2 about 2 weeks ago and being the official family photographer I was compelled to give them a 2nd photo session (the 1st being their 1yr old birthday) that lasted for 2hours. It was a tumultuous session that made me realize the importance of being a patient person. Amidst cries & laughter we attempted to get a few nice pictures depicted below.

At the end of the session, I had more respect for the wonderful parents depicted in therein. Although I know they’re not identical twins I still find it difficult to differentiate Fadeke from Folake. Maybe 2yrs of living in the same house with them will solve that challenge. Either way, it was fun doing the shoot & I can’t wait for the twins to be 3.

Pictures taken with Olympus E3, 12-60mm lens, Bowens 500 gemini light kit, a few chivita fruit juice & an abundance of patience & love.

Looking at the pictures, don’t you just feel like having twins? 🙂 it is well

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Meeting L.A.

I met her last week after teaching at the skill acquisition program organized by Daystar Christian Centre. She is one of eloPhotos’ biggest fan and we were finally meeting face to face.

Beautiful & fair in complexion, I wondered why she wasn’t a makeup artist or fashion designer. Instead she was bent on pursuing a career in photography. We had barely chatted for 5mins when I sensed that she was really hungry and passionate for this dream she was about to pursue. I love meeting people that are this hungry. I enjoy being a part of their story.

Although the meeting lasted for just 10 minutes, I was convinced on embarking on some photography projects with such a hungry soul. Although she might not be in the country for over 2yrs (due to the photography degree she wants to pursue abroad), I’m sure she’ll make an impact whenever she returns. Although there’s no logical reason for writing about someone I barely know, I sense that photography in Nigeria will not be the same because of her.

I hope I’m not wrong. I hope I’m not exaggerating. But most importantly I hope my meeting with L.A. gave her enough reasons (despite the loss of a loved one) not to let go of her photography dream.

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Minutes of “Take your photography business to the next level”

Feb 16, 2012

Professional Photographers were admonished:

 To Be firm in their dealings with clients

 To try not to engage in agreements unless 80% of the fees have been deposited

 To Be professional in their dealings with wedding clients and should strive not only to collect 100% of their fees upfront but to also deliver on the jobs on or before the date promised.

 To clarify all terms and conditions in discussion with the client, and where feasible; preferably face-to-face and not only through phone calls

 To make clear (especially on their invoices) details of discounts being given their client

Mr Seun further emphasized other issues including procrastination and the ethics of borrowing equipment from colleagues. He stressed that getting jobs whose net value are able to purchase a camera should rather be the goal of the photographer. This is where he also made distinctions on when and where some jobs should be turned down and that photographers must have standard packages with a pricing structure that is clear and unambiguous.

A website presence and its value was further elaborated upon and every photographer advised to maintain one where clients can view their portfolio, read terms and conditions, their different packages available and associated charges as well as discount options.

The issue of copyright laws was discussed to the effect that with the use of clients pictures for marketing purposes in formats such as online; documented detailing of agreements must be involved so that neither party can jeopardize the others’ interest either in the present or in the future. In regard to copyright infringements by the public, he put it that watermarking a photographers publicly viewable digital images and not emailing a previous clients pictures to potential new clients to view are best practices to be considered.

Attendees of the workshop also related their recent experiences with clients for the benefit of group discussions.

Shola Animashaun noted that twitter is a micro-blogging site that allows you show your expression. Twitter has 300 million users with over 100,000 new users joining everyday.

– Tweet regularly: tweet photography knowledge, quotes. Re-twit regularly suggestion to any contribution can determine some people to follow you on twitter. It is cool to start and contribute to conversation.

– Credit everything
– Engage with the big boys
-Watch your timing and consistency
-Use strategic Key words
-Practice reposting tweets
-Build relationship with potential and existing clients
-Discuss photography issues, follow fellow photographers i.e Zack Arias
Chase Jarvis
Joe Mcnally
Scott kelby
Scott bourne
Thomas Hawk
Jeremy Cowart
Jasmine Star
Micheal Zelbel

Mr Seun took over after Mr Shola ended his session. He stressed the importance of being people of integrity at all times. One of attendees stressed the importance of being careful when partnering with other photographers. Mr Seun added that agreements should be made (sometimes in writing) even when partnering ith photographers you have never worked with before. for daily photography-related tips and articles, visit http://www.elophotos.com

A Good Reason to Give an 80% Discount

So I met with this client in her office in Ikoyi. She is the president of the Parent Teachers’ Association of a high profile school in Lagos. They’re planning a family fun fair and want professional photography coverage.

One interesting thing about the school was the fact that the percentage of Nigerians that are students is about 14%. Americans account for about 40% while the remaining 46% comprises of 53 other nationals. They wanted a scenario where the students that come in, have their picture taken and get a printed & framed 5 by 7 copy before leaving. They also wanted a photobook that will be presented as a summary of the 5hr event.

Considering the size of the school, we were going to be looking at a team of at least 4 photographers to do the coverage. Another 2 photography “editors” will be manning the 2 computer systems that will be responsible for churning out prints within a turnaround time of 15mins. I explained to her that the type of photobook package we would deliver will cost them N250k: one 50-paged 8by12 inches book. Unknown to her I was actually planning on delivering our 500k package. This is because I really want to wow the directors & parents of the school knowing that I will get more jobs thereafter. I further explained that for each student that wants a printed picture, they’ll have to pay N1k with an assumption that if about 200 students how up, that will make it worthwhile.

It was at this point that she “shouted” that the school didn’t appreciate photography enough to have allocated such an amount to it….that the amount budgeted was N100k…..that even the amount budgeted will be her personal contribution to the fair. I paused. I was shocked.

N100k under normal circumstances will not cut it. This is because I plan to pay my 6 photography assisstants for that day N10k each for their help. I’ve not even removed my other overheads.

She further explained that the school presently has a photographer that can print the same 5 by 7 picture for N250 for the students…that if I wanted to charge N1k, I would have to contribute N200 back into the PTA’s fund. I explained to her that my overhead for delivering my type of quality will not allow me go less that N1k. If they want to remove N200, then maybe I should charge them N1200. I explained that even the N1k each student will be paying is a token compared to what they will be getting and what we will have to gone through. She said she’ll present it to the Directors and get back to me.

One of the things that surprised me is the fact that the school was considering bringing Whiz Kid for the show but my own photography bill was too much. Its ok to pay Whiz Kid over N1million for his 15minutes+ performance but its not ok to pay the photographer N500k for the 5hour coverage. Wow. Even the N1k I was charging will only pay me if a minimum of 200 students show up. There was no guaranty that 200 of the schools’ over 800 students will show up. It was a gamble for me.

I eventually told her that I would still work with her budget of 100k for the photobook but for this time only. Considering the fact that it isn’t the school that will be footing the photography bill & that we were the ones that covered her husband’s birthday a few months back, I would work with her budget.

More importantly, I thought it will be a great avenue to meet the type of clients that I’ve always wanted to work for: the elites of the society. Don’t let’s even start mentioning the school fees each student pays (in $) per term. Don’t let us also mention that the United States government has a big interest in this school. Let’s talk about the fact that this could be my opportunity to eventually be one of the photographer’s that will be covering President Obama’s child naming ceremony in a few months. Let’s talk about the fact that this could be an opportunity to eventually be photographing events for the United Nations. Let’s talk about that. Now that’s enough reason to break my rule of not giving anyone discounts. I think its a good risk to take.

The 80% discount I’ll be giving them (considering the fact that I still want to present the 500k package) will be my cost of advertisement to reach a new class of clientele. Let’s hope I’m right. May God help me. May God help us all

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A Colorless Photo Session With Bisola & OMJ

It all began on January 31st, 2012. I tweeted that I felt like giving someone a photo session. She was the first the respond with a good reason. I sent her an email with my conditions

…there’s a good chance that we’ll choose some of the pictures taken to showcase on our blog, website, exhibitions, competitions or future books I’ll be writing. We’ll watermark the pictures that will be put online so that will reduce the chance of it be used by anyone else. We will never sell your pictures to anyone. If I’m the one that will be taking the pictures and will not have the right to use the pictures for these purposes, it significantly reduces the level of creativity I’ll be bringing to the table…..except ofcourse you’re paying an amount that will really motivate me. Just tot I be frank with you upfront. Let me know what you think and we can take it from there & decide on a mutually convenient date

It was ok with her. 2 weeks later we were having fun with her handsome boy in our studios. I decided to go colorless. The rest is history. Let the pictures tell you the story of what went down. Pictures taken with an Olympus E3, 12-60mm f2.8 lens & Bowens Gemini studio lights kit.

