A Tribute To YOU


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I remember waking you up that Monday morning to share with you the dream I just had about you passing on. I remember being upset with you that we did not pray long enough to reject the dream from becoming a reality. I remember you telling me it’s not the length of a prayer that determines whether our FATHER will answer. I remember your calmness amidst my worry.

I remember getting the call few hours later that morning. I remember sitting by your side around 11am with oxygen tank and drips attached to you. I remember you telling me that you came back momentarily to tell me to let you go because your time was up. I remember being too shocked to cry and I am yet to cry the way the world expects. I remember that Monday morning was not the most prophetic and exciting way to start the week. I remember the criticisms, feedbacks, rebukes and advice I received all because I didn’t cry or react the way normal people react when things like this happen. I remember the counsels of psychanalysts, the admonitions of psychologists, the analysis of psychiatrists, and the gossips & gists of every other unqualified ‘gists’. But all the talk was said either because they didn’t know you the way I did or they didn’t understand this perspective of the God we serve.

You’ve been gone 996 days (not that I’ve been counting). You passed the torch to me with 3 angels to care for. Your departure gave me enough reasons to ask HIM why HE took you so soon yet I’ve refused to ask HIM those dreaded-but-well-deserved questions that start with WHY… You’ve been gone but yet I’ve been comforted knowing very well you’re in HEAVEN.

Since you’ve been gone, my relationship with the FATHER has gotten to another level for good. Since you’ve been gone, my understanding of your unconditional LOVE has been clearer. Since you’ve been gone, my definition of WORSHIP has been redefined. Since you’ve been gone, the revelation of what Mary felt when her firstborn was being crucified…. Forgive me, let me get a tissue, I’m getting a little emotional here. Since you’ve been gone, my LOVE for you has grown exponentially.

Sometimes your youngest son, Murewa, asks after his dad and I don’t know what to tell him. Sometimes your firstborn, Fiiresayemi, says he can’t remember your voice anymore and I try to play our wedding video for him. Sometimes your only daughter, Foyinsayemi, just wants to go for a walk down the street to buy groceries with her father but I’m left to be your representative.

Though it’s been 2 years, 8 months, and 10 days (really, I’m not counting) you’ve been on your vacation, I remember today – November 29, 2017 – as the day you would have turned 40 years old. I had planned this day years ago and never envisaged I would witness it in your absence, but then again you’re still present. I would have almost given up, had God not sent an enigmatic photographer my way to celebrate our family in pictures. The ONE that told me He had a hand in all that happened also told me your LIFE WAS A SEED that needed to die so that many will come to the consciousness of HEAVEN.

My prayer is that many will be encouraged to remain in the KINGDOM of this FATHER that makes all things work together for the good of them that love and seek him. My prayer is that many who have lost loved ones will find unexplainable comfort and undeniable peace like I found in the arms of the one I call OLUTUNU. My prayer is that many that see these HEAVENLY pictures that we took together will be reminded of the FACT that there is a place of peace, rest, and joy where those that pass on (I still don’t believe you’re DEAD) abide if they had a relationship with JESUS on this side of eternity.

As you celebrate your 40th birthday in HEAVEN and as we remember today the time you spent with us in years past, may God use these pictures and the blessed memory of you to heal the millions of hearts that see this. Like the unremovable birthmark we all have on our bodies, the memory of YOU & the God we serve will forever be engraved on our hearts. With TEARS in my eyes and joy in my heart, knowing very well that you’re reading this, I want you to know from the depths of my being that I LOVE YOU…. I ALWAYS HAVE AND ALWAYS WILL

Happy Birthday SWEETHEART. Keep resting in the bosom of your LORD.

Eternally Yours,
Your Beautiful Wife,
Funmi Afolarin

#feelfreetoshare

The CONCEPTUAL QUADRUPLETS


On October 31st, I celebrated my 35th birthday in my office shooting Adeyosoye. The concept we had in mind was what we titled “the good, the bad & the ugly”. It was more technical than I had envisioned (& we eventually added a 4th personality) but we were able to get over the session after about 7 hours of shooting and changing personalities. For those of you that called to wish me a happy birthday, shooting this set of quadruplets was the reason I wasn’t able to answer my phone. What do you like or don’t like about the final output.

finalbc

PORTRAIT RETOUCHING WITH D’MAYO


PORTRAIT RETOUCHING WITH D’MAYOR

PORTRAIT RETOUCHING WITH D’MAYO
Thank you for your interest in this workshop despite the short notice.

