A day in my life in 2020: Jide Jokodola


What a great day, I shouted from my bed around 6:30am in room 202 of the world’s only 7 star hotel; Burj Al Arab, Dubai United Arab Emirate. I wonder how all my nights on earth could have been if I have to the opportunity to sleep in this luxurious apartment. May be that was why I woke up late…smiles. I am so excited and I see it as a great privilege not to only lodge here, but to meet and network with the who’s who of the world. It’s Friday 6th March 2020, I thank God for bringing me thus far, and all in my mind is my presentation today at the Gulf Photo Plus Conference for the next two days. I am also eager to meet my mentor; Mr Seun Akisanmi, who is a Guest Speaker and would be speaking on “The Business of Photography”

As I prayed, my phone rings; picking my phone during prayers isn’t an option so I waited patiently till my prayers ended only to check after to see that my wife was the caller! Apparently, she thought I had forgotten my duty of calling her every morning – I never can! The view from this magnificent building overwhelmed me that I forgot to call her early. Although, she does not like it when I travel for long especially for my documentary projects, she supports and loves my works. I quickly pick my phone to call her back; with great enthusiasm, she calls me by my pet name and I smile, calling hers too.

My wife reports about how our twins passed excellently in their last examination and I cannot but congratulate her for her motherly supervision. My project tour has taken me away from home for 2 months now. In fact, she describes how proud she was when Taiwo won the award category of the Overall Best student in Science and Kenny; the Most Creative Art student in their school’s annual award day. It gladdened me to hear that. Without hesitation, I told her about the referral I got. It was the portrait I took Magaret Chan, the former Director General of the World Health Organization at the World Economic Forum annual meeting some years back that attracted and made their Executive Board to invite to cover this 2020 annual meeting. It took quite a while for my wife to remember the experience I had during the shoot because she knows I have quite a huge portfolio of dignitaries.

Interestingly, I had a research on the nature and weather of the whole continent of Asia that had to be submitted to the National Geographic Magazine by the end of April. Although, I had traveled to about seven countries in Asia sometimes last year, I could not continue because of the cold temperature at the mountainous far North of Burma, South East Asia that really affected my health. Therefore, I had to finish up my conference here and quickly travel to Cambodia and Cyprus, which I didn’t forget to tell my wife. I had also been granted by the Prime Minister of Lebanon to take the pictures of the hills and people they want to put in their new 500 Lebanese pound currency, marking their 77th year of Independence from France.

I had been so engrossed in talking to my wife till I noticed the time was 8:14 am. Wow! I had to end the call in the midst of the conversation in order to prepare for my presentation which was scheduled for 11:00am. It was time to check my mail. I get loads and loads of mails on a minute basis that it gives me quite an ache having to check these mails one to another. The moment I opened the mail, my attention was drawn to a particular mail. I had received a mail by the largest photography and imaging show; PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo in North America, if not the world. I’ve been asked to be one of the Keynote Speakers in that year’s October conference. Apparently, they’ve would have seen my works on Al Jazeera recently about “The Beautiful Drug Addict”, the documentary about the Columbian women. I took the portraits of teenagers and women into drugs and their involvement in drugs and crime, in the view to attract humanitarian intervention.

Consequently, another mail that got my attention was the one from the World Health Organization which was inviting me to become one of their Ambassadors in Africa. Wow! This to me was a great opportunity indeed. In fact, this to me is a dream come true; to be a Diplomat of internationally recognized organization. Actually, this may have been as a result of the documentary I did in the remote areas of Ogun state, Nigeria and Mindanao village in Mozambique about “Combating Child Hunger” in 2007.

At 10:30am, dressed up and ready for the D-day and at my door step is one of the organizers of GPP, Dubai conference. Opening the door, I found out that there are also about four protocols to guard me through the elevator. I never know I am this so influential in Dubai too. Sir, we have a limousine ready for you downstairs and it’s going to be a 5 minutes drive to the event centre, the organizer said. 5-minutes limousine drive! In my mind, I thought this would have been an over-pampering technique for not paying my Speech fee. Arriving at centre, seeing the welcoming team gives me another perspective about my life. This is an ovation I never received in my entirely life thus far. My presence attracting the press around the world, with flash lights on me here and there, I stepped to the red carpet for a couple of interviews. I try to imagine the numbers of cameras with burst mode towards me. Looking ahead to seeing my most humble mentor, Mr. Seun Akisanmi, with his customized designer jacket coming down from his BMW 9 Series, I marveled at such the huge crowd that rushed at him despite the Guards, Police Officers and Security Experts around him. I quickly rounded up my interview to meet him. Very elated meeting me as a Guest Speaker too, he cracked a joke and we laughed together as we walked inside together.

The peak of it all was that the award category as “The Photographer of the Year”. As the nominees were called, I panic and as eventually my name was called, I stood up in enthusiasm to receive my award. After the whole event, I was taken back to my luxurious room. I stood at the mirror to magnify my creator for such a great privilege of this achievement. Thanks to the people that helped me thus far; Pastor Sam Adeyemi, Pastor Bola Odutola, Rev’d Folajimi Sadiq, Mr. Seun Akisanmi, my family and most beautiful wife.

YES!! THAT’S THE KIND OF PHOTOGRAPHY I’M TALKING ABOUT


I reminisced over the past 9 months of my journey in photography, and I can’t but marvel at the level of progress I’ve made, and give thanks to God for His Mercy.
Between September and March, what I knew about photography and was doing, for me was very unsatisfactory. I had a lot of curiosities in me, many questions yearning for answers, and aspirations begging to be fulfilled. I remember a day I suggested to my former boss, Mr. Paul, that we do a documentary project for “Alakuko” – a town in Lagos; that we take pictures of major places in the area, and compile them together. He rightly agreed to my suggestion, that it is possible but also gave me reasons why it won’t be possible. The reasons were that we need better cameras and zoom lenses; we only had Nikon D40 cameras and 55mm lenses, we will be molested and so on. But the real reason I think is that he does not understand how such an endeavor will fetch him money and increase his artistry.
I also remember a day, he came back from a print lab called 5d in Ikeja – it was from him I first knew 5d and Fotoart print labs, he patronizes them for his photobook prints – and he said to me “Sodeeq, photography has gone far o, just imagine someone, going to the forests, taking pictures of trees, and selling them to foreign clients”. I was as amazed as he was. Photography? That’s cool then, that’s the kind of unusual things I’ll like to do, but I had no clue how it can be achieved. My dilemma then, made me appreciated more the nature-nurture theory in the psychology of education. The theory opines that human behavior is influenced by what has been deposited in him from birth (nature) and how his environment develop those traits (nurture). The theory is of the belief, that all knowledge has been in existence in the heart of a child, and it is the environment – teachers, parents, peers, social beliefs and values – around him that will ultimately determine if such knowledge will occupy his conscious mind.
In relation to me, what was in my heart then, and the reality around me, was at variance. I usually have flashes of thoughts of top photographers, great photography projects, and a better understanding of what photography really should be. But the environment couldn’t nurture my thoughts. It lacked the ingredients to bring to full consciousness those inner desires. I remember one of Sam Adeyemi’s teachings. Sam said, if you really will go far, what you have in the inside of you, should be bigger than what you have on the outside of you. For instance, if your current apartment is 3-bedroom flat in Ojodu, Lagos, your ‘inside’ should already be thinking of owning bigger properties in Dubai, Los Angeles, Abuja, and the likes. He revealed that anything that happens is only a physical manifestation of what has already existed in the realm of thoughts. He further revealed that, whatever he has achieved today, or the level he has attained, he has been there long before now, in the realm of thoughts, and it’ll be so injurious to him, if what currently exists in his thoughts, is not far beyond his current realities. Between the months of March and June, I’ve been privileged to be part of one of the best photography schools in Nigeria, eloPhotos academy, and the experience for me, is like that of a football player who after scoring a goal, says “I saw that goal” or a photographer that says “I saw that shot”. The experience has been “yes, that’s the king of photography I’m talking about”.
At eloPhotos academy, I’ve learnt a lot about the business of photography. It’s actually beyond pressing the shutter – a fact many photographers have not come to terms with. Photographers like Seun Akisanmi, Leke Adenuga, have proved this, and we shouldn’t be surprised, if these people, will be getting more financial rewards years to come, for their brilliant efforts, than the always-pressing-the shutter photographers, who have not understood the big business in photography. I must explore this medium to appreciate the management of eloPhotos academy especially Seun Akisanmi for being such a blessing to me and many upcoming photographers. Last year, I only had thoughts and hope, I never knew I would get here soon. I never knew Uche James Iroha can just be inches away, that I can always gist with Kikelomo Koleosho of red19 photography, or be in a NIPHEC planning meeting, I just believed anyway, that good things will come my way. I truly did not see whole proverbial staircase, I just took the first step, uncertain of what the future holds. And the day the step was taken was in March, when I didn’t tell Mr. Paul I wouldn’t come to work, and I didn’t tell my parents too. I just left home like I was going to work but instead visited elo photos academy to answer my curiosities, and all the way, I can proudly say, “yes, this is the kind of photography I’m talking about”.
I am Akorede Sodeeq and I am a photographer!