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5 things you probably did not know about Kelechi Amadi-Obi

So I was able to finally get another meeting with Kelechi for an interview session. We chatted for about 65minutes and I discovered more of his interesting personality & lifestyle. The following are discoveries that you probably never knew about KAO

1) He has 4 children: 2 boys & 2 girls. I was always of the assumption that someone like him will be too busy to have more than 2 kids. I was wrong. He seems to be a caring father and is very proud of his 4 children

2) He Gets at least 240 messages daily on his facebook page. Infact if you really need to reach him, don’t bother. Sending a message to his facebook page: he rarely checks it. With over 10,000 unread messages, you’re better off giving him a call on 080******** if you really need to reach him (fill out the contact form on http://www.kelechiamadiobi.com/contact)

3) He doesn’t have a BlackBerry phone. With enough resources to buy BlackBerry Porshe for all his staff, I was surprised when he said he doesn’t have a BB. He would later explain to me that a Blackberry is one of those technologies that “wastes” people’s precious time. If he got one, he would have to add countless celebrities as his contact and they might get offended if he doesn’t reply their pings. He figures that if someone really needs him, they’ll contact him the “old-fashion” way by calling. A part of me agrees with him, the other part………………….

4) Has the most beautiful photographer’s office I’ve ever been to in my life. His office is designed and decorated in a way that will make his type of clientele comfortable. By the time he’s giving a client an invoice, the client will know that he is not your average “papapa” photographer: he’s comfortable & he means business. Its the type of office that motivates and challenges me without him talking.

5) Walks everyday from his home to his office: a 30minute journey. In an attempt to keep fit, he considers driving to work an unnecessary luxury. He rather walk to the office and later go to the gym. That’s why he could afford to show off the “six pack” I thought I saw behind the firm shirt he was wearing. It is well

Just a few info for you to know what it’s like to be in the shoes of a photographer in high demand. Now get to work and make your photography business and world-class brand.

To read the entire transcript of the interview, check out the link http://wp.me/p1meHy-LB
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The Dangers of Seeking Approval from Peers & Mentors

I’ve had quite a number of photographers who have recently sent me some of their works. They want to know what I think of their pictures. Most importantly, they want to know what I don’t like about the pictures. Sometimes I wish I knew the criteria for being a photography judge/critique. Is it by the fame one is perceived to have, or is it by the type of clients one is known to service….I’ll know the answer one day.

Please don’t misunderstand me; I’m not casting down anyone for asking me to critique their pictures. On the contrary, I feel honored. Its just that many people don’t handle criticisms (or the lack of it) very well. Truth be told, most people that have asked for my opinion (one way or the other regarding their pictures) have great collections. Most people that take photographs that are considered “ugly” or “bad” usually know that within themselves. They know its bad enough not to ask for people’s opinion.

Many times we want to hear a large amount of people tell us how great our pictures are (myself included) so that we can feel good with ourselves and reaffirm what we feel we already know: I’M A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER.

Sometimes, I feel getting constructive criticisms go a long way in helping us get better. Sometimes we get depressed because we feel our works are not “appreciated” enough.

The following are a few comments I’ve heard read from critiques:

“Take it easy with the editing”
“I think the picture would look better in black & white”
“The pictures are too sharp”
“The picture is not sharp enough”
“Wow, I’m stupified by these pictures”
“Well done, great job”
“I’m so proud of you”
“God will take you to greater heights”
“May Allah bless the works of your hands”
The list goes on.

But this is the point I’m trying to get at. I feel a lot of us should be conscious of the fact that the photographer that’s your mentor may have a different style from yours. He (or she) may prefer black & white pictures and you may become sad because he didn’t click the “like” button on your colored pictures. He may dislike the fact that you made the background out of focus and you might be sad.

Yes, we may argue that our mentor knows better but we forget that we are all artists. Even the gentleman (or lady) that designed the Japanese flag must have gotten the “disapproval” of his creative mentors. How else can you explain logically a small red dot on a white background. But the government of Japan loved it enough to compensate the fellow for his work of art.

And that’s my point exactly: ultimately the opinion of the person that matters the most is the potential client that will be paying for your services. Sometimes the photographs you take that they fall in love with are the ones you wanted to throw in your recycle bin. Now you’re thinking twice because there’s a $1000 cheque in your hands that proves you were wrong.

Peers & mentors are good guides but they may sometimes not agree with your creative tendencies. Take their advice, but still carve out a niche for yourself. Don’t just take pictures that look like those of Jide Alakija, Tunji Sarunmi, Aisha Augie-Kuta or Kelechi Amadi-Obi. Take pictures that look like U: your style is your art. Sometimes I save some of my “blurry” pictures because one day they could be used for an exhibition somewhere. Hope I’ve not been misinterpreted thus far….

By the way, what do you think of my pictures? 🙂
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We met with Kelechi on Valentine Day’s eve and had a heart-to-heart talk. He just concluded a photo session with Jay Martins and was eager to share with us about his journey so far in photography. The following is the transcript of the 45-minute interview that ensued

Tell us who you are & how you got into photography?
My Name is Kelechi Amadi-Obi. I went to secondary school in Government college Umuahia, after my primary school (Library Avenue primary school, Umuahia again) so I pretty much grew up in my city. Right from childhood , I had always been fascinated with visual arts, usually the best artist of the class in primary school. My primary school was next to the library (hence it’s name), in fact my mum was the headmistress of the school.

My house was next to the school. I had developed the habit of research early and going to the art shelf in the library. Whatever craft I needed to learn I knew early on that I could learn it on my own. I discovered great wisdom hidden in all the books. I became obsessed with trying to master the wisdom of any book I was reading.

By the time I finished secondary school it was obvious I could communicate through the art of the visual though I never thought about how to make a living from it. I didn’t see any gallery or museum or art school in my area. I’d never met a real artist and only read about them in books. So I thought it was something only done in Europe. So back then, when I would make a drawing, I would tell my little sister then that ‘This is a masterpiece!’ I tried to visualise myself [being] like Rembrandt, Van Gogh or Picasso, but it all seemed like a fantasy world.

But when it came to choosing my career, this was story: My family is a family of lawyers. My father was a high court judge and only two professions were recognised in my house; you were either a medical doctor or a lawyer. So I chose law after passing my JAMB examination and gained admission into University of Nigeria (Nnsuka) [UNN]. It was there, [UNN] that my eyes were opened and In fact, I attended ACCA exhibition in Bonna gallery in Enugu then. I was in the midst of real artists. I thought ‘this is it! People actually live this kind of life!’ I immediately grew comfortable with that, and while I was studying law, I was practising my art, and became popular for it. I chose a brand name De’ Zulu (from a movie Chaka De Zulu, who I thought really kicked ass) for business name.

It was in my third year I made the decision I would become a full time artist after I finished law school. But I was not going to be a drop-out because people would misunderstand me. I also found out that in law, there were some things that would benefit me.
After finishing law school, I settled in Lagos with my aunt (Aunty Nnena) and by then my father was late. The only thing I could afford then was a cardboard paper and pencil. So I said, “Great, let’s start making art!”
Freshly out of law school, that was a stubborn and ridiculous thing to do.

It was atop my aunt’s balcony I started making art-works. The first time I went to shop for frames for the artworks the owner of the frame shop asked, ‘’Are these works for sale?’’ I answered, ‘oh, they are N10,000 each” and he bought all five of them! I thought, wow! From nothing to N50,000…. I blew N25,000 immediately on art materials.
I went back to continue with painting. I was amazed at how easy it was to sell those artworks. A friend of mine who was also a fellow artist, came around and found what I was doing interesting. So he said he knew a few people who are collectors. He packed all the works I had that morning and in the evening he came back with N100,000 cash after collecting his commission. Incredible! It became clear I could make a living in Lagos as an artist.
Eventually I had an exhibition, followed by another, and the rest is history. I became popular and was absorbed into the art world of Lagos.

