“The unfaithful Friday night”, “The undesired Saturday morning” or any other topic could have been the title of my essay this week. Yet, neither of these titles adequately paints a picture for my readers of my experience on this particular day and night.
One title that seemed striking and close enough is: My laptop is stolen. But, as soon as I get close to picking up my pen to write, I remember the part of Scripture that says:
“…beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spear: let the weak say I am strong…”
That is what informed my decision to get positive in my confession.
The week had an exciting start to it; we were mainly up on our shooting practice. For me, I loved the decision to do this because I had decided earlier in the year to bump up my study on light and composition. The house was divided into groups, with the new set of students constituting a major part of the group numbers. The Boss had introduced a picture for everyone to work on and replicate. This was followed by a general practice session and my group finally had its own turn on Thursday.
Sal Cincotta was another memorable part of the week. We continued the exploration of his video seminar, and the lessons never stop coming in. Again, a wood project was completed. It was a Red 19 project aimed at making shaped wooden material. We made a stool and then cut out the alphabets O, N, and E from the wood. This shoot took place during the weekend and two of our new students at the Academy were invited along for it.
Fast forward to Friday and that’s when the drama took place. Boss had made a trip to Ogbomoso for a Ted-x show he was speaking at. The day started quite calm and quiet and the class was billed to start with watching Boss’s favorite movie: In Pursuit of Happiness. Our tools of study extend beyond the regular – sometimes, movies and videos can also be a part of our learning materials. And, a lot of times, one can hardly imagine before-hand the extent of knowledge one will acquire from these kinds of resources.
After the movie came other trainings and practice. We had a long and instructive editing class facilitated by Mr Segun and all classes ended with everyone rushing to complete the group assignments. Most of the groups were yet to complete and submit their assignments and Saturday was almost out of place for any meeting to hold. We had the state-wide sanitation which meant restricted movement in the morning, a home-service shoot thereafter and some of the team mates were traveling, too.
So, the office was closing down and lots of activities were rushed to round off the week. Hey! The weekend was here; Monday was a fresh start.
As I looked towards the table, I saw my laptop which seemed to be saying to me that home was waiting. I really could not wait, as I had been out for two weeks prior to that time. I actually considered leaving my laptop in the office, since I will be in on Saturday. But, since I had some uncompleted project to attend to, I decided to pick it up and headed for home.
It was late in the night, the traffic was heavy, the ATM I intended using did not work, so I made my way to another distant bank. Finally, I walked into my room to discover that my roommate had traveled. The house was quiet and looked like cockroaches had held a party in the apartment. I ignored all these and settled in to the Fried potatoes and Akara I had bought for dinner.
Before I knew it, it was midnight; so I made my way to the rug to lie down. The gospel jazz music I put on was good for my mind and as the music played on, my eyes began their decent into sleep.
I woke up in the morning and sleepily moved to reach for my laptop. It was then I recognized that the music I was playing the night before had stopped. My hand probed further to find my charger intact – securely plugged in but it charged nothing.
Then my heart went cold with the realization: someone had visited my apartment while I slept!
While the facilitators were taking us through Module 1 of the curriculum that will be taught during this 6-month program, I wondered in amazement at when I will master the use of these rectangular- or square-shaped metal equipment called cameras; especially because of some of its features like, the focal length, ISO, aperture, depth of field & shutter speed. It also dawned on me that mastery of these features will only come through constant practice of what has been taught.
True to my thoughts, I practiced a lot after the classes by taking shots with these features at the back of my mind. Today, I have a better understanding of the aperture, focal length and shutter speed; and how it borders around the depth of field.
Next came the session on lighting and the facilitator this time was no other person than The Boss himself, Mr. Seun Akisanmi. I got to understand that light and photography are like Siamese twins, and that one’s choice of lighting (whether voluntary or not) will either make or mar the photo shots. He then gave us an assignment to replicate a picture from a scene in the Minority Report movie, after which we were divided into 3 groups of 4 members each.
Seeing the grey background of the picture, one would be quick to conclude that it was shot originally with a grey background. However, when The Boss played a trailer of the movie, we observed that it was actually a subtle white background. And, in the recess of my mind, I believed that this assignment will not be such a difficult task. But, by the time we started taking the shots with the help of our models (also from eloPhotos), I had my mind reset to the reality on ground.
My right hand hurt so much from repeatedly holding a flash high above my head so that we can achieve the best shot for the assignment. At some point, we even had to diffuse the light on one of the models by wrapping the flash I held with polythene nylon. Also, in our quest for our group to replicate an almost-perfect picture with respect to the assignment, we took so many snap shots that our models became grumpy at some point. So we had to end the session and settle for the best of all the shots. One other task we had to handle was to replicate another picture, this time, of a silhouette with a white background.
