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.

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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.
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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

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

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!

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 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.

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