In this day and age it doesn’t take a savvy viewer to pick out a poorly retouched portrait. The tiniest details can wow the viewer and enable a portrait to either pop off the screen or exile it to the land of digital ruin.

In this 5 hour workshop you will learn professional retouch techniques ranging reducing and removing blemishes, wrinkles, fixing hair and makeup, enhancing the eyes and other unwanted features using basic Photoshop tools

The aim of the workshop is to show you how to retouching techniques that can be used vastly in any portrait and thereby giving you more confidence with the use of Photoshop

This is basically me giving myself to you and telling you how I retouch my portrait work. The workshop will be fully practical and interactive; it’s more like chilling with me as I share my knowledge on portrait retouching.

I’ve decided to have a weekday class and a weekend class for your convenience, both with the same curriculum.
After the 5 hours you will hopefully be more confident in retouching your portrait works!

Location: 12b Fagba Crescent, Off Acme Rd, Agidingbi, Ikeja, lagos.

Date: Batch A (Saturday 27th of July, 2013) OR Batch B (Wednesday 31th of July, 2013)

Time: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

       Workshop Fee: ₦5000

COMPLIMENTARY SNACKS AND DRINKS WILL BE SERVED

ONLY 10 SEATS AVAILABLE FOR EACH BATCH

Curriculum:

  • Portrait retouching checklist
  • Camera RAW
  • Balance tricky exposure by “sandwiching” from a single RAW file
  • Knowing where and how to improve a portrait
  • Basic skin retouch
  • Fixing yellow eyes and teeth
  • Fixing messy hair
  • Layers, Adjustment layers (Curves, Levels, Selective Color,)
  • Proper cloning and healing techniques
  • Using Patch tool, Liquify Filter, Selective saturation
  • Masking for selective improvements to image
  • Non-destructive editing techniques and workflow
  • Improving facial definition with non-destructive dodge-and-burn
  • Background Cleaning and Changing
  • Sharpening
  • Essential keyboard shortcuts

Participants should possess basic Photoshop knowledge and a basic understanding of adjustment layers and layer masks

Booking Terms

  1. Payment for the workshop is due upon booking and is non-refundable in the event of non-attendance for whatever reason.
  1. Your space will not be reserved until payment has been received.
  1. In the event that I have to cancel the workshop due to it being unsubscribed or for any other reason (such as illness, Acts Of God etc.), I will give as much notice as possible and offer an alternative date or issue a refund.

FAQs:

  • What should I bring?
Participants must bring their own charged laptop with any version of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge with the latest Camera Raw Update Installed (CS5 or CS6 are recommend). A 30-day trial for Photoshop CS5 is available from Adobe.  And Also a Mouse or a Wacom Tablet and something to take notes on.
  • I do not have a laptop; can I still take this workshop?

Yes, you can still learn a great deal about the retouching techniques without a laptop.  But make sure to bring a notepad and pen to take notes.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PAYMENT AND REGISTRATION send an email to AYPUMING@YAHOO.COM

The Photographer That Charged $10 For a Portrait Session


So I was in a meeting earlier this week with the CEO of a top printing company when he narrated the story of an interesting photographer I’m dying to meet. Apparently this photographer took his studio lights and other photography gadgets to a clients house for a family portrait session he charged $10 for. And that was after he had deducted the 70% December discount he was offering.

The first question I asked myself was what exactly was the $10 covering. Was it for the taxi that got him to the client’s house? Or was it for the equipment rental he would pay himself for the use of his gadgets? Perhaps it must be because he loved the client so much that he didn’t want to do the job for free. Either way, I’m a little confused.

