The AKARA Experience


I remember when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I decided I was old enough to cook. I can still PICTURE our kitchen at Ilaka street, Ilupeju, Lagos. It was going to be my first memorable experience at cooking AKARA. I figured out that I had eaten and seen enough akara to know to prepare one. For my non-Nigerian fans who are unfamiliar with Akara, it is blended beans that ends up being fried in cake balls (I hope I explained that well).

Anyway, I put what I figured to be the right amount of oil in the frying pan and excitedly prepared for frying experience I would never forget. I poured in a few scoops of the blended beans and started stirring. Yes, believe it or not, I was stirring the AKARA in the frying pan. As I continued with the stirring experience, I wondered to myself why the AKARA was not turning out to be the solid small balls I was used to being served by my wonderful mum. I had seen her many atimes stir ogi (blended corn) and had assumed that it was the same formula for the akara that was. Served side by side with the ogi.

I was wrong. What came out of that experimental stirring experience was what I would considered scrambled akara. If only I had swallowed my small pride and asked my mum for the right formula for creating world-class Nigerian Akara. If only I had asked, I would not have ended up with a scrambled portion of akara.

Fast forward to February 2014. During a conversation with one of the students at eloPhotos Academy, I asked him how many books he had read and digested on relationships and marriage. His response: “books don’t work for stuff like that, the Holy Spirit will guide me.” I decided it would not be a wise use of my time to argue with someone who felt it unnecessary to read books in order to get the right knowledge about an institution he was about to be contracted into for the rest of his life. Why didn’t the Holy Spirit teach the person photography, I thought. It would have been cheaper for the person not to have wasted financial resources to attend a program at eloPhotos Academy if indeed the Holy Spirit can teach us all things. Sometimes I think a lot of Christians can “overspiritualize” issues.
And herein lies my point. If you’re considering going on an adventure of which you know little or nothing about, it is only wisdom (or put another way, common sense) if you attempt to climb on the shoulders of people that have been there before. You do that when you spend time with them, read books and listen to their directions, advise and admonitions.

My emphasis is on the multitudes of people that are rushing at lightning speed to enter into the kingdom of photography. Many feel that they need no form of education and that all they need is a Nikon D4 (just like a young lad recently psyched the mum to invest N1.6 million to acquire). Its like waking up and deciding that since one needs to learn how to drive, the next step is to go to the car dealership and order a Rolls Royce.

It is on this premise that I’ve decided to focus with laser accuracy on raising world-class photographers via the platform called eloPhotos Academy & Nigeria Photography Expo & Conference (NiPHEC). It is on this premise that I’ve decided to do my best to make sure that people that care to learn from me will not repeat my AKARA experience. It is on this premise that I’ve deliberately unconsciously developed a weakness for accumulating over 150 books on photography alone….just so that I can get the right education as not to repeat my 1987 AKARA experience

Even if you decide not to use the aforementioned platforms to establish or strengthen your photography foundation, please make sure you get some form of education before acquiring photography gadgets that I can bet you won’t utilize up to 30% of its functions.

Even if you’ve already made the “wise” mistake of plunging headlong alone, swallow your pride and talk to someone that can help you be a better photographer and photopreneur (this applies to other industries also). Even with the little I know, I’m still learning everyday. I just finished talking to one of my colleagues I respect very much, Shola Animashaun, about how to handle a “copyright” issue I was having with a client. At the end of the conversation, I learnt how to better price myself for photography jobs for client like the one I was having issues with.

So before you use all that funds to buy the latest photography gadget (ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE JUST ENTERING THE INDUSTRY), get some form of education that will hopefully prevent you from an AKARA experience. Better yet, take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Your photography destiny will not be the same.

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Contact us on 08120129149, 08023008873 or info@elophotos.com for a detailed list of options of classes to take at eloPhotos Academy. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness.

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The PASSPORT Photographer


Some weeks ago a friend called me from church asking if I take passport photographs and of course my answer was “Yes”. He immediately said “ok, so how much is it for 8 copies?” I told him 5000naira. He was so surprised and he said the same thing you’re probably thinking right now: “Is it not passport, I can get 12 for N200 sef.” Of course it is just passport photographs and you can even get 20 for 200 or for free but the question is I’m I just an “ordinary” Photographer.