Gradually I was using the camera to take photos for my paintings as reference materials, and as I did I realised I needed to master lighting. More of my paintings were of the human figure and I needed to photograph models for them. I liked to look at the way light falls on the body in the different shapes and forms. I got deeper and deeper into controlling the way light goes into the shutter, through the aperture to make an exposure. So I could thoroughly underexpose a picture or slightly over-expose it to get a kind of feel [I wanted].

While doing that I had mastered the little intricacies of photography. It struck me that some of the photos I was making were already finished artworks. I started hanging out with more artists. I would visit the likes of Don Barbar (even he had collected some of my paintings he found interesting) and he would take me to his dark-room to develop some prints. I was amazed that what I saw was just like my paintings. I then started using Uche James Iroha’s dark room while he was working in Dolphin Studios in Surulere to process my works which I shot in black and white. Soon after, I got my own dark-room. This made my interest in photography come up even more.

It was all just fun, and I wasn’t making a dime from photography at the time. Until a guy (also a photographer himself) came in from Germany to curate an African art exhibition, as part of the biennial, in Bamako Mali. He wanted to have eleven photographers. Someone had told him about my collection of nudes and he came around, looked at them and found them quite interesting. And since he thought they were good enough for the exhibition, I got invited to Bamako Mali. Uche James Iroha, TY Bello, Amaeze Ojekere (representing his dad) and others from diaspora, Mali and Senegal, South Africa were all participants in this exhibition. It was like an art exhibition Olympics for Black Africa!

There were curators and scouts from all over Europe. Some of the curators from Italy came over and after liking my work, they invited me to come and exhibit in Italy. They took my contact [info] and sent me tickets .
Upon returning, myself, Uche James Iroha, TY Bello and Amaeze Ojekere came together to form a group called Depth of Field – a collective of artists who wanted to spend time creating work. And soon we were exhibiting in France, Germany, England, New York and we became very popular. That even sucked me deeper into photography. While this was happening it was my work as a painter that was providing my upkeep.

Gradually people & advertising agencies came to me with briefs for an artistic advertising shoot. When they came I would say, Sure, I’ll work with you, but these are my terms…… Then they would say no, and propose things like N30,000 per scenario. My response would always be , ‘Sorry, I don’t work that way. If you want to call me, you pay for my day and that starts from N150,000 to N200,000. You want me to work for you, it means paying premium for my time. I had gotten advice from Don Barbar about the advertising agencies not having respect for photographers and how not to let myself be treated that way.

So I would walk away from big jobs, but when I did get a job [on my terms] and the brief was given to me, I wouldn’t sleep over it. Even if it was a brief on Still Life photography, I would spend the night, the next day, and so on, studying about it, test-shooting it and then do some more reading again until I mastered it… just to make sure I deliver on my promise.

So if I had been given N150,000, I will make sure I deliver a N250,000 – quality of work. The philosophy then was if I gave the client more, the extra that I was giving them was actually payment for advertising. This is because the person I was shooting for will then go round telling others, “this guy is awesome!” It worked like magic. So while I didn’t get many jobs, the ones I got took a lot of time, a lot of people banged their phones on me, saying who is this guy? Because I would not shoot at the price they were calling. I told the ad agencies, ‘the guys who were doing jobs at N20,000 0r N30,000 per scenario were shooting themselves in the foot by doing too many jobs, and having no time for research to perfect their skills or even money to purchase equipment.’ In the long run you advertisers will run out of good material to work with and you will be compelled to import photographers from the UK, costing you more than three times my bill. So I am actually saving you money!”

As if I was clairvoyant, it happened just as I said. The ad agencies got stranded when big clients came from overseas looking for a certain quality of work and very few photographers who could deliver that quality.
That was how I began and continued to grow, and since then I have not changed [my principles]. Over the years I have been researching continuously to learn new tricks to push the threshold of my craft. I want to be in the place, where the most difficult challenge is what I want to face, so that when I conquer it, it becomes normal [to do so], and then I look for another challenge, more difficult and I face it.

So as time went on, I started enjoying my own personal shoots and I make sure that even in spite of all the commercial work one is doing, I find time to express myself as an artist and that is where I am now.

Please enlighten us about how the issue on copyrights apply to photographers in the Nigerian photography industry
Under the copyright act , the rights to a work of art, resides in the person who makes the work of art. In relation to photography, it is the photographer. It does have exceptions, where such rights are limited, like if it is an image of an individual, there are circumstances where you must obtain a release from the individual. You don’t go shooting somebody’s photo and then go selling it for a corporation to do an advert with. THAT WOULD BE INFRINGEMENT and you could be sued. Somebody’s right ends at the point where another person’s begins. But if you got a model release that tells you that you can do whatever you want with the image, then there is no problem.

If you are taking pictures of landscape or even people in a crowd, you won’t get sued. In terms of doing commercial work it Is still applicable. Whenever you do a shoot, under the law, the rights to those images still reside with you. Photographers are advised to, in writing, give their clients license to use their images for definite time duration within a definite geographical area. That is what you are being paid for in addition to your expertise. If it is not written, the right still resides with the photographer automatically.
How do I deal with this? When I am having a client relationship, my interest is to make sure the client gets what he wants. A lot of people who are into advertising don’t even want to use the images for more than 6 months. But if they indicate that they want to use all over the world, say for twenty years, then you bill them accordingly. The usage matters and that is why I advise that you put this into consideration.

Even though it is a shoot that is for one scenario, it is the usage that determines the billing. It is based on what you have told me that it is to be used for a product [packaging]that I come up with my bill of N1.5 million. If they complain that “isn’t it just for a single scenario?” – I tell them If you have commissioned me to shoot the image for use on your product [branding] I cannot restrict your usage in terms of location (country), time duration or even format. In that case it will even be a disservice not to give them the rights, but your client should know that different types of usage attract different kinds of fees. It is as simple as that.

Once an oil company called me to do a shoot for their oil rig. After we had discussed on the fees, they were like after the shoot is done, I will sign a relinquishment of all rights to the images. I said in that case therefore the agreed bill then increases by 800%. If I am not to have any relationship with my work forever after, even to put it on my website, then I will bill you for it. I ended up not working with them and I was very glad I didn’t.

I think what we do serves a purpose beyond just taking photographs. We are people with opinions. As a photographer, you are a storyteller, a chronicler of history, and our work also promotes social engineering and influencing culture.

For me, photography is your first impression. When someone says Nigeria has a bad image, I take it very literally. What Nigeria has is bad imagery. Bad photography. We do not have enough people being patronized by the right people. So you may visit the Nigerian embassy in France and see booklets about Nigeria, full of tourists’ photos, pixellated because they were stolen off the internet, with absolutely no regard for the photographer, while at the airport in Capetown, I see uncountable numbers of coffee table books in a mad duplication of excellence. Amazing South Africa, so many [different] books [with pictures] taken by excellent photographers who have spent hours trying to duplicate (recreate) these images over and over again!

This reflects in their economy as people see the place [South Africa] and keep trooping there in spite of the violence. We haven’t even started [over here] with photographing our environment – I tell you! It’s amazing!

Could you explain your typical workflow from when a client engages you to when you deliver the images?
The first thing is you get a call. Usually it goes like, ‘’Mr K, we have this brief we want you to shoot – please can we know the price?’’(The price is the first thing they jump to…) continues ‘’It’s not a complicated concept, can you tell us how much you will charge?’’ I will respond that at this stage I don’t think we should be talking about price, but you can send me a written brief of the concept so I can go through it to see if it is what I can deliver to you adequately.

So I stall, and if they are people I have not worked with before, I try to set up a meeting to discuss their concept. Because whoever is on the other side [of the phone] is probably comparing your price with those of others he has written down on the paper in front of him. To him you are just another photographer over the phone, until they see how you are going to execute their brief and solve their problem. I believe this is more important than the price I am going to charge.

