I have only been one week at the eloPhotos Academy, but my experience thus far indicates that I am going to have a good time. On my first day at the Academy, I encountered some difficulty locating the venue, because there was no form of notification in front of the building. However, on stepping inside of my new school premises, I immediately felt welcome.
There was Adenike who greeted me with a hug. And then, there was the security personnel of the house who welcomed other students and I with chairs while we waited for the arrival of members of staff of eloPhotos. Such warm welcome was a good first impression – it spoke of love and care. And, as if that was not enough, Tope came in panting shortly after, apologizing for keeping us waiting outside. With sincerity written all over her face, she said to us, “Oh dear! We are sorry for keeping you outside for too long. Please bear with us. I’m not with the key, but Mr Seun will soon be here.” That, for me, was beautiful and touching. A few minutes later, Mr Seun came in and it was time to get into serious business.
The office opened with a cleaning exercise, followed by a quick session of devotion, after which the CEO of eloPhotos and Principal of the school came forward to address everyone. Mr. Seun Akisanmi welcomed the new interns, among other things, inviting us to trust him for a good training.
And next on the agenda was a family meeting! Like seriously? A family meeting?!! I thought I was here to learn photography and nothing more. Well, as I was about to find out, I had thought wrong. That meeting, the family meeting, was very unique and homely. With what I witnessed in there, I became convinced all the more that I am in the right place.
During this week, we had a video training session with Sal Cincotta, titled: Master the Business of Photography. I learnt a lot, and even got to share some of Sal’s business principles with my family. Without doubt, some of these principles will help my mom in her catering business. One principle that stood out and I will never forget is, “Don’t feel bad to charge your clients for your hard work.”
I also witnessed two photo shoot sessions: one for students who required ID cards and the other, a portrayal of Prayer for Siblings with Miss Kike (of Red19 Photography).
Away from class activities, we went to the Silverbird Cinemas to see a movie titled: INFERNO. From watching this movie, I learnt that betrayal can come from anyone; and that by determination, one is sure to conquer and break new grounds.
Some alumni of the Academy were also around to speak to us during the week. Michael, the CEO of Nobis Photography, was around on Tuesday to speak about Photography and Business. He said, “As the law wig is important to a lawyer, so is the camera to Photopreneurs.” Then, Miss Tosin, the CEO of Charis5 Photography, came by on Thursday. She shared with us her thoughts on hardwork, and how sacrifice has opened doors of opportunity for her.
On Friday, we held discussions bordering on relationships, marriage and religion during our leisure time. It was as much fun as it was educative, I tell you! Tope and Mosope revealed their desire to marry Ibo men, while Oluchi (an Ibo lady) preferred a man outside her tribe. I also contributed to the discussion, declaring that I had no tribal preferences. In the end, we all concluded by praying that God will give each of us the best man.
Then, it was the turn of Mr Segun to lead the discussion in the direction of religion, its dictates and the way it is practiced here. On his own part, Mr. Segun believes it is unbecomingly easy to get into the pastoral position in some churches in Nigeria. Then, Enor shared that her Dad does not like it when ladies wear trousers. Though she thinks otherwise, her Dad sees this act as sin. This made a number of us erupt in laughter and several thoughts and religious standpoints followed. Like I hinted earlier, there was a lot to learn amid all the fun we were having, such that I look forward to another enjoyable week at the eloPhotos Academy.
I am Olajumoke Sanni, a world-class photographer.