The journey towards success


This week had been a starting point to building my success but as we all know, the word “SUCCESS” doesn’t come so easy; meaning that we’ve got to give it whatever it takes as there is no short-cut to success but hard work. Choosing from the days of the week as a special and wonderful day for me was “THURSDAY”…wow! Why Thursday? That’s a question you would want to ask me and I will like to let you know I chose that cos of the great things that was wrapped in it. I wouldn’t want to say the rest of the days were not good to me cos I’ve got the help of my colleagues in the academy helping in one way or the other not making me feel as if am new into the world of photography but, the reason why its Thursday was that eloPhotos gave us the opportunity to meet the man called Shola Animashaun, the man behind Shola Animashaun photography and sincerely almost everything changed for me cos he is this cute man who spent the whole of his time to explain not just about photography but the art and business of photography to us in general and at this point I began to feel a change in me, standing right in front of him I can hear that call in me saying “O BOI U FIT DO AM O” (literally meaning; bro, you could also do this thing) and from there I had it in me that I’m gonna make it big through photography….

Hope to have a good report to file against coming week in which I believe that will really help me in focusing more.

Thanks.

Adeyemi cole

 

Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy.

Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It would be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness.

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A STEP FURTHER


With about twenty-six weeks of intensive photography training programme at eloPhotos, one would at first wonder, why the training of “just” photography could take that so long to learn. As an intern, and resuming daily at the academy by 8:00am and closing by 5:00am, it depicts that it is not just photography but the comprehensive “art” of photography that is learnt. Well, it has been a worthwhile experience that one may not even quantify the value of the training and experience acquired. Some questions crossed my mind;

Is it the studio’s strategic location?

The huge numbers of articles posted on the website?

Or the numbers of photographers the Director has discovered, trained and influenced within the relatively short time of establishing eloPhotos that makes the academy stand out?

I can conclude with my little knowledge that it is far more than that.

Initially, writing a weekly report was challenging for me; it has to be a detailed knowledge of personal growth in the academy. This, I described as “a-long-thing” for me. Although, writing is a skill I enjoyed doing overtime, I had to ask myself some few questions to be assured whether I will be able to soar in this feat. Also, reading and adhering to the comprehensive guiding rules of the academy at first seemed overwhelming; it looks as if it was a “25-page contract of life”

Interestingly, I remembered the battle within my mind I encountered when I was concluding on embarking on studying photography; choosing photography as a tool to achieving being a Diplomat. It was indeed one of the toughest seasons in my life. With the underlining vision to positively impact the youth, children and indigents in the Sub-Sahara Africa with my research and development, and in order to attract international aides, I see photography as a vanguard and as a channel to creatively express my vision. Actually, appreciating and analyzing pictures has been my utmost concern any time I come across with any image in time past, I never gave it a second thought that photography could be one of the powerful channels to attain and attract public and international affairs. I always believed that taking pictures is just a transient event, and that a photographer’s job ends immediately he fires his shots. Wow! Treading on this path of training has widened my horizon in a great deal.

Knowledge is power, they say.  I imagine how, to an extent I had undermined the phone cameras I use to take pictures. Well, I just take pictures which I assume they are relatively good based on my limited knowledge. With capturing memories, one can creatively give accounts of impactful stories around them. Oh! I wonder why the profession of photography has not been given a complete attention in this part of the world. Although, there has been a gradual mental shift, there are still far more part to be covered in photography.

Consequently, as my voyage at eloPhotos academy ends, I cannot but express my appreciation to my mentor in photography, Mr. Seun Akisanmi. Some of our so-called leaders are not worthy to be followed. They find ways to hide their achievement tips from the young and up-coming. They have forgotten that no one is an Island of knowledge. This cool-headed man is an exception. Far beyond making profit, Mr. Seun envisions to grow a generation of professional photographers, by investing in them his self-taught knowledge in photography.

To this end, there has been a paradigm shift within me within the 6 months training programme. The business of photography cannot be overemphasized. Also, the art of photography needs to be thoroughly learnt. The exposure to the basic training and practical gives me, at least the directions not to head. The different aspects of photography make the work well specified. It was as if the training should continue for me but I have to move on-up. From the getting of the brief, interpreting it, clicking of the shutter button, adjusting the 3 exposure triangles and some other settings, enhancing the pictures with some certain softwares, going to the print lab, and to the delivering the job to the client; putting in mind that the client’s satisfaction is a major determinant to a great job, photography is indeed far more than what it is popularly defined.

Drawing with light! The business is definitely far more than drawing but relating and networking because business depends on human beings and human beings is dependent on relationships. These are one of the keys of business I learnt from this academy. I would also confess slightly that giving me the privilege of liaising with the facilitators at NiPHEC 2015; thanks to Mr. Seun, it changes my perception as regards relationship. It can never be bought at a price. It was initially a challenge; to communicate with the big wigs in this industry! I thought it shouldn’t be me. Eventually, it was a good platform for me, though with few itches.

Looking ahead to fulfilling a career being a Diplomat with the tool of photography, and with an edge of starting on a right foot by learning from a professional, I am convinced that driving through the pathway of achieving my dream will not be clueless. Although, the training ends, it shall be a continuous learning and adding value to people.  This is why Diplomat Photography envisions to be involved in Documentary photography and the vision is “putting smiles on people’s face”.

 

Jide Jokodola

 

Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy.

Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It would be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness.

Twitter: @elophotos @eloacademy

Instagram: @elohotos.studios @elophotosacademy

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THIRTY AND SEVEN YEARS: Oluwaseun


hdb facebook creative [1024x768]It was October 31st

Many years back

The whines of the new baby filled the room

He brought joy that hearts could not resist

And songs of gratefulness on the lips of all

The Akinola-Akisanmi-heir had finally arrived

Oluwaseun!

“Omo oko ni”

The true son of his father

With traits passed on; the world couldn’t deny,

That another Akisanmi had just landed the earth

Proof that blood is thicker than water

He grew;

Wise and brilliant, resilient and ambitious

Like Joseph, full of dreams waiting to be birthed

and like Jesus, with purpose paramount on his heart.

He had grounds to break,

Heights to climb and impossibilities to dare

And these things, he had resolved to do

When the burdens, responsibilities and trials hit hard,

And no succour was in sight,

Then the Light came,

And they walked it all through.

PS: they still walk that path through

His youth, full of experiences

His busy fingers never failed to pour

His journal; daily encounters still receive

Some revealed, many stuck in pages

“It’s not just possible”

How his ears so detest to hear the words

Because the entirety of his living

Has defied the impossibilities

Role model, teacher, mentor and father

Just one left; loving husband

The sands of time have received a man; yet great

The previous years, I must say have been;

Years of building scars,

And raising a star,

Fighting battles,

Winning some; losing some

Your humility, resilience and integrity

These things amaze me

Your pursuit of excellence

They’ve not been fruitless

Your writing, words and actions,

Blessings indeed they have been

In all these thirty and seven years

One thing I must say

Oluwaseun

#HBDMrSeun

Boluwatife AKINDELE

*omo oko means one’s legitimate child

*Oluwaseun: All thanks be to God

3 Lessons from the night shoot


It all started when I and a fellow colleague decided to try out some stuff during the night at the office. Thursday soon came and we had discussed earnestly on how we wanted to put so many things to practice and work on during the night. It didn’t take quite long before the day ended and everyone else departed from the office. We had dinner and then started some work. We started with shooting some videos inside the studio till we concluded on the concept we wanted to get outside. In no time, we got our equipments ready and moved into the dark to shoot. He modelled for me while I was behind the camera. As we began to shoot into the night, my mind began to notice somethings around. I looked away in order to focus on the shoot but was till determined to get something out of them. The moment the shoot ended, I pleaded with my colleague to give me a few minutes as I decided to translate those moments into what I had in mind. Those things I saw earlier were lights; lights from the different bulbs in the surrounding. I immediately knew what those lights could translate into so I set my camera and I began to shoot. I had always seen bokeh pictures severally on the internet but had never had the opportunity to produce anyone myself. I leveraged on the opportunity I had then and began to make those dream pictures of mine. After I took a couple of pictures, we retired into the studio, copied the pictures to my system and then retired to sleep as it was going early into the next morning at that time. I decided I was going to work on the pictures the next morning because I was feeling so sleepy already.

I honestly felt like I hadn’t slept enough when my alarm rang at around 4: 00am which made me put it off and continue my sleep. I can bet that virtually everyone has had that sleepy experience before. Later on, I woke up and prepared for the day which had eventually come. Fast forward to when I began the editing of those pictures. It was at that time some stuff began to dawn on me. I was beginning to see so many things that I had not noticed at all during the shoot. I would be sharing just 5 lessons from the shoot.

  1. LIGHT IS ALWAYS NOTICED!

Whether the light is as small as that coming from a nokia torch or as wide as that of a car’s headlamp, one thing I noticed was that, the light was always noticed. I feel that many times we get too carried away by the quest to be popular and famous that we forget to shine our light. Impact is a form of light and should be the goal of each and every one of us. Hence, we not only impact, we can get the fame and popularity that is embedded in being lights. I think I’d rather chase impact and get both impact and popularity than chase popularity and end up frustrated. There’s no how you chase impact and you wouldn’t be famous/ popular. This just makes me remember a part of the bible; Matthew 5:14 – 16 that says

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick: and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

  1. LIGHT ELIMINATES DARKNESS

However or whenever a form of light is introduced, it eliminates whichever form of darkness that it in the surroundings. Darkness flees whenever light is introduced. I began to think that the reason why some things could seem dark or misunderstood to me was because light had not been shone on that sphere.

  1. LIGHT HAS A SPHERE OF INFLUENCE

Even the sun does not light up the whole world at the same time. It works on some parts and then, when the earth revolves, the other parts of the earth are lit. Be it in business, art, education, entertainment, there is a sphere of influence that each of us occupies where we can always shine as lights. We obviously cannot shine everywhere but we all have been placed in strategic positions where we can shine and reflect the glory of God.

The lessons to learn from the night shoot are too numerous to write in one article. I have learnt quite a good number of things and I hope you have too

I am Boluwatife Akindele and I am a photographer.