Another facilitator gave us an introduction to editing and here we worked with Light Room. Mastery of this too, I discovered, will be achieved with constant practice.
By the weekend, a colleague and I joined Kike (Red 19) for a baby photo shoot and this was quite an experience, as I had never experienced one taken by a professional photographer. When we got to baby Giovanni’s house for the session, he was quite drowsy and his mum and Kike agreed that we let him have a short nap so that we can get the best of him during the photo session. After almost an hour, baby Giovanni’s mum had to wake him up. According to her, it did not look like he was going to wake up anytime soon. She also fed him before we started the session.
Giogio (one of the many names we called him so as to get and retain his attention) did not have many smiles for us because he was teething. He was also restless. Oscar the dog and Phoebe the turtle (his stuffed toys) also tried to help lighten his mood during the shoot but the pair did not succeed. Then we danced and did a sing-along to a nursery rhyme video CD that was played for him. And, that did the trick!
Of the whole lot that played, “Old McDonald had a farm…” held the magic wand that had him sit still and Red 19 did not miss that rare and golden opportunity to take great shots of Nini (another pet name for the baby).
In all, baby Giogio had his photo session with 4 attires but my best was that last one where he wore a pair of trousers with suspenders, a bow tie and papa’s cap (a type of fez cap initially worn only by our fathers and grandfathers but now worn by people of all ages). For this shot, we wanted him to do justice to his cake by smashing it but instead, our VIP Giogio was more intrigued by the 8-inch cream icing before him.
All in all, it was an interesting outing and week for me.
The business of photography is meant for industrious people. It is for resourceful men and women who are determined to be successful, rich, powerful, and unique in any position they find themselves. Just as the Bible says in Hab.2:2:
"And the Lord answered me, and said, ‘Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.’"
The vision that is written down is not meant for you to merely look at but to run with. This will keep you always on your toes to achieve your set goals.
Have an eye for details.
Your ability to pay attention to the relevant things, and also capture what is important, sets you apart from others.
Be disciplined with regard to your finances. As a business person, have a financial goal, learn how to make profit from your skills and know how to strike a balance between family and business. One customer with a good impression of you is better than ten customers having bad impressions of you.
A creative eye is an integral part of photography. The only thing that will make you relevant in the next ten to twenty years to come in the photography business is creativity. Be innovative with your lighting, composition and focus, so that the beautiful mental picture can become reality. Also, be innovative in your planning, management, pricing, and packaging – in all aspects of your work.
Familiarity with legal documents.
A lot of photographers have lost great opportunities and have been punished unjustly because they didn’t know their legal rights. As a photopreneur, be familiar with contracts, copyright laws and other legal issues that may arise in the course of your work.
Social media tools are great instruments for networking. Connect yourself with other photographers that are exceptional and unique, in order to be mentored and informed about some of the rudiments of photography. Humble yourself to be under the tutelage of someone you respect. Do not think you know it all, because there are one or two things you don’t know and need someone to teach you!
Develop your technical skills. Know how to handle all photography equipment. For example, though you use a Nikon camera, don’t stop at learning about all the technical aspects of Nikon cameras. Learn how to handle Canon cameras as well.
Develop people skills.
Your people skills will help you greatly when communicating with your clients on the kind of posture you want from them when shooting.
All I have shared above are those things that go on behind the scenes for every great photographer. And, this lecture was given by Maigaskiya, when he visited the eloPhotos Academy last week.
Information is a source of learning. But, unless it is organized, processed and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden and not a benefit. Therefore, embrace things that will keep you informed.
I remain a purpose-driven female photographer, Sanni Olajumoke.
The eye is regarded as the best optic equipment available. It captures light in its retina to create the final image that is seen. Now, since inception of the camera age, light has been a critical element in the creation of photographs. Light is everything in photography – from natural light, to the studio light, down to the various other sources of light (e.g. the sun) available.
Wherever there is light, one can photograph. – Alfred Stieglitz
This past week, we had our hands full dealing with the various challenges of creating a portrait in our new studio. The two shoots done during the week were of birthday celebrants who thought it necessary to celebrate the day with good pictures of themselves to show for it, rather than allow their special days to pass without record.
Light is essential in the making of an image. As well, a good light source engaged appropriately could create depth and dimension, which will result in a well-rounded and better image. So, on Wednesday when we had an encounter with the first subject, we attempted to use two light sources on the image – one as the main light and the other as the fill light. We took some time to perfect the choice of lighting style and the beauty of the shot was all the more realized when we added a third light source.
