The Controversial Wedding of the Century

Now Picture This. While relaxing in your apartment in ikeja, you receive a call from someone who called himself Segun Lagbaja. He’s calling from London and attempting to book you for his forthcoming wedding in August. He had seen the album you did for a client 2 years earlier and had vowed to use you ever since. After a series of emails sent back and forth between both parties, he settles for your most expensive package for a wedding coverage: a whopping $13000 (N2,100,000).

Like most clients you’ve had in times past, your only chance of meeting the couple before the wedding is when they arrive Lagos 7 days before the union. While still recovering from the shock of finally having someone order for your most expensive package, you receive an alert from your domiciliary bank account: $7000 had just been wired into your account with the balance to be remitted once the couple meet with you shortly before the wedding.

With the funds arriving in your bank account at such a time as this (especially when your account balance is nothing to make you smile about), you proceed to use about $4000 to settle some of your outstanding overhead. You were even close to giving a testimony in church for such a breakthrough job.

Fastforward to 7 days prior to the wedding. Segun just called to inform you he just arrived at the International Airport in Lagos. He seems to be more excited about you covering the event than any client you’ve come across. He informs you that he’ll stop by your office to meet his wedding photographer since your studio is close to the airport. Besides his hotel is situated in Ajah, a 1hr journey from the airport.

“Sola & I will see you shortly”. You could not wait to meet the beautiful bride that won the heart of a groom that values photography enough to invest such an amount. Your waiting is about to end.

Finally, Segun walks in. You easily recognize that it was him with the type of ride he drove. Especially when you looked through your window and saw the luggage in the Toyota Prado he drove into your compound. He’s accompanied by 2 other individuals.
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You exchange greetings and he immediately gets straight to business. “I only have 10 minutes to spare as my aunty is waiting for me to pick her up in Lekki,” he exclaimed. He brings out an envelope and counts $5000 cash to add to the deposit he had already wired. You had never seen so much $100 bills in your presence at any given time (except maybe in the music videos you often watched on tv). You were caught in between emotions than ranged from shock to excitement. ‘This is going to be an awesome wedding’, you thought within.

Your excitement seemed to come to a halt when he introduced you to his bride-to-be. “Meet Sola, my sweetheart”. Apparently Sola was one of the guys with him in the studio. Your shock was evident by the fact that you were unable to utter any words for the next 10 seconds. This will go down as you first ever “same sex” wedding coverage.

At that moment an article you read in Punch Newspapers a few weeks ago came to mind. Apparently the House of Representatives just passed a bill that prohibits same sex marriages. Besides the fact that each of the “partners” will face up to 14 years in jail, any vendor (photographer, decorator, event planner, makeup artist, etc) that is a part of making the wedding a reality will face up to 10 years in prison. However the bill will become law once the President of Nigeria signs and approves it.

Suddenly your heart begins to beat faster. You weren’t sure whether to tell Sola “nice to meet you” or just to keep quiet. Herein lies my questions: Will you still go ahead and cover the wedding especially when you consider the fact that you’ve received over 90% of your photography fee and spent about 30%?

What will you do?

Feliciting with Feyishayo

So I decided to give one of my colleagues a portrait session. Since we had been busy organizing a photography conference that gave me little time behind the lens, I decided it was time for some practice.

Feyisayo had been one of the key core members of the NiPHEC team that made the conference a success. She was responsible for the keeping in touch with facilitators and speakers of the conference. Her customer service skills gave me more reasons to sit back, fold my hands and watch everything work out well. She handled her tasks so well that I don’t think I would have done a better job.

She started her internship program at eloPhotos about 6 months ago and has developed herself to the level of being on the photographers I’ll miss when she starts fully on her on. Oh, wait a minute, her internship program ended few hours ago. With a 1800-seconds photoshoot, a 180-seconds prayer/blessing, a 7-seconds hug and $2.50 gift (“You Can Negotiate Anything” by Herb Cohen), I sent forth our latest eloPhotos Academy Graduate. Thank God our paths crossed.

The following is a summary of the session I had with her. Equipment used: Olympus E3 with 50-200mm lens, 1 Bowens 500 light source with an 8-sided 72-inch diffuser.

What do you think?
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