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.
Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It would be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness.
Twitter: @elophotos @eloacademy
Instagram: @elohotos.studios @elophotosacademy
Facebook: Elophotos Studios

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

Fear!


In life, there are so many things to fear as humans. Sometimes fear of failing, fear of losing, fear of the unknown and probably, fear of uncertainty.  There is nothing wrong in being afraid, but it becomes a problem when you are unable to overcome your fears. 
Know this; every human being is a born champion. It however depends on how much u can confront your fears and how best u can maximize your potentials. Nothing is wrong in being afraid because you are a champion and you will always remain one. When you fail and fall, you don’t have to sit in it, get up because you still got more left in you to last you another trial. That you failed does not mean you should settle in pain or in agony… All you have to know is that there is something in you that needs to be let out. If you really think you are a champion, then you don’t have to retire, because champions don’t quit instead they keep giving whatever has brought them down a trial till they become champion of champions.
You are what you think you are and you will always be what you think you will be, when you fail, it does not mean you are a failure instead it only tells you your best is not enough, so you need to put in your best. No matter what, always be a goal getter, because it takes time to be a winner. Always put this in mind that you have failed doesn’t matter, but what matters most is failing to rise again to achieve your aim. In your struggle in life towards achieving your aim, even as a born champion, you need to believe in yourself, trust your ability, dream your goals, live your goals, fulfil your goals and failure becomes your greatest impossibility. Remember the key to overcoming your biggest fears is to look it in the eye and confront it. Don’t be scared of letting go my friend, let the pains go away so that all your dreams would be a reality… It takes leaving your hurt or pain to realize that you lost something and you need to let go and forge ahead.
Most people find it difficult to realize what they have lost because they still live in the pain of the past. It takes leaving your pain to forge ahead with life.  Therefore, if you are still living in your pain, then you can’t leave your pain and so u are tied to the strings of whatever brings u pain and moving forward seems so bleak and rather impossible..

My name is Emmanuel Obaloluwa Omole and I am a photographer

Please play your part


Who says the only thing we do at Elophotos academy is work, work and work? Of course not! If it were, we would all be dull by now because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. One of those ways we chill off is seeing movies and not just for the fun of it but also for the learning part of it.
Last week was movie time again and we all agreed to watch the new movie Dry; written, produced and directed by Stephanie Linus. Yeah, like you too am not a fan of those crappy Nollywood films, but I must let you know producers like Stephanie, Kunle Afolayan and a couple of others are changing the game and I think we need to encourage and support our own. For someone like me who is not a fan of Hollywood’s film tricks, animation and high end video effects; whenever I have the opportunity of seeing good stuff from Nigeria I grab it. I believe movies are (and should be used as) a tool for social change. Films are to entertain, educate, correct and shape the mind of the populace in the right frame.
With veteran actors and actresses like Liz Benson, Olu Jacobs, Hauwa Maina, Rekiya Attan, Hakeem Hassan, Tijani Faraga, Raham Hassan and an hilarious comic role played by ‘klint the drunk’, DRY addressed and brought to the surface various issues daring us to the face as a nation which we swept under the carpet as if nothing is wrong. It beckons on the government to wake up from this sleep of corruption to its responsibilities, to equip our primary health centres, and save our teenage girls from early marriage. The movie also challenged some mundane cultural beliefs passed across to us and upheld by some due to selfish motives and ignorance.
After watching the movie, I suddenly realized how urgent it is to start playing our parts in making sure that our country changes. My eyes were widely opened to the fact that delaying a little longer could cost a life; and maybe a life of someone very close which might cause a lifetime pain knowing that it was a death you could have averted.
Stephanie has done well to play her own part through her film, what is yours? Please start playing it because I might be the next victim to need it.

Toye Peters

Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy.
Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It would be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness.
Twitter: @elophotos @eloacademy
Instagram: @elohotos.studios @elophotosacademy
Facebook: Elophotos Studios

The Master Plan


Prior to this week, I learnt that the only way to maximize my time at elophotos is to have a well set up “growth plan” for myself.  We do a lot of things at Elophotos in a week; the work load and activities we involve ourselves in can be too enormous for our minds to focus. Sometimes, these activities are assigned without daily written guide lines to keep us in check and we seem to lose courage and sight of what we have come to do along the way. Though a lot of things we do at elophotos from lectures to shooting to events and to editing are to help us learn and achieve that which we have come to do at elophotos, but I noticed I /we easily lose sight of it when we don’t have a well written plan which includes our daily objectives. Many times, we just try to get ourselves to do a bit of shooting, just to make sure we fix ourselves with something doing, achieve a task for the day and carry out activities without prior planning. We do this a lot of times to make sure we achieve something in a day and maybe also to have something to write in the report at the end of the week and this isn’t good enough for me. No planning, No goals. So I decided to this in a different and a better way this time.
Since it is no more news that every single minute counts for me at elophotos now, I decided to develop a growth plan for myself that will accommodate my activities at elophotos and my daily objectives. The growth plan was designed in a way that even with my classes, running of errands, going to Strait gate (A school we had to do a job for) , attending events, there are some things that are not a thing of choice for me anymore, I must achieve them before the day runs out. A good example is that I must read a book before the day runs out. Even if I have a tough and longest of day, I must read a book (at least a chapter) before going to bed. The daily reading of books falls under my daily objectives category. I started practicing “my daily objective routine” on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, My Objectives were;
-Start Mrs. Amosun’s editing Job
-Take a shot of sun rise
-Read a book
-Take a shoot
-Call TLS (my brother that clocked 40 years of age over the weekend) to negotiate my terms and condition of me coming to take his birthday shoot at Ibadan. I was able to achieve 3 out 5 of the objectives despite the fact that I had a long day. The ones I missed out on where my priorities on my daily routine list on Wednesday coupled with some other things.
One thing I will be adding to my growth plan next week starting from Monday 24th of August 24, 2015 is to set “my weekly goal” and my daily growth plan will be aiming to achieve my weekly goal.
One challenge I still face in photography which still occur at my several shoots over the weekend is making beautiful image at low lighted event. That will be my goal this week.
Weekly Goal: Making beautiful images in a low lighted location and I hope before the end of the week, low lighted event photography struggle will be a thing of the past.
Thanks for taking time to read my report.
Tunde Talabi

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.

Pointing fingers


One of the easiest things to do is pointing. You will agree with me that pointing at anything, whatsoever it is, is so easy that it almost require little or no muscles. Ladies find it so cool to do when taken on a “don’t worry about the bill” kind of shopping. For guys, pointing fingers is mostly in a game of hunting; that moment when some exact choices need to be made. Whether in the pepper soup joint, at the point and kill spot, at the suya spot, or where there is a handful of ‘chicks’ (if you know what I mean). It’s just part our everyday life. 
In the last two weeks, myself and my class of about nine students had been engrossed in this fun filled activity of finger pointing. Ok, stop! Before you start fantasizing about us going on a shopping spree (though I can be generous) I am not Dangote’s son. All we did was pointing fingers at each other’s’ work.
Let me at this point clarify pointing fingers or finger pointing in the context of this writing. It’s simply criticism.  It’s been two weeks I had been teaching on creative writing in photography, and I had given them several assignments from putting themselves into a particular picture and write from that perspective to writing from the photographers’ perspective. Each student came back with his/her side of the story and I must admit they have been creative. They took turns to present their story and we (myself and other students) give our criticisms. It’s quite easy to point fingers you know.
As I carefully gave my criticism (largely constructive), I couldn’t but reckon with the fact that it was a challenging moment for me. I was challenged about how creative some of them came across, and sometimes wondered if I could have been that creative if I was to do the assignment myself. This is a hard truth many will fail to admit when pointing fingers at others especially their subordinates but if we put this into consideration maybe we wouldn’t always be that harsh in our criticisms.  
And to those who enjoys the destructive kind of criticism, well, all I have to tell you is; when you point one finger at someone four fingers is pointing back at you.
Selah!
Toye Peters

Learning from the pros’


My journey to eloPhotos academy began on 16th of June 2015 from NiPHEC and since then, sincerely my life has never been the same. Starting with a change in my location, wake up time, dressing, the amount of money I spend, my spiritual life and even in my relationship with people. Yes, I want to be a photographer but I never thought about all these. They are changes I didn’t bargain for, yet I’m so thankful. How could I have believed that I’ll be living in my sister’s house and feel as comfortable as home or wake up daily at 5am without sleeping my life out in the day? (although I did that a lot when I first got here) a lot has changed really; I don’t iron my clothes, I don’t even buy clothes that MUST be ironed before use unless I have no choice and never have I ever done that for anyone. On Monday, Miss Kike asked an intern to help iron out two clothes which she wanted to use for a backdrop, he did one and forgot to do the other, so she needed someone to do the rest which I willingly did. It was at that moment that it occurred to me that I was ironing for someone without a grudge. While I thought of it, I just concluded it was my anticipation towards the shoot it’s going to be used for but no, it’s all about the changes.
There was a one year cake smash shoot on that day and while we got the studio ready the baby’s parents got her dressed and in a bit, we were all set for the shoot. The baby walked into the studio dressed in a busy bee attire with little wings and an antenna on her head just like a bee. She actually looked more active than a one year old but she just wouldn’t smash her cake. I guess she was afraid of it. Her mum tried to get her to smash it but all she did was touch it once. Her mum and everyone else in the studio sang every nursery rhymes they knew. It was a colourful shoot and the pictures came out amazing.
During the week, Mr. Seun called us together and taught us how to get a silhouette and afterwards gave an assignment which everyone of us but Lemuel didn’t do and he was rewarded with a movie ticket. Nikon organised a programme “I AM ALIVE” where top photographers in the likes of South Africa’s Steven Segal, Kelechi Amadi Obi, Novo Isioro, Uche James Iroha, Emeka Okereke (Invisible borders) and Nikon representatives spoke and taught at length. It was big gathering of photographers, for sure I’ve been at the venue before but the feeling of déjà vu was overwhelming in the sense that it was organised just like NiPHEC. I met most people who also attended NiPHEC, it was a nice gathering for the event was an open call to photographers in Nigeria to send in their images from Nikon chose the best 30, Out of the 30 photographers shortlisted; one who sent in a very nice baby image never knew he was shortlisted; I felt bad for him though. There was also a lucky deep for ten out of the first hundred people at the event,  along with everything I received at event was also cold and catarrh. 
This week was really a blessed one indeed as I can’t forget to mention that my motivation came back on as I was reminded that I could practice with eloPhotos cameras.