We chose a plain white background for this shoot. Ordinarily, this sort of background would have been okay and natural for the shoot. However, we faced the risk of ending up with a set of boring images for our efforts. And, especially since we had earlier used petals to write a number on the background behind the subject, we needed the third light source (and the right sense of composition) to bring about the desired results. So, we trained the third light source on the white background which was gelled with blue color to project the background petals and overall color of the image.
The overall lighting arrangement was eventually perfected and the resultant image was a well-lit natural looking image with a blue fill to the background. The symbolic petals had come out in blue color, the white background had turned out with a fill of blue, and the overall color of the image gave a smooth blend.
Unfortunately, we later had to switch to a one light setup. Two of our flashes had gotten burnt. We were, therefore, left with no choice but to continue with the shoot within the frame of the available light and still come up with an astonishing shoot. The final part of our shoot was with one light on a softbox. We filled-in with the help of a reflector, though the reflector was not powerful enough to give full light-up to the image. To compensate for the light deficiency, the subject was tilted more towards the light, the blue gel was still available to create the blue colored background, and the photographer did justice to the image with great composition.
On Thursday, when we encountered our second subject, our lighting method was a bit different. Our background was with a different tweak – laid with newspapers and no blue fill to the background. As well, our model needed to be coached on poses, which we enthusiastically helped with. For our efforts, we ended up with great images, our model’s height working to her advantage in her various beautiful dresses.
I remain Tobi Idowu; I love life, I love people and I love the art of photography.
It was a new week and resumption day for a new batch of 4 interns at the eloPhotos Academy. Mr. Seun, the Principal of the Academy, addressed the students, welcoming and presenting them with the Operational Manual of the Academy. This he called the Engagement Rules and Regulations of the Academy.
At the meeting with the newly admitted interns, Mr. Seun invited staff members of eloPhotos to introduce themselves to the new interns and share what their experiences had been since joining the organization. Afterwards, the interns had photo-sessions – taking pictures to be used both for their individual ID Cards and for the Academy’s collective billboard advertisement.
The Principal showed the students a video titled: MASTER THE BUSINESS OF PHOTOGRAPHY by Sia Cincotta. The video taught the interns not to be tired or frustrated whenever a customer turns them down and also to separate personal emotions from their businesses in order to make the right decisions. Amongst the lessons the video passes across to students is meeting the expectations of their clients – which actually begins with valuing their work and being creative at what they do.
Mr. Seun informed the interns that there will be several guest speakers visiting the Academy during the week to enlighten them about the business of photography. As well, they will be going to see a movie at the Cinemas, to open up their minds to the unimaginable number of creative ideas they can explore in the Business. Thereafter, the students will do a critical analysis of that movie.
Mr. Michael, who introduced himself as from Nobis Photography, taught the students to learn to think outside the box, to be focused and to pay attention to details, as these are some of the requirements for success in the business.
Going to see the movie (INFERNO by Tom Hanks) at the Cinemas was a great eye-opening experience for each student. Some lessons to be learnt from the movie are: fast thinking, making quick decisions, consistency, not to trust anyone, to be time-conscious and to believe in oneself alone.
The interns greatly appreciated the opportunity to see that movie and thanked their boss for that privilege. They were also allowed to see another movie which taught the students about professionalism in business – dealing with issues such as never discussing price with the customer online or on phone, guarding against negative emotions as this kills business, staying focused on what one can control and aiming to excite a prospect while on a photo-shoot; as this is very essential and makes their work excellent. Without all these in place, the business is sure to nose-dive.
Students were also taught to post images online, get between five and ten shots every week, not to look for an expensive space to start their businesses, to be creative and pay more attention to details.
Being at the Academy during this first week was a great experience for each student. They all look forward to more creative, fun, inspiring and educative moments in the weeks ahead on this training adventure.
My internship program at eloPhotos Academy officially started at 7:30a.m. on October 17, 2016, though I was there well ahead of the resumption time. When I got in, I met 2 other ladies — Adenike and Jumoke – who had just graduated from the DSAP (Daystar Skills Acquisition Program) on photography and decided to come to eloPhotos to run the 6-month photography internship program.
As soon as we got in, more interns – older ones, though – joined us and more informal introductions were made after which, everybody got busy with a task to prepare the studio for the day and subsequently for the week. The studio had just been acquired and so a number of progressive renovation works were ongoing. The floor was swept, mopped and all that needed to be dusted were dusted – like the picture frames set against the walls, table-tops, chairs (some of which the boss had hurried downstairs earlier on to get), etc.
After the clean-up session, next came the prayer session where we gathered together to sing and pray to God; thereby committing the day and week to Him. Then, the first formal introduction and meeting with everyone (both the old and new interns) followed.
