“You sure don’t play with your sleep.” Those where the few words I could remember hearing before waking up to the sound of my phone ringing. I’m still am not sure if she said that in my dreams or in reality. She being my wife of 2920 days. At least I would be 100% sure that the person that called me to start my day with BAD news seemed to be playing a prank on me. I checked the date to confirm that it was not April 1; it was August 1.
70 seconds after receiving the call, I was downcast. “Who was that on the phone,” my genius wife quizzed. “None of your business,” I responded in a tone that will make her unhappy with me for the rest of the day. I immediately began to fill my big head with thoughts of how to creatively shoot the 780k-fan-base celebrity that was to be shot at our studio within 6 hours.
14 days earlier, we had concluded negotiations with a company that wanted us to shoot Ice Prince for their advertising campaign.
7 days earlier I realized after consulting with my colleague – celebrity photographer Shola Animashaun – that I had shot myself in the foot when it came to pricing. This would be the first time I would be shooting a celebrity-musician and would eventually add the negotiating encounter to my list of “Negotiations that I didn’t feel paid off”.
4 days earlier I had asked my friend Dr Femi Adewuyi to creative concepts and assistance for the shoot. His assistance on the D-day would eventually turn out to be more than I expected as I seldom found myself forgetting lighting techniques that I had taught students for years. Talk of a new personal definition of TENSED.
The D-day finally arrived on August 1 and we were prepared for the arrival of the celebrity team. I was going to use my mirrorless camera – Olympus EM10 – with a 14-42mm lens (for wide angle shots) and a 50-200mm lens (for zooming in to the model’s face & upper body). I had gone on Youtube to research more on the type of music that proceeded forth from Ice Prince. 2 songs/vidoes I found interesting (and never knew he was the one that sang it) were OLEKU & WHISKY. After almost 3600 seconds of online research, I had a better understanding of what the BRAND called Ice Prince was all about.
Eventually the stylists and Brand managers arrived and we had to wait for the main model to land. I was particularly conscious of how everyone of the vendors involved seemed to be elated about the shoot. I mean, how can you be working with Ice Prince on anything (even if you’re the barber that cuts his hair) and not be excited about it.
The shoot eventually started 2 hours later than planned and I found myself more in a state of CONTEMPLATION than EXCITEMENT.
I was contemplating on the sad news I had gotten earlier in the day regarding a colleague & friend that had passed away the day before: FAVOUR CORNELIUS. I was contemplating on what Favour’s mother must be going through having lost a son a few years back. I was contemplating the different value systems & belief that was held in the hearts of different people in the studio: TIMELINESS, VANITY, PERSONAL ENJOYMENT, INTEGRITY, PROFESSIONALISM, LAZYNESS, etc. I was contemplating on how relevant it is to have a huge following on social media. I was contemplating whether or not I’ll like to be a celebrity when I grow up. I was contemplating whether the 45,000+ followers of mine on social media will translate into heavenly admiration & approval by the TRINITY.
At the end of the studio session, Ice Prince asked me if I was the one that took the coffin picture (attached within). I answered in the affirmative and he said he hates the picture. “How can someone take a picture like this”, he asked. I proceed to narrate what the concept of the picture was all about. I explained that someone dies, either an angel of LIGHT or DARKNESS is coming for the spirit of the person: question is which angel will come for YOU? He still didn’t like it after my explanation. Thank God I didn’t need anyone’s approval before using my photography to express the ideas & values I believe in.
I would eventually find myself contemplating on how many “CHRISTIANS” are living a life of GOODNESS (I.e. Being a good person) with the hope that a subtle message will be passed across to an unbelieving world that there is a savior waiting with open arms. I felt a strong nudging in my heart that the time for SUBTLE living was over: we need to make conscious attempt as Christians to deliberately create opportunities for PREACHING the Gospel of Christ and his kingdom. At the end of the day, one of the things that I would have done on earth to be considered as WISE in God’s eyes will not be the accumulation of 40,000+ fans on social media or the millions made in business: it will be the number of people I’ve won to Christ and those that I’ve inspired to remain in Christ.
All this happened in my head on the day I shot Ice Prince. My goal for writing this is to make you contemplate on the many things I thought of on that memorable day. One main question that should ring in our hearts is this: if I die right now or the Rapture of the church happens now, will I be counted worthy to be among those that Jesus will SMILE at?
A prayer from the depths of your heart with an attitude of repentance will get you started on the right track. If you’ve not accepted Jesus as your Lord & Savior, this moment is the right moment for you to do that. If you’ve done that but your LOVE for KINGDOM affairs has grown cold, Jesus arms are still wide open.
After spending over 4 hours shooting the celebrity of the day, I got back home and pondered on one final crazy DREAM: the day I – Seun Akisanmi – would be given the privilege to shoot the number 1 celebrity of all eternity, JESUS CHRIST.
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