So when we meet, and I see the brief, I will itemise what is needed (costs) e.g location and let them also know the latitude of the most extreme scenarios (unforeseen) of the cost of equipment and time! At this point, they may say “it’s just three people smiling!”… I say that means three scenarios and this is what is required, the lighting needed, the method of making them smile and so on, the casting for the kind of feel needed and even for the seemingly simple smiling requires the right type of model.

So through it all I am trying to bring my own expertise into the brief and by the time we are through [discussing] I give them the bill and tell them they have to pay 75% – 80% upfront or we don’t have a deal. (Ad Agencies can make thirty days turn to sixty days and you start wondering, has their client paid them? And they could have been paid a long time ago and be telling you that they are still being owed).

So we establish with the client that they are ready and the date agreed is solid. When they come for the shoot, when it’s done, we have a little time for re-touching (most ad-agencies want to do their re-touching themselves) and then we look through the images and give them the best ones in high resolution.

And if you are shooting PR images for an individual say maybe an artiste, again it starts when they call, concept is discussed and we set up a date and they pay their cheque. On the day of the shoot, we do our work and we give them low resolution files that are watermarked ‘for view only’ for them to review in the comfort of their home and decide the specific ones (up to the number that comes with the package) that they want (I rarely go beyond 20 images), so that we can edit them.
For weddings and events those now include physical media like books and even CDs that will attract different prices.

How do you market to get your clients?
I’ve found out there is no better marketing than referrals [from satisfied clients]. Unless you want to do mass marketing and you have a factory of photographers that cater for everyone. You are the premium brand. You are not just a commodity, you are a brand. It is each person that has experienced your work that goes to tell 10 other people that you are good. So the dilemma now becomes how do you convince someone who has previously used a service similar to yours for N150,000 to pay N1.5 million? Well I could include a discount say 20%, but I never start negotiating without a rock bottom walk-away price that I will not go below in my head already.

The way to become a brand that attracts premium fees is as simple as this: be a promise-keeper over and over again. Let everyone that uses your services always come back when they see that you have over-delivered beyond their expectation. And it’s not just coming back alone but telling others with passion about how they think they underpaid you the worth of your work. So my best advertisers are my clients who I have paid for their advertising by giving them more than they came expecting to get. I will not charge N5, but if I charge N2 million I will make sure he [the client] gets quality work that he cannot bring Nick Knight from New York for N10 million to do! That will leave him wondering, did I underpay this guy?

Even if it is a free job, forgetting about the money, make sure you convert that client to a moving billboard. Whatever you do, make the client happy and satisfied. Also some clients may not be happy with their job, and I may even offer them a refund until I find a way to give them the satisfaction needed. It is all about integrity and client satisfaction and once people know that is what your brand is you can charge whatever you want.

What do you want to tell newbies in the photography industry?
Passion is required! But passion is not enough. You must understand that this is not a lazy man’s job. So it is passion that makes you do all the [grunt] work happily and gives you advantage over the person who lacks passion.

Some just want to photograph beautiful ladies without understanding the details of how the camera works and all that.. the physics, the mathematics and f-stops and all that doesn’t make it so seem so glamorous. So fiddle with the camera and learn how it works and if you are sure that this is what yo want to do, do not sleep – shoot!

With every squeeze of the shutter release, you must strive to take a better shot than the last. Put in your all. If it was easy , everybody will be good at it. If you have passion for it, you will succeed.

What where you attempting to achieve with the introduction of MANIA magazine?
It is one of my projects that developed out of frustration. I love shooting fashion, though the local fashion industry is not as lucrative as the other advanced economies that have understood the economies of scale. They can design a shirt and Prêt-à-porter & 2 million units of it are sold in one week. Crazy amount of money! The Dolce & Gabbanas are dressing the world in jeans, selling belts and perfumes. So on the catwalk they are merely having fun, the big money is in the factories in China churning out their products. So when it comes to paying a photographer they don’t bat an eyelid paying you N200 million!

Over here the industry has just started and it’s lacking that kind of energy and money. But I love fashion. A lot of the magazines cannot afford the work I would love and that made me feel limited. So I created that magazine to open that creative box to show what is possible so I could break the glass ceiling above my head. So far it’s been beautiful, tough but beautiful. We were publishing bi-monthly before but now we are going monthly.

What final words do you have for fans & clients that are watching/reading this?
Do what you love, work at it! But don’t ask me for pocket money!

To view more of Kelechi Amadi-Obi’s works, visit his website at www.kelechiamadiobi.com


For tips on growing your photography business, like our fecebook page (www.facebook.com/elophotos) or add us on ur bb: 271E3BC8

Photographs of a “Fruitful” Celebration

I covered this event some time ago and decided to document “faceless” memories. It will later turn out to be one of the most interesting and creative birthday celebration I’ll cover.

For tips on growing your photography business, like our fecebook page (www.facebook.com/elophotos) or add us on ur bb: 271E3BC8

Shattered Glass

It was Day 2 of lectures at eloPhotos Academy. Break time was just over. She reached out to carry her camera bag only to discover that the bag was not closed well. It was too late. The canon t3i & sigma 24-70mm combo fell out. We all heard the shattering of glass. She was heartbroken. Her “humty-dumty” sweetheart just fell off the wall and something was definitely broken.

She was scared. She peeped to see what had happened. The broken glass surrounded her lens. “For God’s sake the lens is less than 6months old,” she thought. Picking up the camera, she could still hear a few glasses falling from the lens. It was heartbreaking.

A ray of hope was rekindled within her when she discovered the broken glass was from her lens filter. She gave thanks to her heavenly father. “Thank God it’s just a $5 filter,” she thought.

I asked if I could take a picture of the broken lens filter. I was denied permission. I would later grab it from the trash bin to photograph so you could learn 3 things from her experience:
1) Insure your photography equipement
2) Handle your camera bag & equipment with care
3) Always use a lens filter

Her name is MLK and her journey into professional photography has begun.

For tips on growing your photography business, like our fecebook page (www.facebook.com/elophotos) or add us on ur bb: 271E3BC8

A Session with Omobolanle

The l last time I had a shoot with Omobolanle was Feb 14, 2009. She’s one of my mentors when it comes to “the art of writing.” We decided it was time to do another shoot. Interesting enough, this session would not be like the first one.

She was not in a very “happy” mood when we started. There were quite a number of things on her mind. What complicated matters was the fact that I had 2 assisstants with me in the studio during the session: that made her a little uncomfortable. She began to relax once they were no longer in sight.

After listening to her pour out her heart during the session, I realized that she’s a very strong woman at heart. She was talking, I was shooting and the atmosphere was getting less tense. It isn’t all the time one ends up with pictures of people laughing and smiling from the depths of their heart but I thought the pictures that came out of the session were……..EMOTIONAL. You be the judge & let me know what you think

For tips on growing your photography business, like our fecebook page (www.facebook.com/elophotos) or add us on ur bb: 271E3BC8

Dear SWIFT Networks, Why did you defraud me?

It all began at 8:45am, February 7, 2012. After dropping my daughter in school, I headed to the Swift Networks office at Alausa shopping mall. My goal was to upload another episode of our youtube photography show (PICTURE THIS) to youtube.com/elophotos. We upload two episodes every week and were already behind on one episode because we were unable to upload the previous friday’s episode.

Upon getting to their office at the shopping mall, I bought 1hr of airtime on their “hotspot” network. I already had 44mins left from my account and figured I would need at least 1 hour extra to upload the 2GB HD video that failed to upload the last time I was there (friday, february 3, 2012). Immediately after paying N150 for the 1 hour I needed, I was accosted by the security man that if I was going to use my laptop to browse in their office, that will not be allowed.

I didn’t understand at first. You see, I had been coming to that same office an average of 2 times a week for the past 5months and was surprised when I was told that I can’t use my laptop to browse the hotspot in their office. “Is that a new rule?” I quizzed. The gentleman that sold the hotspot airtime to me further explained that they don’t normally allow people to come to their office to browse due to the fact that their office space is small and they need to attend to other customers that have more important business to do (e.g. buying new modems, paying for airtime subscription, etc).