The boss talked to us about the photography profession and encouraged us to be focused and disciplined, as these qualities are crucial to succeeding in this profession. He also summarily ran us through the interns’ rules of engagement and what is expected of us during our stay at the eloPhotos Academy. We were informed that at eloPhotos, Mondays had been dedicated to family meetings – where issues that might have popped up in the previous week are discussed in detail and solutions proffered, if the issues were not resolved. The plans or projections for the current week are also concluded or created, if not done already. Part of the plan for the week was for the new interns to have photo-sessions for the purpose of our eloPhotos identity cards. This, however, was concluded on the same day.
The next day, after cleaning the studio, we settled in to see a couple of photographyworkshop videos by Salvatore Cincotta, who is a renowned wedding photographer in Illinois, USA.By mid-day, we went to see a 121-minute runtime movie titled Inferno at the Silverbird Cinemas, Ikeja mall. It starred acts like Tom Hanks (Harvard University professor Robert Langdon), Felicity Jones (Dr. Sienna Brooks), etc.
When we returned to the Studio, we all reviewed the movie and continued with a couple more videos from Salvatore Cincotta’s workshop on the creative life. Generally, we saw and reviewed a number of videos from Salvatore Cincotta during the course of that week that bordered on different aspects of photography like pricing, packaging, sales, marketing, etc. We also had enlightening sessions where 3 professional photographers who had earlier graduated from the eloPhotos Academy came in to talk to us about their experiences during and after their internship at eloPhotos.
Another highlight of the week was when our applications and weekly reports were randomly selected and reviewed for errors. This was anchored by the boss himself, after which he gave us an assignment: All new interns were to have our write-ups on A Day In My Life In 2025 reviewed and re-sent to him. Work on the eloPhotos Studio and Academy banner was also scheduled to be concluded and set outside the building before the new week and this has been completed.
As we proceed into the week of October 23, 2016, we look forward to the technical aspects of our photography training which we have been told will commence that week.
For some time now, I have come to believe that tomorrow is an illusion. I need no book to convince me of this. Yesterday, Today or Tomorrow, are all continuous strands of time; different parts though they may seem to be. The division, in truth, only exists in our heads. Especially if you regularly work late into the night, you will agree that the difference between 11:59pm and 12:00am is only as recorded by your calendar, timepiece or the wall clock. Other than those, time is a singular entity.
Speaking of working late into the night, I did exactly that on the night preceding my resumption at the eloPhotos Academy. I needed to finish up several personal tasks, so as to have fewer carry-overs into my work-week, so I had to work into the next day.
Before going to bed, I reminded myself of the eloPhotos Intern’s Duties, especially highlighting to my mind the 7:30a.m. resumption time and the attendant consequence of breaking that rule. My plan went something like:
1. Wake up early enough to be at the bus stop by 6:00a.m.
2. Have a 40 – 50 minutes ride to work (by my calculation) – which should leave me with about 30minutes of luxury time.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I woke up and my eyes darted in the direction of the wall-clock.
Momentarily, I was confused. Am I already at the bus stop or am I still in bed? (Of course, anyone could tell the difference by the level of comfort enjoyed in both spaces. Lol.) I rushed off the bed, had a traditional "indomie dress-up”, and stumbled my way towards the bus stop, eventually getting there at 6:30a.m. Well, going by my calculation, I was still in time for resumption.
Then the unthinkable happened! For the next 15minutes at the bus stop, not one bus stopped! (That’s quite a paradox, isn’t it?) As I pondered on what could be responsible for this odd occurrence, what seemed to be my "salvation boat" appeared; the first bus to stop in fifteen whole minutes. Not without its own conditions, the bus fare would gulp everything I had on me. I certainly didn’t see this while mapping out plans for my first day at work. On a normal day, the amount of money I had in my wallet should be enough to get me to my destination – and even leave me an extra N50 to return home with. How could I have forgotten that Monday is never a normal day in Lagos? Didn’t I once witness a traffic hold-up at 5:00am on a Monday, here in Lagos?
Over the next 5 minutes, my confusion grew in geometric dimensions. All other transportation options at this hour had the same price-tag. I even got begging one of the bus conductors and his reaction was more apt for someone who had offended him in his former life. I was left with two options: I either wait there until I get a bus with a fare fitting to my pocket or get into one of the buses immediately and figure out the next move while on the bus. As I quickly figured out, the first option wasn’t really an option after all – such a bus won’t come within the hour and then, I’ll be extremely late. So I hopped onto the next available bus.