Francisca Pius

THE PHOTOGRAPHY DRIVE


The horrible noise of the alarm my chinko phone woke me up at exactly 5 AM on Monday morning, as I jumped off my bed to prepare for the new week. In less than 30 minutes I was ready and that means, am headed for eloPhotos Academy where am being groomed into becoming a world class photographer. Walking close to the bustop, I could hear the voices of the different bus conductors screaming at the top of their voices, “iyanoworo oshodi enter with your hundred naira change, I no want shout this early morning ooo”.  In no time, the bus moved and as I would usually do on Mondays, I started building expectations and things I wanted to achieve in the new week, and set up action plans in executing them.
8 AM on Mondays at ELOPHOTOS ACADEMY, is that time where we commune with our creator. When I say our creator you would easily know am talking about God,  yea am actually referring to him as creator because he made us creative and we assemble ourselves to thank and praise him for the gift of live and creativity.
10 AM and it was lecture time. The topic we discusses that day was POINT OF VIEW. There are mainly three types of point of view.
Before I name these three let me define POINT OF VIEW, this refers to the angle of which an image is captured from which comprises,
1. BIRD VIEW
2. EYE VIEW
3. LOW ANGLE SHOT.
The week continued to be a fun filled one learning. The high note of the week for me, started on Thursday when we were on an excursion to the PHOTO GARAGE. It was a beauty to behold at the garage, an average man would say nothing meaningful is being discussed in a garage, I bet you to it not in a PHOTO GARAGE with the conductor UCHE JAMES IROHA conducting the passengers. A lot was discussed at the garage on Thursday; issues of upcoming photographers, sharing from life experiences, introduction of passengers in the garage, refreshments and taking of pictures with the conductor UCHE JAMES IROHA.
In his closing words he said somethings that pricked me in the heart to concentrate and focus with stern attention to the gospel of photography of which am an ambassador. He said, work hard, and you will succeed because this is the hour, projected for darkness to operate, you either choose to make it fast or make it slowly or even die a failure! I became cold on hearing this words, I wondered is he (UCHE JAME IROHA) a prophet? Out of curiosity, I asked what can I do to achieve fast in this dark hour? He replied with three words of inspiration                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. MONEY IS A GRADUATION OF SWEAT                                                                                                                                                                                       2. IF YOU GET AN INSPIRATION DO IT IMMEDIATELY                                                                                                                                               3. FAITH DON’T DENY REALITY, WE ONLY PUT OUR FAITH TO REALITY.
He also shared with us 6 steps of creating a photograph.
1.look with your eyes and examine the subject.
2.see what you want to shoot.
3.observe the subject you want to shoot.
4.study the environment.
5.confirm that what you see make sense.
6.SHOOT
IT WAS WONDERFUL BEEN AT THE PHOTO GARAGE; THANKS TO UCHE JAMES IROHA FOR HAVING US AND OUR HIGHLY ESTEEMED DIRECTOR, MR SEUN AKISANMI.

King Lemuel

A bucket or a pipeline


What’s the wisest thing to do to make sure you never run out of water in your house?

Will you haul buckets as you need water, or have a pipeline system that connects your house to the water source?

This simple analogy, if well thought about, is enough for us to comprehend the basics of personal finance. Money they say doesn’t come with a user manual. In the modern world, almost everything rests on money. It is the most-spoken language of exchange and transaction. More than this, money is the wlanguage of comfort and luxury that man craves for. Thinking of water as money, who will have more between the one who has to go out to get a fixed pay every time? Or the one has built a system (a business, investment, e.t.c.). A question we can also ask here is;

Where is money?

Or should I say, where does money reside?
In the Bank?

Maybe, but not totally.

Money actually resides with people. The more people we can meet their wants or needs, the more
money we have. Getting the water into your house using a pipeline system is no joke; it requires hard work, a lot of time, and patience. Unlike, hauling buckets to the stream, when you can just take some kegs or buckets and you have water for some time before fetching another. So is money, building a business or investment is no child’s play, it requires more hard work than to be fixedly paid 12 times a year. The day you are not fetching is the day you are not taking your bath. So the times you don’t work, are times you don’t have money.

Hauling buckets or building a pipeline is a story I first read in one of Robert Kiyosaki’s book; Cashflow Quadrant. It’s a story of a village in need of easily accessible water. So they sought for people who will help supply water to the village. Of the bids received, Eden and Hazard were awarded the contract individually, to make supply. (I use Eden and Hazard to replace the original names used in the story, which I can’t remember presently).

Eden quickly hit the ground running. He started supply immediately. He bought buckets and would go to the river to fetch water into the village. He worked hard every day to meet demands, and was making a lot of money. He would wake up very early to make water available for morning needs and would also fetch in the evening when people would have returned from work, and would need water for domestic chores. Business was booming for Eden. Soon, he bought more buckets, and employed workers. He enjoyed the market alone, because Hazard was yet to start business. Although, Eden couldn’t meet daily demand totally.

Hazard was nowhere to be found. The chiefs and the villagers were worried. They had deliberately awarded the contracts to both of them, so they could enjoy maximum water supply and good pricing as a result of the competition. The village was getting worried with Eden’s monopoly.

For 6 months, Hazards was yet to start supply. Hazard had been an example of the popular quote that if given 6 hours to cut a tree, 4hours should be used to sharpen the sword. Immediately after being awarded the contract, Hazard knew what he wanted to do, and the kind of business model he wanted to run. He knew people would not only need water in the morning and evening alone but every time. He also knew they wanted clean, quality and affordable one. More so, that water should also be in abundance. He knew hauling buckets won’t get him there. So he contracted a construction company to help build a pipeline from the river to the village.

Hazard had spent the past six months sealing agreements with different partners involved with the projects including Banks, and the only thing left is consent of the village. He explained his idea to the chiefs and it enjoyed a consensus acceptance and approval. Soon, the project began.

It took another 6months before the project was completed. Hazard could then start supplying water, but he started in style. The King commissioned the project, and the first supply was made to the King’s Palace. The water was fresher, cleaner, and cheaper than Eden’s. Moreso, Hazard could supply each household its water demand for a week. Hazard’s water gained a massive market acceptability, and more than that, new business opportunities arrived. The villagers needed containers to store water, since it’s now in abundance. So, Hazard started importing plastic drums to the village, which can contain more water than traditional pots. The neighbouring villages also started demanding for Hazard’s water. This meant Hazard needed expansion.

Eden on the other hand was getting frustrated. He was losing his customers, and workers too. He tried selling at Hazard’s price, but was running at loss. The few sales he made was from people of the neighbouring village, and he knew soon, Hazard’s water would get there.

How much will be okay to cater for your needs, your wants, and that of your family. Does your work have the capability to cater for you for a long period of time, even without necessarily “working”? Understanding the pipeline principle, is key to appreciate that, to always have resources to meet our desires, there must be a pipe that connects the source and our own pockets. Usually, such pipes are businesses and investments.

Whether we haul buckets, or build a pipeline, we’ll all have money, but not in same proportion. The choice is ours to make. To need to work all the time for a fixed pay, or to make some early sacrifices, build a business or an investment portfolio, and sleep as the bank account rises. The choice again is ours, we are the CEOs of our lives.

Sodeeq Akorede.

elophotos october sessionPlan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy.

Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It would be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness.

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Instagram: @elohotos.studios @elophotosacademy

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7 DAYS


It’s just been few days since I began my internship programme at eloPhotos studios and it’s been fun, engaging, strange, lovely, eye opening, stress filled and everything you can think of. I resumed eloPhotos with just a basic idea of Photography and within one week, I can say that there has been a paradigm shift. It’s been quite tasking having to wake up as early as 4:00 am just to be able to do all that needed to be done before leaving home as well as beating the resumption time of 8:00 am. Within one week, I have become a stronger and more enlightened fellow; that I know for sure.

For me, one of my most inspiring moments was having to sit to talk with Mr. Seun or having to work on a project with him. I am always awed at the amount of wisdom he emits. You don’t need any form of meter to measure this, except of course your brain. His resource of knowledge is limitless. Sometimes, I had to steal glances and stare at him for minutes!

Each and every day of the week came with its high points and I can only thirst for more. With the creativity, life lessons and hard work one gets to encounter on an everyday basis, one might just be on his way of joining the wierdos’ club; of which Mr. Seun happens to be the chairman.

Meeting new friends and having to cope with different school of thoughts is really challenging. Different people hold different suggestions about a particular subject which in most cases might differ from how you were taught. My colleagues as well as our tutors have been helpful and encouraging. I had to spend a large part of my time having to write, think and plan. I got to learn that from Zach and Jody Gray at NiPHEC 2015. As much as that can be an excuse to be lazy, I guess I’ve chosen never to be associated with the average. That would require some hard work from my side but I’m ready to do whatever it takes to succeed in this industry – Photography. I’ve learnt to be excellence oriented; to give the best and not my best at every given task whether it is photography related or not (Well, virtually everything we do is photography related).

I also joined the eloPhotos group of those who eat “wanke” I don’t know the English name for that meal but after hearing about it over and over again, I tried my hands on it. Whether or not it was worth it, you’d get to know that in my post specially dedicated to the experience of joining the eloPhotos wanke eaters association.

Come to think of it, if you’re thinking of training at eloPhotos or you’ve made a decision to do so, please do yourself a favour by erasing impossibility from your head, mind and heart. If possible, forget the spelling of the word because it would save you so much stress on a long run because Mr. Seun would always love to tackle you and would always have his way. The last week was full of discovering many SEEMING impossibilities and breaking so many fallow grounds. With series of assignments and brain racking tasks, there was no boring time at all.

“Bingo!” The moment I’ve been waiting for. My high point this week was having to work on a frame. The most creative frame ever seen anywhere in Nigeria. I’d just have to be discrete about what I’m releasing here though but seriously, watch out for it.