I’m confused as to how someone that calls himself a professional photographer can make a good living by charging such an amount. I’m confused how such an amount will help cater for a wife and a child. I wonder how he was able to buy the photography equipment in the first place. How can one pay for house rent and utility bills in Lagos state with such a fee. Maybe he’s still staying with his parents and does not have much responsibility in life. Perhaps I’m missing something. Or perhaps he just needed the pictures for his portfolio. Perhaps he’ll charge $100 or $200 for the next session with the client.

Whatever the answer I get, I’m tired and frustrated. I’m tired of increasingly hearing and meeting photographers that charge peanuts and scrap just to be able to keep body and soul together. At the end of the day we wonder why much respect is not being given towards one of the profession responsible for documenting human history.

Perhaps there are some other facts that haven’t been presented in the $10 scenario above. I wish I could meet the photographer to hear his point of view. Maybe then I’ll understand the permissible situations that will make a photographer charge fees that might eventually make him unemployed in a few years or months.

If that is fast becoming the norm for what to charge for a family portrait session, then maybe I need to start looking for a way I can survive in an industry that is being increasingly populated with unprofressional professional photographers. Maybe I should consider the comedy industry. Any suggestions.

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5 Reasons to Learn Photography at eloPhotos Academy


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1) We’ve helped to build the foundation of more professional photographers in the last four years than any other training academy. Just ask the following outfits for confirmation: La Royal Photography, Red 19 Photography, 4labi 4tos, Mint Photos, Oleku Photos, Made fotos, Lamzy Photography, Greenshots Photography, Kakadu Photography, Jobi Photos, Freeze Photography, Photography by Maximus, Living Memories Photography, Novo Images, Sazzy E Cre8tive Concepts, Eastward Eden Photography, la Belleza Photography, Nobis Photography & L’enigma Studios.

2) Our seasoned facilitators are good at what they do. Although it’s hard to believe one could learn so much in just 10 days, we go the extra mile to make sure you fully comprehend what is being taught. Let’s just say you’ll end up saving yourself 9 years of stress and failure if you heed to what we teach within 10 days.

3) If after the first day of class you’re completely unsatisfied with what you’ve learnt, we’ll gladly refund your money if you request. We’re just that confident of what we teach.

4) Our emphasis is more on the person behind the camera and not just the camera itself. We believe that a photographer should be so grounded that he can use any camera that comes his way (be it Nikon, Canon, Sony or Olympus).

5) I, Oluwaseun Akisanmi, am one of the best people to have as your friend and mentor in the photography industry. Although I’m yet to win any award in photography, my goal is to raise world-class award-winning photographers. I usually don’t rest until I’m sure I’ve done my best to address whatever question you bring my way. Like a caring father, I will not let go of you until you make it in the industry. I usually don’t brag but that’s one thing I’m known for. Attend our academy and you’ll be our photography friend for life…..except we end up separating due to one party’s character flaw. Either way, you have little to lose.

Go ahead, give us a call on 08120129149 or 08023008873 and let’s help kick-start your photography career.

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The Mercedes Benz Client


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I met him on a sunny afternoon on March 10, the day Wiz Kid made me cry. Although his composure didn’t look like one that could afford our services, I had developed a mindset of not judging a book by its cover. He asked for our complimentary card and I gladly gave him adding that our minimum package for home service family portraits was $625. He said it was ok by him and that he would call us when he was ready.

I would eventually get his promised call 13 days later. He was calling to book a session for April 1. I reminded him what the minimum cost implications was and was a bit surprised when he told me it was expensive. He asked me if I could “reduce” the price for him and I “nicely” told him that I couldn’t. I explained to him that I’m sure he was well aware of the fact that there are photographers that can do the session for him for $200 or less. I reminded him of the quality of the jobs he saw at our exhibition stand 13 days earlier. My persuasion didn’t last for more than 20 seconds and I was surprised when he said “no problem”. I explained to him the importance of me getting his email address so I could send a “mini-agreement” or summary of everything we just discussed. He gave me the address and I sent the following message a few days later:

