604800 Seconds In The Life Of A FEMALE Photographer


The new week started like any other. I got to work at 7.15am, did some cleaning till about 8am and we started morning devotion. I had the privilege of sharing with my colleagues from the Holy Bible . The text was taken from Colossians 3:23&24: Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

In essence, it isn’t only working in church that counts as working for God, our “secular” job should also be seen as working for God because it really is. So, even when the people we appear to work for are not meeting up with the expectations we have of them, we should remember that Christ is the one we are serving even on that job.

After devotion, I got started on the task at hand; redoing the photobook cover that I didn’t get right the previous week. About half an hour later, I started doing intermittent dances and singing funny songs. Whether I was simply happy or getting high on sniffing too much adhesive, I really did not know.

Several minutes later…I don’t know how long it took really, probably lost my sense of time temporarily. Anyway, after a while, I finished the photobook. It was better than the last but still not decent-looking. Mr Seun’s verdict? Well, I had to do it again the next day. Now I understand how it must feel for babies growing teeth. It hurt but I had to go through this experience…or do I really have to?

The ride home to Ikorodu after closing hours was rough. As if the terrible traffic wasn’t enough torture, the bus driver drove like he was practicing his next role as the stuntman in the movie, “The Expendables”. It was interesting to hear fellow passengers calling their loved ones to ‘report’ the reckless driver, as if that would somehow set him straight.

As we approached Ikorodu, I got so hungry and couldn’t wait to get home. On getting off the bus, I smelt roasted corn and could not resist. I bought a couple and sunk my teeth into it right there on the street. No time for observing dining etiquette, this was an emergency. The hunger was so intense that it felt like my eyes were popping out of their sockets.

I eventually got to the spot where my hubby usually picks me up and I was so glad to see him. He watched with interest as I “attacked” the corn. Though my husband isn’t a big fan of roadside foods and wouldn’t eat on the street to save his life, he knew this was no time to preach it to me. The corn was a life-saver.

My husband asked how my day went and I told him I had to do the photobook again. I was hoping he would feel very sorry for me and join my pity-party. Instead, he held me and said, “Don’t worry, it’s an opportunity to learn”. I instantly felt like there was a conspiracy somewhere and my husband and my boss were in on it.

On Tuesday, with the help of Mr Seun Akisanmi, I finally got the fundamentals of photobook binding and I made the best photobook ever! Completing the project was like reaching a waterfall after several days of walking through the dry desert. Sweet relief!

The evening commute was crazy as usual. I gave my husband periodic updates on where I was at . The traffic was terrible. He sent me a message saying, “I love you”. That melted the stress off me instantly. Just then, I noticed the guy sitting beside me in the bus was peeking at my messages. What nonsense, is privacy too much to ask for in a Lagos bus?

The rough ride to Ikorodu ended when I got off the bus. Was so glad to see my husband waiting for me as usual. I don’t know what these past three months, (that I have spent training at eloPhotos), would have been like for me if not for his understanding and support. I got in the car and heard the Mary Mary song, “Shackles”, playing. How appropriate. I felt so free having completed the photobook. I couldn’t help but do a wild dance in the car as my husband bursted out laughing. As I did my crazy dance, I wondered again if I was just happy or had sniffed too much adhesive. Who knows?

My day on Wednesday felt weird. Not having to do a photobook cover after being haunted by one for almost a week felt good. I got busy working on the monthly statement of expenses. I am not an accountant and I don’t play one on TV. In fact, I don’t enjoy counting cash or balancing accounts but somehow, I have been given this responsibility at eloPhotos so here I was. The more I tried to collate the figures, the more it seemed the number jumped off the page and mocked me.

I got done with the July statement and then had the privilege of watching Mr Seun do a kind of photobook we have never done before. I couldn’t possibly describe it. You have to see it to appreciate its beauty.

Thursday began on a rainy note; thank God I had my small umbrella. The commute to work would have been uneventful if not for the wonderful driver that thought speeding by and splashing me with water from the waist down was such a great idea! Interestingly, I had my earphones on at that time and was listening to my audio Bible. A few seconds after I got ‘sprayed’, the words I heard from the audio Bible was, “Forgive whatever grievances you have against one another”. God does have an interesting sense of humor, doesn’t He?

The main project of the day was a conceptual photo shoot of a depressed unemployed man, staring blankly at a sign that read “No Vacancy”. It was such fun. Elozi, a client of ours whose wedding we will be covering in October at Warri, came around to discuss final details and also to confirm the names of the photographers she’ll need to make airline ticket reservations for.

Somehow, I feel the week sped by pretty fast. Before I knew it, Friday was here. I mostly did administrative duties – attending to a colleague who needed to rent some equipment, burning CDs for past participants of NiPHEC and reconciling the account. Keeping the books have been such a huge challenge. It’s as though numbers don’t like me and play wicked tricks on me.

As I draft these words on my Blackberry phone, while sitting in a bus headed for Ikorodu, I saw an amazing sight. It was of a driver of a giant bus who took advantage of the almost non-moving traffic by heeding the call of nature. Yes, he urinated right there in the middle of traffic, on the famous Ikorodu road. When he was finished with business, he got back in the bus, it was then I noticed the bus he was driving had the inscription, “Lagos State Waste Management Authority”. Yeah, their driver sure knows how to manage waste!

Anyway, that’s how my week went down. Till we meet again online next week, here’s to hoping that my diary of experience at eloPhotos is of help to your photography career/hobby.

I’m Ronke Alao & I’m proud to be the ONLY female PHOTOGRAPHER at eloPhotos.

Cheers

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