So, I’d be sharing 5 life nuggets I learnt this week. Of course, you don’t have to pay for this but if you need premium life counselling and consultancy, you can contact me on 0815….. *Lol. Just joking though. Now back to our 5 life nuggets;

  1. As much as lies in your hands, do all you can do to make it to the top. When I mean all, I mean positive things. Don’t tell me you stole just because you wanted to make it to be rich
  2. Always think like there’s no box and not thinking outside the box like we’ve always heard. Dream as much as you want to achieve. The sky is a starting point.
  3. Be accountable to people. (*grins). Let someone have a track record of you. I quite have an issue with this as I tend to only let my good part out while the not too good remains between me and God. Now, that’s its out, I know I’m working on it.
  4. Effectively manage your time. Don’t let circumstances / situations use your time for you.
  5. Communicate your vision with those who you surround yourself with. When I say those you surround yourself with, I mean those who you want to run with you on that mission.

Now, that I’m through I feel like adding another one but I’m integrity inclined. I said 5, its 5.

Overall, my first week at eloPhotos is one I would tag enlightening. I really can’t wait for the next week to begin.

I am Boluwatife Akindele, and I am the photographer you all have been waiting to see.

Please do feel free to comment and share on your social media platforms

Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy.

Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It would be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness.

Twitter: @elophotos @eloacademy

Instagram: @elohotos.studios @elophotosacademy

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MY INITIATION STORY


At this moment, I can only imagine many of us unconsciously remembering on or more of those stories we were told in the past about someone who got initiated into a cult and/or one of those Nollywood films we had watched in the past that had done quite a lot of damage to our mind-sets over a lot of things.

On a more serious note now, it’s the initiation story or rather, my initiation story! Wanna know how it happened? Let’s go….. I know you’d enjoy this!

FRIDAY, 10TH JULY 1:40 PM

“Ko si isu o. isu ti won” (Meaning – there’s no yam; yam is now expensive)!

That statement broke my heart for a few seconds or more. I had never expected this at all. At that moment, I was at crossroads and needed to make an important decision.

Some minutes earlier, I was at our editing room at eloPhotos; confused, tired, weak and hungry. The weather had not helped matters at all as the rain made me “hungrier” or so I thought! I needed to get something to eat but had little or no amount of money to spend on that. It’s quite funny how fast I have turned into one who is very conscious about how he spends money even though I never studied economics throughout secondary school. Well, when the realization of somethings dawn on you, responsibility shows face. So I concluded then that I was going to get fifty naira yam which of course I had concluded would cater for my hunger needs till I left the office that evening.  Another intern had shared my views and had agreed to do same!

Obviously, I was stuck with this food seller who said she didn’t have yam because yam was expensive in the market and for me, beans wasn’t an option. I was almost thinking I was going to remain hungry throughout the day until…

“Would you rather eat wanke?” Yewande asked.

Yewande is a colleague at eloPhotos; another intern and wanke was one term my ears had grown accustomed to hearing ever since I started the internship programme. What “wanke” meant in English I didn’t know and what it was composed of, I didn’t know likewise! Sluggishly, I answered in the positive. I really didn’t know what I was in for but I felt it would be nice. To confirm my heart rumbles, I asked Yewande again if the meal was sweet. She answered me in the positive and it just did it for me!

If it was sweet and had been eaten every intern at eloPhotos and they were still in love with it, then it’s a go. I added that she should just serve me “wanke” fifty naira. I was a bit shy having to say that but then, it was my money and she wasn’t giving me any extra o! In no time, she was done serving the food and we were fast on our way back to the studio to have a delicious wanke meal! In a few minutes, I was initiated; not to any cult but to the wanke club. All I knew about the wanke meal was that it was made majorly from rice. It was later I got to discover that many of the interns got initiated too after they began the internship at eloPhotos. So, my case wasnt any different. It was quite shocking for some to see that I was eating this generational meal but then I had no option.

Come to think of it, I just remembered I had a balance of fifty naira to collect from this “wanke” woman. Forgoing it wasn’t an option at all. I know I would remember to collect it or maybe use it to buy another plate of wanke. Anyways, that’s my decision to make not yours!

Are you planning to come to eloPhotos, please do not forget to ask where wanke is sold and have your initiation soon!

My name is Boluwatife Akindele, recent initiate into the wanke club and proud Photographer!

When Photographers meet


One of the most common things amongst us as photographers today is our hostility towards each other. When we meet at events regardless of where, when and how, it seems as though it’s so difficult for us to synergize. The hostility sometimes is not even limited to our colleagues, but to other vendors such as the videographers, the caterers, decorators, masters of ceremony, the event planners just to mention a few.

I’ve been hostile too towards some photographers on some occasions in the past; there are also some of my colleagues who have had similar experiences too and we do share our experiences. Deep inside of me, despite our argument for the justification of our attitude, I believe the reverse should be the case. We should rather have good relationships than keep unnecessary malice.

Some of the reasons I’ve observed that cause this rift are;

Photographer trying to monopolize others,

Inferiority complex of some photographers,

Intimidation by gadgets,

Physical struggle and fight, in taking pictures,

Ineffective communication,

Bad manners, and so on.

I was privileged to be part of the eloPhotos team that covered Ibrahim and Shalewa’s traditional and engagement ceremony at Ruby Garden Event Centre Lekki, Lagos. There, I had a different experience
with a colleague photographer whom we met at the groom’s house. I had been in Mr. Ibrahim’s house early, and I’d started shooting his accessories till another man arrived, introducing himself as a Jubril. Some minutes later, he started preparing his gadgets. Alas! He was a photographer, I thought I was going to be the only one.

At first, I felt threatened. But I remembered the teachings of Oluwaseun Akisanmi and Toye Peters. Mr. Seun Akisanmi will always tell us to make friends with both photographers and other vendors at events and truly, the benefits of such relationships outweigh the cost. This is one of the reasons, Seun recommends the book; How to Win Influence Friends and Influence People for every photographer to read. How well we can network with others will go a long way in affecting our business growth.

I started talking to Jubril at intervals, during the shoot, and for most times, he was reluctant to answer, probably, he was avoiding being distracted but I chose to be friendly, no matter what. We
didn’t scramble for shots, and the groom too was very cooperative. He relaxed himself for us to pose him, and switched focus gently between our lenses. After we finished, I asked Jubril if he has a ride, and if
I could go with him to the event venue.

“No problem” he replied. I had just saved myself the burden of public transport, and I also saved myself up to #500. Thinking that the relationship had ended, it hadn’t. I enjoyed another benefit later. There was an after-party when the engagement ceremony ended at around 7pm, and I was asked by the team to stay behind to cover it. Jubril too was there with his colleague, Lanre of LibranEye Photography. I took pictures and I had fun too, watching guys and ladies alternate dance-steps between the songs as played by DJ Sose. Jubril too showed his expertise on the dance-floor, and even gave me his phone, to record his dance.

At Around 10pm, my camera battery was low, and I couldn’t take pictures again. I checked the bag the team had left with me, and I couldn’t find the extra-battery I was told was there so I had to take my
leave.

“Hey Jubril! I’m leaving”.

“Oh! Why?”

“I’m out of battery.”

“Eeyah, okay. We’ll meet some other time.”

“Ehhmmm, Jubril, let me have your number.”

“Okay, 070…………” “Thank you.”

I was approaching Lekki Expressway, opposite the venue, when I heard a voice calling my name. I looked back, and it was Jubril.

“Are you in a hurry?”

“Hmmmmm, not really.”

“Where are you going to?” He asked.
“Agbado Ijaiye”.

“Okay, I’m going to Ile-Epo, and I can drop you at Abule-Egba.”

“Wow, thank you very much.”

“But just wait for me for some minutes, I’ll soon be through.”

We had a few minutes of conversation and there it was! I had just signed a deal with Mr. Jubril.

I was filled with relief inside of me.

A free-ride again to Abule Egba, where I can just take a #50 bus to final destination.

I thought to myself, if I had been hostile towards him in the morning, he
wouldn’t have shown such a kind gesture.

The benefits of making friends with our colleagues may not always come in this form, and may not even be immediate but the long and short term benefits are innumerable. Added to my contacts now are two new photographers, and whenever, we meet again, we are no more strangers

Sodeeq Akorede

What is life?


Life is beautiful but not always easy. It has problems too; and the challenge lies in facing them with courage, letting the beauty of life act like a balm, which makes the pain bearable during trying times, by providing hope. Happiness and sorrow, victory and defeat, day and night are the
two sides of a coin. Similarly, life is full of moments of joy, pleasure, success and comfort punctuated by misery, defeat, failures and problems. There is no human being on earth; strong, powerful, wise or rich, who has not experienced struggle, suffering or failure.

No doubt, life is beautiful and every moment is a celebration of being alive, but one should be always ready to face adversity and challenges. A person who has not encountered difficulties in life can never achieve success. Difficulties test the courage, patience, perseverance and true character of a human being. Adversity and hardships make a person strong and ready to face the challenges of life with equanimity. There is no doubt that there can be no gain without pain. It is only when one toils and sweats it out that success is nourished and sustained. This reminds me of what Uche James Iroha said, “Money is a graduation of sweat”. Thus, life is not and should not be just a bed of roses; (anyways I really need to sleep on that bed of roses though). Thorns are also a part of it and should be accepted by us just as we accept the beautiful side of life. I came to learn many things from last week activities at the highly esteemed eloPhotos Academy, from discussions, classes and task assigned to me. The thorns remind one of how success and happiness can be evasive and thus not to feel disappointed and disheartened rather remember that the pain of thorns is short-lived, and the beauty of life would soon overcome the prick of thorns. This is the joy I have in heart, that as an intern I will be faced with challenges even from fellow students and the world at large but the ability to endure and conquer it is what makes the best in me glow. Those who are under the impression that life is a bed of roses are disillusioned and soon will become victims of depression and frustration.

One who faces difficulties with courage and accepts success without letting it go to its head is the one who experience real happiness, contentment and peace in life. Those who think that good times last forever easily succumb to pressure during difficulties. They do not put in required hard work and efforts because they break down easily. You can take the example of a student, who burns the mid night oil, makes sacrifices and resists temptations so that he can perform well. Similarly, a successful executive has to face the ups and downs of life, not forgetting that life is a mix of success and failure, joy and sorrow, if he loses hope during difficult times, he would not achieve success and would be replaced by others. Even the strongest Kings and Emperors have had their cup of woes. Life has not been a bed of roses for them.