Hope your family is doing great? Just wanted to confirm Saturday’s session and give u a summary of what to expect. We should be arriving at your place by 10am and will be coming with a makeup artist to help do the makeup of your wife. The session would last about 2-3 hours after which we’ll upload the pictures to a pass-worded folder on http://www.eloclients.com by Tuesday afternoon. We usually prefer a cheque payment of at least N80k to be made at the end of the session. The framed pics will be delivered 1 week after you’ve made your choice of 3 pics of 13by19 frames. 10 edited softcopies of your choice will also be given upon delivery of the frames. We look forward to making you a satisfied client. Kindly confirm if 10am is still ok by you. Thanks

I instantaneously got a call from him telling me that I made a mistake in the message: the session was supposed to be on Sunday not Saturday. You see, I was a little nervous writing a client I had never dealt with before and demanding that he pay me 80% of my minimum package before he even dreams of getting anything delivered. I have had clients in time past who gave all manner of excuses just so they would delay in making a deposit. I was glad this client was going to be different. Or was he? I was about to find out.

April 1 arrived in a jiffy and I was all set to shoot the family. One of our assistants that was supposed to follow us changed plans at the last-minute. Because we had planned to go in his car, we found ourselves running 30 minutes behind schedule because we were looking for a taxi. The client had called to ask us to come by noon because there was a chance he could still be in church. I told him we should be there by 12:30pm and was able to get there 10 minutes earlier than planned.

The house was one of the biggest & FINEST houses I’ve been to in my life. We pressed the bell but got no response. We hit the “armored” gate but knew that it was almost impossible for the inhabitants of the house to hear us. It was blistering hot outside and I called my client over 28 times to let him know we were outside. No response. If this was a prank for April fool’s day, it was working quite alright. My colleagues were already getting tired of this client that had chosen to disrespect the 2 beautiful assistants on this sunny day. We laughed, almost cried and proceeded to buy 8 pure water sachets to hydrate our fast-dehydrating human vessels.

1:29pm. Still no response to the multitude of my calls. I was getting angry. I hate dealing with clients or colleagues that don’t know how to keep to time. Could it be that he had forgotten? For Christ’s sake, he called me the night before to confirm.

Time check: 1:45pm. I asked my colleagues to wait for me while I go look for a taxi to get us back to the office. I couldn’t handle the waiting under the sun anymore. Suddenly my phone rang and our client was on the other end of the line asking if we were at his house yet. He explained that he was held up in a meeting and just finished. He then proceeded to call his wife (who had been at home all this while with the children) to ask her to open the gate for us.

WOW!!!!. That was the 3-letter word that proceeded from my mouth when I entered the compound. I have never met someone who had so many Mercedes-Benz cars. By the way, how many does one really need. According to this client of mine, 4 is a good start. I began trying to estimate the total costs of the cars alone and guessed it wouldn’t be less than $375,000 (about N60million). WOW!!! Just for cars. How much will the house and the contents be worth. It is well with my soul.

E350, G55, GL450 & S550 were the models I saw. Mercedes will probably have him on their list of “Priority” clients. I’m sure they send him birthday cards also. Either way, I was glad to be reminded that the type of clients I love to serve still exist in Lagos, Nigeria.

Enter the house. I immediately discovered that I had made the terrible mistake of not finding out how many children the client had (and their ages). If I had known that I would be dealing with 4 children between the ages of 6 years & 3 months, I would have read more books on children photography. For some reasons, I don’t know why I thought he had just 2 children in their teens. I would soon discover that having 4 children is one of the ways God imbibes the virtue of “Patience” in the life of a parent. It was something else working with the wonderful children: patience was definitely a necessary virtue.

A bigger surprise awaited me when the wife of my client finally came down to meet us in the living room. I was shocked. I would have sworn that she was the daughter of the client I had been chatting with. In her early thirties, she will prove to be one of the most beautiful mother-of-4 I have ever met. She was beautiful. She is beautiful. I guess it is impossible not to have a beautiful wife when you have enough money to be one of Mercedes top customers. Only God knows the type of soap and cream that she uses to get such flawless skin. Perhaps, I would discover the soap when my wealth manifest.