COURAGE UNDER FIRE


“Courage under fire”, hmm you might be wondering what a title.

Let me ask you a question please!

Q:  You are a photojournalist covering a riot for a top notch newspaper. Your pictures are to tell the story of what transpired at your location of assignment; suddenly one of your colleagues is attacked. What will you do?

  • Help your colleague
  • Continue capturing images with you camera
  • Take to your heels

What will you do?

Meet Mr. Femi Akintobi, legendary photographer, veteran and award winning Nigerian photographer. He being in the above situation continued shooting, capturing those once in while stages of humans degradation back to his base tendencies. He not only captured the riot scenes, but also images of his colleague who was being handled roughly and injured by the rioters. This act of bravery; for it was bravery indeed, resulted in him being given an award for bravery by the management of the Punch then.

I first met Mr. Akintobi a few months back when I was delegated by my boss to give him a portrait session. It can be defined as that moment when an amateur meets a veteran, better still when “old” meets “new”. This was my first be-prepared-always-elophotos-baptism of fire. But to the glory of God, the result was in flying colors. This week’s “eloPhotos-baptism of fire”, came when I was told that I would be giving him a video interview. In eloPhotos you take the bull by the horn; I was giving a brief tutorial on video recording with a Dslr and I went off. The result was really more than I had imagined.

“A picture they say is worth more than a thousand words”, this is very true. In the course of going through many photographs taken by this veteran photographer, all I needed to do was take a photograph and ask him a simple question, ‘what happened here’ and he would recall decades in a split second and give a vivid detail of what happened. I was amazed when he linked photographs together at the same time telling the story behind each one and in the end giving you the entire story the photographs are telling.

The sad part of the interview was when I got to know that the day he had portrait shoot , while the shoot was going on his beloved wife passed on to glory. A place where we will all one day mark a register and give account of what we did with our time. Come to think of it supposing when we stand before the ALMIGHTY ready to give account of our life, what if our entire life is summed up into photographs and you’re giving the photographs one at a time with a simple question asked “what happened here”. Before the LORD of all the heavens and the earth in whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning, my fellow photog’s

Q: what will you do?

 

I am Oluwabusayo Alabi and I am a photographer!

Attached below are pictures of images I shot last week titled Project 40 – lizards.project 40 lizards busayo

Ojo James’ day in 2025


14th August 2025

“Yaaaawwwnnn.” I deserve a rest, don’t I?

My body had to let out the fatigue that had built-up within her. The yawn was a testimony to the fact that my body needed a break from all the activities it had been through that day. I took a lazy look up at the wall clock in my hotel room and I realized my thoughts have actually not been in “today” but in “yesterday”. The time on the clock read 01:27 hours and I began to wonder what time I returned to my room. I picked up my diary to pen down the events of today, I meant of yesterday and as I wondered where it all started from, everything came right back…

My day had started quite early as usual at 04:15 hours of the 13th August. The alarm had sung her usual melody for me as I dragged myself out of bed into the bathroom to wash my face. I returned to my study table to have a look at my files and get them ordered in readiness for the day. I would be speaking at a conference organized by the Ministry of Environment of our dear country on a topic titled “Industrialization; its Impact on our Environment and the Restoration Process.” I had been invited based on my documentations that I had put together, in motion and in still photographs, which the government had come across.

“How did I get here?” I asked myself. As I recollected and reconnected events, I permitted myself to enjoy the golden moments of the past that put definition to the present.

It all happened five months ago when I got contacted by National Geographic in the United States of America due to some of my works in images that had been observed over time. The voice, which belonged to the Head of Environment and Conservations, Mrs. Joanne Praiser, discussed about hiring my services for a photo experience that they felt was going to be out of this world and she added that “we really do not wanna miss this moment because we have waited for it for four years.” “What could this moment be?” I thought within myself. I was humbled. I was told to make preparations as I would have to be flown in to discuss the brief. When the brief was discussed, I realized it was really out of this world. We were going to have our photoshoots on another planet, planet Mars! Whoa!

National Geographic had partnered with NASA, such that the latter would assist the former with her spacecrafts to get to Mars as a result of the timing of the closeness of Earth to Mars all because this doesn’t happen often: just once in every two years. I could go on and on with the collaboration but then, it was an awesome experience for me. On the team was renowned photo-environmentalist, Joel Satore as well as the Engelman brothers, Charlie and Kirby. How these guys have grown!

I took a quick look at the time and realized it was 06:47 hours. Well, I felt I still had some time on my hands; the conference was not going to start until 09:00 hours. There was enough time to sieve through the prepared scheduled list for the day aside the conference; it prompted me to make that quick business call to my planner on one of my exhibitions that would be coming up in two weeks from now. And having gotten assurances on the flow of the process, I returned back to my preparations briefly before I went into the showers to make myself ready physically. By 08:30 hours, I was en route the conference centre at the High View Spaces at the nation’s capital, Abuja.

As a national event, it was graced by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; the minister and state commissioners of Environment; other ministers in the federation; environmentalists and environmental photographers alike.

I did not have to mount the podium until about noon. My presentation was purely based on my documentations in pictures…motion and still. It comprised of my trip to Mars, how marveled the crowd was!; pictures of Mars from the distance was observed but all in all, the climax was stepping out of the spacecraft, to take pictures of the sandy-rocky surface of Mars. As part of our assignment of saving our world, we took as many thriving plants from Mars to be cultivated on earth since it had been proven that they would also thrive so well on earth and do much better than the plants we have on earth in terms of carbondioxide usage. Well, that’s biology. I ended my session; it erupted in hall wide applause. It was really cool to be a success in environmental photojournalism.

True to plans, we ended at 14:30 hours and thereafter went into an hour meeting with the top echelons of the nation. Afterwards, we stepped out to assigned areas of the environment to cultivate the plants in turns. The environment would be safe again and fitter for life.

At 20:15 hours, there was the capstone event, a cocktail party that had works of photographers exhibited, albeit, a tip of the iceberg for the coming exhibition that was going to hold in Lagos in two weeks.

I returned to my hotel at about 23:18 hours. Could I pick up the phone to call her now? I gave it a try…it rang, and kept on ringing. Just as I was about to hang up, my wife picked up the call at the other end. I was excited to hear the voice of the one who had backed me up and given every inch of her support to a man who has been away of late more than been around. Is this the price of being successful in my profession as a photojournalist? She seems to understand but then, I knew I’ll have to work on this to make my home front continue to thrive. Our kids have been bedded, my regards I did forward to them. “My Choice, I will be home again in 24 hours, thanks for your support all along, I love you real big.” “Love you too and see you soon”, she responded.

I went back to work afterwards, sifting through files.

“Yaaaawwwnnn.” I deserve a rest, don’t I? And the time was 01:27 hours of the 14th of August, 2025. Happier than ever was I as a photographer!

My name is Ojo, James O., C.E.O, Kim Canon Photos.

The week I met Youssuf Karsh


It’s Sunday! And it’s really funny how time flies!

The wedding I had assisted in shooting a day before really got a great hold of me. I didn’t feel like getting out my bed, but I still had to; I didn’t have an option anyways. I obviously couldn’t miss church service because of sleep.

With my eyes open and meditating on a few things, I felt like I had been hit so hard with a baton as my whole body ached. Who says photography is small business? I bet such needs a surgery. Amidst all the pains, I managed to get up to prepare myself for church service and in some time I was ready to go and fellowship with the brethren.

Service went well; not as usual but with a new experience. Every new service day opens me up another dimension. If you claim not to go to a church because of hypocrisy, I bet you’re just killing yourself. I moved on to a relative’s house and spent some time there; blood they say is thicker than water. As much as I wanted to enjoy the Sunday with my relatives, I knew I had to prepare for Monday. Having to think of Monday always tickles me. There’s no place like eloPhotos! That’s where you work with fulfillment in mind.

Monday came and seemed like one that had lots of potentials in it for me. Getting late to work wasn’t an option; I had learnt that from Mr.Seun, so I had to do everything in time in order to get to work early in time for the devotion.

Introduction to Digital Photography was the course Mr. Toye started with us on Monday, 29th June 2015.For me, I was so curious to know how Photography had evolved or transformed into what it is now making me pay precise attention to the class. I truly enjoyed the class.

Bingo! An idea dropped in my heart! I reached for a physics textbook which talked more on the idea of light and understanding it in order to fully grasp its potentials in my photographs even though I wasn’t a science student back at school.