As the bus zoomed out of the bus stop, I resolved to treasure-hunt through my pockets when I get off the bus, peradventure I would stumble on some miracle-money in there. And if this strategy does not turn up anything, I will do some miracle-jogging. Lol. The drive presented its own challenges and I spent far more time than I had anticipated on the bus. So, when I got down, and had no miracle-money to employ, I quickly proceeded on a 25-minute strolling exercise to work. Close to the office door, I quickly freshened up as if I had just gotten down from an SUV, then entered and joined the Monday Meeting.
Then, a few minutes into the meeting, my new boss (and Principal of the Academy) uttered what I considered the most interesting news for the day: "Official attendance-taking starts tomorrow." What a relief! Though I was late on that day, it would not go down in the records.
I don’t need to tell you what time I got to work the next day! Every day is not Christmas! But I learnt an important lesson through this experience: I had no excuse. If I conjured one up, I will only be explaining away my failure. I’ve got to learn to meet up with targets. To do this effectively, I need to make room for contingencies!
Wednesday, October 19, 2016, was my first day at the eloPhotos Academy. I had a hard time choosing between two equally-appealing offers, which led to my not showing up in class from the beginning of the week.
Shortly after I arrived, I learnt that interns were responsible for keeping the environs of the Academy clean. And, looking around, I saw various pictures in frames, freezing memories of events that took place in times past. So, without much ado, I found a clean rag with which to dust up the frames one after the other, simultaneously perusing the frames in appreciation of their value and beauty.
After the cleaning exercise, I got talking with fellow interns who had resumed at the Academy two days earlier and their experiences left me surprised. They had learnt so much in just two days and even gone to see a movie at the Cinemas. Wow!!! You said? That’s exactly how I felt too!
We settled in for lectures and the first activity entailed sharing experiences from the previous day. As one of the ladies shared about her encounters at the cinemas, I allowed my sense of loss to overwhelm me right at that moment. This served to effectively keep my ears shut. We later watched a photography clip wherein the instructor discussed things to note when starting out as a photographer. What stood out for me were statistics about the different media through which clients could be reached; and how to segment the market, as well as define the specific market I would like to appeal to.
Day 2 at the Academy was, for me, exactly like the first; except that the video clip we watched on this day narrowed down on the different categories of value packages that customers could enjoy from a photographer. Did I mention that Mr. Seun was always there to clarify grey areas after each clip? Yes, He was! He was always on hand to dispel any myths and ensure the seamless assimilation of knotty concepts.
Later in the day, two male interns and I left for the saw-mills. Our mission was to negotiate a lower price for the purchase of an MGF plywood (a special type of fire-resistant wood). Earlier in the week, the director of the Academy came up with a creative idea he wanted us to execute together. According to him, the long cylindrical-shaped waste product generated by our large format image printing effort could be adapted to form the stand for a much-needed work table. So, the plywood we purchased was to serve as the horizontal surface of the table that will emerge as soon as we cut the cylindrical waste into an appropriate length. It took Mr. Seun and I another half hour to couple the table’s legs to its’ top. I was very glad, though, to have been there to witness and partake in the birth of that creative idea. And, some minutes before 8:00p.m., I said my goodbyes for the night.
At the end of our class on Friday, we embarked on coupling another table. I had no idea that Adenike, a fellow intern, was so skilled. She practically did all the screwing required to produce the second table. They say, what a man can do, a woman would do better and hey! She certainly did. When we rounded off at about 8:00p.m., ready to escape into the much-awaited weekend, the rains chose that exact time to start pouring. Hence, we were forced to stay back for about an hour before calling it a day.
I am Adegbite Olusola, and this has been my Week 1 experience at the eloPhotos Academy.
A word that’s frequently thrown around, yet not very many people know what it means to truly love.
Some 15 weeks ago when we started dating, it felt like heaven on earth – almost flawless and perfect! I felt like I could do anything to sustain the relationship. And though I still feel that way, the feeling is subtly different from the way I felt a few weeks ago. I have had to relinquish all the things I thought I knew, subject myself to rigorous training from experienced educators in this regard and practice every day to get the most of my relationship with him.
Everybody around me continue to complain that I’m losing weight. In fact, my mother – like every mother would – calls me almost every hour to make sure I’ve eaten. In her opinion, I’m starving and need to eat more to regain or, at least, maintain my weight. Unfortunately that’s not so close to the truth.
Despite everything that has happened, it still seems like I don’t know him at all (and this often happens in many relationships and even marriages). Every day unveils something new and amazing I could do with him; something I didn’t know about him as at the previous day.