All this while, the husband (the one I had been liaising with all along), was not even at home. He left a message that we should begin the session and that he’ll join us when he arrives. He finally arrived as we were setting up our lights and I would later discover that 4 Mercedes-Benz were not the total number of cars he had

On a serious note, my 2 thumbs are aching me so much that I’ll have to conclude this by 11pm tomorrow evening (i.e. 11pm April 23, 2012)
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Apparently the car he drove in with was a Range Rover Sport. This gentleman was living life well. The scenario made me wonder how many cars I’ll end up having in 5 years time; I don’t think I’ll have up to 5 though.

I found him to be one of the most humble rich men I had ever met. Sometimes its a little hard describing what “humility” is all about but this man was definitely a humble gentleman. Watching how he talked gently to the wife and scolded wisely the children, I felt like I was in a “Family Affairs” class.

The session started and I had to explain to the couple that it is important they do not scold the children during the entire session of over 2 hours as this will seriously affect the countenance of the children in the pictures. The only thing they should strive to do is to pamper the children as much as possible for the duration of the shoot; punishment for misbehavior can always be given once the shoot is over.

One thing that struck me about this family was the fact that there wasn’t any single picture of any of the family member in sight; this was going to be their first family portrait session. I was surprised. I was humbled.

They changed into 3 different outfits and we moved from the living room to the swimming pool area and we were through by 5pm. After the session, the gentleman offered us some refreshments. I usually refuse to be entertained by clients until I’m done with the shoot because I’m always eager to get the job out of the way; besides I can always “refresh” myself once I leave the client’s place.

I asked him if he’ll like to review the pictures and was surprised at the response he gave. “I do not have the mental capacity at the moment to view the pictures.” Wow. This wasn’t just a client with too much money, this was a client with a lot of grammar. Apparently, the shoot had worn him out and he was being beckoned by the wife to come eat at the dining table.

“What name should I put on the cheque?” I usually like this part of the day. Few minutes later, I was holding in my hands a 6″ by 2″ rectangular paper that had figures written in it with the power to make me SMILE. He seemed to trust me that I would deliver the pictures on my word.

The question I then ask myself was whether this client was worth waiting for under the sun for as long as I did. With that rectangular piece of paper in my hand, you can’t guess wrong what my answer is. This was one scenario where it pays to be patient. It pays to give your client the benefit of a doubt because there might be a good reason why they showed up late or did something that pissed you off. It’s up to you to determine how much you can take but like the Yoruba proverb says “He who is patient will successfully cook a stone.”

The only challenge I have however with this client now is that he refuses to pick my call or reply my texts. I uploaded his pictures to http://www.eloclients.com and have been calling him to let me know the pictures he would have us frame so that we could get it over with. I realize he is a busy man but feel a little guilty that I’ve “eaten” his money without delivering the “goods”. Ok, maybe I’m not guilty. But if you were to put yourself in my shoes, what will you do to get the attention of this Mercedes-Benz client to choose the pictures he wants framed. Help me out.
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Plan to attend the next session of Basic Course in Photography
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A Colorless Photo Session With Bisola & OMJ


It all began on January 31st, 2012. I tweeted that I felt like giving someone a photo session. She was the first the respond with a good reason. I sent her an email with my conditions

…there’s a good chance that we’ll choose some of the pictures taken to showcase on our blog, website, exhibitions, competitions or future books I’ll be writing. We’ll watermark the pictures that will be put online so that will reduce the chance of it be used by anyone else. We will never sell your pictures to anyone. If I’m the one that will be taking the pictures and will not have the right to use the pictures for these purposes, it significantly reduces the level of creativity I’ll be bringing to the table…..except ofcourse you’re paying an amount that will really motivate me. Just tot I be frank with you upfront. Let me know what you think and we can take it from there & decide on a mutually convenient date

It was ok with her. 2 weeks later we were having fun with her handsome boy in our studios. I decided to go colorless. The rest is history. Let the pictures tell you the story of what went down. Pictures taken with an Olympus E3, 12-60mm f2.8 lens & Bowens Gemini studio lights kit.


