“You must be proud of all the amount of photographers you’ve trained by now,” the lady in red asked me. Bimbo was a 2010 graduate of eloPhotos Academy and would eventually turn out to be one of the few that kept in touch with me even after leaving eloPhotos. Though the transition out of eloPhotos wasn’t a smooth one (I actually “fired” her), she had grown into someone that would eventually inspire me and believe in my dream enough to empty her savings of N330k to invest in Nigeria Photography Expo & Conference (NiPHEC). She was at my office recently to express her concern about the fact that I wasn’t as rich as someone who had invested so much in the dreams of others.
“Actually, I’m not proud. I’ve since lost count of the number of people I’ve trained because many of them seem not to be putting into practice what they learnt at eloPhotos.” That was my blunt response. She would be one of the 30% that seemed to be standing out of the 100% eloPhotos Academy Alumni.
I explained to her that never in my entire life have I been clearer about my calling in life: to be a change catalyst in the photography industry. I explained to her that though I might not have gotten my dream 2012 BMW 540i Active Hybrid car yet, I feel like the diamond miner that is 2 inches from hitting the biggest gusher he had ever seen. I explained to her that despite her concern for the debts I owe, I would eventually come out better and richer like the latter days of the biblical Job.
But my greatest fear is for the many graduates of the Academy that do not practice the tenets we preach: INTEGRITY, PROFESSIONALISM, CREATIVITY, EXCELLENCE & TIMELINESS. My greatest fear is for the many graduates of Harvard University that are only proud of the certificates they got but aren’t doing much societal transformation with the education.
Until I can boast of a significant number of protégés that inspire me by standing out of the crowd of ordinary photographers, until I can boast of an industry void of mediocrity and people willing to sacrifice their integrity just for the next morsel of bread they eat, until I can boast of a society where photographers would be invited to key economical summits to discuss ways of combating unemployment in the society, until I can boast of photography being on the same pedestal with Law & Medicine, until then, my pride can wait.
If you (yes, YOU) happen to know who I really am and where I’m going in life, you’ll consider it a privilege to call me a friend or photography mentor. Sometimes my advice and/or admonition might come across as too strict or mean, it is so that we’ll turn out to be an inspiration to someone at the end of the day. Although I might be an inspiration, mentor or coach to many, my soul would not be fulfilled until those that consider me to be an inspiration turn out to inspire me by becoming shining stars in their field. Until then, I can’t afford to be proud. Until then, I will not rest.
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