During the class with Mr Toye few of my colleagues complained of boredom, I guess everyone has what interests them ‘cuz for me it was great fun.

Tuesday 30th, started on a good note too; continuation of Introduction to Digital photography , Mr Toye told us how the pin hole camera was the first camera, what really struck me was the fact that a man named George Eastman the inventor of Kodak lost relevance when digital Photography came into being.. He didn’t move with the flow of digital Photography and so most people don’t even use the “film” for pictures anymore, it is now the era of Memory cards as storage. He must have really lost ooo! It was another experience for me when I and a colleague was sent to picture works to print Toyin and Joe’s pictures. I had always known that most people in Nigeria don’t have a good customer relationship, but I have not stopped thinking and often times asking why mostly printers give people attitude, is it that they don’t enjoy what they do?  Well! Things will change soon- I believe.

Our program in church started on Wednesday and there was no point missing it. (Day 1 of the 7 days of glory).

We started our class on the discussion of our different researches given to us as an assignment  about Youssuf Karsh on Wednesday, 1st July, 2015. The terrible experience Youssuf Karsh had in his childhood days reminded me of mine ..hmmmmm! Even though his own wasn’t deliberate, mine was. That’s another issue for another day though. We were taught about image quality and the different file formats which exist. We discussed about types of photography and I learnt that there is a difference between forms and types of Photography. We had another assignment still about Youssuf Karsh and Ansel Adams. If you’re gonna make it in Mr. Toye’s class, then you must be a good assignment doer. He never gets tired of giving assignments

On Thursday, it was a privilege for me to minute Mr Seun’s meeting with Mr Kolawole, initially I thought it wasn’t so good an idea to involve a 3rd person in their discussion but it dawned on me that I was getting opportunities faster than I could imagine to handle people’s confidentiality which will help me in training my own members of staff in future. It was something I learnt from COZA though I practised this first when I worked as an admin officer for a little while in my former place of work (Fairview School). After the meeting, I joined my colleagues and we were divided into groups to share our views about Ansel Adams and Youssuf Karsh’s works respectively. We ended the lessons after airing our views about the ancient photographers and we called it a day after which I left for our Day 2 of the 7 days of Glory at COZA.

“Thank God it’s Friday” is what almost everyone says in Nigeria. I spent most part of that day outside the studio, I went to Mr clever’s office accompanied by Francisca for the collection of the photobook which wasn’t ready and I headed to computer village and spent something not planned for to fix my laptop’s sreen sensitivity.

We had a weekend class with Mr.Toye at Elophotos with a new Student and the week ended well.Hmmm! What a productive week! I never really got to meet Youssuf Karsh but his legacy lives on. I got to read so much about him that I now feel I’ve met him in reality

I am YewandeOladipo, a Photographer and I’ve met Youssuf Karsh.

The Day I Shot Jesus: Chapter 9


“Its really a honour meeting you,” I replied and shook their hands. As if the elevator was waiting for my response, its doors close and the 25-second journey to the 85th floor began.

It was that very moment that I shook his hands that the transference of his mission of 2002 was revealed to me. It was one of the gifts our Lord had bestowed on me at the beginning of His reign on earth. I had prayed for spiritual tools to help me fulfill my photography purpose & He had told me this gift would help. Whenever I shook a client’s hands, I usually got a few glimpse of important memories in the life of the person I was shaking. It helped me relate & emphatize with them in a manner that made them feel they had known me for a long time. For Jiaz the moment that was revealed to me was when he was blocking the bus from hitting my bus in 2002. I wondered why he hadn’t stopped the bus from crashing in the first place. “Because Edythe had interceded for your life at that very moment,” the Lord intercepted my thoughts.

Edythe Crabb was the mother of my pastor when I was a residing in Edwardsville, Illinois during the late 90s. She had been an intercessor whose passion for souls was unparalleled to many I’ve met. She had slept in the Lord a few months before the Rapture and was one of whose grave was unearthed at the sound of the Trumpet. I didn’t know until that moment that she had prayed for me.

“So how old are you,” I asked Jaiz. This was one question I had grown used to asking some angels I had met over the years. It gave me an idea of how long they’ve been working for our Lord and there was always a lesson that I seemed to get from that. Favour poked my side as if I had asked a forbidden question. “Haba, you and all these your funny questions,” she whispered.

Jaiz smiled for what seemed like 4 seconds. I sensed his smile meant that his answer was going to amuse me. I guessed right. As he was about to speak, the elevator stopped at the 85th floor and with a semi-loud baritone voice Zchabi (pronounced without the Z sounding: chaby) shouted a resounding “YES” with his fists tightened and positioned as if punching an invisible competiting boxer. If now for the excitement on his face one would have thought he was about to punch the light out of me. Besides knowing that boxing was one of the sports that had been banned by the Lord in the new Kingdom, I realized this must be one of the 12,000+ dance steps that angels were used to expressing their excitement whenever a soul was added to the kingdom. As if he knew the question I was going to ask, he blurted out in excitement “2 gems for the Lord.”

Everyone of us shouted in unison HALLELUJAH as we exited the elevator in one accord. Nothing seemed to get the angels as excited as when someone gives their life to Christ. The only joy I could compare to theirs was the day I was given a BMW 750i as a gift from one of my protégés in October 2018. And the excitement and joy I felt then does not even compare to the ones these angels felt spontaneously when a soul is added to the Kingdom.

“53,743,844 earth years,” Jaiz said as if adding to the number of people that had just given their lives to Christ. “In two months, I’ll be 53,743,845 years old,” he said with a smile that revealed subtly that he was looking forward with excitement to his birthday.

WOW. The youngest angel I have met so far happens to be the one that God used to save my life. Though these were numbers that seemed unbelievable, it wasn’t uncommon for angels to add the word “earth” when mentioning their age. This was because 1 year on planet earth is not the same as 1 year in heaven. Heaven seemed to be on a different “time” measuring zone. Infact, the mathematical formula of conversion was 1dh = 52.143de (1 day in heaven = 52 days 3 hours and 26 mins on earth). 53 million years old and not one wrinkle on your face? Talk about another side effect of being in the presence of the Lord.

The 85th floor was one of the 3 executive floors of the hotel. The other two floors were situated on the 126th and 179th levels. Talk about different levels of luxury. Beside the executive floors, most of the other levels had about 103 suites. Not so for the executive floors. Just 8 suites filled the 85th floor. Judging by the size of the hotel, each room here was like a duplex located on one plot of land. And to think that one of these 5-rooms “duplexes” was assigned to a team of 2 photographers from a nowhere called Nigeria.

“Can you please get your red pen & paper and write something down that I want you to give someone,” the Lord spoke to me. He had led me to a store the day before and instructed me to buy a red-inked pen. Though it wasn’t a color that I was used to working with, I gladly heeded His voice knowing that something good & great will come out of His biddings.

I instructed the team led by Jaiz to give me a moment & with my pen and paper I mustered words that seemed to be directed to someone standing by me: “Go ahead, I’m all ears.” It always seems interesting knowing that though the Lord was physically at the Temple Mount, His presence & voice could be felt & heard by whoever is His.

“97844 strands & 1062 lashes,” His voice said in a sad tone. “Kindly knock on the suite to your right and give the note to the gentleman that opens the door,” He said. I had moved beyond my human level of questioning the instructions that the Lord gives me. My new glorified level was the slogan of a former world-class shoe company: JUST DO IT.

Behold, I was right beside the suite the Lord had ask me to knock on. If I had hesitated to write the instructions for about 10 seconds, I would have walked way pass the room in question. With Jaiz, Zchabi, Favour & Folu waiting just 6 feet behind me, I mustered up courage to knock on the blue-diamond-studded door.
“Tell him that a mutual friend asked you to give him,” the Lord added. I had barely finished knocking when the door swung open by a handsome Irish gentleman in his early thirties. He seemed to have just ended a session of crying his heart out. His eyes were red with a redness that wasn’t of drugs or alcohol abuse.

“Yes,” he said in a cold husky voice while holding on to the door as if trying to prevent me from entering.

“I’m Seun Akisanmi, how are you doing this evening sir,” I asked with my right hand outstretched to give him a handshake.

“Can I help you,” he said looking straight into my eyes and ignoring my handshake and question.

“A mutual friend asked me to give you this,” I said while handing him the note. He hurriedly put it 10 inches to his eyes and read the content.

Suddenly I could see his face turning pink and his eyes swelling up with a fresh bout of tears. He slowly looked at me and with two streams of tears running down his cheeks he muttered “Thank you.” And with those words he gently closed the door & left me looking at my reflection at the entrance of his diamond-door suite 8502. I was in suspense.

“Thank you,” the Lord said to me in a happier tone.

“Anytime Lord, anytime,” I responded aloud while joining my team that had watched the 90 seconds drama unfold.