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PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE WEEK 5: Kelechi Amadi-Obi (TRANSCRIPT)


We met with Kelechi on Valentine Day’s eve and had a heart-to-heart talk. He just concluded a photo session with Jay Martins and was eager to share with us about his journey so far in photography. The following is the transcript of the 45-minute interview that ensued

Tell us who you are & how you got into photography?
My Name is Kelechi Amadi-Obi. I went to secondary school in Government college Umuahia, after my primary school (Library Avenue primary school, Umuahia again) so I pretty much grew up in my city. Right from childhood , I had always been fascinated with visual arts, usually the best artist of the class in primary school. My primary school was next to the library (hence it’s name), in fact my mum was the headmistress of the school.

My house was next to the school. I had developed the habit of research early and going to the art shelf in the library. Whatever craft I needed to learn I knew early on that I could learn it on my own. I discovered great wisdom hidden in all the books. I became obsessed with trying to master the wisdom of any book I was reading.

By the time I finished secondary school it was obvious I could communicate through the art of the visual though I never thought about how to make a living from it. I didn’t see any gallery or museum or art school in my area. I’d never met a real artist and only read about them in books. So I thought it was something only done in Europe. So back then, when I would make a drawing, I would tell my little sister then that ‘This is a masterpiece!’ I tried to visualise myself [being] like Rembrandt, Van Gogh or Picasso, but it all seemed like a fantasy world.

But when it came to choosing my career, this was story: My family is a family of lawyers. My father was a high court judge and only two professions were recognised in my house; you were either a medical doctor or a lawyer. So I chose law after passing my JAMB examination and gained admission into University of Nigeria (Nnsuka) [UNN]. It was there, [UNN] that my eyes were opened and In fact, I attended ACCA exhibition in Bonna gallery in Enugu then. I was in the midst of real artists. I thought ‘this is it! People actually live this kind of life!’ I immediately grew comfortable with that, and while I was studying law, I was practising my art, and became popular for it. I chose a brand name De’ Zulu (from a movie Chaka De Zulu, who I thought really kicked ass) for business name.

It was in my third year I made the decision I would become a full time artist after I finished law school. But I was not going to be a drop-out because people would misunderstand me. I also found out that in law, there were some things that would benefit me.
After finishing law school, I settled in Lagos with my aunt (Aunty Nnena) and by then my father was late. The only thing I could afford then was a cardboard paper and pencil. So I said, “Great, let’s start making art!”
Freshly out of law school, that was a stubborn and ridiculous thing to do.

It was atop my aunt’s balcony I started making art-works. The first time I went to shop for frames for the artworks the owner of the frame shop asked, ‘’Are these works for sale?’’ I answered, ‘oh, they are N10,000 each” and he bought all five of them! I thought, wow! From nothing to N50,000…. I blew N25,000 immediately on art materials.
I went back to continue with painting. I was amazed at how easy it was to sell those artworks. A friend of mine who was also a fellow artist, came around and found what I was doing interesting. So he said he knew a few people who are collectors. He packed all the works I had that morning and in the evening he came back with N100,000 cash after collecting his commission. Incredible! It became clear I could make a living in Lagos as an artist.
Eventually I had an exhibition, followed by another, and the rest is history. I became popular and was absorbed into the art world of Lagos.

Gradually I was using the camera to take photos for my paintings as reference materials, and as I did I realised I needed to master lighting. More of my paintings were of the human figure and I needed to photograph models for them. I liked to look at the way light falls on the body in the different shapes and forms. I got deeper and deeper into controlling the way light goes into the shutter, through the aperture to make an exposure. So I could thoroughly underexpose a picture or slightly over-expose it to get a kind of feel [I wanted].

While doing that I had mastered the little intricacies of photography. It struck me that some of the photos I was making were already finished artworks. I started hanging out with more artists. I would visit the likes of Don Barbar (even he had collected some of my paintings he found interesting) and he would take me to his dark-room to develop some prints. I was amazed that what I saw was just like my paintings. I then started using Uche James Iroha’s dark room while he was working in Dolphin Studios in Surulere to process my works which I shot in black and white. Soon after, I got my own dark-room. This made my interest in photography come up even more.