Sometimes in June, I did a free family portrait session for a potential client and (luckily for me) they loved it! Some days back, I got a call from them asking me to come take pictures for their anniversary and of cause they knew it wont be free, so I charged them. They were so surprised and they were like “just for pictures? It’s quite expensive we already marketed you to people and if its this expensive the won’t call you.” Of course at that point I knew they were not my client!

One reason I hate shooting for free is that the clients might actually not know the worth of what they are getting for free. And it’s sad.

You see, not everybody believed the gospel even when heard from Christ himself. They still didn’t drop their nets to follow him. In the same light, we should realize that not everybody is our client.

I hate it when I hear the question “is it not to take pictures?” But I’m glad to answer you here. Of course it’s just to take pictures but I’m not just a photographer. I’m a professional photographer. Not just because I use a professional camera, or because I trained at one of the best photography schools in Nigeria. It’s mainly because I’m different.

I’m sure you’ll doubt that until you get to see what I can do and some of what I’ve done. I am obviously not the best but I was worse. Feel free to ask for a “free” shoot (terms & conditions apply) & you should be convinced.

Attached here are photos I took last week. First, is the picture of elophotos academy most valuable gadgets: 2 books every trainee must read before the end of their 1st month. The second one is a picture of a solitary orange. During my practice session, I surprisingly saw only 1 orange on a BIG orange tree and made me imagine if it was just 1 person in the world, how lonely it will be. The third one is a picture I took practicing composition with patterns). I hope you find it creative.

Written by Temitope Adeniyan
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Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Contact us on 08120129149, 08023008873 or info@elophotos.com 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.

PEAK, It’s in YOU


When will this suffering stop?
When will this struggle end?
When will I stop trying to make ends meets?
When will my own time come?
When will I be my own boss and have a story to tell? These are the questions of every hungry man out there. These are questions that keep running in my thoughts.

I needed something, I needed to be creative, I needed to stand out, I needed to launch out, I needed to go out there and make things happen for my self because the rich seems to be getting richer and the poor is getting poorer. “It’s in me,” I said to my self… only if I could wake up and make this dream a reality.

Suddenly it all started like a dream and then my dream became a reality. My first month as an intern at eloPhotos brought so many questions running down my mind.

Questions like “will I be able to cope, can I do this, will I ever be a guru like Toye Peters, Tope Adeniyan, Gabriel Greggory? But instead, I learnt from Mr Seun that with time you can be whatever you want to be, and that the more you practice, the better you become.

One month has gone & I am still standing doing what I love doing best, getting better and better day by day, breaking new grounds, and above all serving at eloPhotos because some day I want to be the best of the best that will ever be produced. Although it has been stressful and challenging but worth it.

This reminds me of the story of Papilo, who had a dream and believed that one day he would make his mother proud. Years later he did make her an envy to nations by becoming the popular Kanu Nwankwo.

And then I said to my self as an intern photographer, I am here to stay, I am here to stand and not to fall. Although the journey might be rough at eloPhotos but I see the laurel at the end of the tunnel.
I want to also make my mom proud, be a solution to my generation through the work of my hands by enduring all the tasks given to me.

You would be asked to run errands, you would go into the rain at times just to buy fuel for the generator, you would have to do some cleaning every morning and also wash the toilet which you might not be used to at home.

You would undergo some tests at times like my “Ogba” friend, who walked down to Ogba from Agidingbi (a 5km walk round trip) thinking he was being tested by Mr Seun.

You would account for every penny you spend because at eloPhotos nothing like “I don’t care after all it is not my money.”

You would learn to respect others just the same way you want to be respected, you would learn to tolerate people and love them for who they are.

You would learn to bring out the best in you so that you can stand out. You would learn not to be appreciated by that one person you so much want to hear “You did a very wonderful job.” Instead know it inside of you that your best might not enough because you need to give more than you best.

All this I have learnt this first month as an intern at eloPhotos.

The desire to succeed is in me, the spirit to do exploits is within me and my purpose must be fulfilled. I am here to serve in order to be a leader, I am here to learn no matter what it entails, I am here to stand the test of time because what doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger, I am here because “PEAK, it’s in me.”

It only gets better and better day by day my friend because that peak in you will eventually be seen and discovered to the world.

I’m Emmanuel Obaloluwa Omole and there’s coming a time when you search me on Google, the results will make you utter that three-letter word: WOW.
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Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Contact us on 08120129149, 08023008873 or info@elophotos.com 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.