Apparently the N150 per hour that I was paying was not enough for them to allow me use their space to browse. This is where my issue with them began. On their website (www.swiftng.com/products/hotspot), it was (and still is) CLEARLY stipulated how the hotspot service works. Quoting what is written on the 2nd paragraph on their link

How does SWIFT Hotspot work?
…You will need a laptop, mobile phone or even a portable PS2 with wireless internet capabilities to get connected. Go to any SWIFT Networks hotspot with your laptop and connect to the wireless network. You will be prompted to login. Purchase a voucher and enter the PIN to gain access to the internet.”

Nowhere on this page is it ever mentioned that after I’ve paid for the voucher, I won’t be able to use the hotspot at the “hotspot” location. If I had known that, I would not have been insane enough to waste N200 un-subsidized transportation fare to a location that is out of bounds to me.

The gentleman recommended that if I can stay anywhere outside & within the LSPC (Lagos State Printing Corporation) shopping mall, I would still be able to access their hotspot. I wasn’t about to walk into any of the 150+ shops to ask for permission to use a service that I paid for elsewhere. He concluded that a usable location will be a coffee shop located just 200 meters away from the SWIFT office.

Being the gentleman that I am and considering the fact that it will require much energy (on my part) to demand a refund of my N150, I left their office and headed to the coffee shop. I paid N700 for a cup of coffee and croissant (the most expensive breakfast I’ve had since the removal of fuel subsidy) in order to be able to have a sit at their table and browse with my laptop. If I had known that I wouldn’t have been able to achieve my goal of uploading the video, I would stayed in my office and had my usual N120 bread & beans breakfast.

I connected to the wireless network and was taken to a website where I had to log on to my hotspot account (with username: seunakisanmi@elophotos.com) in order for me to add the 1hr airtime I just bought. The cummulative total I was left with to browse the internet was 104mins.

About 5mins into my browsing, I got a message on my computer that the “server was reset” and as a result my internet connection was lost. For over 40mins I tried to reconnect to the internet but it would not go. More importantly, I tried to get the internet site where I could sign off from my account but all was futile. It was very frustrating knowing that I was wasting precious time & money.

It was during my “struggle” to reconnect to the internet that a very important SMS entered my Nokia 101 dual-sim phone. You would not believe who sent the SMS. SWIFT NETWORKS. What a coincidence, I thought. At 9:04am, the message delivered to me read thus:

SWIFT. Unhappy with our services? Simply call 017101010 or send SMS to 08181460901 or email customercare@swiftng.com. Include your account name, user ID and problem

Talk of a divine coincidence. It was as if someone had recently been promoted to the post of CUSTOMER SERVICE EXECUTIVE and was bent on making all customers satisfied. I was unhappy but impressed; unhappy for my resources (financial & time) that was wasting & impressed that there’s an office in charge of resolving issues like these.

I eventually resorted to taking my laptop back to the Swift network office in the complex so they could try to log me out since my time was already running. I spoke with someone I presumed to be the Manager & was surprised when I was told they don’t have an idea how to log me out. I was really shocked. “So my time will be used up for something that is not my fault,” I asked. Her response: “I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do.” She mentioned that the engineers were responsible for issues like this one and that the engineer on duty had not resumed for the day. This was 9:30am and I was of the notion that workers resume work by 8am. She suggested that his fellow colleague help me try to log out. After 15mins of “googling” the logon site, the gentleman gave up.

It was then that the engineer on duty finally arrived at the office. He was immediately questioned by the manager as to the reason why he was just coming to work. His reasons were not acceptable. I was further surprised to eventually discover that he didn’t know how to log me out. It was very frustrating knowing that by now the time I bought would have been exhausted. To make matters worse, the incompetent engineer started accusing me for closing the logon window in the first place. It is illegal to cut off someone’s head else I would have gladly…….. I was trying to explain to him what happened and he was accusing me of being the cause. If I were not a Microsoft Certified Network Professional, I would have agreed with him. It was painful. It is painful.

As he continued to answer the Manager on the reason why he was late, I proceeded to shut down my laptop. Besides my laptop battery was fully depleted and it was obvious he wouldn’t be able to perform any magic within the remaining 1min of battery time. I felt cheated. I felt angry. I am angry.

I’m angry for the time and money wasted in the early hours of the first working day in the week. This wasn’t the first time this had happened. However, this was the first time I decided I was not going to let this go without getting the attention of the management of SWIFT Networks.

What is more painful is the fact that I’m a swift customer (user id 18816) who bought their 4G WI-FI modem with the sole purpose of uploading these youtube videos. My office is in agidingbi and was surprised when I discovered that the service was (& still is) not as fast as you’re advertising. I was of the notion that 4G implies that it is the 4th Generation of cutting edge internet bandwidth and speed. I remember once asking one of the engineers I met at the Alausa office why it takes 6hrs to upload a 200mb video with my 4G modem compared to the 20mins it takes to upload the same video at SWIFT hotspot location. Could it be that their offices use 10G networks?

I was told that if I wanted the FULL 4G potentials of the network, I would have to request for a “dedicated” bandwidth and would be paying about N250k (approximately $1500) monthly for the service. INTERESTING. I wish had known this before subscribing to the network else I would not be paying for the “Liberty” plan while at the same time visiting SWIFT office twice a week for heavier file uploads. It’s very frustrating.
Perhaps the company should consider changing the name “SWIFT Networks” because it is definitely not SWIFT.

If I hadn’t gotten the sms from SWIFT asking if I was “unhappy with [their] services”, I probably would not even be writing this. If the MD/CEO is reading this (& I pray to God he or she is reading this), there a few things your organization can do to make me a “satisfied customer.” Grant all and I’ll become one of your ardent marketers.

First, I think you should consider firing that engineer that resumed work almost 2hrs late and didn’t feel it was wrong. His job is like that of a medical doctor in the ER of a hospital: his absence will result in the deaths of patients that could have been saved. The least you can do is to query or suspend him. Either way, he should be replaced with someone that has answers to all your network questions.

Secondly, I feel you should emphasize to all employees of your organization the importance of world-class customer service. The gentleman that directed me to the coffee cafe was the staff that I found to be the most courteous in the branch. I’ve been using the hotspot at that location for over 5months now and feel he deserves to be the one in charge. Even the way the Security personnel addresses customers sometimes is not too good. You loose a lot of customers everyday and might not understand that it’s as a result of how they were treated by a security offer, manager, or any other staff. I run an organization that strongly believes that the customer is right; if they are not satisfied, I wouldn’t remain in business for long. Infact, the level of satisfaction my clients get is in direct correlation to the amount of referrals I would get. With what I experienced, I definitely can’t afford to refer another loved one or enemy to SWIFT Networks. Pls address this.

Thirdly, please consider revising your choice of words in describing the hotspot service provided on your website. It will save you stress and a possible future lawsuit from one of your unsatisfied customers.

Fourthly, I feel its only fair if you compensate me with 3-6 months complimentary internet service on my account. This is not blackmail in any way; it’s just a way for you to prove to me that you’re really a customer-friendly organization. Note that the reason I’m posting this to facebook, twitter & my company’s website (elophotos.com) is so that you would be more conscious of the hundreds of unsatisfied SWIFT customers that have given up on airing their issues. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get this resolved.

If you feel my 3-6month complimentary internet service is too much, pls consider giving me a refund of the N1200 I wasted on that faithful day (coffee & croissant N700, transport to & from swift office N200, 104mins of hotspot airtime N280, panadol for headache N20). I have been kind enough not to include a refund of what 1 hour of my time costs. If you choose to refund me the N1200, pls kindly include with it a refund of the amount I paid for the 4G modem as I would be returning the modem never to use your services again. My name is Seun Akisanmi & I can be reached on 08023008873 or seunakisanmi@elophotos.com

For every “unsatisfied” SWIFT Networks customer reading this, pls kindly send your grievances to their customer care email and let’s pray they address them. Customercare@swiftng.com

Feel free to share this on your social media network and let’s hope we get a SWIFT response.

Photographer of the week 4: Olalekan Okeowo, MADE PHOTOGRAPHY (TRANSCRIPT)

Hi there!
I’m here to share a brief story about me and how I got into photography. I got into photography as a hobbyist. I love to appreciate the beautiful things in my environment and anything that amuses me and stimulates interest.
I like to come out in the morning to appreciate the brightness of the day. I like to see people’s faces and see when they are smiling or even frowning. It was with the thought of how to capture those moments in a way that lasts, that the urge set in to get myself a camera to try and have a record of the things I love and appreciate.