The adage “Uneasy lays the head that wears the crown” has been rightly used for people, who are successful and are enjoying power and authority. To sum up, life is beautiful just as roses but it has challenges which are like thorns and have to be faced and overcome by all. Those who accept these challenges and succeed are the ones, who know how to live life in its true sense. Thus, enjoy life but also be prepared to bear the pricks of pain before getting to the top. One of the most captivating moment of my life last week was the insight I got from a book I read on photography titled THE SECRET OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY.

To end with, I would use the words of my mentor which goes thus, “how much money do you want to make in photography in the next five years?” Some of the answers from my classmates amuses me because when I think to myself

“Does this person have what it takes to rack in this amount of money in the next five years?”

Sad enough, the answer is NO!

So I say this word, NOTHING WORKS ACCORDING TO PLAN IF THERE’S NO PLAN.

I am King Lemuel and I am a photographer.

ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET GO – My first day at school


SUNDAY, 5TH JULY 2015. 9:37 pm

I had just finished a chaper of Don Soderquist’s The Walmart way – The inspiring story of one of the world’s biggest (or biggest if I’m not mistaken) retail store and more than ever I felt so inspired to be a part of the eloPhotos experience (My internship programme) and give whatever it takes to be at the top of my game at school which had been scheduled to kick off the next day!

Still sunk in memories of the book, I began to pen a few things in my jotter which would form the basis of what I planned to achieve during my stay at eloPhotos! As much as I was eagerly passionate about it, I was worried! Well, not until I remembered God’s word for me in 1 Peter 5:7 encouraging me to cast all my cares on Him.

I concluded to myself that I was going to take things as they come and give my best at everything I would lay my hands upon. I tried reading… couldn’t just concentrate as many images and ideas bugged me real hard… The last time I had this experience was probably when I was to resume senior secondary school which was my first boarding school experience. No doubt, the next day was gonna be the beginning of a life changing encounter. I just couldn’t wait for it!

MONDAY, 4TH JULY 2015. 4:20 AM

Waking up very early in the morning wasn’t quite of an issue; having to hand over everything to God simply does the trick for me. With my mind set on the goal – not getting to school late, I did every single thing with respect to time. Don’t ask me why I didn’t want to get to school late. If you’ve done your assignment well, *Lol you’d know by now that Mr. Seun hates late coming with a passion. Sometimes I wonder whether he had once had a terrible experience with late coming. I had waited for this moment all my life and here it was. In no time, I was ready to go to school and for me, I was beginning to “smell” fulfilment even though for me it was still miles away.

Anyone who had seen me going to the park would have thought I was almost late for a flight. All that occupied my mind was the experience that was about to begin.

Fast forward to when I alighted at First gate bus stop (The bus stop just few meters away from eloPhotos). Walking, jogging, running, sincerely I don’t know what I was doing. At that moment, I felt like Paul in Philippians 3:14 “pressing on towards the goal”.

“Akin!!!” (My surname is Akindele, hence the use of Akin as the call in this story) My heart skipped a beat. I would recognize Mr. Seun’s voice even in the deepest of oceans. I had heard that voice over and over again even in my dreams. Come to think of it, I think I had a dream the night before about Mr. Seun. Now I can’t even properly recollect. I took a walk back to meet him and his first daughter (the famous Anuoluwapo). The details of our conversation, I won’t reveal. Now before you think anything, it was just one of the normal teacher – student instructions oh and nothing more!

Monday, 4th JULY 2015. 8:00 am

I heard voices singing and for a second I thought of the angels singing Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord. In a few minutes I knew it was the morning devotion I had read about for so many months now. I joined them in worshipping and it reminded me of the quiet time I had some hours earlier in the day. It’s quite funny how my brain works; how that virtually everything reminds me of something else. I believe I’m weird; quite strange and unusual. I enjoyed every single moment of the worship. It was led by a colleague I later got to know is named Tunde. Then, the moment of truth was here when we had to sit and hear our boss of life (Mr. Seun Akisanmi) talk to us. Just before you think of another thing it reminded me of, just let me continue my story. My mind went places again. As we laughed and laughed, I almost imagined how interesting it would have been for the 12 disciples listening to Jesus sitting in rounds. He wasn’t Jesus but for real, we were and still are his disciples! Over time, I have discovered that I never get bored listening to Mr. Seun. I always love looking into his eyes as he talks. It has formed a great inspiration for me personally. I was almost thinking of just remaining in eloPhotos for a life time. I felt quite strange in the midst of these guys; it was my first time and I was unfamiliar with anyone except of course the one and only Mr. Seun. Mr. Seun had to introduce me to the whole class as the newest intern and I had to join everyone in narrating how the previous week had gone. This for me, helped my accountability life. I now knew that apart from God, there still is someone I need to report myself to every week.

Oh no, don’t tell me I forgot to tell you this, just during the introduction, Mr. Seun dropped the shocker; Anuoluwapo, his first daughter had told him that I looked like a secondary school student! Strange right, well I guess that was a pointer to the fact that I needed to… no. I’d just be myself. I wished I had given her the little gift in my bag though.

After the disciple experience, we had quite a short time to “flex” just before our class began. The class was taken by Mr. Toye Peters and we had a great time, I must confess. I wished this experience would just continue – for us to listen to photography gist on and on and on. Oh…did I tell you I saw the spectacular Miss kike. She was also around for our devotion even though she wasn’t FULLY with us. Every day I get an opportunity to take a close look at her, I’m always awed ‘cuz to me, nothing is special about her o – just small, light complexioned and all but she has such a big brain, big heart and tack sharp images *Lol (I learnt that also from http://www.elophotos.com). Of a truth, as a lady, she inspires me. She makes me just want to go the extra mile in photography. By the way, her full name is Kikelomo Koleosho and the name of her outfit is Red 19 photography (I bet that rings a bell).

So, back to 12b Fagba crescent Agidingbi, (That was just a proverbial way of mentioning eloPhotos studios); I had a real time familiarizing myself with the environment and of course with the interns learning photography. We had a bit of practicing with the camera and all. It’s really funny how time just flies when you’re at eloPhotos especially when you have to talk business with Mr. Seun; you just get inspired all the way. I felt like spending some more time but then, I had to go home.

I was tired, weak and hungry but at the same time joyful, inspired and fired up! My first day at school sorry eloPhotos was an experience to be written in one’s diary. I got home a bit late – You know how traffic can be in Lasgidi nah but I was really happy to have made such a great decision. I couldn’t wait for the next day to come

I am Boluwatife Akindele and more than ever, I’m proud to be a photographer and to be associated with eloPhotos academy!

The Galatians 6:7 Principle


For whoever is a Christian, Gal 6:7 would almost be in your list of well-read scriptures because it has over time, grown into a passage that every Tom, Dick and Harry uses to judge some situations whether they are right or wrong. Galatians 6:7 states that “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

I’ve come to understand that if you sow into the life of your mentor, you definitely would reap bountifully. Well, only on the condition that you sow right but then not sowing and sowing right would definitely attract its own fruits which would be the rewards. Many times, you don’t have to do this directly; it can also be done indirectly. There are a million and one ways to sow into the life of a mentor and I’d be listing a few. Paying a token to learn from such a person can be a form of sowing a seed. Buying him or her things is a way of connecting to not only the mentor but the creator of the mentor. Dedicating special time to understanding their vision and also helping them to achieve this is also a way of sowing a seed. It’s a common saying that when you climb on the shoulders of a mentor, you are able to do things more than them not because you are better but because of the pitfalls you have been able to see ahead and avoid as a result of the platform you’ve been raised on. This is also a way of sowing a seed because you promote them and bring out the greatness in them. Giving or sowing now as the topic implies provides the platform to also roll minds with great people; there are many times you get the opportunity to do a few things not really because you are qualified to do such things but because you’ve been able to adequately leverage on the platform that your sowing into the life of your mentor has provided for you.

When we look around us and we talk about great people, there are things that we will notice/observe about such a person be it their awards, financial splendour and the influence. The God that we serve is so great that it is only a fool that will not associate himself with Him. He will never give right to the left and left to the right

Seeds are hard to sow; it’s quite easy to throw the seeds of an orange away than culture it into being a big tree. It’s easier to just spend that money with you than sow it into the life of a mentor. It’s much easier to pray for yourself than involve the name of someone else in your prayers. Seeds are quite hard to sow but the reward is bountiful; so why not face the pain now and enjoy later. Ignore the pain and sow the seed. Ignore the difficulties and sow the seed.

I am Emmanuel Obanijesu Omole and I am a photographer.

One week; many escapades


Monday was filled with teaching activities.

Tuesday was a day out with photography. We really did not have much to do in school, so I planned to join Kikelomo for her workshop. On my way, I embarked on street photography, I found it really interesting because it wasn’t just shooting without a specific theme. I had a vivid understanding of what I was looking for and mostly went out of the way in achieving the shots. The most daunting part was seeking the approval of the market woman (especially the ones closer or directly opposite the subject) to sit with them so as to get better shots. Added to the archive are three pictures of mad men and beggars with kids on the street while it’s raining. On returning to eloPhotos, I discovered that the workshop couldn’t hold any longer; I then resolved into editing some work stacked in my hard drive. Later in the day, kike and I went for a family shoot as I assisted her in holding the reflector as the need arose, posing the subjects and we brainstormed on appropriate background to use for different attires/outlook. I learnt to be more patient with the subjects especially where children of different temperament are involved. I also learnt to be more of help with the client and even to laugh/smile often with them even at the most silly things. (Tactfully anyways *smiles*). Mrs Ofure, Kike and I had a swell time together till the early hours of the morning. With this, Tuesday was a wrap.

Nothing much happened on Wednesday so I continued with reading a book titled “With this ring” -a Christian novel written by Taiwo Iredele. I have learnt with time of being at eloPhotos that every successful being must allocate quality time to reading.

Thursday came in a blink of an eye. I took a brisk tour to eloPhotos in other to make use of a system overnight to complete my editing as my laptop wasn’t function normally again. Came back on Friday and alongside Akin covered the valedictory service of the outgoing SS3 students. For the very first time, I had issues with the so called ‘Pa-Pa-Pa Photographers’. We endeavoured to do an instant print for the students and at a point we ran out of paper. Realized it’s not quite profitable printing with such paper especially when they are paying next to nothing in comparison.

