92 Days of Adventure in Photography

My attached love for photography dates back to as far as I can remember. Way back after my secondary school days, I have always formed the habit of taking pictures with any mobile camera phone at my disposal and also I am a big fan of admiring quality pictures taken by phonographers as well as professional photographers. I still could remember vividly how I enjoyed staring with amazement at nature’s photographs just to admire the superbly landscaped hills, the majestic mountains, the vast forest of tropical vegetation, the crystal clear water of natural springs and even the reflection of the setting sun on lakes, rivers and seas. I would always say “Nature is so beautiful”. I still can’t forget how I loved viewing different event album pictures just to get a feel of moments captured.
An eye opener into the creative world of professional photography was sparked up after what I considered an amazing two weeks of intensive training during the Set 11 photography class I had at the Daystar Skill Acquisition Program (D-SAP). It happened to be a training that was well facilitated by a man I strongly respect and nurse as a mentor “Mr. Seun Akisanmi“. He made me realize that being a photographer goes beyond what most of us think. He said that it is a career for the professional that requires one to be technically grounded with knowledge of the art and science of photography and most importantly you must have the ability to manage effectively the business aspect of it. D-SAP became the platform that ushered me into my present journey of photography.
After D-SAP, I realize that photography goes just beyond clicking the shutter button of a camera or printing a 5 by 7 picture for guests at an event for as low as $1. It definitely goes beyond all that. Hence, I concluded that there was need for me to acquire more knowledge, skills and training on how to master the technicalities of using the digital camera, on how to create amazing composition, on how to edit pictures, design and produce albums and learn how best I can run a profitable photography outfit. After accessing the available photography outfits where I could possibly run an internship with, I decided on eloPhotos Studios. For me, it was an ideal place to achieve all that I have set out to do.
On August 1st 2013, I commenced a six months internship program at eloPhotos. Prior to this date, I had a meeting with Mr Seun Akisanmi who briefed me on what to expect and what will be expected of me as an intern. Honestly, his conditions were quite demanding as it will warrant me coming to work every working days of the week with Saturday and Sunday also included whenever there is an event to cover.  I remember saying to myself that “boy this training no go easy o“. Anyway, being so focused on what I wanted to achieve, I was determined to go ahead and so I accepted the conditions with the mind that it will surely require my full commitment and dedication.
During the last 92 days as an intern at eloPhotos, I have been so privileged to have undergone so many training programs that has greatly help me sharpen my skills and knowledge about photography. The famous and most recent of them I so much treasured was the workshop tagged “WHATEVERITTAKES” held at Warri, Delta State. I have also had the opportunity of covering different events along side with my colleagues. So far at eloPhotos, I have been greatly exposed to the challenging aspect of the business of photography in key areas like pricing, financial management, customer relation, interpersonal relationship, negotiation, agreement and marketing on social media and website. Editing pictures and designing album spread was once a mystery to me but not anymore as I have been well-trained by my highly esteemed colleagues at eloPhotos. It will amaze you to know that  I was also taught practically how to make a photobook album.
Honestly, the last three months at eloPhotos has been so remarkable and worthwhile. One unique thing about eloPhotos is that everyone keeps learning everyday because we believe that in this challenging profession only creative minds can effectively stand out and keep up with the pace of this fast-moving train called photography. Conclusively, when I look back at my last 92 days, I realize that I am a better photographer than I previously was.
I think I have come to the end of my writing ability for this week so until next time, remember I’m Onodje Oshevwiyore and I am so so proud to be a PHOTOGRAPHER.

The Day I Had A Dead FLY Served For Dinner

It was the deal we all had been hoping would come through. My friend (& fellow intern @ eloPhotos) had just gotten his first big job as a photographer and I went with him as an assistant. The occasion was a surprise birthday party that was being organized by the co-workers of the celebrant. I got there forty minutes before time and the event started some minutes behind schedule.

Since it was a Sunday, I had to go to Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, (venue of the birthday party), from church. This required careful planning because I couldn’t cover an event in my church clothes. I had to take a pair of jean pants with me to church so I could change clothing once I got to the venue. Changing clothes in the church restroom after service was not an option. My church is quite conservative and I didn’t want to upset anyone just yet by wearing a pair of pants in the church premises. I probably have people confused with my makeup already.

My kind husband dropped me off at the bus stop where I boarded a bus heading for Maryland. Luckily for me, the traffic was moving freely and I got to Maryland in no time. I hopped in a bus headed for Opebi/Allen and informed the bus conductor I would alight at Sheraton Hotel. I believed Sheraton was still a good distance ahead so I took time to admire the buildings along the road. Soon I saw Protea Hotel on my left and just stared at the building in admiration. Just then, the bus turned to the right and drove along Opebi link road. It took a few seconds for me to realize I was off track. At this point, I realized the bus had taken me past my intended bus stop. I had to walk back to Sheraton Hotel after protesting and whining about the bus conductor’s poor service. On getting there, I saw Protea hotel was directly opposite Sheraton! How could I have missed it!

Like I said earlier, I got to the event in good time, found the ladies’ room and changed into my jeans. On my way back to the hall where the event was to be held, I saw a guy dressed like security personnel flash me a brief smile. At first I thought he was just being nice, then later, I realised he must have seen me wear a skirt into the restroom and come out in a pair of jean pants. Perhaps he wondered if I was some kind of girl living a double life. You know, the type that tells everyone at home that she is heading to church but then heads straight to some party.

Despite the fact that the event started a bit late, it was one of the best I had ever attended. The estimate of guests expected was just as we had been briefed. The hall was arranged in such a way that left enough room to move around; the guests appeared friendly and no one treated me like a pest (if you are a photographer, you should understand what I mean). Best of all, it was a buffet so when my friend suggested that I go get something to eat, I had a good time selecting yummy delights.

I didn’t take too much food, nothing that could have embarrassed you, just a bit of rice, chicken and beef with a small slice of cake. By the way, Sheraton’s food smells like heaven if you’ve never had it. As I settled down to enjoy the meal before me, I saw an incredible sight – there was a dead housefly right in my rice! I am not kidding. I mean…you can’t make this stuff up! Dead fly on my warm food, eww! Disgusting right?

You must be wondering what I did next. I showed the fly to a friend, scooped the fly and the surrounding grains of rice out of my plate and enjoyed the rest of my meal! It was delicious too. In case you are wondering what kind of a weirdo I am, I haven’t always been this way. If this had happened some months ago, I think I may have abandoned the whole plate of rice but after having spent time with weirdly creative people (mostly men) at eloPhotos, I now do weird things myself. At least I didn’t eat the fly (come to think of it, eating the fly would have been an experimentally weird option).

If you are a member of staff of Sheraton or just a fan, please understand that I am not trying to throw the hotel under the bus as far as food is concerned. In fact, I think the beef and chicken were so juicy and tender; made to perfection. The kitchen crew just needs to work on preventing unwanted sources of protein from finding their way to the food.

Weirdly Yours,
Ronke Alao
CEO, Everywoman’s Heart