I remember while in secondary school that I was the one preferred to take pictures whenever the need arose. Without anyone telling me what to do, I could take better pictures than my peers. So I continued from there, got myself a camera phone, and kept taking pictures, tagging my friends showing them to people. In fact I influenced my friends to start taking pictures, as they fell in love with what they saw.

As time went on, the need to start fending for my own needs came with responsibilities. But I never wanted to settle for a salaried-paid job. I can be stiff-necked about that and would rather take time to learn [a skill] to add value to myself. So I opted to learn graphics and did a whole lot of other things for my personal development.
Still I had growing needs and responsibilities and after a wide search I resorted to taking up photography as a career since it had always been a passion. If you ask me, there is nothing bad in turning your passion into an opportunity that will pay your bills.

I needed to take it to the next level and not just get onto the streets saying I am a photographer. I knew it was more than just buying a camera. I knew I needed to get trained to become an authority in this field. And I knew that if I wanted to excel, this relied on how much I knew about the business. So I went everywhere I could, did research online for materials and magazines to equip me with more knowledge. A friend brought an application form to me for a skill acquisition program. I promptly filled it and applied and that was how the race began.

The skill acquisition program was a two-week program and it was there I met great photographers like Mr Seun Akisanmi, eloPhotos boss and I learnt everything I know from him. I got the knowledge I needed on the job and started my own outfit – Made Photography.
During the course of my training other great photographers such as Shola Animasaun, Damilola Elliot, Michael Adebiyi and one person I mustn’t fail to mention, Leke Adenuga. Mr Leke made me realise that photography is serious business that is full of endless possibilities and that the only limit you have in photography is- YOU.

I have had a lot of challenges in photography. The major one: STARTING OUT. You need to be creative, you need technical know-how. You need to be spontaneous. You need to be business-minded and know how to get to your clients and convince them to patronise you because you are capable of delivering [even more than] what they need.
It’s not an easy task. You have to be up and doing. Think and do a lot of research. It takes all that and more. You need self confidence. You need to be sure that you can deliver in your own field. Not that when you get hired and you can’t present quality jobs to your client.

The most interesting part is when you present your clients with their pictures and they go, ‘Wow!’ and they fall in love with you because of those pictures (even though it was something that came out of your natural passion and you even know you could do better than what they already seen), that is a very encouraging high point.
Bringing joy and happiness to people is invaluable. That people really appreciate what I am doing keeps me going.

The next 5 years for me in photography? MADE photography will already be a household name. Even kids will be saying ‘I’m made, I’m made!’ It will be really interesting! Creating a beautiful image for photography and helping people understand its essence from behind the camera to the finished product is my goal. And when that happens; people will be saying Made was behind that.

The whole essence of photography is to make you see the beauty in the world & the universe, not just in an imaginary way…. making moments last forever. Freezing moments and making people want to keep [and treasure] those records with which they make reference to the past is what photography does. Imagine you have a lovely grandma that you grew up with And when you don’t have her any more, maybe 5 years after, you still have a picture of her when she was smiling, or when she was playing with you….it’s like she’s still with you. That is what photography does. It brings back memories that you want and makes them stay with you.

My advice for upcoming photographers is you need to love what you are doing. Give it your best. You don’t want to be in photography for the wrong reasons (e.g. If it’s what your parents or friends want you to do). If you don’t have a passion for it, there will be frustration when the pennies you earn stop coming or the people who were your reason for doing it are no more there. But if you truly love photography, you need to take it to the highest heights. Learn all you can and be an authority in it. You stand even before presidents to tell them what they don’t know about photography, because of the information you have.

Olalekan Emmanuel Okeowo
MADE Photography, http://www.madefotos.com
BB Pin: 258C6A4A

Sample Contract for Event/Wedding Photography

I’ve had a few photographers ask me for a copy of the contract/agreement we give couples to sign before we cover their celebration. I decided to put it up here knowing it might help to “enlighten” potential clients also. You’re free to use and adapt to your specific needs. It will help reduce the conflicts between photographers & clients after the pictures have been taken.

Agreement for Wedding & Event Photography

eloPhotos Studio Enterprises hereby agrees to photograph the wedding of

On December 30, 2008 & January 3, 2009.

Bride’s Name:Groom’s Name:
Date of Birth: _____________________Date of Birth: _____________________
Venue of Engagement: __________________________________________________________Time:
Venue of Church Wedding: ________________________________Time:
Venue of Reception: __________________________________________________________
Couple’s Future Address ________________________________________________________________________
Bride’s GSM:                                         Groom’s GSM:

Description of Photographic Services to be Provided
20 hours/2days of photography coverage, 1 60-page magazine-style album, 2 13” by 19” framed pictures, and uploading of pictures to http://www.eloclients.com

Charges: The package fee is based on the Photographer’s Standard Price List and includes the photographs described therein. If the fee is not based on a package but is a session fee, all photographs shall be billed in addition to the fee and in accordance with the Standard Price List. In addition to either the package fee or the session fee, the extra charges set forth below shall be billed if and when incurred.

[ * ] Package Fee (1 60-page album, 2 13”by 19” frames) ………………N220,000

Extra Charges (when incurred)
8” by 10” glass frames ……………………………………………………………………….. N5,000
Extra Album………………………………………………………………….N70,000
Special retouching (per extra picture ordered)…………………………………………… N1,500
Overtime (per hour)………………………………………………………………………………. N3,000
13” by 19” canvas frame N15,000
Less depositN100,000
Balance DueN120,000

Balance Due Date: December 16, 2008N80,000
February 2, 2009N40,000

Package Delivery Date: Album pictures shall be uploaded to http://www.eloclients.com on February 2, 2009 by 12noon. The album shall be printed and delivered not later than one week after the pictures have been approved by the bride & groom.

The parties have read the conditions of this Agreement, agree to all its terms, and acknowledge receipt of a complete copy of the Agreement signed by both parties. Each person signing as Client below shall be fully responsible for ensuring that full payment is made pursuant to the terms of this Agreement.

Bride’s Signature__________________________ Groom’s Signature _____________________________

Photographer ________________________________________ Date _____________________

This Agreement is subject to all the terms and conditions on the following page (please read carefully):

1. Exclusive Photographer. The Photographer shall be the exclusive photographer retained by the Client for the purpose of photographing the wedding. Family and friends of the Client shall be permitted to photograph the wedding as long as they shall not interfere with the Photographer’s duties and do not photograph poses arranged by the Photographer.

2. Deposit and Payment. The Client shall make a deposit of N50,000 to retain the Photographer to perform the services specified herein. The balance shall be due 3-4 weeks before the date of the event. Refusal to pay the balance before the date of event will result in delays in the date of delivery of the album (s). No part of any order will be delivered or uploaded to the internet until payment is made in full. If the Client refuses to pay the necessary deposit within thirty (30) days after the event, Client shall be in default hereunder and shall pay 5% monthly interest on the unpaid balance until payment is made in full. Payments shall be made either in person or cheque/cash deposit into our Guaranty Trust Bank account 211-744703110 under eloPhotos Studio Enterprises.

3. Order Changes. Once a service is chosen or an order is placed and all necessary payments made, the sale is final and nonrefundable. No verbal changes will be accepted. Any schedule or order changes must be documented, submitted, and signed by both the contracting party/parties and the eloPhotos for confirmation and mutual authorization.

4. Cancellation. If the Client shall cancel this Agreement sixty (60) or more calendar days before the wedding date, any deposit paid to the Photographer shall be refunded in full. If Client shall cancel within sixty days of the wedding date and if the Photographer does not obtain another assignment for that date, liquidated damages shall be charged in a reasonable amount not to exceed the deposit.

5. Photographic Materials. All photographic materials, including but not limited to negatives, transparencies, proofs, and previews, shall be the exclusive property of the Photographer. The Photographer shall make proofs and previews available to the Client for the purpose of selecting photographs. The Photographer may, with the Client’s permission, make the proofs available on a Web site or CD-ROM.