Dashed to the print lab on Saturday to print the remaining pictures, after which I divulged the book ‘You can negotiate anything’; the almighty recommendation by Mr. Seun. Thought Sunday was meant to be a resting day but not the case this Sunday. I Got home late from church, did heavy laundry which I hadnt done in such a long while.  Not long after did I discover that the sky was beautiful after the heavy down pour, so I took my camera and started shooting beautiful sky – that’s the life of a photographer mehn… We just keep shooting…

On this note I tender my weekly escapades. The two pictures attached were the ones taken with my camera phone during the tour. The second shot depicts the inscription ‘guard your heart with all diligence’.

Charis 5 photography

One long week at eloPhotos


Another adventure as a new intern at the ELOPHOTOS ACADEMY began on Monday 13th, July 2015. As usual, Mondays are always a busy day here in Lagos, nevertheless as I dress up to go work ,there is this big picture in my heart, and the consciousness that  I’m a  new intern at the prestigious ELOPHOTOS ACADEMY, makes  me feel like there’s nothing I can’t achieve. This first just concluded week has been such an adventurous one for me. I arrived ELOPHOTOS ACADEMY at about 7am on
Monday; thoughts of how things were being done at the academy flooded my heart, and thoughts of getting acquainted to my new classmates. Before long, virtually all the students were come together for the morning devotion, it was a once in a life time devotional prayer and praise session, as one of the interns named BOLUWATIFE AKINDELE filled the room with worship, as we all praises to the lord, before TUNDE TALABI; another intern lead us in an Holy Ghost filled prayer session. One would mistake the academy for a prayer meeting this particular Monday.

After benediction, a roster with portions of chores was read out and everyone got busy putting things in other. After we finished the chore assigned to us all, it was time for the business of the day which of course was learning photography. .After the class ended, it was practical time. Myself and a few of my colleagues went shooting images at the road side just to help us attain perfection in the area of photography that our teacher; MR TOYE PETERS had earlier taught us in the class.

As the night drew near, I thought to myself how could I be better at what I do, the answer came the next day when our highly esteemed director; SIR SEUN AKISANMI, called us for a meeting with him. For me, it was not just a meeting but a turning point in my life and my chosen career. He spoke about some basic imperfections, and gave advice to us all. There were many instructions and guidelines he gave
us in his words which sent chills to our spines. One of such questions which struck me was when he asked, “WHAT QUALITY IN YOU WILL MAKE A CLIENT HIRE YOU ABOVE ANOTHER PHOTOGRAPHER?”

The room was filled with dead faces and minds trying to fathom what answer to give to this question. The answers from other interns weren’t really convincing to me as I couldn’t think of what would make a client hire me above another photographer. As the meeting was coming to an end he gave us an assignment to take 10 different head shots of people in our vicinity. After thinking of where to get 10 headshots, an idea of going to the mall at Alausa Ikeja came and I was happy that some of my colleagues liked the idea, followed me and it was a great time at the mall. Talking to people I’ve never met to allow me
take a head shot of them proved to be herculean task, but we got a few nice shots and went back to the academy.

In less than a week, I’m now used to everyone at the eloPhotos Academy. Thursday was a very busy day for everyone at the academy as some were busy completing the frames that were to be used at a 70th birthday of a client, the preceding day which was a Friday, some were charging batteries to be used, others running errands so as to make the Fridays event on point, if I end without expressing my gratitude to an exceptional intern whose character towards me was nice, then I’m just like that basket that can’t hold
water, it was past the hour of 4 when YEWANDE an intern  came to me and said,

“I noticed that since you came to this academy, have not seen you eating before, are you fasting?”

I reluctantly smiled and replied I wasn’t fasting but I might have been overwhelmed by the purpose for which I was here than watching over what to eat. She left and when she returned few minutes later, and she asked me to accompany her to get food, only to find out she was actually buying the food for me. I was left humbled by her kind heartedness and I want her to know I sincerely appreciated the food. Friday came and it was the anticipated birthday of our client. I was be privileged to be a backup photographer at the event which started at the church before we moved down to the reception at the Muson centre Onikan, for the reception of the ceremony. It was a big birthday party as many dignitaries were present, too much to mention after taking shots over shots the birthday came to an end we headed back to the academy. It was a wonderful outing for me and I knew it was the same for my colleagues too. I
really want to say a big thank you to SIR SEUN AKISANMI; CERTIFIED OLUYA for giving me the opportunity to be a part of what I love to do best; freezing time through photographs …..

I am King Lemuel and I am a photographer.

A day in my life in 2020: Jide Jokodola


What a great day, I shouted from my bed around 6:30am in room 202 of the world’s only 7 star hotel; Burj Al Arab, Dubai United Arab Emirate. I wonder how all my nights on earth could have been if I have to the opportunity to sleep in this luxurious apartment. May be that was why I woke up late…smiles. I am so excited and I see it as a great privilege not to only lodge here, but to meet and network with the who’s who of the world. It’s Friday 6th March 2020, I thank God for bringing me thus far, and all in my mind is my presentation today at the Gulf Photo Plus Conference for the next two days. I am also eager to meet my mentor; Mr Seun Akisanmi, who is a Guest Speaker and would be speaking on “The Business of Photography”

As I prayed, my phone rings; picking my phone during prayers isn’t an option so I waited patiently till my prayers ended only to check after to see that my wife was the caller! Apparently, she thought I had forgotten my duty of calling her every morning – I never can! The view from this magnificent building overwhelmed me that I forgot to call her early. Although, she does not like it when I travel for long especially for my documentary projects, she supports and loves my works. I quickly pick my phone to call her back; with great enthusiasm, she calls me by my pet name and I smile, calling hers too.

My wife reports about how our twins passed excellently in their last examination and I cannot but congratulate her for her motherly supervision. My project tour has taken me away from home for 2 months now. In fact, she describes how proud she was when Taiwo won the award category of the Overall Best student in Science and Kenny; the Most Creative Art student in their school’s annual award day. It gladdened me to hear that. Without hesitation, I told her about the referral I got. It was the portrait I took Magaret Chan, the former Director General of the World Health Organization at the World Economic Forum annual meeting some years back that attracted and made their Executive Board to invite to cover this 2020 annual meeting. It took quite a while for my wife to remember the experience I had during the shoot because she knows I have quite a huge portfolio of dignitaries.

Interestingly, I had a research on the nature and weather of the whole continent of Asia that had to be submitted to the National Geographic Magazine by the end of April. Although, I had traveled to about seven countries in Asia sometimes last year, I could not continue because of the cold temperature at the mountainous far North of Burma, South East Asia that really affected my health. Therefore, I had to finish up my conference here and quickly travel to Cambodia and Cyprus, which I didn’t forget to tell my wife. I had also been granted by the Prime Minister of Lebanon to take the pictures of the hills and people they want to put in their new 500 Lebanese pound currency, marking their 77th year of Independence from France.

I had been so engrossed in talking to my wife till I noticed the time was 8:14 am. Wow! I had to end the call in the midst of the conversation in order to prepare for my presentation which was scheduled for 11:00am. It was time to check my mail. I get loads and loads of mails on a minute basis that it gives me quite an ache having to check these mails one to another. The moment I opened the mail, my attention was drawn to a particular mail. I had received a mail by the largest photography and imaging show; PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo in North America, if not the world. I’ve been asked to be one of the Keynote Speakers in that year’s October conference. Apparently, they’ve would have seen my works on Al Jazeera recently about “The Beautiful Drug Addict”, the documentary about the Columbian women. I took the portraits of teenagers and women into drugs and their involvement in drugs and crime, in the view to attract humanitarian intervention.

Consequently, another mail that got my attention was the one from the World Health Organization which was inviting me to become one of their Ambassadors in Africa. Wow! This to me was a great opportunity indeed. In fact, this to me is a dream come true; to be a Diplomat of internationally recognized organization. Actually, this may have been as a result of the documentary I did in the remote areas of Ogun state, Nigeria and Mindanao village in Mozambique about “Combating Child Hunger” in 2007.

At 10:30am, dressed up and ready for the D-day and at my door step is one of the organizers of GPP, Dubai conference. Opening the door, I found out that there are also about four protocols to guard me through the elevator. I never know I am this so influential in Dubai too. Sir, we have a limousine ready for you downstairs and it’s going to be a 5 minutes drive to the event centre, the organizer said. 5-minutes limousine drive! In my mind, I thought this would have been an over-pampering technique for not paying my Speech fee. Arriving at centre, seeing the welcoming team gives me another perspective about my life. This is an ovation I never received in my entirely life thus far. My presence attracting the press around the world, with flash lights on me here and there, I stepped to the red carpet for a couple of interviews. I try to imagine the numbers of cameras with burst mode towards me. Looking ahead to seeing my most humble mentor, Mr. Seun Akisanmi, with his customized designer jacket coming down from his BMW 9 Series, I marveled at such the huge crowd that rushed at him despite the Guards, Police Officers and Security Experts around him. I quickly rounded up my interview to meet him. Very elated meeting me as a Guest Speaker too, he cracked a joke and we laughed together as we walked inside together.

The peak of it all was that the award category as “The Photographer of the Year”. As the nominees were called, I panic and as eventually my name was called, I stood up in enthusiasm to receive my award. After the whole event, I was taken back to my luxurious room. I stood at the mirror to magnify my creator for such a great privilege of this achievement. Thanks to the people that helped me thus far; Pastor Sam Adeyemi, Pastor Bola Odutola, Rev’d Folajimi Sadiq, Mr. Seun Akisanmi, my family and most beautiful wife.