To be continued…
#thedayishotJesus

The Day I Shot Jesus: Chapter 8


"Thanks. Please remind me to call him later in the day," I said while grabbing the keys to my room on 85th floor. We had barely taken 3 steps away from the check-in desk when I saw (by the elevators lobby entrance) the profile view of a photographer I have had the privilege of training over 120 years earlier. Basirat was a Muslim that had eventually given her life to Jesus after the aftermath of the Rapture that saw many Christians and children disappear from the face of the earth. {I smiled and hoped that all these people I was meeting and greeting will not make me late for my dinner with John & co.}

I slowed my walking pace while checking the time on my Sioca wristwatch. Time was 11:41pm and I was supposed to be back at the hotel’s dinner hall in about 34 minutes.

"Hope yawa no dey? Abi why my oga dey slow down? Shay ko si nkan nkan" Favour asked in her customized mixed-language accent. If only she knew what was going on in my head.

"I just saw someone I know. Interestingly she attended eloPhotos Academy about 4 years after you graduated," I replied.

I had met Basirat Akorede in 2016 at a networking Conference organized by Abunibi Media. She had asked the most questions in one of the sessions and had proved to be a lady with Beauty & Brains. I remember the moment she asked one of the facilitators a question that seemed to create a 1-minute silence as if a tribute was being paid to a martyred loved one.

I remember the question vividly because I had developed the habit of recording conferences I attended (beginning 2016) on my iPhone 7. Looking at her from a distance glancing through a book titled THE BEAUTY OF UGLINESS, I could remember vividly the question she had raised: What advice do you have for a Muslim photographer like myself who seems to be in a puzzle regarding her future as a Muslim artist. The photography facilitator had been short of words to respond to the question mostly because they practiced different religions. I had met her during the lunch break and our conversation had resulted in her enrolling in our 9 months photography diploma program.

She had missed the Rapture and was one of the victims of the catastrophic accidents that had ensued. Her 2 legs had to be amputated as a result of the ghastly accident she was involved in. The driver of the bus that hit her car at 144 mph had suddenly disappeared thereby sending the bus headon for Basirat’s taxi. She eventually gave her life to Christ 2 years into the Tribulation years. How she manage to survive amidst the turmoil, torments & trials of the Great Tribulation – without 2 legs – is indeed a testimony.

Her testimony was sealed when she became one of the first set of people to enjoy the creative miracles Jesus performed when he returned to earth: in the span of about 33 seconds, an audience of thousands had witnessed 2 new legs sprout to existence when Jesus touched her hips. That encounter with Jesus seemed to have sealed her commitment to service for the Kingdom. Besides, not everyday do you see such creative miracles happen to someone who was once an ardent follower of Islam.

We had met countless times since the beginning of the Kingdom of Peace & Prosperity and here she was again in the same hotel I was lodging in. I wondered what she was doing at the New Gate Hotel.

"Oya gist me now now who this person is," Favour interrupted my thoughts.

"Seun, time is far spent and we need to hurry up," Folu interjected. I like the way he always seem to keep me on check whenever I seemed to be drifting off in thoughts or talk. By then, I was 9 feet away from the 143-year-old "beauty & brains." I turned to use one of the 12 elevators at the other extreme where she stood. We can always chat later, I thought. Judging by the way she was standing, she seemed to be waiting for someone to highlight from one of the soon-to-arrive elevators. Perhaps it was her husband. Perhaps, one of her 16 children. I didn’t want to find out yet.

"I’ll gist you later," I said to Favour while holding her shoulder.

Within a few seconds of waiting, an elevator arrived at about the exact time Basirat’s date met her. Apparently she had been waiting for her husband, a handsome fair-complexioned Indian that had endured the horrors of the Great Tribulations with Basirat. He eventually became a follower of Christ the day before World War 3 broke out. If I were still human, I’m sure I would have envied the way they hugged and cuddled each other as if they had been apart for ages.

Entering my elevator, I was greeted by one of the two angels that manned the 5 square metres room.

"Good evening Seun, we’re so excited you’re finally here," he greeted me as if we had met before. Though that would be the first time I would meet him, he seemed to have known me while I was still in my human form before the Rapture. I would later find out that he had been the angel God sent to prevent a surmalsulting danfo bus from hitting my bus in September 2002. I remember coming down from my bus to see if we could save anyone from the accident but by the time we got there, 8 of the 14 passengers had died on the spot (including a 7month old baby).

It wasn’t until that elevator moment did I know that God had sent an angel to prevent the bus from running into ours. Talk of the many dangers I had been delivered from without being conscious God’s hand was in it.

"I’m Jaiz and my colleague here is Zchabi and we will be escorting you to your room," he said.

"Its really a honour meeting you," I replied and shook their hands. As if the elevator was waiting for my response, its doors close and the 25-second journey to the 85th floor began.

To be continued…
#thedayishotJESUS

PERSISTENCE; Its role in my photography career


If there is anything you must do on daily basis among several others, it is to remain undeterred through all the daily challenges. You will have to face challenges on a daily basis; some of them will try to break you. For some of those challenges, you will feel like giving up but you can’t afford to do that. At Elophotos you will have to wake up early enough every morning in order to get to the office on time, you will also have to learn to be corrected by those who have gone ahead of you, and you will learn to run errands, irrespective of your BSc degree. Above all, you will learn that the journey to the top isn’t rosy at all. If you know what some people are going through to get things done, for you then you will not be discouraged by the challenges you face daily to make things happen for others.
A few weeks back I was asked to go pay the nepa bill of my office by Mr. Seun I thought it was going to be easy only for it to turn out the other way round. When I got to the nepa office their server was down and they could not collect cash and therefore I had to try to beg people who had an ATM to help me pay, but still yet nobody was ready to collect 15,000 naira cash from me. At that point, the right thing to do would have been to give up but I followed through the stress until I did what I wanted to do. Eventually I scaled that hurdle when I went back to pay the money into an account the next day which made it easier for me to be able to use an ATM to make payment.  
I want to encourage you not to let the daily challenges you are going through deter you from what you set out to achieve.
Each time you think about the challenges, just think about the things you set out to achieve, don’t give up on your focus or dreams and passion just because of your daily challenges. Remember that your challenges will barely leave you until you have achieved what you set out to achieve.
In fact, those challenges are there to try to stop you so never let the challenges discourage or deter you. If you remain resolute, you will win and laugh last because your challenges will make you come out strong.
Join me, Obaloluwa obanijesu Omole as i remain in my journey to become the World best photographer.
Here are the pictures I took this week….

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At the top of the building


It has become a common cliche today among some photographers to say that the industry is flooded and there are now too many people pressing the shutter, which shrinks the  individual photographer’s market share, turnover, and profit. This mindset is as untrue as believing that all phones are thesame. Everybody knows that a Tecno H5 is not same as a Samsung Galaxy.

Understandably, running a business in this age, can be very challenging especially in a great country like Nigeria, where it requires a lot of doggedness, tenacity, perseverance as personal attributes, and flexibility to change, prompt innovation, foresight,
as business features, to succeed and edge competitors but, one of the business lessons the 21st century has taught us is that there is always a unique place for every business willing to pay the price, a vacuum which usually is even too large for it alone to fill.

As much as I am also not totally immune from this ‘incorrect thinking’, it was an experience that taught me once again to think the right way.
I was part of the team that shot the Episode 12 of the
First Nigeria Photography TV show, the Gospel of Photography, and it was shot at the top of a 4-storey building not far from eloPhotos Academy at Ikeja. The location was a change from the usual, which mostly is the studio, and it was also a reflection of dynamism, which is a core culture of eloPhotos.

At the top of the building, during the shoot, I felt different. I was
seeing the environment I’ve always seen, in a different way. It was a beauty to behold. To the east, I  could see the busy Lateef Jakande road, tops of different buildings, as well as planted tress. Other sides too seemed similar especially to the north, where the palm tress at the end of Acme Road, formed a pattern, beautiful for the photographic eye. It was from this beauty I saw around, I started drawing similes to being at the top in work and most importantly in life.

Firstly, I realized there was large expanse of space, which made it easy to see far and wide, down and top, all at the same time. It was quite different from the ground where it seems as if there are houses everywhere and everybody is struggling for survival. I correlated this with the need for a photographer or any other person regardless of profession or field of interest to nurture the desire to be at the top.

Up there, there are only unique competitors, because at that level, only unique and valuable companies thrive, like Google, Apple e.t.c and this can only be achieved by building a formidable brand over the years. Businesses at this level can see and connect with the industry leaders, explore the abundance and opportunities around, erode the lack mentality. This is true for
everything and anything; if we must get the best out of our lives, be it our jobs, marriage, or any other thing, its always best to be at the top.

