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…