He kept his promise, though. He had told me at the start of our relationship that I could do several things with him. This way, I don’t get stuck and bored on a particular activity. He said to me that together we could transform the world. I am interested in impacting my world and gradually getting remarkable ideas on how to go about that achievement. He’s opened my eyes to see the world in variant creative ways, and constantly studying him has improved my visibility, creativity and know-how.
Don’t be fooled; it’s not always rosy and interesting. There are flaws too and even on both sides. Sometimes (if not most times), I get tired, frustrated and burned out from all the activities. There are times when it feels like there are a million things to be done and I don’t even know where and how to begin. Often times, I don’t even have enough time to carry out assignments or even practice. And, most times, there’s little or no audible encouragement. But, I choose to keep up the work still. Hmmm…..the things you do for love!
Sometimes, too, I don’t manage the time I have well enough. Sometimes, I want to get all the information in at once and it can be overwhelming. I confess there are times when I’m totally not interested in studying to get more knowledge. It is in times like these that love (drive and passion) sustains me.
As the hustle and bustle get tougher, I’ve chosen to remain dogged and resilient; quite like Chris Gardner (Will Smith), the main character in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness.
Love is patient, love is kind, love is beautiful… Love is not all comfort, love is not complacent and love is not lazy. My love for photography drives and keeps me going.
As I walk up to the podium in the midst of a roaring standing ovation of millions of audience, after being introduced as the next speaker at the Excellence in Leadership Conference (ELC) 2026, a feeling of nostalgia took me over. I had once been in this crowd being almost a Nobody. I had also consistently attended the conference annually as I improved on being a better person. Now I have found my way to the pedestal of persons worthy to be one of the conference’ speakers. How did I get here?
While I was seated, waiting to be announced, I had journeyed back to where I started from and especially the juncture where a critical ignition was made in my life. I had always being an ambitious wishful-thinker because as much as I was ambitious, I can also be very complacent. At some point, I got tired of living so-so, I got hold of my life and enrolled to be a Professional Photographer and Entrepreneur in eloPhotos Academy/Studios and came through to the world of No impossibility. Though I had attended ELC before, it was not priority for me this particular year as I was still an intern and did not have a control of my time. But Boss ensured we all attended the conference though we did not register earlier as required. We got in the conference and I am grateful till date that I did not miss it.
The conference was an icing on the cake for me as it got me revisiting and analyzing all I have learnt (from boss and a mentor/life coach I saw weeks back) as well as every goal I had penned down. Every speaker that came up in that year’s edition emphasized almost the same principles of being an influence; Passion, Diligence, Tenacity, Love, Personal Development… I noticed they dwelt more energetically when they spoke about "the Price to Pay." It was obvious they were all die-hards at their dreams and they had to let go of some precious things, went through great inconveniences to attain the admired heights we all saw. "There is a Price you must pay to get to the Top, the greater the goal/dream, the greater the price to pay," they all hammered amidst all other principles they highlighted. I got scared, I pondered, my dream was apparently heavy, but after much thought, I resolved my dream is worth dying for, I will pay whatever price. Words from the conference kept me on my toes through the years and the hurdles I faced. After all, it was worth it at the end.
I jerked back from my deep thought, in a fulfilling smile, as the convener of the conference, Pastor Sam Adeyemi, called out for the introductory commentary they would bring me up to the podium. I spoke to the audience deep from my heart as if I was reaching out to another "Me" in the crowd, it was really an emotional moment. Rounding up, I reiterated that I am still work-in-progress and there are still lots of payments to be made.
Guess I got you all through a journey of my living imagination. Don’t mind me, I am not serious, as some people expressed when I started this journey months ago. I do not intend to be serious till my great dreams play out. After all, many great men of influence in our world today were "not Serious" when they started out. So it is ok not to be serious, I will unseriously learn the skill and character, keep the abnormal schedule, skip the meals, skip the sleep, endure the stress, even when I injured my ankle in my quest for knowledge and leg is painfully swollen, I will unseriously endure the pain. When I have to stay awake all night to fix an inexcusable report and mum thinks this is weird and unhealthy, I will unseriously pull through and work my dream out. Watch out for this lady Photopreneur.
It’s one of those weekends when I can’t find the zeal to carry out my normal duty of creatively stating how the week was and what I learnt during the course of the week. Don’t misinterpret me, it’s not that the past week was uneventful; it was in fact so full of things to learn from – Icould even write a 10-page documentation of all the activities that took place, but I don’t want to bore youwith all that information. I won’t be wrong to say I had enough information supply for some time because if can effectively use all the information I got during the week, I’ll probably be one of the highly esteemed and sought after entrepreneurs in no time.
The week started on an interesting note and led to further interesting things, I got the opportunity to attend a leadership conference in town – Excellence in Leadership Conference hosted by the acclaimed Daystar Christian Centre. The program exposed me to quite a number of lessons and to-do lists.