Secondly, I had the freedom to choose where to look, yet not losing sight of the other sides. I could choose to focus on looking at a place,
an an swiftly shift my attention to other sides if circumstance
demands. I liken this to opportunity of diversification which being at the top offers. When starting out in any venture, its normal to choose a specialization or to focus wholly on one’s profession while ignoring other things. But the privilege being at the top offers is that you can spread your tentacles to explore and exploit other business opportunities around you, to diversify investments, and capitalize on new ventures as they appear, to identify industry loopholes, and far emerging opportunities.

Thirdly, I realized one of the major things that make LandscapePhotography a wonderful aspect of photography. And it is the art of revealing the beauty of any place in the world no matter how rough or clean it might seem. The view of a city, a town, a village or even a small locality from the top is just phenomenal. No wonder one will see a picture of  the ‘brown roofs’ in Ibadan, and will exclaim ‘WOW’. The environment may look like an old-ghetto down below, but when at the top, we see the same place differently.

In lieu of this, I strongly suggest that once in a while, we go to the top of a tall building, preferably in an environment we are used to. It might seem simple but I think the experience can affect all aspects of our lives positively. At the top there are no worries, not that those worries have suddenly died, but they’ve actually gone on exile in the face of the beauty your eye beholds up there. And this is not only true for Lagos, it can be practiced anywhere.

The experience reinforced the conviction in my heart it is a fallacy
of reasoning that one can’t  make a headway in photography or any other profession because the industry is flooded. This is very untrue. Being at the top in business requires uniqueness and value, and whenwe say the industry is flooded, we are actually revealing our own inadequacies, and saying that we can’t pay the price to be there, because in reality, everywhere and anywhere, people are plenty down below, but at the top, there are only few people who make things happen. You can be one of them.

GO TO THE TOP OF A TALL BUILDING TODAY AND TRANSLATE THE EXPERIENCE.
Wondering who effectively translated the building top experience? My name is Akorede Sodeeq and I’m a Top Photographer.

Early Photography vs. Contemporary Photography


Early Photography started in 19th Century. The pictures that were taken were in black and white (monochrome), they took pictures of people’s stern look and unsmiling faces because they felt that it had a unique beauty in it’s way and portrays art.

The first camera was called Pin hole camera invented by Maxwell, then later Camera Obscura came into being, which took a longer exposure period almost 8hours.

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce took the first picture and is refered to as the Father of Photography.

Much later George Eastman invented Kodak which was a well known company for the usage of film.

Early Photography could only be afforded by important personalities for example Queen of England, Winston Church hill, etc.

Examples of early photographers are Youssuf Karsh, Ansel Adams,etc.

Contemporary Photography started in the 21st Century precisely 1990s. The  computer-based electronic digital cameras were introduced and it was indeed a Revolution in photography.

It made life easier and it was widely appreciated because photographers achieved better image quality and  digital cameras was improved year after year. Mostly the pictures that were taken came out in colours, though monochrome too could be achieved but it was a matter of choice. Pictures were recorded on memory cards, it could take more images than film and it gave more room for  setting and expression to the photographer’s desired taste.

Contemporary photography can be afforded by both the important personalities and the common man, unlike Early photography.

Examples of Contemporary Photographers are Joe McNally, Zack and Jody, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, TY Bello, etc.

We have cameras like Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Sony, etc.

In conclusion Comtemporary Photography, I can say has been the best thing after sliced bread.:mrgreen:

By Yewande Oladipo

The Retouching of A Portrait


One of the classes at the just concluded NIPHEC 2015 that left a huge impression on me was the class on professionally retouching a portrait, by Ayodimeji Olugbewesa (aka D’mayo).

One would see the young D’mayo, and would not really expect much of him, but the lanky retoucher and photographer was no-short of being
qualified for facilitating the class. The hallmark of the class was simplicity. D’mayo was able to alternate our thinking to the essence of retouching, which is to enhance images and not to repair, and to its simple process as well.

After some little efforts I’ve made since the end of the NIPHEC, towards practising what I’ve learnt in the class, that of last week still seems to be the only one that have brought me closest to understanding the process, and getting the result. However, I’m yet to still fully retouch a portrait.

D’mayo took us through the process which include, healing, dodging and burning, frequency separation, skin smoothening, and color toning. Others include sharpening and the use of liquify.

As simple as all these may seem in the class, though relatively complex too, it seems re-doing it or practising it is a different experience. For instance, except for the healing process, which I’ve successfully mastered, I still needed to surf the internet to understand and practice others.

One of the process, which I’ve also understood better and able to use is frequency separation. The technique is very helpful when retouching an image, as it helps one separates the color of an image from its texture, which makes it possible for one work independently on one, without affecting the other.

The other retouching process, which I’m still having some difficulty successfully using them are dodging and burning, skin smoothening and color toning. My dilemma is not in the ‘how to do it’, but applying it to achieve a good result, especially dodging and burning.

The dodging and burning process is a secondary means to emphasize highlights and shadows, after good lighting in portraits. And for retouchers, its a always tool that comes handy anytime.

Photography is an art, and so is retouching, one can only get better by research and practice, but I’m in no haste to shortcut understanding it. Its now my resolution not to patronise mediocre methods of editing portraits, because I know I’ll only get better when I endure doing it right. This reminds me of the lesson my typewriting teacher taught me in secondary school. As beginners in typewriting, she taught us to ignore speed but to focus on accuracy. By focusing on accuracy, our speed will only get better overtime.

Sodeeq Akorede

The Young Shall Grow


When will I make it, when will I blow, when will I be known also? These were the words I woke up with in the early hours of sunday morning.. Yes they say the young shall grow, but what would I grow up to become. What would I grow up to achieve, because so many people have gone ahead of me and yet they are still trying to keep the pace.  Yes every day I hear new names and at times I pray to God to be better and more than them. But yet I still ask myself how? What should I do, were should I go, who are those I should dine with, who are those I should share my goal and vision with in order to help me achieve my dreams.

This street of photography is full of traffic, just like that of ketu to Ikorodu, even when this has been a problem it still does not stop people from plying this route everyday. And then I asked myself again, are this people not tired or better still can’t they just take a day to all rest at home. Which brings me to the fact that” a man who does not work should not think of food in return so therefore if they should act based on my thought, then they would go hungry which they cannot afford.

Every single person in photography today want to be know for something, we all want o carve out a niche for ourselves that will stand us and single us out. Which also boils down to the fact that when you meet a Top Photographer in the industry and you ask him how he made it. He would simply tell you “networking” connecting with the right set of people.

I wonder and think again is it that the God factor isn’t involved, or is the Grace Of God also a part of “networking”? Because taken a look at a passage in the bible which says that “if God be for you who can be against you, and if God be against you, then who can be for you, nobody. Which makes me to say that with God all things are possible and that with him your  connection is sure
Having thought about all this in the early hours of sunday morning, I discovered I was running late to church, and because of the God factor which is my own network, I have to go talk to him. Because for real without you baba God I don’t think I can achieve anything.
Do not forget, “the glory of the latter will always be greater than that of the former”.This makes me to conclude that because I have dined and am still dining with Kings then automatically in my own time and in my own season.

Emmanuel Obaloluwa Obanijesu Omole will stand out as one of those World photographers to look out for. Join me in my world as I continue to be a work in process. God bless you.

A Week of a Thousand Photography-related Tasks


As my alarm rang at 5:30am, I felt a little lazy to get up, I wanted to snooze it to 5:45am, but a voice reminded me that I might end up waking up by 12noon if I tried it, so I managed to get up, I said my prayers and got ready for church. I had to dress up earlier than the time I normally do since I got to Lagos because I had just joined the Media department of the Lagos branch of our church COZA, so I was trying to get myself used to the call time for workers which is 7am.

Meanwhile there was a kind of “awoof” for me that day, a worker in the church told me that I could join him in his ride to church since He will be leaving early too, so I caught up with him at our agreed time,then off to church in my long lacy fitted chain detailed gown..hmmm, I had sown that gown for about 3 months and Sunday happened to be my first time wearing the dress, it was our thanksgiving service and I couldn’t afford not to look good on that day. Afterall, despite all the challenges I have been experiencing, there is still a space for thanksgiving to God ke!

“Ohhh! It’s Monday again!” was the thought in my mind when my alarm rang, I stretched and stretched and stretched but still had to get up, I got myself ready for work, it occurred to me that I had to meet up with 7:30am resumption time, so I hurriedly dressed up and left for the Studio. As soon as I arrived the studio, I did my chores and completed my own devotion, then we had to do our own devotion at eloPhotos, then we did last week’s appraisal. Much later, the interns had a class with Mr. Toye on “History of camera”. We even had a more interactive class on that day, it didn’t stop those that normally sleep from sleeping in class, so it occurred to me that most of us get interested in class when there are screens to project what is been taught.