It was all just fun, and I wasn’t making a dime from photography at the time. Until a guy (also a photographer himself) came in from Germany to curate an African art exhibition, as part of the biennial, in Bamako Mali. He wanted to have eleven photographers. Someone had told him about my collection of nudes and he came around, looked at them and found them quite interesting. And since he thought they were good enough for the exhibition, I got invited to Bamako Mali. Uche James Iroha, TY Bello, Amaeze Ojekere (representing his dad) and others from diaspora, Mali and Senegal, South Africa were all participants in this exhibition. It was like an art exhibition Olympics for Black Africa!

There were curators and scouts from all over Europe. Some of the curators from Italy came over and after liking my work, they invited me to come and exhibit in Italy. They took my contact [info] and sent me tickets .
Upon returning, myself, Uche James Iroha, TY Bello and Amaeze Ojekere came together to form a group called Depth of Field – a collective of artists who wanted to spend time creating work. And soon we were exhibiting in France, Germany, England, New York and we became very popular. That even sucked me deeper into photography. While this was happening it was my work as a painter that was providing my upkeep.

Gradually people & advertising agencies came to me with briefs for an artistic advertising shoot. When they came I would say, Sure, I’ll work with you, but these are my terms…… Then they would say no, and propose things like N30,000 per scenario. My response would always be , ‘Sorry, I don’t work that way. If you want to call me, you pay for my day and that starts from N150,000 to N200,000. You want me to work for you, it means paying premium for my time. I had gotten advice from Don Barbar about the advertising agencies not having respect for photographers and how not to let myself be treated that way.

So I would walk away from big jobs, but when I did get a job [on my terms] and the brief was given to me, I wouldn’t sleep over it. Even if it was a brief on Still Life photography, I would spend the night, the next day, and so on, studying about it, test-shooting it and then do some more reading again until I mastered it… just to make sure I deliver on my promise.

So if I had been given N150,000, I will make sure I deliver a N250,000 – quality of work. The philosophy then was if I gave the client more, the extra that I was giving them was actually payment for advertising. This is because the person I was shooting for will then go round telling others, “this guy is awesome!” It worked like magic. So while I didn’t get many jobs, the ones I got took a lot of time, a lot of people banged their phones on me, saying who is this guy? Because I would not shoot at the price they were calling. I told the ad agencies, ‘the guys who were doing jobs at N20,000 0r N30,000 per scenario were shooting themselves in the foot by doing too many jobs, and having no time for research to perfect their skills or even money to purchase equipment.’ In the long run you advertisers will run out of good material to work with and you will be compelled to import photographers from the UK, costing you more than three times my bill. So I am actually saving you money!”

As if I was clairvoyant, it happened just as I said. The ad agencies got stranded when big clients came from overseas looking for a certain quality of work and very few photographers who could deliver that quality.
That was how I began and continued to grow, and since then I have not changed [my principles]. Over the years I have been researching continuously to learn new tricks to push the threshold of my craft. I want to be in the place, where the most difficult challenge is what I want to face, so that when I conquer it, it becomes normal [to do so], and then I look for another challenge, more difficult and I face it.

So as time went on, I started enjoying my own personal shoots and I make sure that even in spite of all the commercial work one is doing, I find time to express myself as an artist and that is where I am now.

Please enlighten us about how the issue on copyrights apply to photographers in the Nigerian photography industry
Under the copyright act , the rights to a work of art, resides in the person who makes the work of art. In relation to photography, it is the photographer. It does have exceptions, where such rights are limited, like if it is an image of an individual, there are circumstances where you must obtain a release from the individual. You don’t go shooting somebody’s photo and then go selling it for a corporation to do an advert with. THAT WOULD BE INFRINGEMENT and you could be sued. Somebody’s right ends at the point where another person’s begins. But if you got a model release that tells you that you can do whatever you want with the image, then there is no problem.

If you are taking pictures of landscape or even people in a crowd, you won’t get sued. In terms of doing commercial work it Is still applicable. Whenever you do a shoot, under the law, the rights to those images still reside with you. Photographers are advised to, in writing, give their clients license to use their images for definite time duration within a definite geographical area. That is what you are being paid for in addition to your expertise. If it is not written, the right still resides with the photographer automatically.
How do I deal with this? When I am having a client relationship, my interest is to make sure the client gets what he wants. A lot of people who are into advertising don’t even want to use the images for more than 6 months. But if they indicate that they want to use all over the world, say for twenty years, then you bill them accordingly. The usage matters and that is why I advise that you put this into consideration.

