When Photographers meet


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,

Ineffective communication,

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
leave.

“Hey Jubril! I’m leaving”.

“Oh! Why?”

“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.
“Agbado Ijaiye”.

“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

Sodeeq Akorede

What is life?


Life is beautiful but not always easy. It has problems too; and the challenge lies in facing them with courage, letting the beauty of life act like a balm, which makes the pain bearable during trying times, by providing hope. Happiness and sorrow, victory and defeat, day and night are the
two sides of a coin. Similarly, life is full of moments of joy, pleasure, success and comfort punctuated by misery, defeat, failures and problems. There is no human being on earth; strong, powerful, wise or rich, who has not experienced struggle, suffering or failure.

No doubt, life is beautiful and every moment is a celebration of being alive, but one should be always ready to face adversity and challenges. A person who has not encountered difficulties in life can never achieve success. Difficulties test the courage, patience, perseverance and true character of a human being. Adversity and hardships make a person strong and ready to face the challenges of life with equanimity. There is no doubt that there can be no gain without pain. It is only when one toils and sweats it out that success is nourished and sustained. This reminds me of what Uche James Iroha said, “Money is a graduation of sweat”. Thus, life is not and should not be just a bed of roses; (anyways I really need to sleep on that bed of roses though). Thorns are also a part of it and should be accepted by us just as we accept the beautiful side of life. I came to learn many things from last week activities at the highly esteemed eloPhotos Academy, from discussions, classes and task assigned to me. The thorns remind one of how success and happiness can be evasive and thus not to feel disappointed and disheartened rather remember that the pain of thorns is short-lived, and the beauty of life would soon overcome the prick of thorns. This is the joy I have in heart, that as an intern I will be faced with challenges even from fellow students and the world at large but the ability to endure and conquer it is what makes the best in me glow. Those who are under the impression that life is a bed of roses are disillusioned and soon will become victims of depression and frustration.

One who faces difficulties with courage and accepts success without letting it go to its head is the one who experience real happiness, contentment and peace in life. Those who think that good times last forever easily succumb to pressure during difficulties. They do not put in required hard work and efforts because they break down easily. You can take the example of a student, who burns the mid night oil, makes sacrifices and resists temptations so that he can perform well. Similarly, a successful executive has to face the ups and downs of life, not forgetting that life is a mix of success and failure, joy and sorrow, if he loses hope during difficult times, he would not achieve success and would be replaced by others. Even the strongest Kings and Emperors have had their cup of woes. Life has not been a bed of roses for them.

The adage “Uneasy lays the head that wears the crown” has been rightly used for people, who are successful and are enjoying power and authority. To sum up, life is beautiful just as roses but it has challenges which are like thorns and have to be faced and overcome by all. Those who accept these challenges and succeed are the ones, who know how to live life in its true sense. Thus, enjoy life but also be prepared to bear the pricks of pain before getting to the top. One of the most captivating moment of my life last week was the insight I got from a book I read on photography titled THE SECRET OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY.

To end with, I would use the words of my mentor which goes thus, “how much money do you want to make in photography in the next five years?” Some of the answers from my classmates amuses me because when I think to myself

“Does this person have what it takes to rack in this amount of money in the next five years?”

Sad enough, the answer is NO!

So I say this word, NOTHING WORKS ACCORDING TO PLAN IF THERE’S NO PLAN.

I am King Lemuel and I am a photographer.