Later, I was sent to Mr Clever’s office to fix the handle of one of the photobook’s boxes, I got there at Ogba and had to wait for so long, after I had calculated how early I needed to leave for church that day. They really spent time fixing that box and it made me to return to the studio around 6:40pm, by the time I delivered the message and got ready to leave, it was already 5 minutes after 7pm, so it occurred to me that I will get to church atleast at about 7:50pm or 8pm or even later than that, so I had to go home that day. I was not happy because I really didn’t want to miss out a day from those ‘days of glory’. Well God knows best.

On Tuesday, we continued our lecture about the camera, I was showing my colleagues some pictures of two guys in the air when Mr. Seun called me. Thank God He sent me early enough to Pictureworks at Yaba, because I can’t imagine missing the last day of our ‘7 days of glory’.

I got to Pictureworks, requested to see Mrs Folake, after I discussed with her what I wanted, she personally dragged a chair for me beside that same lady that gave us attitude the first day we went there, Ofcourse she was more composed and treated me with respect that day.

I noticed that almost all the staff were wearing long faces. Especially the person who I was told will be the one to do the photobook, He was just frowning his face all over the place, then I overheard the lady asking him how many more days they had for their ‘fast’ to be over, so it occurred to me that He is a muslim and was being cranky because of his fast.    

I did what I had to do and got back to the studio in a good time and changed my clothes for the church service.

It was a long and interesting service, I got home late, thank God someone dropped me off.

I woke up on Wednesday with body pains, “it must be the stress from yesterday” I thought to myself. So I had to take permission to be late because I wasn’t sure I could go to the Studio but I managed to go. When I got to the studio I realised that there was supposed to be a NIPHEC meeting, so we got ready and started off, Mr Seun was not available so Tunde coordinated the meeting, everyone aired their views and made complaints and I took the minutes of the meeting. I wasn’t feeling so well that day so I had to take permission to go home earlier than the normal closing time.

I had to take the minutes of Mr. Seun’s meeting with Mr. Kolawole,on Wednesday. The meeting was shorter that the one we had last week. Bolu was also there, He was also noting down some points.

We finished the meeting and I joined the class that had already started with Mr. Toye, it was about camera parts and their functions, I was so excited because I had been waiting for that lesson about camera parts, to me it was a interesting class because I got to know the functions of some parts of the camera that day.

After the lecture, I went out to do my rice and beans picture project and later joined few of my colleagues who were trying out panning images (putting a vehicle in focus and blurring the background while the vehicle is in motion). I tried out mine but it took me a while to get one, so I went back inside the studio and we tried out light painting, it was an exciting moment.

On Friday, I got to the studio did my chores and settled in. I had an interesting experience with the rain that day, when it was raining, I took few pictures to still the movement of the rain both the ones falling from the roof and the movement of the water in the bucket which gave me an abstract effect. I tried copying the pictures into my laptop but my laptop developed a fault again.

When the rain subsided it was time to pick Anu at school, so I seized that opportunity to go with whoever would pick her in order to inquire about the summer school, because I needed to get myself an extra income, I went to Tomobid too that day.

Saturday was just a resting day for me, I didn’t have cash at hand so I couldn’t go to teach Anu French. I spent that day doing house chores and getting ready for church.

Note: I will send the pictures as soon as I get a laptop to transfer my pictures to my phone. Thank you.

Yewande Oladipo

A Photographer’s Week of Rice & Beans


On Lagos’ yellow buses the passengers are either as quiet as nothing or they argue as loud as ever. On this particular one I boarded from mile 2 to oshodi was the noisiest, everyone but me and a man beside me argued so loud including the conductor over the nuisances generators create. Some said the noise from their neighbours’ gen disturb their sleep at night while others claim the heat from it makes the weather hotter than it should. As I sat quietly wondering if this argument would actually stop the use of generators in lagos state, the conductor announced charity bus-stop and the man beside me signaled he’ll alight there but before he did he touched a man before him who seemed to be the chief speaker and said you only find out your neighbours’ generator is constituting nuisance if only your’s is off, you don’t have one or the fume from your neighbours’ finds its way into your apartment. That threw everyone to laughter in concurrence apart from the chief speaker. 

Soon I got down and boarded another bus to the office (eloPhotos), although not sure if what the man who got down at charity bus-stop said was actually true but from that moment I kept asking myself “do we notice and get offended with people’s attitude because we are idle or because what they do actually affect us?” With that I made a decision not to avoid people but be busy with something meaningful or better still sleep than find faults with people. (Huge deviation right?)

At the office a call from the Monday morning devotion was made  and Tunde an intern coordinated,  praying intensely for the week, eloPhotos leadership and love among the interns. After prayers Mr Seun talked briefly on the reports, he praised and criticised as always then revealed the photo album I anticipated last week. It was beautiful the best I’ve seen so far especially the synthetic album (everyone in my opinion needs to own one). After the meeting he gave an assignment for the week which seemed unachievable (counting five hundred grains of rice or beans and making a creative picture out of them). At first I was amazed, I thought who could do that?  Well since two interns have taken it on themselves to bring rice and beans I said I’ll do the counting.  It was an interesting and funny scene counting grains of rice but to my surprise five hundred grains was a little below a full disposable spoon (the white one).I formed my name with the grains and took pictures which was creative to me until I saw a colleague’s creativity (smiles).

Theoretical classes by Mr Toye held as well as practicals arranged by the interns daily, where I learnt a lot about camera settings ranging from shutter speed, aperture, ISO to lenses and how to trigger speed lights.  I learnt about depth of field, freeze someone jumping without blur, take a studio shot and panning which I didn’t get well (which I’m still working on).

There was a post NiPHEC meeting at the eloPhoto studio where the previous NiPHEC  was analysed, in attendance were the organisers and current interns. There were suggestions, objections and corrections all geared into planning and achieveing a bigger, better and debt free NiPHEC in the future. After the meeting Mr Busayo led some interns to a one hour “Highend Portrait Retouching” class with D’ Mayo which was interesting although I didn’t get all he said because it was kind of advanced but I’m glad I was there.

At eloPhotos learning and creativity has no end, from the vast library here I’ve tasked myself to completely reading a book weekly which I’m glad I achieved this week (I read “The digital photography book pt1 by scott kelby) I learnt a lot. From the creative point of eloPhotos comes the new forms and shapes of frames very different from the regular square and rectangular shaped frames.  I’ll make one next week and you’ll sure get every detail of the making. 

With a sure heart and a big smile I can say this past week was an edifying one.

Yours Photographically,
Pius francisca
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3 Things eloPhotos Academy Will Make You Become


Its very impressive that the photography industry is witnessing some enviable changes, one of which is the level of youth enthusiasm about the art. Almost everyone wants to carry the camera. Photography is now the wanted bride for many youths who either approach it business or as an hobby.

As with anything in life, knowledge is key. The importance of
acquiring the knowledge of photography for those will later run
photography business, or will become super-hobbyists, cannot be
over-emphasized. The skill makes the photographer, not the camera.

The other impressive thing is that, there exists credible
photographers and institutions in the industry, to cater for this high
knowledge-demand for photography. One of such institutions is elo
Photos academy, and having once been an intern at eloPhotos Academy, I can assure you, you are making the right choice if you’ve decided, or deciding to join the academy.

Beyond being a person that knows how to use the light and press the
shutter, these are the 3 other things eloPhotos will make you become.

A WRITER
As one of the terms of engagement, it is required of all interns at
the academy to submit weekly reports/articles not less than 500 words.

Most times, we think of writing as one burgeoning task only to be
compulsorily undertaken by literature students. But at eloPhotos, the
story is different; you can also be a writer. At the end of your
training, you would have written at least, 26 reports/articles. What
this guarantees is that you may not be a Wole-Soyinka or
Chimamanda-Adieche kind of writer, but your writing skill would have
drastically improved overtime.
Think of your writing needs as a photographer – updating your website,
preparing clients agreements, developing contents for training
purposes, and so on. Proficiency in all these won’t come by magic,
but by constantly developing your writing skill.

AN INTRAPRENEUR
Intrapreneur is a word carved out from entrepreneur to represent those innovative personnels/employees within an organisation, whose
brain-children and efforts result in increased profit and market share
for the organisation. At eloPhotos Academy, interns enjoy the
opportunity of being part of the management of eloPhotos Studio. This privilege makes it possible for interns to understand practically, the running of a photography outfit, and to also suggest and execute novel ideas to promote the brand.

At eloPhotos academy, you will be challenged to think differently, to
bring innovative solutions, and to execute tasks you never thought you
would have been able to do. All these are what will prepare you to become a successful Photopreneur after graduation. Testimonies abound from the alumni, such as, Toye Peters, Tosin Bakre and so on.

A BETTER NETWORKER
Networking and networking skills is very crucial to our survival as
photographers, and so do, other professions. The need for good
networking skills cannot be over-emphasized. Its the life-blood of any
career, beyond talent and skill.

