POOR PEOPLE DON’T LIVE HERE


Earlier this year, I was privileged to have been invited by Yetunde Babaeko to her house for a “small” social gathering. Apparently she didn’t like the way top photographers only saw each other during NiPHEC 2013; she wanted to create a networking atmosphere where we could keep in touch with each other without having to wait for a conference gathering like NiPHEC.

Present at the friday night gathering were photography mentors like Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Leke Adenuga, Seyi Body-Lawson & Uche James Iroha. Looking back, I’m not sure what exactly I had done or achieved to have been invited to such a meeting…..but that’s a thought for another day. It will turn out to be quite an insightful networking experience that I’m glad I was present at.

I listened ardently to the gist every other photographer was bringing to the table. From SEX to cigarettes to clubbing in New York to photographing stingy clients….it was as if I was in a seminar titled “How Great Photographers Think”. As if trying to soak in everyone’s gist, I found out in retrospect that the words of my mouth were few that night. I was there to appreciate and know more about how these photography colleagues of mine THINK. I had no regrets whatsoever.

I particularly enjoyed almost every discussion Kelechi Amadi-Obi brought to the table. Although some of our values were not in total alignment, I found myself praying to God for a mind as crazily creative as Kelechi’s. One of the experiences he shared with us was about his experience with a particular security man about a decade ago.

In what seemed like an attempt to understand how the rich think, Kelechi decided (in the early 2000s) that he would use the services of a creche located inside Shonibare Estate in Maryland. For those of us that might not know, owning a property in Shonibare Estate implies directly or indirectly that your net worth is over N1billion: only the rich live there.

The security men at the entrance of the estate would easily identify someone who doesn’t live in the estate by the type of car the person was driving. In those days, the reputation Kelechi’s car had was nothing to write home about. Nevertheless, he knew what he was looking for by attempting to “enter” the inner circle environs of the rich.

On one particular day, a security man stopped him at the 2nd entrance of the estate and after a quick psychological analysis of Kelechi & his car he blurted out (perhaps without much thought) “Poor People Don’t Live Here….where are you going?” He then told Kelechi that people like him (I.e. Kelechi) are not welcomed in a rich man’s estate like Shonibare Estate. Besides, he continued, that particular entrance was strictly for the use of residents of the estate. After much pleading by Kelechi to enter the estate (because he was going to pick up his child from the creche situated within), the security man insisted that he should turn back and use the main entrance.

Kelechi was offended especially because he felt that the economy status of the security man did not warrant him to make such a statement especially since he (I.e. The security man) was not considered to be in the class of rich men. He would think of what to do to make him realize that “Kelechi isn’t a poor man” (though his car might suggest otherwise).

The next day, Kelechi decided to use the same entrance where he was denied entrance. Upon discovering that the security man in question was not on duty, he gave those on duty N1000 and told them to have a great day. The day after, he did the same thing. On the third day, upon arriving at the same entrance and meeting the security man, Kelechi willingly put his “rich” car in reverse and headed for the next entrance. While reversing he noticed that the other security men were pleading with him to go ahead and enter but Kelechi would not bend to their pleas because according to the “rich” security man, “Kelechi was a poor man”.

Kelechi continued with his plan for about a week until the other security men started getting angry with their colleague for insulting a “rich” man like Kelechi in such a manner. Apparently, even the rich residents of the estate don’t tip them in such a way and here comes someone that treats them “well” but is being denied entrance by one security man because he didn’t have a beautiful car. Eventually the same security man approached Kelechi and apologized for making such a blasphemous statement. Kelechi’s point had settled in.

The moral of the story might not necessarily have anything to do with photography but I got an insight on how to handle situations in a non-conventional (but creative) way. You might take this the wrong way but I thought within myself that what Kelechi did was wisdom. He used wisely his actions to prove wrongly what someone said about him. I learnt that one shouldn’t be quick to reply people’s accusations with words. In most cases, its wiser to “do” than to “say“. If people “say” you’re a fool, prove them wrong by your “actions“. If people say you’re “poor“, let the combination of all your actions ultimately make them regret saying that.

Ofcourse, the ultimate wisdom is to realize that you can’t be stopping at every junction in life to be “proving” yourself to people that might think otherwise. Just focus on doing what you know how to do best and eventually they will see the results of your labour and change their minds about what they “thought” or “said” you were. Some people thought photography as a profession was going to be my worst decision ever. The same people that “thought” that have paid me millions of Naira for my photography services.