YES!! THAT’S THE KIND OF PHOTOGRAPHY I’M TALKING ABOUT


I reminisced over the past 9 months of my journey in photography, and I can’t but marvel at the level of progress I’ve made, and give thanks to God for His Mercy.
Between September and March, what I knew about photography and was doing, for me was very unsatisfactory. I had a lot of curiosities in me, many questions yearning for answers, and aspirations begging to be fulfilled. I remember a day I suggested to my former boss, Mr. Paul, that we do a documentary project for “Alakuko” – a town in Lagos; that we take pictures of major places in the area, and compile them together. He rightly agreed to my suggestion, that it is possible but also gave me reasons why it won’t be possible. The reasons were that we need better cameras and zoom lenses; we only had Nikon D40 cameras and 55mm lenses, we will be molested and so on. But the real reason I think is that he does not understand how such an endeavor will fetch him money and increase his artistry.
I also remember a day, he came back from a print lab called 5d in Ikeja – it was from him I first knew 5d and Fotoart print labs, he patronizes them for his photobook prints – and he said to me “Sodeeq, photography has gone far o, just imagine someone, going to the forests, taking pictures of trees, and selling them to foreign clients”. I was as amazed as he was. Photography? That’s cool then, that’s the kind of unusual things I’ll like to do, but I had no clue how it can be achieved. My dilemma then, made me appreciated more the nature-nurture theory in the psychology of education. The theory opines that human behavior is influenced by what has been deposited in him from birth (nature) and how his environment develop those traits (nurture). The theory is of the belief, that all knowledge has been in existence in the heart of a child, and it is the environment – teachers, parents, peers, social beliefs and values – around him that will ultimately determine if such knowledge will occupy his conscious mind.
In relation to me, what was in my heart then, and the reality around me, was at variance. I usually have flashes of thoughts of top photographers, great photography projects, and a better understanding of what photography really should be. But the environment couldn’t nurture my thoughts. It lacked the ingredients to bring to full consciousness those inner desires. I remember one of Sam Adeyemi’s teachings. Sam said, if you really will go far, what you have in the inside of you, should be bigger than what you have on the outside of you. For instance, if your current apartment is 3-bedroom flat in Ojodu, Lagos, your ‘inside’ should already be thinking of owning bigger properties in Dubai, Los Angeles, Abuja, and the likes. He revealed that anything that happens is only a physical manifestation of what has already existed in the realm of thoughts. He further revealed that, whatever he has achieved today, or the level he has attained, he has been there long before now, in the realm of thoughts, and it’ll be so injurious to him, if what currently exists in his thoughts, is not far beyond his current realities. Between the months of March and June, I’ve been privileged to be part of one of the best photography schools in Nigeria, eloPhotos academy, and the experience for me, is like that of a football player who after scoring a goal, says “I saw that goal” or a photographer that says “I saw that shot”. The experience has been “yes, that’s the king of photography I’m talking about”.
At eloPhotos academy, I’ve learnt a lot about the business of photography. It’s actually beyond pressing the shutter – a fact many photographers have not come to terms with. Photographers like Seun Akisanmi, Leke Adenuga, have proved this, and we shouldn’t be surprised, if these people, will be getting more financial rewards years to come, for their brilliant efforts, than the always-pressing-the shutter photographers, who have not understood the big business in photography. I must explore this medium to appreciate the management of eloPhotos academy especially Seun Akisanmi for being such a blessing to me and many upcoming photographers. Last year, I only had thoughts and hope, I never knew I would get here soon. I never knew Uche James Iroha can just be inches away, that I can always gist with Kikelomo Koleosho of red19 photography, or be in a NIPHEC planning meeting, I just believed anyway, that good things will come my way. I truly did not see whole proverbial staircase, I just took the first step, uncertain of what the future holds. And the day the step was taken was in March, when I didn’t tell Mr. Paul I wouldn’t come to work, and I didn’t tell my parents too. I just left home like I was going to work but instead visited elo photos academy to answer my curiosities, and all the way, I can proudly say, “yes, this is the kind of photography I’m talking about”.
I am Akorede Sodeeq and I am a photographer!

COURAGE UNDER FIRE


“Courage under fire”, hmm you might be wondering what a title.

Let me ask you a question please!

Q:  You are a photojournalist covering a riot for a top notch newspaper. Your pictures are to tell the story of what transpired at your location of assignment; suddenly one of your colleagues is attacked. What will you do?

  • Help your colleague
  • Continue capturing images with you camera
  • Take to your heels

What will you do?

Meet Mr. Femi Akintobi, legendary photographer, veteran and award winning Nigerian photographer. He being in the above situation continued shooting, capturing those once in while stages of humans degradation back to his base tendencies. He not only captured the riot scenes, but also images of his colleague who was being handled roughly and injured by the rioters. This act of bravery; for it was bravery indeed, resulted in him being given an award for bravery by the management of the Punch then.

I first met Mr. Akintobi a few months back when I was delegated by my boss to give him a portrait session. It can be defined as that moment when an amateur meets a veteran, better still when “old” meets “new”. This was my first be-prepared-always-elophotos-baptism of fire. But to the glory of God, the result was in flying colors. This week’s “eloPhotos-baptism of fire”, came when I was told that I would be giving him a video interview. In eloPhotos you take the bull by the horn; I was giving a brief tutorial on video recording with a Dslr and I went off. The result was really more than I had imagined.

“A picture they say is worth more than a thousand words”, this is very true. In the course of going through many photographs taken by this veteran photographer, all I needed to do was take a photograph and ask him a simple question, ‘what happened here’ and he would recall decades in a split second and give a vivid detail of what happened. I was amazed when he linked photographs together at the same time telling the story behind each one and in the end giving you the entire story the photographs are telling.

The sad part of the interview was when I got to know that the day he had portrait shoot , while the shoot was going on his beloved wife passed on to glory. A place where we will all one day mark a register and give account of what we did with our time. Come to think of it supposing when we stand before the ALMIGHTY ready to give account of our life, what if our entire life is summed up into photographs and you’re giving the photographs one at a time with a simple question asked “what happened here”. Before the LORD of all the heavens and the earth in whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning, my fellow photog’s

Q: what will you do?

 

I am Oluwabusayo Alabi and I am a photographer!

Attached below are pictures of images I shot last week titled Project 40 – lizards.project 40 lizards busayo

Ojo James’ day in 2025


14th August 2025

“Yaaaawwwnnn.” I deserve a rest, don’t I?

My body had to let out the fatigue that had built-up within her. The yawn was a testimony to the fact that my body needed a break from all the activities it had been through that day. I took a lazy look up at the wall clock in my hotel room and I realized my thoughts have actually not been in “today” but in “yesterday”. The time on the clock read 01:27 hours and I began to wonder what time I returned to my room. I picked up my diary to pen down the events of today, I meant of yesterday and as I wondered where it all started from, everything came right back…

My day had started quite early as usual at 04:15 hours of the 13th August. The alarm had sung her usual melody for me as I dragged myself out of bed into the bathroom to wash my face. I returned to my study table to have a look at my files and get them ordered in readiness for the day. I would be speaking at a conference organized by the Ministry of Environment of our dear country on a topic titled “Industrialization; its Impact on our Environment and the Restoration Process.” I had been invited based on my documentations that I had put together, in motion and in still photographs, which the government had come across.

“How did I get here?” I asked myself. As I recollected and reconnected events, I permitted myself to enjoy the golden moments of the past that put definition to the present.

It all happened five months ago when I got contacted by National Geographic in the United States of America due to some of my works in images that had been observed over time. The voice, which belonged to the Head of Environment and Conservations, Mrs. Joanne Praiser, discussed about hiring my services for a photo experience that they felt was going to be out of this world and she added that “we really do not wanna miss this moment because we have waited for it for four years.” “What could this moment be?” I thought within myself. I was humbled. I was told to make preparations as I would have to be flown in to discuss the brief. When the brief was discussed, I realized it was really out of this world. We were going to have our photoshoots on another planet, planet Mars! Whoa!

National Geographic had partnered with NASA, such that the latter would assist the former with her spacecrafts to get to Mars as a result of the timing of the closeness of Earth to Mars all because this doesn’t happen often: just once in every two years. I could go on and on with the collaboration but then, it was an awesome experience for me. On the team was renowned photo-environmentalist, Joel Satore as well as the Engelman brothers, Charlie and Kirby. How these guys have grown!

I took a quick look at the time and realized it was 06:47 hours. Well, I felt I still had some time on my hands; the conference was not going to start until 09:00 hours. There was enough time to sieve through the prepared scheduled list for the day aside the conference; it prompted me to make that quick business call to my planner on one of my exhibitions that would be coming up in two weeks from now. And having gotten assurances on the flow of the process, I returned back to my preparations briefly before I went into the showers to make myself ready physically. By 08:30 hours, I was en route the conference centre at the High View Spaces at the nation’s capital, Abuja.

As a national event, it was graced by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; the minister and state commissioners of Environment; other ministers in the federation; environmentalists and environmental photographers alike.

I did not have to mount the podium until about noon. My presentation was purely based on my documentations in pictures…motion and still. It comprised of my trip to Mars, how marveled the crowd was!; pictures of Mars from the distance was observed but all in all, the climax was stepping out of the spacecraft, to take pictures of the sandy-rocky surface of Mars. As part of our assignment of saving our world, we took as many thriving plants from Mars to be cultivated on earth since it had been proven that they would also thrive so well on earth and do much better than the plants we have on earth in terms of carbondioxide usage. Well, that’s biology. I ended my session; it erupted in hall wide applause. It was really cool to be a success in environmental photojournalism.

True to plans, we ended at 14:30 hours and thereafter went into an hour meeting with the top echelons of the nation. Afterwards, we stepped out to assigned areas of the environment to cultivate the plants in turns. The environment would be safe again and fitter for life.

At 20:15 hours, there was the capstone event, a cocktail party that had works of photographers exhibited, albeit, a tip of the iceberg for the coming exhibition that was going to hold in Lagos in two weeks.

I returned to my hotel at about 23:18 hours. Could I pick up the phone to call her now? I gave it a try…it rang, and kept on ringing. Just as I was about to hang up, my wife picked up the call at the other end. I was excited to hear the voice of the one who had backed me up and given every inch of her support to a man who has been away of late more than been around. Is this the price of being successful in my profession as a photojournalist? She seems to understand but then, I knew I’ll have to work on this to make my home front continue to thrive. Our kids have been bedded, my regards I did forward to them. “My Choice, I will be home again in 24 hours, thanks for your support all along, I love you real big.” “Love you too and see you soon”, she responded.

I went back to work afterwards, sifting through files.

“Yaaaawwwnnn.” I deserve a rest, don’t I? And the time was 01:27 hours of the 14th of August, 2025. Happier than ever was I as a photographer!