Not so many of us have developed this skill, and that is one thing eloPhotos will imbibe in you. As Kikelomo Koleosho once said, ‘eloPhotos is a base’. A base that serves as a platform for connecting with other photographers in the industry, both locally and internationally.

You can take the pain to ask any eloPhotos alumnus you know, if
there’s any local photographer they’ve not met, or worked with. The
opportunities just seem to be endless at the academy. What are you waiting for, go out there and bring your imaginations into reality.

Sodeeq Akorede

The Day I Shot Jesus: Chapter 7


I was introduced to Mary Magdalene, Martha (Lararus’ brother), Ruth Obed, Ruth Graham, & Ruth Munroe. I had met the first 3 women a few years earlier but this would be the first time I would meet Billy Graham’s wife & Myles Munroe wife

WOW. What a moment. Meeting the great personalities of history that one had only heard or read about was always inspiring. Little did I know that the assignment I had been entrusted with will bring to my pathway people of great repute in the Kingdom. At that point I could sense that the Lord orchestrated that I meet with all these individuals just hours before His shoot. It was His way of helping me see the from different perspectives how the Lord see things and people. It reminded me of how great his mercy and love towards mankind was.

If the people that would reign with Christ in His millennial Kingdom were to be handpicked by man, I’m 99% convinced that most men would not have chosen someone like Mary Magdalene of whom 7 demons had been casted out of. It was hard to even imagine that 7 demons once dwelled in the being of such a fair & beautiful woman. To crown it all, her name was mentioned in the New Testament more than some of the 12 disciples of Jesus.

Looking at her, the song of Donnie McClurkin began playing in my heart:
‘Great is Your mercy towards me
Your loving kindness towards me
Your tender mercy, I see
Day after day

Forever faithful towards me
Always providing for me
Great is Your mercy towards me
Great is Your grace’

I was momentarily lost in worship. The voice of Favour brought me back. "I know you must have a lot to sort out before the shoot so we won’t delay your intenary," she said.

"I’m still on track," I replied. "Besides, I have a feeling that all these interactions will help my session with the Lord."

"We’ll need to have you checked into your room in time for you to join us for the dinner by midnight," John said.

"You might have to give me till 12:15am to get back from my room," I replied. With Favour still holding tightly unto my hands and motioning towards the check-in desk, I thanked everyone for the hospitable welcome and told them how excited I look forward to joining them shortly for the dinner.

Leaving John, Tosin & the entire "welcome" team behind and walking towards the check-in counter with Favour by my side and Folu ahead, I suddenly realised how oblivious I had been to the fact that there were other people (besides us) in the hotel lobby. Doing a quick maths, I estimated there were about 32 humans and less than 10 glorified beings in the lobby. Most of the humans were families who just checked out of their rooms and were waiting for their rides to pull up.

It was interesting to watch how humans interacted seamlessly with glorified beings. [By "humans" , I refer to the generation of people that were born after Christ's Return and by "glorified beings", I refer to those that had returned with Jesus from heaven and/or had "heavenly bodies"]. I watched with interest as a teenager played chess with an Angel and seemed to be winning. "Checkmate in 2 moves & there’s nothing you can do about it," the teenager had told his competition.

"How was the Atlantic train trip," Favour asked as we got to the check-in desk.

"Always an exhilarating experience. I’m yet to meet someone that was ever bored on the underwater train. I even got a few pictures of 2 blue whales."

"Let me see them, let me see them pleeeeeaaaaaaasssse," Favour said with her hands clapped together & rubbing each other.

"No You Can’t," a voice shouted from behind us. It was one of those voices I had grown accustomed to hearing. "Try to be more patient and allow Mr Seun settle down first," Ofure added. At 33 years old, Ofure was the first human I’ll meet at the hotel that night. She had given her life to Jesus after visiting Jerusalem in 2123 for a makeup artist’ internship with MM Fashion, an international fashion brand owned by Mary Magdalene. We had met countless times and had worked with her on a number of photo sessions. The Lord had impressed on my heart that I should have her on board as my makeup artist and I had contacted her to brief her on the photo session of the century.

"Ooooooohhhhh," Favour murmured with a smile.

"I thought you were supposed to call me upon your arrival here," Ofure said while simultaneously punching me in the stomach.

"I’m so sorry," I replied with a big hug that lifted her 4ft3inches stature off the ground. "I’m so sorry."

Time stamp: 11:39pm

"Francesco Tonelli just called," Folu interrupted. "He said he’s been calling you but you’re not picking and just wanted to wish you the best on your shoot with His Royal Highness. He’s in Syria doing a food photography shoot for a restaurant and wishes he was here with us."

"Thanks. Please remind me to call him later in the day," I said while grabbing the keys to my room on 85th floor. We had barely taken 3 steps away from the check-in desk when I saw (by the elevators lobby entrance) the profile view of a photographer I have had the privilege of training over 120 years earlier. Basirat was a Muslim that had eventually given her life to Jesus after the aftermath of the Rapture that saw many Christians and children disappear from the face of the earth. {I smiled and hoped that all these people I was meeting and greeting will not make me late for my dinner with John & co.}

To be continued…
#thedayishotJESUS

The Frustrated Photography Trainer


I recently got a message from one of our photography academy graduates that was having challenges in his photography career. He had finished from eloPhotos Academy in 2010 and had ventured partly into training other would-be photographers. The last training he had was in 2014 and he had decided he would either quit training or seek someone’s advice on how to get better results. He chose the later and we would eventually meet for a 30 minutes session.
He had gotten just one person that signed up for his last 5-days training and was wondering what he could do to get better attendance. Before he finished explaining all the issues he had, I knew the root of the problem because I had been in his shoes. In addressing the problem, I explained to him that it was erroneous of him to have started the marketing of his training program just six weeks prior to when it was scheduled to start. He should have started marketing his brand as a "photography trainer" about 3-6 months before advertising a training program. I told him that the average person that would attend his training is likely to be more convinced about his training potentials if he as a trainer has enough "evidence" of such online.

I explained to him that very few people will pay you N40k for a 5 days training in photography if all they see on your Facebook page are jokes and non-photography related posts. If he wanted better attendance for his future training programs, he should start putting up photography-related posts that shows that he is capable of proficiently teaching
Photography. No amount of discounted training will get him the audience he wants if he doesn’t posts enough photography-related educational nuggets online. 3-6 months of consistently doing that online should be enough evidence to prove to one of the 100,000+ Nigerians looking for a photography teacher that he is eligible to be their teacher.

The second reason he was having issues forging ahead in the industry was because of the type of company he keeps. I personally know most of the photographers he associates with and he’ll have to make new photography friends/mentors if he wants to "progress" in the industry. I explained to him that it is no coincidence that I’m deliberately connecting with the likes of Joe McNally, Zach&Jody, Demola Olaniran, Aisha Augie-Kuta & other world-class photographers that I’ll like to be like when I grow up. Though a bitter pill to swallow, his failure is guaranteed if he does not begin to associate with people that look like they’ve gotten to where he is going. I told him the difference between his current photography friends and his ideal photography mentors. His friends are likely to tell him something he agrees with that will make him remain at his current spot (or move at their pace forward or backwards) while a mentor is like to tell him things that he does not necessarily agree with but will like catapult him to his destiny. The choice is his to take.

Though he seemed to be inspired by all that I said (judging from the fact that he was nodding his head at 60 nods per minute), I only hope he would not procrastinate on the implementation of some of the medicine I recommend. It is medicine I’m currently using myself and I’m confident the results will be impressive in 3-5 years. Blessed indeed are the doers more than the hearers of this photography word for theirs is the kingdom of…………… (fill in the blanks)

Alexander’s Day in 2025


The following happened on the 28th of June, 2025.

Feeling relaxed at my hotel at about 2:43AM that morning, I got up from the bed and off to my thinking and meditation moment, my daily ritual after just a few knap, it has been work, planning and getting ready for the big event. Exactly at about 30 minutes later, it dawned on me that have not commune with my father, the creator of heaven and earth. I had my personal quiet time with the creator committing all that is in the day to him and then back to my meditation and planning. I could hardly think through because there were many call distraction because of the big day.
As the cloud paves way for the daylight, my little girl jump into the room to embrace her number one hero saying, she has missed me so much, and truth be told, I miss her more especially my best friend(wife) and my cute boy she is backing who is fast asleep, his birthday are weeks away . Time for devotion my first born son cries, and we ended up doing that in the hotel room where we all lodged after a trip from our house in Ibadan the previous night to be part of the big event in Abuja.