Enough of my babbling. Whenever you meet people that think you don’t deserve something, take it as an encouragement “pill” to make you focus on your vision and destiny. Ultimately and in due season, those who thought you don’t deserve it will realize that its actually people like you (Yes, YOU) that really deserve it.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness

Advertisements

ROBOPHOTO


A nice time is determined by what you do and how one accepts people’s reaction to what you do. This means no one else is in charge of whether you have a good time and it is evident that when this settles in your heart then good times will definitely locate you.

Working and having to learn where love is expressed in every way keeps me waking up as early as 4 am, leave the house by 5:45am, get to eloPhotos before 7am and get home late sometimes not sleeping until 11pm or 12 midnight sometimes. How powerful love is.

As if the love isn’t enough to keep me going, there came a mysterious reward from Mr Seun Akisanmi. I bet you want to know if he chased us out of the office to work? Absolutely NOT. We were chased out to "work" at the Silverbird cinemas to watch "ROBOCOP" with tickets paid by him…. oh what a boss, right?

In the midst of all these my passion and inspiration for photography can only be better and stronger. You might want to ask what has the movie ROBOCOP got to do with photography? Well, what caught my attention the most was the fact that the movie being someone’s imaginative script was perfectly played out so well that one would think it’s present day and real life occurrences. Coupled with the fact that photography is more of a creative art, I was immensely inspired watching the movie. Having displayed that much of creativity in a movie reiterated the statement ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE in my mind.

It got better when I was sent to deliver one of our beautiful work of art to a client. Although the stress almost killed the fun but the fun started when I hopped in a bus & sat beside the driver who talked all through the journey. Though he was disturbing my brain, I was trying to figure out how I will locate the address that I have never been to before. That was the first time I would be meeting a man that talks MUCH.

To crown it all was the photo-shoot I did with a model, my wonderful model OKETE (bush rat). Though it was dead, my job was made easier knowing that I could get all the postures that I wanted. I experienced how the process from been so dead and irritating to when it entered the pot, stop right there, I wasn’t the chef, I know many will call that meat and probably might be imagining how that will taste when peppered and seasoned but to me it was so irritating to eat, instead of doing the eating myself the NIKON D7000 I used did that for me.

Every day comes with different scenery, it might be the so much stress, walk or work and it could be the creation of a new slang right in the editing room or the soaking of gari festival all to achieve a goal, which is to become a professional photographer, dissolving challenges beyond the human general reasoning.

But it all started with the movie ROBOCOP. Now I am thinking of the future of photography. I can’t be myopic or under exposed when my oga is in a ‘perfect exposure’. I am so looking forward to NIPHEC 2014 because it’s all about now and the future and I can imagine how much of inspiration that will be fired up in me to see, do and get me ready for the world and time of ROBOCOP.

See you at NIPHEC 2014 as we ROBOCOP you to ROBOPHOTO in the future…I remain Gabriel Gregory, your ROBOPHOTO! SHUTTING DOWN!

Unstructured Ramblings of a JJC Photographer


It hurts me bad anytime am being tagged a JJC (Johnny Just Come) I think it’s just a polite way of saying you are dumb but come to think of it when you have no idea or little idea of something or in a new place and u wear a confused strange look just because you have a little or no information about how to go about things or places “O boy you b JJC o”. But it isn’t totally bad to be a JJC I mean u only have an opportunity to be a JJC once so be proud of it.

I got in as an intern at eloPhotos with just the basic knowledge of photography and this past week has been what I call “eye opening and sweat poring”. I commend my strength because having to wake up 4am in the morning and getting to work latest by 7:30am ‘’no be beans o’’. If you would ask me it isn’t even my strength that works for me, it’s my passion that drives me. I’ve had opportunity to work at places where I wake up early to get to work and get back home late, sleep sad and wake sad unhappy with myself, but my love for photography keeps me going like the love of Christ .Whoever said photography was all about taking the shot should better shut up!

