It was an interesting week at the eloPhotos Academy. I found myself wondering what I had gotten myself into. From headaches (which I later learnt is not unusual), to sweeping and mopping the office, to going to see a movie with the intent of not just enjoying but learning from it – it was such a circus! Stepping out of the Cinema, I still couldn’t tell for sure whether I saw what I was supposed to see. Lol.
Oluwatosin Bakre was one of the guest facilitators at the Academy last week. Her brand of photography is unique, in that, she photographs mad people. Her belief is that these mad people will be off the streets a few years from now and this is the time when she can capture imagery going extinct. Oluwatosin believes there’s a new Nigeria emerging from what we have right now and she’d like to stand out then. To sponsor our thoughts, she asked: “How will you be relevant in the scheme of things when the new Nigeria comes?”
Michael of Nobis Photography was another facilitator at the Academy who had these to say to us:
1. Don’t use your skill as gift; I did this a lot in the past.
2. Insure your equipment.
3. Calculate depreciation on your assets.
As an entrepreneur, taking cognizance of the above in decision-making will ensure one prices his services appropriately.
Sal Cincotta’s training videos were another important part of last week. A few of the points that have stayed with me from those videos are these:
1. Put your average charge on your website so that only the people that can afford you will contact you.
2. Check yourself; if people contact you and do not buy from you, the fault in that process is often times traceable to you.
3. Experiment with new shooting ideas, but not on your clients’ big day.
4. Everyone is a photographer, but not everyone is a professional photographer,
So, I got to the office on Friday and to my surprise, one of the tables had been constructed. I was so enthralled that I asked Oluchi about 5 questions in the space of a minute. I mean, I had barely been out of the office for a few hours and a brand new table was already in use.
Thankfully, my opportunity to get creative came later that evening, as we were tasked with the responsibility to construct a much-needed second table. Mr. Segun, Sola and I bounced ideas off each other, noting that we didn’t have the exact materials the first team had to work with. Clearly, we needed to come up with a creative way to complete the task. More importantly, the functionality of our creation was paramount, as there was the need to protect the paper legs from being ruined by water.
So, we set to task and in about 2 hours we had our table! I found the saying: ‘When there is a will, there is a way’ to be true; we had everything we needed, even though we didn’t have everything the other team had access to.
It is amazing how human beings tend to maintain a status quo – we want to be like everybody else and do things the way everyone once did it. This brings to mind a certain Yoruba saying which goes thus: ‘E je ka see bi won se n see, ko le baa ri bi o se n ri’ (Let’s do it like it has always been done, so that we can get the same result everybody gets).
Like someone once said: If you want to be an outstanding Creative Professional, know the rules and break them! I actually battled with this line of thinking for a while because it sounded counter-intuitive. Now I know that this precisely is what I need to stand out.
So the next time you suddenly realize that you do not have all the resources you think you need, refuse to panic! Instead, remember that what you have is just enough.