6. Copyright and Reproductions. The Photographer shall own the copyright in all images created and shall have the exclusive right to make reproductions. The Photographer shall only make reproductions for the Client or for the Photographer’s portfolio, samples, self-promotions, entry in photographic contests or art exhibitions, editorial use, or for display within or on the outside of the Photographer’s studio. If the Photographer desires to make other uses, the Photographer shall not do so without first obtaining the written permission of the Client.

7. Client’s Usage. The Client is obtaining prints for personal use only, and shall not sell said prints or authorize any reproductions thereof by parties other than the Photographer. If Client is obtaining a print for newspaper announcement of the wedding, Photographer authorizes Client to reproduce the print in this manner. In such event, Client shall request that the newspaper run a credit for the Photographer adjacent to the photograph, but shall have no liability if the newspaper refuses or omits to do so.

8. Failure to Perform. If the Photographer cannot perform this Agreement due to a fire or other casualty, strike, act of God, or other cause beyond the control of the parties, or due to Photographer’s illness, then the Photographer shall return the deposit to the Client but shall have no further liability with respect to the Agreement. This limitation on liability shall also apply in the event that photographic materials are damaged in processing, lost through camera malfunction, lost in the mail, or otherwise lost or damaged without fault on the part of the Photographer. In the event the Photographer fails to perform for any other reason, the Photographer shall not be liable for any amount in excess of the retail value of the Client’s order.

9. Photographer. The Photographer may substitute another photographer to take the photographs in the event of Photographer’s illness or of scheduling conflicts. In the event of such substitution, Photographer warrants that the photographer taking the photographs shall be a competent professional.

10. Inherent Qualities. Client is aware that color dyes in photography may fade or discolor over time (usually after 20yrs) due to the inherent qualities of dyes, and Client releases Photographer from any liability for any claims whatsoever based upon fading or discoloration due to such inherent qualities.

11. Photographer’s Standard Price List. The charges in this Agreement are based on the Photographer’s Standard Price List and are only guaranteed once deposit is made. This price list is adjusted periodically and future orders shall be charged at the prices in effect at that time.

12. Client’s Originals. If the Client is providing original prints, negatives, or transparencies owned by the Client to the Photographer for duplication, framing, reference, or any other purpose, in the event of loss or damage the Photographer shall not be liable for an amount in excess of N2000 per image.

13. Miscellany. This Agreement incorporates the entire understanding of the parties. Any modifications of this Agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. Any waiver of a breach or default hereunder shall not be deemed a waiver of a subsequent breach or default of either the same provision or any other provision of this Agreement. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Sample Wedding & Portrait Price List/Packages

Attached is a copy of the OLD list of different packages we offer wedding and portrait clients. It is very crucial for a professional photographer to have a STANDARD price list and not just randomly give five different clients different prices for the same product. Use this as a guide to draft yours. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to give a client a discount. Just make sure you’re not short-changing yourself. Enjoy

eloPhotos Price list for 2009

Paparazzi Package
1 45-page magazine-style leather-bound customized album
1 day coverage (10hrs),
1 Photographer
2  8” by 10” glass-framed pictures
Pictures on our clients’ website (www.eloclients.com)                             N200,000

Glamour & Glitz Package
1 magazine-style leather-bound customized albums (60 pages)
2 days coverage (20hrs),
1 Photographer
2   8″ by 10″ glass-framed pictures
2  13” by 19” framed pictures
Pictures on our clients’ website (www.eloclients.com)                             N290,000

Red Carpet Package
2 magazine-style leather-bound customized albums (45 pages each)
2 days coverage (20hrs),
1 Photographer
2   8″ by 10″ glass-framed pictures
2  13” by 19” framed pictures
1 multimedia VCD
Digital Negatives on CD
Pictures on our clients’ website (www.eloclients.com)                             N360,000

Paradise Package
1 magazine-style leather-bound customized album (90 pages)
2 days coverage (20hrs),
2 Photographers
2   5″ by 7″ glass-framed pictures
2   8″ by 10″ glass-framed pictures
2  16” by 20” framed pictures
1 multimedia VCD
Digital Negatives on CD
Complimentary Pre-Wedding Session
Pictures on our clients’ website (www.eloclients.com)                             N420,000

Package 1
2-3 hrs Session @ any location in Lagos state
2  13” by 19” framed picture
1  16” by 20” framed picture                                                                    N100,000

Package 2
2-3 hrs Session @ any location in Lagos state
4  13” by 19” framed picture
2  16” by 20” framed picture
1  20” by 24” framed picture                                                                    N200,000

Package 3
2-3 hrs Session @ any location in Lagos state
4  8” by 10” glass-framed picture
4  13” by 19” framed picture
4  16” by 20” framed picture
2  20” by 24” framed picture
1  30” by 36” framed picture                                                                    N370,000

Pre-Wedding Photo Session

Makeup per person

Leather Album

Customized Standard Album

Event Coverage (4hrs)

Extra Photographer per event (10hrs)

Multimedia VCD

5 by 7”   Glass-framed Picture

5 by 7”   Canvas-framed Picture

8 by 10” Glass-framed Picture

8 by 10” Canvas-framed Picture

10 by 12” Framed Picture

12 by 16”     “         “

13 by 19”     “         “

16 by 20”     “         “

20 by 24”     “         “

30 by 36”     “         “

36 by 48”     “         “
Travel allowances apply for coverage outside Lagos state & Nigeria. Please contact us to make other enquiries that are not mentioned above.

Basic Course in Photography (January 2012 – April 2012)

At eloPhotos Academy, our ultimate goal is to raise world-class photographers. We do this through a series of workshops, trainings, and internship programs. You van visit out youtube channel (www.youtube.com/elophotos) to watch videos on a few photography topics. Contact us to learn more about our other trainings.In this course, you’ll learn how to:* develop technical proficiency with your camera
* create impact with your photography
* compose pictures
* develop your style
* effectively tell a story with photography
* be a master of “light”
* effectively photograph people
* know the right equipment to use for any situation
* make a good income in photography
* edit images using Adobe Photoshop CS5
* correct tone & color using Adobe Photoshop CS5
* produce outstanding printed images
* effectively market and brand yourself as a photographer
Set 8
January 23 – February 1, 2012 (8 Weekdays)
9am – 2pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes January 16, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached
Set 9
January 21 – March 3, 2012 (7 Saturdays)
9am – 3pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes January 16, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached
Set 10
March 19 – March 28, 2012 (8 Weekdays)
9am – 2pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes March 1, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached

Set 11
March 24 – May 5, 2012 (7 Saturdays)
9am – 3pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes March 12, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached

Send an email to info@elophotos.com to get a copy of the application form. Download the form, print, fill and bring it on the first day of class to the venue with two passport photographs along with the teller of the bank deposit. For further inquiries, contact us on 234-8101590358, 234-8120129149, 234-8191474348 or info@elophotos.com

You can also visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/elophotos for more information

For the course, it is recommended that you bring your laptop for editing your pictures

Refreshment & Course materials will be provided along with a professional digital SLR camera for each participant for practice sessions. Please note that the camera is for practice purposes during the training and would not be taken home by participants

Payment should be made into out Stanbic IBTC account 7200147969 (eloPhotos Studio Enterprises) or our GTB account 211744703110 (eloPhotos Studio Enterprises)




The basic course in Photography is the best thing that has happened to me this year. When I decided to take the course, I didn’t know what to expect, but now, I must say it has been worth my while. I have learnt so much already I can’t wait to go out there and start making magic through pictures. Big ups to Emmagination, Damilola “DAMELL” Elliot & Shola Animashaun, they really inspired me. Please, keep up the good work.

Desi Okiemute

I have always thought of photography as a form of artistic creative expression. When I first began using a camera nearly 30 years ago, I always wanted to be able to take pictures that showed the beauty and variation that is the life experience all around us at all times. After the uncertain results that came out of my self taught efforts over the years, I finally got the opportunity for proper lessons with the Basic Course in Photography offered at eloPhotos Training Institute. After the first 3 lessons, I had already learnt some critical lessons that will enable me take the kind of pictures I have only previously dreamt of taking.”Painting with light”! That is a definition I have gained from the course.The course is a relaxed, practical and interactive one with several tips from experienced photographers. Very commendable training! Now it is up to me to decide to what level I want to take my photography – competent beautiful pictures as an amateur or as an artistic professional!