My name is Ojo, James O., C.E.O, Kim Canon Photos.

The week I met Youssuf Karsh


It’s Sunday! And it’s really funny how time flies!

The wedding I had assisted in shooting a day before really got a great hold of me. I didn’t feel like getting out my bed, but I still had to; I didn’t have an option anyways. I obviously couldn’t miss church service because of sleep.

With my eyes open and meditating on a few things, I felt like I had been hit so hard with a baton as my whole body ached. Who says photography is small business? I bet such needs a surgery. Amidst all the pains, I managed to get up to prepare myself for church service and in some time I was ready to go and fellowship with the brethren.

Service went well; not as usual but with a new experience. Every new service day opens me up another dimension. If you claim not to go to a church because of hypocrisy, I bet you’re just killing yourself. I moved on to a relative’s house and spent some time there; blood they say is thicker than water. As much as I wanted to enjoy the Sunday with my relatives, I knew I had to prepare for Monday. Having to think of Monday always tickles me. There’s no place like eloPhotos! That’s where you work with fulfillment in mind.

Monday came and seemed like one that had lots of potentials in it for me. Getting late to work wasn’t an option; I had learnt that from Mr.Seun, so I had to do everything in time in order to get to work early in time for the devotion.

Introduction to Digital Photography was the course Mr. Toye started with us on Monday, 29th June 2015.For me, I was so curious to know how Photography had evolved or transformed into what it is now making me pay precise attention to the class. I truly enjoyed the class.

Bingo! An idea dropped in my heart! I reached for a physics textbook which talked more on the idea of light and understanding it in order to fully grasp its potentials in my photographs even though I wasn’t a science student back at school.

During the class with Mr Toye few of my colleagues complained of boredom, I guess everyone has what interests them ‘cuz for me it was great fun.

Tuesday 30th, started on a good note too; continuation of Introduction to Digital photography , Mr Toye told us how the pin hole camera was the first camera, what really struck me was the fact that a man named George Eastman the inventor of Kodak lost relevance when digital Photography came into being.. He didn’t move with the flow of digital Photography and so most people don’t even use the “film” for pictures anymore, it is now the era of Memory cards as storage. He must have really lost ooo! It was another experience for me when I and a colleague was sent to picture works to print Toyin and Joe’s pictures. I had always known that most people in Nigeria don’t have a good customer relationship, but I have not stopped thinking and often times asking why mostly printers give people attitude, is it that they don’t enjoy what they do?  Well! Things will change soon- I believe.

Our program in church started on Wednesday and there was no point missing it. (Day 1 of the 7 days of glory).

We started our class on the discussion of our different researches given to us as an assignment  about Youssuf Karsh on Wednesday, 1st July, 2015. The terrible experience Youssuf Karsh had in his childhood days reminded me of mine ..hmmmmm! Even though his own wasn’t deliberate, mine was. That’s another issue for another day though. We were taught about image quality and the different file formats which exist. We discussed about types of photography and I learnt that there is a difference between forms and types of Photography. We had another assignment still about Youssuf Karsh and Ansel Adams. If you’re gonna make it in Mr. Toye’s class, then you must be a good assignment doer. He never gets tired of giving assignments

On Thursday, it was a privilege for me to minute Mr Seun’s meeting with Mr Kolawole, initially I thought it wasn’t so good an idea to involve a 3rd person in their discussion but it dawned on me that I was getting opportunities faster than I could imagine to handle people’s confidentiality which will help me in training my own members of staff in future. It was something I learnt from COZA though I practised this first when I worked as an admin officer for a little while in my former place of work (Fairview School). After the meeting, I joined my colleagues and we were divided into groups to share our views about Ansel Adams and Youssuf Karsh’s works respectively. We ended the lessons after airing our views about the ancient photographers and we called it a day after which I left for our Day 2 of the 7 days of Glory at COZA.

“Thank God it’s Friday” is what almost everyone says in Nigeria. I spent most part of that day outside the studio, I went to Mr clever’s office accompanied by Francisca for the collection of the photobook which wasn’t ready and I headed to computer village and spent something not planned for to fix my laptop’s sreen sensitivity.

We had a weekend class with Mr.Toye at Elophotos with a new Student and the week ended well.Hmmm! What a productive week! I never really got to meet Youssuf Karsh but his legacy lives on. I got to read so much about him that I now feel I’ve met him in reality

I am YewandeOladipo, a Photographer and I’ve met Youssuf Karsh.

PERSISTENCE; Its role in my photography career


If there is anything you must do on daily basis among several others, it is to remain undeterred through all the daily challenges. You will have to face challenges on a daily basis; some of them will try to break you. For some of those challenges, you will feel like giving up but you can’t afford to do that. At Elophotos you will have to wake up early enough every morning in order to get to the office on time, you will also have to learn to be corrected by those who have gone ahead of you, and you will learn to run errands, irrespective of your BSc degree. Above all, you will learn that the journey to the top isn’t rosy at all. If you know what some people are going through to get things done, for you then you will not be discouraged by the challenges you face daily to make things happen for others.
A few weeks back I was asked to go pay the nepa bill of my office by Mr. Seun I thought it was going to be easy only for it to turn out the other way round. When I got to the nepa office their server was down and they could not collect cash and therefore I had to try to beg people who had an ATM to help me pay, but still yet nobody was ready to collect 15,000 naira cash from me. At that point, the right thing to do would have been to give up but I followed through the stress until I did what I wanted to do. Eventually I scaled that hurdle when I went back to pay the money into an account the next day which made it easier for me to be able to use an ATM to make payment.  
I want to encourage you not to let the daily challenges you are going through deter you from what you set out to achieve.
Each time you think about the challenges, just think about the things you set out to achieve, don’t give up on your focus or dreams and passion just because of your daily challenges. Remember that your challenges will barely leave you until you have achieved what you set out to achieve.
In fact, those challenges are there to try to stop you so never let the challenges discourage or deter you. If you remain resolute, you will win and laugh last because your challenges will make you come out strong.
Join me, Obaloluwa obanijesu Omole as i remain in my journey to become the World best photographer.
Here are the pictures I took this week….

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At the top of the building


It has become a common cliche today among some photographers to say that the industry is flooded and there are now too many people pressing the shutter, which shrinks the  individual photographer’s market share, turnover, and profit. This mindset is as untrue as believing that all phones are thesame. Everybody knows that a Tecno H5 is not same as a Samsung Galaxy.

Understandably, running a business in this age, can be very challenging especially in a great country like Nigeria, where it requires a lot of doggedness, tenacity, perseverance as personal attributes, and flexibility to change, prompt innovation, foresight,
as business features, to succeed and edge competitors but, one of the business lessons the 21st century has taught us is that there is always a unique place for every business willing to pay the price, a vacuum which usually is even too large for it alone to fill.

As much as I am also not totally immune from this ‘incorrect thinking’, it was an experience that taught me once again to think the right way.
I was part of the team that shot the Episode 12 of the
First Nigeria Photography TV show, the Gospel of Photography, and it was shot at the top of a 4-storey building not far from eloPhotos Academy at Ikeja. The location was a change from the usual, which mostly is the studio, and it was also a reflection of dynamism, which is a core culture of eloPhotos.

At the top of the building, during the shoot, I felt different. I was
seeing the environment I’ve always seen, in a different way. It was a beauty to behold. To the east, I  could see the busy Lateef Jakande road, tops of different buildings, as well as planted tress. Other sides too seemed similar especially to the north, where the palm tress at the end of Acme Road, formed a pattern, beautiful for the photographic eye. It was from this beauty I saw around, I started drawing similes to being at the top in work and most importantly in life.

Firstly, I realized there was large expanse of space, which made it easy to see far and wide, down and top, all at the same time. It was quite different from the ground where it seems as if there are houses everywhere and everybody is struggling for survival. I correlated this with the need for a photographer or any other person regardless of profession or field of interest to nurture the desire to be at the top.

Up there, there are only unique competitors, because at that level, only unique and valuable companies thrive, like Google, Apple e.t.c and this can only be achieved by building a formidable brand over the years. Businesses at this level can see and connect with the industry leaders, explore the abundance and opportunities around, erode the lack mentality. This is true for
everything and anything; if we must get the best out of our lives, be it our jobs, marriage, or any other thing, its always best to be at the top.

Secondly, I had the freedom to choose where to look, yet not losing sight of the other sides. I could choose to focus on looking at a place,
an an swiftly shift my attention to other sides if circumstance
demands. I liken this to opportunity of diversification which being at the top offers. When starting out in any venture, its normal to choose a specialization or to focus wholly on one’s profession while ignoring other things. But the privilege being at the top offers is that you can spread your tentacles to explore and exploit other business opportunities around you, to diversify investments, and capitalize on new ventures as they appear, to identify industry loopholes, and far emerging opportunities.

Thirdly, I realized one of the major things that make LandscapePhotography a wonderful aspect of photography. And it is the art of revealing the beauty of any place in the world no matter how rough or clean it might seem. The view of a city, a town, a village or even a small locality from the top is just phenomenal. No wonder one will see a picture of  the ‘brown roofs’ in Ibadan, and will exclaim ‘WOW’. The environment may look like an old-ghetto down below, but when at the top, we see the same place differently.

In lieu of this, I strongly suggest that once in a while, we go to the top of a tall building, preferably in an environment we are used to. It might seem simple but I think the experience can affect all aspects of our lives positively. At the top there are no worries, not that those worries have suddenly died, but they’ve actually gone on exile in the face of the beauty your eye beholds up there. And this is not only true for Lagos, it can be practiced anywhere.

The experience reinforced the conviction in my heart it is a fallacy
of reasoning that one can’t  make a headway in photography or any other profession because the industry is flooded. This is very untrue. Being at the top in business requires uniqueness and value, and whenwe say the industry is flooded, we are actually revealing our own inadequacies, and saying that we can’t pay the price to be there, because in reality, everywhere and anywhere, people are plenty down below, but at the top, there are only few people who make things happen. You can be one of them.

GO TO THE TOP OF A TALL BUILDING TODAY AND TRANSLATE THE EXPERIENCE.
Wondering who effectively translated the building top experience? My name is Akorede Sodeeq and I’m a Top Photographer.