How else can I describe this week without stopping to think that it’s just one out of 24weeks at eloPhotos designed to structure me to be a professional photographer. This week I learnt by observing and practising, from photoshop down to making a photo book. Making a Photo book it’s quite interesting a process unlike having to practise Photoshop. you would like to believe me when I say the chemistry between me and Photoshop isn’t starting well at all: once am over 5 minutes on it I tend to feel feverish. I just pray I get a quick antidote to treat my Photoshop fever. All these experiences won’t be complete if I fail to talk about “the magical experience”: getting to see a 3D Photo frame was a magical for a JJC like myself. I would have loved to shed tears (like my boss) but…my teary gland failed. If you have not gotten a glimpse of a 3D Photo Frame I think you should be on the next bus to eloPhotos.

I simply can’t say enough about this week without mentioning my colleague (Mr Owabie). Well to me I think that man is just a setup for me to lose weight. Seriously, no distance is too much for his feet to trek and if you ask him all he says is “it’s not far now”. We were assigned together to take the shot of the “3 Elders of Lagos” (Aro Meta) and this man made me trek from secretariat to the location and back to the office. I almost fainted and at the point he saw that I was losing my strength he said “I think you need sugar now” & proceeded to buy me a bottle of coke. Interesting ain’t it? Well I have no regret whatsoever. Infact I would like to learn more perseverance from him as I develop to be the best I can be.

Never would I forget my first task this week: it was a very remarkable one. I went with my colleague to the lab to get some prints done. On getting there, my colleague stepped out to get some other things we would need at work so I was left alone with some other photographers. There was this particular one that kept flaunting his works on his laptop to his friends. With my eyes glued to the screen and my heart whispering “wow” I stood amazed. After a long minute of staring, suddenly the guy turned at me and asked “are you a photographer too?” In shock I lost the reply “was I?” I shook my head to say “No” and just immediately again nodded “Yes”. Apparently we were both confused. He looked at me again and asked “so what do you do?” I said “I’m actually a photographer, but an intern. “Oh, Ok”. I listened as his friend whispered to him silently “she be JJC”. I felt so embarrassed, but what was there to be angry about?

Who am I? I asked myself. I am Temitope Adeniyan and I’m a JJC photographer, but not for long. I am simply a work in progress.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness

Dear Photography Diary….One Step at a Time


Dear Diary,

This is my Second week at eloPhotos and I hope my inner aperture opens wide enough to absorb more knowledge to paint a better Picture of me.

Monday – Don’t know what it is about today, I can’t really see any much difference. I would rather say it feels more like deja vu, you know like that same event happening all over again. Oh yeah and today, I actually led the praise and worship at the morning devotion; it felt good. We had our monday meeting, after which I was assigned to go to the Lab with a colleague. Aside the fact that we had to struggle to get bus even at an expensive rate we had a good chat and that also felt good.

Closed from work at about 5:30pm and didn’t get home until 8pm. Traffic you may think but it wasn’t; just the lack of buses at the parks instead. I needed no soothsayer to tell me they were all queued up at closed filling stations. I heard the rumour before today about the scarcity but here it is. Apparently the kegs were way more than cars that I would have suggested a keg census. It’s crazy and heartbreaking.

As if this is not enough, when I finally got a bus heading home guess what I saw? A picture that I swear would have won me the NIPHEC 2014 Photo contest and more. I saw a police patrol car parked in front of a filling station and two policemen were busy fighting each other. Funny how they were left alone in their own very world of madness. I bet you would have thought it was a boxing contest, if not for their uniform. The spectators actually completed the show by making a ring around them. I know, right, sad. If only I had my camera, I would have taken the picture of a life time, and my phone battery had to die at a crucial time like that. Thank God I made it home after this long sad day, and I sure hope tomorrow would be better. I said a prayer for Nigeria and off to bed.

Tuesday – Made it as early as possible to the park at least the earlier I start hustling for bus the sooner I’ll get one. Today buses were already two times their original prices, and believe me passengers unrelunctanly rushed to get a sit. Lucky me I still got to work right on time. I was really excited today because yesterday Mr Seun Akisanmi had told us about going to the movies. We were mandated to go see a movie he tagged to be one of the best he has ever seen in his life: “12 years a Slave”. I trust his judgment and I actually have no doubt that it would be the “best”.

Picking up from where I stopped yesterday, a colleague and I picked the prints and laminated pictures (which we had made into an album book) to the Lab for trimming. We were back in no time, despite the fact that we had to trek half the distance. I was assigned alongside 2 of my colleagues to make an album box which we had no idea how to go about, but according to Mr Seun “two heads are better than one”. We started with the measurement and cutting of the board and cover cloth. I think we are getting it right. Let’s see how it turns out by tomorrow.