The stage was set, the lighting was perfect and of cause very captivating, the sound was so good to the ears, my respected Egbon on the wheel of steel; DJ Gosporella, testing the sounds and making sure all was set for the night. The artists were arriving and I am giving the compere the program load down of the event tonight. It was the end of the project (Two Nations, One culture, one Product) touring both Ghana and Nigeria and it’s been wrapped up with a Gala Night and Exhibition, a project sponsored by a Japanese multinational conglomerate, the world third largest manufacturer of cameras- SONY, unveiling their newest Alpha line DSLR with the latest technology, meeting the curiosity of photographers, in both countries. The event is also a fund raising one for my non-profit organization that reach out to youths and the disabled but particularly, this Night is also to raise funds for Autistic children in my NGO, my way of giving back to the society. It was the Nigeria Edition with the federal ministry of art and culture which is rounding up at the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Nigeria at the Transcorp Hilton hotel which saw the likes of the first lady, my mentors in photography, the SONY crew well represented, delegates from Ghana as well photographers and several minister at the unveiling of the outcome of the nationwide tour between the two powerful countries with the exhibition of the shots that has gone viral and comments from around the world startle me.

There I sat watching the event unfolds and all I could say was thank you Lord. We have come a long way into this and I really don’t know how I merit this. Could it be because I share from both root, my dad being a Ghanaian and my mum from Nigeria. I sighed and looked into my wife eyes, she nodded with my hands been squeezed, she can see through me perfectly. That was all I need from her because she has been a part and my no one fan since my intention of going full time into photography. It’s been 11 years since I graduated from the university, with no regrets. One moment to the other, it was fun packed as different artist entertain the audience.

At the end of the day, I breath a sign of relief when A call came in on my phone, it was from the president and CEO of Sony Corporation congratulating me on a job well done with commendation on both the record sales of their Alpha line camera that is introduced to the market, its rating has gone up in no time he said to me and the event of the day was colorful stating he could only live stream due to some meetings he was having with some other CEOs. I also sincerely returned my appreciation, stating how privileged I was working with their giant brand. Before he dropped the call, he said a CEO friend of his saw my work and was highly impressed, check your email, my friend send you a job. The call dropped. After the night was totally over, on my way to the room, I checked my mail. It was from the CEO of AIRBUS Group wanting me to cover their world tour of the new electric airplane the company just launched. Wow! Godwin was all I could shout. All road leads to Blagnac, France for the world tour. Excited I am as I sing my way down to the room. I enjoyed the rest of the night with my wife.
My flight back home is at 6am and I’m really looking forward to the homecoming, it’s been months that I left home for my documentary project. I just have few days to spend at home, I thought in my mind. Bless God. My name is Alexander Yirenkyi and am a photographer.

It is said that the present is pregnant with the future, Voltaire (1694-1778)

Weekly Accountability Report by Charis 5 Photography


The photography journey so far has been wonderful and very challenging. Right in the heart of those challenges have quite learnt some few do’s and don’ts, just like the usual saying ‘experience is the best teacher’. This is year I have assisted some of my colleagues in the industry in covering their jobs (mostly weddings). Surprisingly enough my major work so far in this year has been on preggy, babies, (mostly friends I persuade in other to build portfolios- so no many per say) children birthdays, product shoots and street documentaries. Talking about street documentaries, I realized in my area the sky is always beautiful and ever dramatic any time of the day, so began to take pictures of that especially in the morning around 6:30am. I also took pictures of the work in progress of my landlord new 4bedroom flat; market scenes daylight and at night; Pictures of the first fly over bridge in Abeokuta.

And just on Sat 2nd of May, I started the documentary on the Mad personality on the street of metropolitan cities. To achieve I travelled to Abeokuta and at the moment 2 serious mad people at different locations has been covered.

Hope to have up to 10 of them before the month runs out God helping me. (Posing them might be a serious issue anyways *smiles*).Moreover the project ‘women in business’ has also commenced right away, and along side taking pictures of interesting men in business as well. Just within few days I started,I realized small scale enterprises(sme) is the order of the day in our part of the country. Wondering how it does affect the nation’s GDP.
Now, just yesterday I did a preggy shoot for a couple friend who I’m trying to woo photo graphically. Having prepared my gadgets and charged the ‘chargeables’, getting there, after few shots, my flash messed up! I mean it just stopped coming up and no back up flash. I resolved to using the pop-up flash though it wasn’t the fill I wanted but I was glad I was no longer seeing a dark Lcd screen after each shot. Glad I wasn’t missing the beauty and different compositions at the moments. Finished up and dragged myself home around past 8pm in the rain. Then I remembered again for the umpteenth time that I have signed up a weekly report with my mentor who hardly forgets things. As I sat down before the table to begin my report, I just couldn’t come up with anything. It was a scene of the ‘spirit is willing but the flesh is week’. I looked at the bed, it was beckoning and I eventually crawled on it. I thank God for the whole day and asked the Holy spirit to wake me up early enough to put this piece before you together. Ever faithful, he did! Really so happy this will be entering your mail 2hrs before the set time.

Right now at the moment I really long for substantial clients, seems I give more than I’m being paid. More or less is been free or appreciative tokens in the past few months of the year.

At this junction I say good morning sir.

Still yours in biz,
Tosin Bakre
For Charis 5.

The Day I Shot Jesus: Chapter 6


The hotel was one of the evidence that the wisdom of God cannot be paralleled with man’s wisdom. Using technology that was way beyond man’s imagination, the 180-storey hotel had been built in a record 73 days. The segment of construction that took the most time – 6 days – was the 18-feet foundation that utilized a new type of concrete that solidified within 5 minutes. Usually a building like this would have taken 2-5 years minimum to construct in the pre-rapture days (depending on the country that got the contract) but the presence of heavenly beings – 85 angels and the supervision of the owner who had studied heavenly architectural engineering – this edifice broke all records when construction concluded over 80 years ago.

I realized the person portrayed in the second statue that stood about 8 feet away from Jesus. It wasn’t a coincidence that it was his statue that would be placed besides the Lord’s; he was (& is) the owner of the prestigious hotel. As the statue of David stood 15 feet high, one could tell without researching into the pages of history that the man represented by the artistic musgravite is indeed a great man. This hotel was one of the luxurious properties that David had erected. Although he wasn’t in Jerusalem at the moment, he is one of the busiest person I’ve been trying to photograph. 12 days earlier, I had finally locked in an appointment to give a session to one of the greatest grandfather of Jesus. David’s Date will be September 29, 2037. I had less than 4 months to be prepared.

Come to think of it, I almost forgot to give Tosin her birthday gift. Clocking almost 160 years is something to be grateful for. Ever since I’ve known the almost-6feet glorified being, her hunger for education has challenged me. Consequently, she had written over 132 books on diverse topics and is currently working on a title she calls FULFILLING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY DESTINY. I reached into my pocked for the gift I had planned for her. Maybe I’ll give her after the session with Jesus, I thought.

John headed towards a group of women that seemed to have been expecting our arrival. With all the attention on me regarding this session of the Millennium, my previous self would have been brimming with shyness. However, I had gotten used to being treated as royalty whenever I’m on an assignment for the King. Infact, there’s a special way Jesus makes every citizen of the kingdom – whose life he administers – feel special. One day I would not forget was the day He had sent David to my residence in Akonko on my birthday 4 years ago with a special song jointly composed by David & Jesus. Talk of one of the joys of serving. The goose bumps on my body that day were as big as the pimples I had as a teenager. I think I’ve digressed a bit. Where was I? Oh, yes, the company of women.

MR SEUN! MR SEUN!! MR SEUN!!!

I recognized that voice from anywhere. Its interesting how one would know the voice of a friend from the many voices of the 4.27 billion people on earth. Especially when you’ve spent quality time in the heavenly residence of someone you consider a sister. Favour shouted my name 2 more times before jumping on me and giving me a kiss on my left cheek. "We’ve been expecting you"

If you were an onlooker, you would have thought that this re-uniting "couple" had not seen each other since the second coming. If you were an onlooker, you would have been so wrong to think that. Though I had met Favour in 2012 (at Daystar Christian Centre when I taught her photography during a 2-week skills acquisition program), she was one of those that had resurrected in the twinkling of an eye to meet Jesus in the air during the Rapture. We had reunited in our residence in heaven and I had met her recently (just 4 weeks ago) in Alexandria (in Northern Egypt) during one of my documentary photography projects. I had visited Egypt to take pictures of the streets wherein Apostle Mark was dragged by horses to his death because he was preaching the Gospel.

She quickly grabbed my hand and held it tightly as if she was about to give me a tour of the hotel. She proceeded to introduce me to the other 5 ladies that were awaiting our arrival. Apparently a small dinner had been planned for 12 midnight for the photographer that will shoot our Lord.

Time stamp: 11:32pm

I was introduced to Mary Magdalene, Martha (Lararus’ brother), Ruth Obed, Ruth Graham, & Ruth Munroe. I had met the first 3 women a few years earlier but this would be the first time I would meet Billy Graham’s wife & Myles Munroe wife.

To be continued…