The height of my week happened on Saturday; a senior colleague had told me she had to cover a birthday party on the noon of Saturday and she was also invited for an Exhibition that same Saturday, but in the evening, she needed an assistant so I volunteered to go with her. The whole day was quite busy,leaving the event to the Photo-exhibition. Gladly the whole business was over and we were soon heading home. On our way home, we entered the yellow commercial bus popularly called “Danfo” in Lagos, Nigeria. For a while now, I’ve been having interestingly funny experiences on these buses and today was no exception. Usually if you are a commuter on thesecommercial buses, you’ll understand what I mean; it is either the driver, the bus conductor, the bus or even the commuters that have a particular issue that would spark up a dramatic experience.
On this wonderful occasion, it was one of my fellow commuters that started the drama; myself and Tope (my colleague)were totally jaded from the day’s business and were busy feasting on the nicely packed meal given us at the party. The bus was especially stuffy and it was already late that evening but the driver was insensitive and was busy collecting the transportation fee sluggishly. Half of the people in the bus were quite cranky and were complaining arrogantly that the driver should hurry up. It was in this cranky mood that, a middle-aged woman seated somewhere in the middle row made the statement that got everyone, including me, upset. She said, “Driver please be fast o, don’t allow Ese and Sharon to waylay me and throw me inside third mainland Bridge”. This singular statement threw everyone off-balance, what ran through my mind was how a mature, sane person could utter such unnecessary words. Neglecting what everyone was saying to her, she continued mumbling to herself and I just said to my colleague that she was delirious. What got me confused was that a few of the 19 extra passengers, I thought should be in perfect condition started acting really funny, I don’t want to say insane. I started hearing phrases likeMadam are you crazy and some other people were shouting Blood of Jesus,Holy ghost fire, driver please let her go down o and other fear-related statements. Still in her delirium state, she kept talking to herself and some people kept confronting her.
Aside from the fact that I felt people like this woman could be well taken care ofbefore their situation gets out of hand, I figured a very high percentage of this city’s population are tensed and panicked even before something goes wrong, italso made me understand better how the mind and mental health has to be taken seriously.
I pray we get our minds straight and free of fear; I’m Enor Izomor and I’m still a photographer.
Resuming at work for the week started wonderfully with so much expectation for me but this was abruptly cut short a few hours after I consumed my okpa (apopular meal peculiar to the eastern part of Nigeria which is made from a specie of beans) with gusto. Okpa is so filling that once you eat it, be sure to drink a lot of water as it has a dehydrating effect on its consumers. I find it very amusing that whether it is okpa, akara, moimoi, beans and stew, porridge beans or the almighty ewa agoyin that I consume, I tend to get lethargic and then want to sleep. This I have confirmed is the experience of so many other people so out of curiosity, I did a little research on what could be the possible cause of this. I found out thatthe beans family (legumes) is rich intryptophan, a substance which helps the body to produce melatonin a.k.a the hormone of the night which in turn is the hormone that is responsible for regulating our sleep and wake cycles.Okpa is also called 6am/pm to 6 am/pmamongst other aliases as you are unlikelyto be hungry for many hours ( my reason for buying this one) after consumption even though this depends on the rate of one’s metabolism.
It was a while after I had bought my okpaof #200 that I remembered that I had my lunch in my bag and I doubted if I would really even eat it. True to my calculations, I took my lunch back home since I found comfort only in the rest room for the rest of the day as my system had full control of my day. At will, my system instructed me on when I should visit the rest room, how long I should stay in there and my obedience was always complete,immediate and with the speed of light as I did not want to be embarrassed. On one of these visits to the rest room, I met it occupied and I could no longer think straight as I kept harassing the occupant behind the door by constantly knocking on the door. In between waiting for the occupant to come out and knocking on the door, I leaned against the wall by the rest room door to support myself as my feet had lost its stability and I capitalized on its restlessness to divert my attention albeit briefly, from the rumble in my stomach. My system even instructed me in strong terms, not to participate in theongoing field project, Residents of Nigeria (RON), which is currently running at the academy and like a humble and obedient servant, I respected myself anddid not dare to step out with my colleagues. In a situation like this, I had almost incurred the wrath of my systema long while ago which I can never forgetand I have seen instances where my fellow human beings were dealt with by their various systems and it was neither a pleasant sight to behold nor was it pleasant to the nose. At some point, Istarted feeling weak and had to leave the office well before the close of business but this too was with the express permission of my system as I had it promise me that it will behave itself till I get home. I achieved this by psyching myself and timing my journey back home which by God’s grace and mercy wastraffic jam free. As soon as I got home, my system tried to announce itself again but at this point it had lost most of thecontrolling power it had over me earlier in the day since I was careful not to eat anyother thing through the day, my bed was my shield and comfort.
