One of the most common things amongst us as photographers today is our hostility towards each other. When we meet at events regardless of where, when and how, it seems as though it’s so difficult for us to synergize. The hostility sometimes is not even limited to our colleagues, but to other vendors such as the videographers, the caterers, decorators, masters of ceremony, the event planners just to mention a few.
I’ve been hostile too towards some photographers on some occasions in the past; there are also some of my colleagues who have had similar experiences too and we do share our experiences. Deep inside of me, despite our argument for the justification of our attitude, I believe the reverse should be the case. We should rather have good relationships than keep unnecessary malice.
Some of the reasons I’ve observed that cause this rift are;
Photographer trying to monopolize others,
Inferiority complex of some photographers,
Intimidation by gadgets,
Physical struggle and fight, in taking pictures,
Bad manners, and so on.
I was privileged to be part of the eloPhotos team that covered Ibrahim and Shalewa’s traditional and engagement ceremony at Ruby Garden Event Centre Lekki, Lagos. There, I had a different experience
with a colleague photographer whom we met at the groom’s house. I had been in Mr. Ibrahim’s house early, and I’d started shooting his accessories till another man arrived, introducing himself as a Jubril. Some minutes later, he started preparing his gadgets. Alas! He was a photographer, I thought I was going to be the only one.
At first, I felt threatened. But I remembered the teachings of Oluwaseun Akisanmi and Toye Peters. Mr. Seun Akisanmi will always tell us to make friends with both photographers and other vendors at events and truly, the benefits of such relationships outweigh the cost. This is one of the reasons, Seun recommends the book; How to Win Influence Friends and Influence People for every photographer to read. How well we can network with others will go a long way in affecting our business growth.
I started talking to Jubril at intervals, during the shoot, and for most times, he was reluctant to answer, probably, he was avoiding being distracted but I chose to be friendly, no matter what. We
didn’t scramble for shots, and the groom too was very cooperative. He relaxed himself for us to pose him, and switched focus gently between our lenses. After we finished, I asked Jubril if he has a ride, and if
I could go with him to the event venue.
“No problem” he replied. I had just saved myself the burden of public transport, and I also saved myself up to #500. Thinking that the relationship had ended, it hadn’t. I enjoyed another benefit later. There was an after-party when the engagement ceremony ended at around 7pm, and I was asked by the team to stay behind to cover it. Jubril too was there with his colleague, Lanre of LibranEye Photography. I took pictures and I had fun too, watching guys and ladies alternate dance-steps between the songs as played by DJ Sose. Jubril too showed his expertise on the dance-floor, and even gave me his phone, to record his dance.
At Around 10pm, my camera battery was low, and I couldn’t take pictures again. I checked the bag the team had left with me, and I couldn’t find the extra-battery I was told was there so I had to take my
“Hey Jubril! I’m leaving”.
“I’m out of battery.”
“Eeyah, okay. We’ll meet some other time.”
“Ehhmmm, Jubril, let me have your number.”
“Okay, 070…………” “Thank you.”
I was approaching Lekki Expressway, opposite the venue, when I heard a voice calling my name. I looked back, and it was Jubril.
“Are you in a hurry?”
“Hmmmmm, not really.”
“Where are you going to?” He asked.
“Okay, I’m going to Ile-Epo, and I can drop you at Abule-Egba.”
“Wow, thank you very much.”
“But just wait for me for some minutes, I’ll soon be through.”
We had a few minutes of conversation and there it was! I had just signed a deal with Mr. Jubril.
I was filled with relief inside of me.
A free-ride again to Abule Egba, where I can just take a #50 bus to final destination.
I thought to myself, if I had been hostile towards him in the morning, he
wouldn’t have shown such a kind gesture.
The benefits of making friends with our colleagues may not always come in this form, and may not even be immediate but the long and short term benefits are innumerable. Added to my contacts now are two new photographers, and whenever, we meet again, we are no more strangers