The Shola we met


After visiting the Photo-garage some months ago, our next trip was to Shola Animashaun Photography at Ikeja, last week. The visit was full of learning, just like the former.

We got to the studio around 11 am, Thursday morning, and were welcomed by some students in training during a lighting painting practice session. The students painted different shapes like the cross, rectangle and so on.

We waited for some minutes for the CEO himself to arrive. The 6ft plus award-winning photographer was not looking too well, and he really wasn’t. Shola might have been exhausted from enormous photography work demands.

The meeting started with a short introduction of everyone present. And followed by our series of ‘burning questions’ as Shola later described it on his facebook page.

The first question was by our tutor, Mr Toye, on how Shola started his photography career and his experience so far. It was as though, we were listening to the reading of a movie script. How will it not be? A man is asked a question as such, and one would expect him to summarize a journey of over a decade in some minutes.

Everyone has their own stories, and Shola was not different. If you think, everything Shola achieved today is by chance, you need to meet this man. He actually worked for what he has. He narrated some menial jobs he had to do to make a living before starting photography. Shola really worked hard to develop his photography skill right from the beginning. He was not lucky to have a photography academy he could learn from, or a willing-to-teach photographer that put him through.
Shola was however fortunate to be introduced to someone who will later teach him some basic lighting techniques. For most of these times. Shola couldn’t understand what ISO, Aperture, or Shutter Speed meant. For few years, starting in photography, he couldn’t navigate through the exposure triangle, but found solace shooting in Auto mode.

Shola is happily married to his ‘girlfriend’ as he introduced her. His kids won’t just let him be, as they interrupted him at intervals, during his meeting. Shola is very sensitive to noise, it really disturbed him, and he would caution his students or his kids most times. There was even a time he got so disturbed, that he asked one of his students to get his child busy with an academic work.

Shola was very friendly with his students of both genders, and I imagined if they were a family, and indeed they were. The loving Mrs. Animashaun, who seemed to be reserved, is also a tutor at the academy. She teaches the use of the Photoshop software. The funny Shola said he only taught her how to remove pimples, but she has now become a master.

We eventually moved our meeting outside the studio, to the premises as Shola couldn’t tolerate the noise level in the studio anymore. Shola further elaborated on his works and plans in photography and his family as well. A perception that Shola’s success is tied to the goodwill of his brother, is wrong. As far as there may be people you think will help you, Shola believes one should not expect such help, and he admonished us to the same. This has been his guiding principle so far, as he said, “Never expect anyone to help you”, but seek your help only from God, the Almighty. The meeting ended with a group picture taken by one of Shola’s kids, Tobiloba, using Shola’s mobile phone. Tobiloba is actually a photographer in the making.

Sodeeq Akorede

Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy.
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10 Players; One goal!


“Pheeeew!”
That was the sound of the referee’s whistle which signified the beginning of the match. In no time, the game began! There was so much noise from the team hailing the team F. looks so much like team M didn’t have much supporters on the field of play. With so much skill and teamwork, the players from team F passed the ball to each other. She exhibited so much dexterity in handling the soccer ball on the 105 by 68 meter – field. T passed to A, after which A to M. M approached the goal post with eyes that said “This is mine!” She swung her hands high in the air and then….
I yawned noisily. I guess it was just one of my so called naughty dreams.
Of course, what were you expecting? I ain’t no fan of football but this was more than a football match. When you see 10married women come together to form a team towards a cause then you know that this is more than a football match.
Ever since late July, Mr. Seun Akisanmi had always told us about a group of women who were planning a surprise party for their husbands which they tagged “Husbands day”. I thought it was more of a ladies joke sort of until I got to meet two of them some weeks back. Listening to them talk about their various experiences in their marriage made me get goose bumps about the whole marriage thingy. The previous week was the time we got to conclude the various sessions with the remaining 8 women in the group of 10 as the event was scheduled to hold on Saturday.
Diplomatic, you might call them; but that’s what they are. A team of women that know what they want and know the right way to go about accomplishing it. A few lessons I learnt from the experience with them as I knew that implementing them in my life as a whole would go a long way in creating the better me.
In a brief, I learnt the importance of teamwork, appreciation, associations, goal setting and togetherness.
So she passed the ball to Player A and Player A skilfully approached the goal post. The goalkeeper was looking tensed already. It was looking like magic. How the women seems to proficiently handle the ball against his team dazed him. In a few seconds, she was right in front of him. He blinked his eyes, cleaned the beads of sweat which had adorned his face and in a twinkle of the eye, the ball had found its way into the goalpost. The whole field was ablaze with shouts of joy. All the members and fans of Team F couldn’t contain their joy; they ran all over the filled with chants of praise for team F. Team F had scored against Team M. Then, the strangest thing happened, both members of the different teams hugged themselves as a measure of appreciation of the amount of work done from both teams. Well, I hope you understand… I can be weird at times.
I am Boluwatife Akindele and I am a photographer!

3 MONTHS TO GO


While I put pen to paper to compose the usual piece that we are meant to submit on or before Monday morning at 8am, it dawned on me how little I had done through the whole week. Initially I felt the sole idea of this writing thing is basically to help our writing skills, brighten up our grammar and maybe build our diction but that isn’t the only case for me. I try as much as possible to put down in details that which I have done, what I learnt, my mistakes that I noticed, what amazes me, what blows my mind, what I find not very good and other side attraction like the new babe I meet e.t.c. Writing the weekly report for me is like preparing my own report card with my hand and in doing this, I see a lot about myself that I didn’t realize all through the week.
This report is no different from my usual style of putting a check on my performance. Having spent relatively 120 minutes in a week living my life as a photography trainee at eloPhotos, I realized that I found it a bit challenging to put down something worth writing as a report, something worth reading about. The challenge is not even putting together the report but tangibly stating what I learnt and the image that I produced. It gives me concern that I still struggle to state in specific term what I achieved in the week as an Elophotos trainee.
The truth is that I didn’t go the whole week strolling around eloPhotos office, wondering how beautiful my female colleagues are, pulling the truck to fetch water, going errand, buying food, pacing from Strait gate School to eloPhotos office back and forth. I learnt quite a lot on editing. Miss kike taught me her work flow on Photoshop (portraiture, layering). I also learnt customer relationship and expressed the fruit of the spirit (Patience) in some cases where clients have chosen to provoke me. I also learnt that a hard and tough client can be bought over. I learnt a little here a little there too.
Doing all this things seems normal to me now, not worth making my report. Maybe I need to take things easy here, may be not, maybe I have a very high expectation, maybe I am reacting to the fact that my hunger for achieving the goals I set for myself at eloPhotos is nowhere near satisfaction reach.
I will clock 3month on Tuesday 18/08/15 at Elophotos. It’s exactly half time for me at Elophotos on Tuesday. I will then have just 3 more months left to learn all I can learn at Elophotos as a trainee. 3 more months to read as much books as possible on the book shelf,  3 more months to learn some magical Photoshop technique, 3 more months to create outstanding images, 3 more months to eat “wanke”, bread and beans and laratu rice every morning, 3 more months to compulsorily resume at an office at 8am, 3 more months to learn those business techniques from Mr Seun, 3 more months to make as much mistakes that I can and find someone  to correct me almost immediately, 3 more months to be a better person, 3 more months to make that quantum leap, 3 more months to be the best that I can be. Unfortunately, my tuition fee also runs out in 3month and I pray at the end of 3month I can put together a beautiful piece narrating how I was able achieve a whole lot in the space of 3 months.
Thank you for taking time to read.
Tunde Talabi