Everyone I shot was a celebrity

Every one I shot was a celebrity!! I do not have a gun and I certainly cannot fire one. But the camera is my weapon and when it shoots, I still remain an innocent citizen. Yeah I know, those catchy blog headliners. That said though, I am merely reminiscing about my experience during the AISL (American International School Lagos) PTO- organised fun-day on the 10th of March 2012.

I guess I did not think too much about the event before it happened. I was there as an assistant to elophotos studios to cover the event photographically. However after the experience, I got color blocked! Maybe it’s the fact that the event was so colorful and the fact that it was a school! All I had been accustomed to from having attended a mission school growing up were different shades of “gray”.

Anyway, it was quite an opportunity to see again the true meaning of a rhyme I learned in those mission schools:

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red or Yellow, black and white;
They are precious in his sight;
Jesus Loves the little children of the world

LIke you might have seen from an earlier piece I wrote from covering a 10th birthday party, I don’t get too excited about covering child events, but this was different. Many nationals from all the continents were here represented, in this school. And one thing is common to all of them, everybody loves fun! I saw that beyond all the different prejudices we are brought up with; we all are really the same underneath and once again I appreciated what it meant to be truly free.

The children were the celebrities, who sang, mimed and danced and played their hearts out! Oh yeah there were side attractions like Banky W and Wizkid who performed a DJ mix of his most popular tunes getting massive air play on radio and all that. But it was the kids I loved most. Their smiles and laughter were just too precious. The laughter, the fun, the hearty shrieks of children ecstatic from jumping over every thing and anything, the slides, the games, the trampolin, the video, the mountain “challenge” simulator, the red carpet, the stretch limousine and so much more; it was fun all the way.

I think the greatest kudos however is to the parents. The fact that they took time out to have fun with their kids this way is just priceless. *Sigh* you made me wish I was a kid again!! Or maybe I should start planning to have my kids. Either way, the celebrity kids were fun to shoot and I would gladly do it again anyday.

Adetunji Oremosu
Plan to attend the next session of Basic Course in Photography
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The day I shot Wiz kid

Anxiety, anticipation, excitement are words I can use to describe how and what I felt when I was told that we had an event to cover. I had an idea because of the article I read about “reasons to give an 80% discount”. As much as I was given an impression that its on a probability basis, something deep within gave me the confidence that it would be my first field experience.

I arrived the office as early as 7am and I saw preparedness, organization, articulation and for me that was enough to motivate and inspire me for the day and it meant “ready for business so give it your best”. I was given a uniform which every photographer would wear and it was unique and was definitely going to draw attention to us: “we are not crazy, we are just different.” We had ID’s too so as to be admitted into the venue.
I had confidence in me but trust me, there was nervousness lingering. I asked God for wisdom and direction on this journey I was about to embark on.

We arrived the venue at about 9am and immediately,my teacher Mr Seun Akisanmi went in and put things in place for us to be admitted in with all the equipment we brought to make us deliver. We set up and brought out all the cameras we would use. We were 6 photographers and I think by default we all went around to study the environment so as to be strategic with producing the perfect pictures for the end result: a 50-page album.

I picked up the Olympus e330 wit 50-200mm lens. Although it was heavy, I knew it would help describe the event in photos even to a lay man as long as I was behind it 🙂 . I started testing it & was trying hard to get used to the camera (that is the advantage of going to the venue early enough, a point Mr Seun will always buttressed on). It took me about 30mins to get a grip of the equipment. At some point I even had to ask Mr Seun why I couldn’t focus and he told me that the fault was peculiar to the lens and I needed to take precaution by turning the camera on and off anytime I noticed it. Asking questions is important; it saved me a lot of stress of trying hard to figure out what I did not know. At this point when I was sure I got a grip of my camera, I couldn’t wait for the event to get started..

I loved the way the school was built. I loved the environment & couldn’t help but take some pictures of how the names of the teachers were designed and placed in front of their classes, how they used art to pass certain information to the students. Its the type of school every enlightened parent would want to send their kids to (even though I ain’t sure of what the fees are).

The event started and so did myself and my camera. I covered the stage performances by students along with the students having fun on the playground. There was a lot to eat and a lot of games to play as long as you purchased tickets worth the amount. (I would have loved to be a part of that but I was there to cover it).

I was impressed and could only imagine what the organizing committee went through putting all that together. With my imagination, I just wanted to be able to be a part of the team that will describe in pictures all that happened on this day.

Then the arrival of Wiz kid! I wondered why the love for this guy is so alarming. The kids left the premises (along with most of the parents) to welcome Wiz kid at the main entrance. I just stood upstairs with my camera waiting for him to come in. I really wish I was there to welcome him too but my team mates were there and I believed they won’t miss out anything.

Thank God for the lens I was using, I could capture every moment from where I was standing at the 3rd floor. At some point, I had to come down to the 2nd floor in order to get better close-up pictures. While he performed the kids were all over him, dancing and singing along to the songs he sang (even the parents had fun and danced along).

I was amazed at the way the white kids sang along perfectly (you can’t seize to wonder how often they listened to Wizkid’s album). It was beautiful and the more I took pictures, the more I was overwhelmed with excitement. Soon enough the performance ended and he had to leave but we did get a lot of pictures of him (along Banky W who kept giving him eye contacts to either follow him or do one thing or the other).

When Wizkid left it seemed that was all on the agenda they waited for because all the excitement seemed to end. But thank God for the field where the kids could not help but explore and express themselves with different games.

I must say that I was hungry and hoped that I would get a bit of all that was available to eat but because I was there to cover the event, I just had to ignore that and focus on my job. At intervals I met with my colleagues and we encouraged each other to just keep on keeping on (we were tired and just couldn’t admit it because we had to “cover” the event till the end. Despite the odds, I must say it was a great experience for me and I look forward to doing another pretty soon.

Thank God for the training, my passion, imagination and of course the Olympus e330 with 50-200mm lens which helped me capture most part of the funfair/Carnival.

Halima Abubakar

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