Dr. Olayinka Longe

I really enjoyed the business aspect of the training. The lectures on character, integrity, packaging, good customer service and branding were awesome. In a nutshell, it was a wonderful decision I made by attending the training because I absolutely got more than my money’s worth.

Oloyede Afolabi

eloPhotos is the place to be. Within the 8 days of the training, I’ve been able to acquire sound technical and theoretical skills in photography. The training package is so educative such that all the ingredients necessary for growth and development are included. I especially enjoyed the Branding and Marketing aspect of the training. In fact, I have decided to inform all my relatives and friends that they should not bother trying to get me a job in the telecommunications, or banking and oil industry; I’ve finally gotten a JOB.

Olumide Oshikominu


…raising world-class photographers

Take your Photography Business to the next level

Come learn what it takes to run a successful photography business.

Date: thursday feb 16, 2012
Time 8am-11am
Venue: elophotos studios office
Voluntary Fee: N500
Facilitator: Seun Akisanmi

send an SMS to 08101590358 to confirm attendance. Registration closes Feb 15, 2012


Today our discussion has to do with something every photographer needs to address and the sooner the better – Client satisfaction or personal satisfaction, which do you value most?

Do you prefer that your client be more satisfied with your job than you are or vice versa?  Let me share a personal experience from a job we did for a client. We covered his wedding in November. He flew in from Canada where he is based two weeks to the wedding date. It was then I met him for the first time. We had to do a pre-wedding shoot quickly, and when I delivered the pictures he expressed some dissatisfaction with the editing. This [according to him] was because we did not remove some sideburns, some backgrounds and that he was expecting more [graphic] editing than we did.

I explained to him that yes, we can do that; but the type of editing we do is minimalistic, noting that what he wanted us to do with Photoshop could cost a lot more. But he still insisted. True, he had paid a reasonable amount as fees (equivalent to about $2200.00) for his wedding coverage.

This was a rare scenario, because I wasn’t accustomed to this type of editing (request from clients). So it begged the question, ‘should I please him or should I insist on what I want?’

I eventually had to re-edit all the pictures and it took longer than we planned. So we delivered the pictures a few days before the wedding. I felt satisfied that we accomplished it, but it did not end there. When we did the design for the wedding albums, we sent him a proof. He wasn’t pleased with half of the pages of the album and raised issues like how he did not want certain pictures to appear and how his sideburns (again) were not edited to his satisfaction. It left me thinking maybe it would have been better if he had contracted someone else for skin surgery before the wedding and save me the amount of time and detail required for editing. But I had concluded this is a client I was going to serve and chose to please him no matter what. We recently concluded the re-editing on his album and hope that he will be pleased this time.

I have met a lot of photographers who have faced clients who want this editing and that editing, portraiture, skin smoothing, background editing and some other editing that does not fit their style of photography. I think first of all, all the explanation of what is involved should have been done in writing before taking responsibility to be the client’s photographer and before acceptance of a photographer’s fees, because once this takes place, it means you have agreed to go the whole nine yards.

But even with all the documentation you will still encounter clients who still insist they want something more. It’s up to you to decide if you want to please your client or if you want to please yourself. Every photographer needs to address this. Personally, what I do is ask myself who pays my bills at the end of the day? And while a lot of photographers might feel differently about this there is a good chance that it might determine if they will remain in the photography business a few years from now.

Another experience I’ve had is with someone whom I hired to make a customized shoe for me. It turned out very tight when he delivered it. He explained that he’s only satisfied when he likes shoes that he’s made for clients and seeing them wearing the shoes, and that given another two months, the pair he made for me will expand.

I was like, ‘I am not comfortable in them, and I am the one paying for the shoes so I should care less whether you like the shoes or not. I should be satisfied because I am the client.’

Ultimately it is when the client is satisfied (I believe), that you get more referrals. Eventually I convinced him to take the shoes back since I was not satisfied, even though he tried to persuade me that they were ok.

That is something I try not to do with my clients. Many times when I take their pictures and they’re asking me which one they should select, most times I let them make that choice, as they will have those pictures in their homes for the rest of their lives. The ones I suggest anyway are usually not chosen. I could say,’ I like this picture where you are smiling’ and they would be like, ”No! my teeth are too out in the open. I would rather have you frame this one where I am not smiling….” Even though I don’t like it, my head is thinking, who pays for my overhead at the end of the day?

This should be addressed. I have met  many photographers who complain about their clients and they were never forced to take the clients on anyway. But once payment is received, it is binding, legal and almost like a vow, to have to satisfy the client.

This is my opinion, the more satisfied clients you have, the more likely you are going to be in business for a while to come. Interestingly the more difficult the client is and you strive to make sure he is satisfied, the more referrals you are likely going to get from such a person.

So a client might be asking for things that are seemingly unachievable, if it comes with additional cost, explain it to them and if they are insisting that they will not pay extra, still do it! Go out of your way to do a job that they will be pleased with at the end.

Client satisfaction or personal satisfaction? You may have to create a balance between the two. But ultimately if the client is satisfied, in the long run you too will be satisfied.

One other terrible experience that comes to mind happened when I did a job for a client who was a commissioner in Abuja [Nigeria]. When I met her to collect the payment for services I rendered, she actually threw the money (about $1,000 cash) at me, asking to take the money and get out of her presence. Apparently she was upset prior to my meeting her and she’d  had an argument with her personal assistant. That would normally make some of us angry, and feel undignified but it is in scenarios like this we need to act maturely. I tried to be patient and counted the money to be sure it was complete, and thanked her before leaving.

Try to be patient with your clients, make them satisfied and ultimately your business will be grateful [to you]  for it.

BB Pin: 271E3BC8

A pregnancy photographer is in town….


I have been there before, my body would like to run the next time but my soul wont give way…. why wont the body run???? the throwing ups, hospital admission, stress, weight gain, beautiful stretch marks and oh ‘THE ALMIGHTY FINANCE’ i bet its killing. out of the thousand women i know only the ones yet to go through this phase feel its not that difficult making me never forget the tale of Experience being the best teacher. Smile…

The 9months in 3Stages is called Trimester

1st Trimester 1-13weeks

The huge 1st trimester for my pregnancy was something else… came with full force of negativity, like i had it twice(due to miscarriage) fatigue and morning sickness due to increase of hormones produced by the embryo. i couldn’t stand any scent, not even the smell of toothpaste. My best food changed to songs of praise since i couldn’t keep any food…

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A photo session in the middle of the road

It happened yesterday night. While shooting the video for an episode of PICTURE THIS, we were interrupted by a series of car horns by the traffic near my office. It then occurred to me how lovely it would be to do a photo shoot in the middle of the road. I decided not to think too much about it. “JUST DO IT” is a motto I live by. I grabbed my Olympus e-3 (ISO 100 & shutter speed 2 seconds), a 12-60mm lens & the nearest model I could lay my hands on: LARA (coincidentally she was 6 feet from me).

VOILA! Although I admit it was a little risky, the task was fun considering the fact that I was working with an adventurous model. The following were a few of the pictures we came up with at Lateef Jakande rd, Agidingbi. Next destination: Third Mainland bridge.

For your road & expressway photo sessions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Children: Do not try this at home!
Adults: Make sure you have Life Insurance coverage & a WILL before trying this.

BB Pin: 271e3bc8

I steal BlackBerry DPs for a living

Find us on Google+

Yes, the truth is finally out: I steal blackberry display pictures (DPs) for a living. Actually its more of a hobby as I am yet to get paid for doing this. For every photographer/artist out there that use their works as DPs, it is important you watermark them because you never know where they might end up

Attached are just 781 of the interesting DPs I’ve downloaded in the past 3 months from my BB contacts. I’ve tried my best to exclude “personal” & sensitive pictures but would still gladly delete any if you can prove that you’re the original owner. I’m still looking for more to download so don’t hesitate to add me. Enjoy. BB Pin: 271e3bc8