The next day, I felt much better so much so that I was at work and could even participate in the field project, RON. Also,during the cause of the week, Iparticipated in the Annual Excellence In Leadership Conference (ELC) organized by Daystar Christian Center, Lagos and the theme for this year was Maximize Your Influence. We had speakers like Bishop David Oyedepo of Living Faith Church, Canaan Land, Otta, Ogun State, Pastor Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church USA, Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, a businesswoman, Lagos, Rev. Julian Kyula of The Purpose Center Church,Kenya who is also the Co-founder and Group CEO of MoDe Group and severalother speakers. The various speakers spoke on so many aspects of life like encouraging us to dare to be different, be great time mangers, be prudent financially and always remember that in order to get to the top, a price has to be paid. The host and hostess of this conference were naturally Pastor Sam and Pastor Mrs Nike Adeyemi.
Mai Gaskiya from Abuja also paid us a visit at the academy and he spent an enlightening over 3 hours with us. It isalso worthy to note that I found his passion for our profession, photography is very infectious.
In all, my bitter but now amusing experience with that ruthless #200 worth of okpa, to a very large extent, controlled what I ate for the rest of the week and how I ate them. I’m Oluchi, a female photographer on an adventure.
We recently moved to a new office and it’s not only bigger than the former, it’s also taller. Its a two storey building and we are right there at the top floor.
Climbing the stairs isn’t fun at all, especially when you have to climb carrying either a bucket of water, a laptop bag or a camera bag. You will have to get to the office, grab a seat, get a bottle of water to catch your breath. One day I even decided to run through it in minutes and I fell.
However, I find it interesting rushing down the stairs with speed, I sometimes even jump the stairs in twos and I never fall.
This week was mind opening for me. I had a rethink on my goals, dreams and my future as a whole.
I sat down to analyze what it really takes to climb those stairs to the top. And If it was worth it. Guess What I discovered?
I discovered that climbing the stairs to the top
I am more conscious
I am more focused
I am persistent
I put in more strength
And I lose a lot of energy
I am patient so I don’t fall
Otherwise, going down the stairs
I am less conscious
I move with ease
I don’t lose as much energy as climbing.
Analysing this I discover why a lot of people find it hard to get to the top, why some find it hard to stay at the top and why a lot never even make attempt to climb.
It cost a lot get to the top but it cost more to stay there. It’s easier to go down and it cost nothing to stay there.
Where do you want to be?
I am ‘Tope Adeniyan and I am ready to pay whatever price it is to get to the top.
Some weeks back a "friend" and colleague had come to me for help. Have come to know him from way back during my training days at eloPhotos academy and it was easy to relate with him as a colleague.
He needed to borrow my equipment for a Job which he had that weekend so he called on me for help. This was not the first time of him coming to me for a favor like this and I had always given him.
But this particular day I actually didn’t know why I thought of it over and over again. Maybe because his perfume this days smells more like weed. Maybe because he asked me to pay when I needed him to return this same favour some times back. Maybe my spirit was trying to warn me. But whatever it was I didn’t listen.
I went ahead and gave him what he requested for he promised to return it in three days. But guess what? Three days became three weeks. And it wasn’t just 3 weeks, I meant 3 weeks of hard labor. I called him so much that if you had checked my call log you would mistake him for a boyfriend. But guess what, he never picked up or returned my call. At this point I was scared and helpless I called a few other colleagues who could know his whereabouts but it was to no avail.
I was frustrated and angry I had even thought of going to his house it was at this point I noticed that I had no track on him, nothing but his name and phone number. (Check the first line friend was in quote) Typical me I’m to quick to call someone a friend even when all I know is your name.
The only way out was to involve Mr Seun which will mean listening to one of his popular lecture "choosing your friends right". I used 2 days to rehearse on how to tell him about this and on a good day I finally did. He helped me get through to his mum and we finally contacted him. He promised to bring my equipment back within a day but it took One week.
I finally got him to bring it to me. I had prayed to God to help me keep calm when i saw him and he had answered my prayer; I was as calm as an Angel. I collected my equipment and ran up to check it. On getting to the office I discovered that one of the equipment was already faulty and he never mentioned. I wept inside as I was in so much pain & disappointment. I just didn’t know how to express my pain in words for you to understand but this really was hurtful. It hurt so much but it also taught me more about people
Call me Tope Adeniyan, this week I learnt to use the word "friend" rightly. I hope you all will do the same.