The JAMES – IROHA TOUR


“Hello, you’re welcome to my photo garage……”
That moment was priceless and golden. I flashed back to the first moment I heard that voice which was when he was awarded the life time award at NiPHEC (Nigerian Photography Expo and Conference) 2015. Uche James Iroha is a photographer and I had been following him for a long while on social media. Meeting him in person this time around was quite a thrilling experience and it was one of the major experiences that defined the past week except of course the day when I…. (Top secret! Not to be shared with any one *smiles). That aside, it was such a great time and I can’t wait to let the cat out of the bag.
I, along with my fellow interns from eloPhotos studios were given the opportunity to visit Uche James Iroha; one of the top photography products of Nigeria to learn from him and let him share his experiences with us.
We arrived the venue at around 12:13 pm and from the view outside, we knew we were in for serious business. Though he didn’t come to attend to us till around 12:31 pm, his trainees did a good job at entertaining us. Even the artwork on the walls were not left out, we were enthralled as the sight; it was quite amazing. During our time of waiting, we exploited the moment in taking selfies and settling ourselves down awaiting the man of the moment.
He didn’t take long before he came and he gave us enough time to familiarize ourselves with the environment. We had our seats and were all ready to listen to him speak and inspire us all.
“I am James; Uche James Iroha, I am a photographer and the conductor at this photo-garage” that was his introduction which to me is worth an award. I guess I was expecting to hear “I am the award winning, Nigeria’s top bla bla blah” but I was dumbfounded as his reply was simple, straight and quite humble for a top photographer like him. It reminded me of how humble I must rem ain no matter how far I go in this photography journey. He gave a quick introduction of himself and told some stories and as you can expect, it was full of humour. I kept staring at him; I had never expected him to be this warm and friendly based on my assumption of his kind of personality. He had proven me wrong. He explained that he calls himself the conductor of the garage because God (which he calls the driver) was only using him to get a number of people to a destination. After spending a couple of time talking about his photography, he moved on to telling us all to introduce ourselves and the genre of photography we intend specializing in.
Introduction began in earnest and he dedicated special time towards each and everybody that introduced themselves. He would explain the technical needed in that form of photography, the skills needed and sometimes his experiences in that field. His trainees weren’t left out as they were also given the opportunity to learn from the visit.
Fast forward to round 3:54 pm.  Heavy heads, burning hearts, eyes with passion and photography visions on fire, Mr. James ended the meeting with him. We couldn’t help but be marvelled at so much depth that had just been released which obviously was far from the shutter speed, aperture and ISO which many of us had learned and relearned; it was a new perspective to photography. One of the things we had learnt amongst all were what he defined as the 6 steps to a creative work which includes:
Look
See
Observe
Study
Confirm
And then shoot!
We had several pictures with him and in no time, we were all on our way to the studio.no doubt, we had been filled. As Mr. Seun would always say, it is the implementation of these things that matter and not just the hearing. It was overall a great outing; one enough to write a book from.
I am Boluwatife Akindele and I am a photographer desperate to implement these things in my business.

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