It’s 5pm already the movie starts for 5:45pm so we set out to get there in time. Right in time we were seated and so it started….. Sincerely this movie is a must see for every living being. Aside the fact that the cast were awesome, the make up was insane. I almost forgot it was a “make believe”. Infact this movie made me realize one thing: no matter the situation I find myself, what matters most is how I get past it…not to drown myself in it or give up before the end. I thought and thought of every single scene of this movie till I got home and now am off to bed

Wednesday – I got to work some minutes to eight and as I walked in I was immediately assigned to follow Mr Seun and a Colleague for a Pre Wedding shoot, as usual I was so excited. I’ve always looked forward to a pre wedding shoot. The location was at Ibeshe in ikorodu and the client picked us up at the bus stop. On getting to Ibeshe I never expected what I saw I knew it sounded more like a village. Yes it was a village indeed. However, it had a healing view of the sea and a ferry terminal were people boarded ferries to the island and sort.

And boom, the shoot started. Making it easy, the couple had come with enough props to make our work easier- the likes of clothes, bicycle, an umbrella and more. I was given a camera to work with: an ‘Olympus Camera’ we jokingly call “Volkswagen” at eloPhotos. I wasn’t really getting great pictures but I made sure that my picture were on focus though I got series of under and over exposed pictures while I was struggling with camera settings. Well its just normal, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” you know. It actually felt exciting to be a part of this. We spent the total of two and half hours taking pictures of the couple on the boat, garden, and on the road. I had always wondered how they pose couples during a photo shoot but thank God for today. I got to realise they aren’t always given a pose but rather told to talk, gist and act as if we don’t exist. It’s out of these moments that we get the perfect pictures. How interesting!

It was really a tiring journey back to the office and back home. But all the same Thank you God for today.

Thursday – As Usual I got to work early enough and I started working on my photoshop assignment before Mr Seun received a call from a Photographer (Mr Sam) who has a hotel shoot and needs an assistant, he immediately assigned me for the job. I’m blessed! I know, but this just a reward for coming to work early . And so we were at the location, it was a week old hotel at Adeniyi Jones Ikeja and they wanted some pictures for adverts, flyers and all sort.

I am glad I didn’t miss out on this one. We had gone with equipments that I had been longing to know how they are been used, thank God for the opportunity. It was great working with Mr Sam because he gave me a detailed explanation of what he was going to do and explained further on everything he did, from the camera setting for each location, to the use of light.

The experience was awesome, until something happened. We were taking a room shot and the camera was placed on the tripod, Mr Sam was trying to move a stool which was a distraction to the scene and before we knew it the Tripod fell the lens immediately ejected from the camera and 2 grips pulled out. My heart strucked in fear like thunder. I immediately looked at Mr Sam as he screamed JESUS! It was a prime lens and I knew how much it cost, and apparently that was the end of the shoot. We had a spare lens but we didnt have a spare heart. The situation had changed everything and the shoot was to be concluded on Saturday.

We went back to the office and I was still able to design my first spread, though it looked horrible but at least practice they say brings perfection. Later in the evening I was assigned to go with my colleague (Mr Owabie) to deliver 2 albums to 2 differents clients. I already knew that was going to be a trek marathon and I was going to be getting home quite late and I didn’t like that part. Anyway we got the album delivered and the fact that the clients loved the job was healing to my wound. Got home some minutes past 10pm, ate and off to bed.

Friday– Today is not starting well at all: my body aches, my feet aches, and my eyes are still heavy. I feel like I need a break to sleep, but I’m at work again. Started working on a Spread again I don’t know what I love about the spreads but it is one of those intersting things I want to learn fast. I tried doing a lot of practice on photoshop till I started feeling the photoshop fever and I left it to rest. Today isn’t as busy as usual. Just went to print and laminate and was back to the office . Before I knew it, it was time to go home. And off I went.

It was quite a challenging and fully packaged week. I look forward to a better next week.

Dear Diary, it’s pleasing to let you know that at the end of just my second week at eloPhotos, I have lost 4kg.

Photographically Yours,
Temitope Adeniyan

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness