“Google to Start FREE Photography & Makeup Services”


Now imagine you wake up on #Nigeria‘s #Independence day celebrations to discover that #Google just gave Nigerians a birthday present. Imagine they just announced that they’ll be starting, effective #October1, a #photography & makeup service arm of the multi billion dollar company. To make matters worse, imagine that you – the reader of the supposedly-good news – are either a #photographer or a #makeup artists.

HOW WILL THIS ANNOUNCEMENT AFFECT YOUR #BUSINESS?

My goal wasn’t to intentionally deceive you with a blog title that has the #potentials to render thousands of #photographers and #makeupartists #jobless. My goal is to bring to our conscious awareness the fact that it’s becoming paramount the need for us to reinvent everything we know about photography, makeup & business generally. Most of us never undertook any serious level of business education before starting our businesses and it’s affecting us whether or not we acknowledge it. My campaign is for us to have a serious rethink of how we run our artistic businesses.

I know for sure that many of us will be terribly affected if Google decides to launch such services. Their concept of #FREE will cause many of us to either sell our gadgets to survive, or move into other unconquered Google fields so we could barely survive. Imagine they start by #advertising that #passport pictures is for free. Anyone who goes to Google #Photos can get up to 200 free passport photographs yearly. Anyone who goes to any of their branches can have a free #portrait #session and get all their high resolutions softcopies for free. Anyone who visits their makeup saloons will get their first 10 sessions absolutely FREE. Truth is it won’t be funny at all. Many of us will literally cry, complain and declare that the #Antichrist has come in the form of an unmercifully evil company.

This may seem like an extreme example to give but if we don’t rethink everything we know about how to run a photography/makeup business (or any other business)…….. Everything about #pricing, #marketing,#copyrights, #negotiations, customer service, #EVERYTHING…..the end will definitely be upon us.

I’ve had my own share of challenges this year (& still going through some now) and my rethinking process has been the reason why I’ve not been active on some online social media platforms. My rethinking process has even led me to sell a few things many people consider as assets in order to invest in a BIGGER dream process. Trust me selling off our ********** wasn’t funny at all but I believe without doubt there will be results in a few months…. Many of us (myself inclusive) spend too many unproductive hours daily on #Facebook, #WhatsApp, #Twitter, #Instagram begging for people’s approval and attention when all we need to do is to spend time to invest in something so radically different that will make the likes of Ty Bello, President #Obama, Bayo Omoboriowo, Kelechi Amadi Obi or Santa Claus call us for advice. Some of us need to take 1-4 weeks off to restrategize and rethink our processes before the unthinkable & unbearable comes upon us.

Please note that this message is NOT for everyone. I don’t write it as someone professing to know much. It’s just a challenge to a few people who care to take note to invest radically in new #inspirational ways of doing things.

The #books we’re #READING and the friends we’re KEEPING (or #mentors we’re FOLLOWING) will very well be a BIG determinant in how we’ll be #LIVING in 2 -10 years. A word, like they say, is enough for the wise. What will you do if #Google decides to move into your industry and provide the #products & #services you presently provide? Well if you’re travel consultant or tour guide, you might want to unbiasedly analyze how Google’s new baby, #GoogleTrips, will affect your business. Happy Independence day to everyone.

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For those that couldn’t make this year’s Nigeria Photography Expo & Conference (NiPHEC), all he videos have been uploaded to our YouTube channel for you to download. Even if you attended, you might still want to watch it over again at youtube.com/niphec

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

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!