Even though it is a shoot that is for one scenario, it is the usage that determines the billing. It is based on what you have told me that it is to be used for a product [packaging]that I come up with my bill of N1.5 million. If they complain that “isn’t it just for a single scenario?” – I tell them If you have commissioned me to shoot the image for use on your product [branding] I cannot restrict your usage in terms of location (country), time duration or even format. In that case it will even be a disservice not to give them the rights, but your client should know that different types of usage attract different kinds of fees. It is as simple as that.

Once an oil company called me to do a shoot for their oil rig. After we had discussed on the fees, they were like after the shoot is done, I will sign a relinquishment of all rights to the images. I said in that case therefore the agreed bill then increases by 800%. If I am not to have any relationship with my work forever after, even to put it on my website, then I will bill you for it. I ended up not working with them and I was very glad I didn’t.

I think what we do serves a purpose beyond just taking photographs. We are people with opinions. As a photographer, you are a storyteller, a chronicler of history, and our work also promotes social engineering and influencing culture.

For me, photography is your first impression. When someone says Nigeria has a bad image, I take it very literally. What Nigeria has is bad imagery. Bad photography. We do not have enough people being patronized by the right people. So you may visit the Nigerian embassy in France and see booklets about Nigeria, full of tourists’ photos, pixellated because they were stolen off the internet, with absolutely no regard for the photographer, while at the airport in Capetown, I see uncountable numbers of coffee table books in a mad duplication of excellence. Amazing South Africa, so many [different] books [with pictures] taken by excellent photographers who have spent hours trying to duplicate (recreate) these images over and over again!

This reflects in their economy as people see the place [South Africa] and keep trooping there in spite of the violence. We haven’t even started [over here] with photographing our environment – I tell you! It’s amazing!

Could you explain your typical workflow from when a client engages you to when you deliver the images?
The first thing is you get a call. Usually it goes like, ‘’Mr K, we have this brief we want you to shoot – please can we know the price?’’(The price is the first thing they jump to…) continues ‘’It’s not a complicated concept, can you tell us how much you will charge?’’ I will respond that at this stage I don’t think we should be talking about price, but you can send me a written brief of the concept so I can go through it to see if it is what I can deliver to you adequately.

So I stall, and if they are people I have not worked with before, I try to set up a meeting to discuss their concept. Because whoever is on the other side [of the phone] is probably comparing your price with those of others he has written down on the paper in front of him. To him you are just another photographer over the phone, until they see how you are going to execute their brief and solve their problem. I believe this is more important than the price I am going to charge.

So when we meet, and I see the brief, I will itemise what is needed (costs) e.g location and let them also know the latitude of the most extreme scenarios (unforeseen) of the cost of equipment and time! At this point, they may say “it’s just three people smiling!”… I say that means three scenarios and this is what is required, the lighting needed, the method of making them smile and so on, the casting for the kind of feel needed and even for the seemingly simple smiling requires the right type of model.

So through it all I am trying to bring my own expertise into the brief and by the time we are through [discussing] I give them the bill and tell them they have to pay 75% – 80% upfront or we don’t have a deal. (Ad Agencies can make thirty days turn to sixty days and you start wondering, has their client paid them? And they could have been paid a long time ago and be telling you that they are still being owed).

So we establish with the client that they are ready and the date agreed is solid. When they come for the shoot, when it’s done, we have a little time for re-touching (most ad-agencies want to do their re-touching themselves) and then we look through the images and give them the best ones in high resolution.

And if you are shooting PR images for an individual say maybe an artiste, again it starts when they call, concept is discussed and we set up a date and they pay their cheque. On the day of the shoot, we do our work and we give them low resolution files that are watermarked ‘for view only’ for them to review in the comfort of their home and decide the specific ones (up to the number that comes with the package) that they want (I rarely go beyond 20 images), so that we can edit them.
For weddings and events those now include physical media like books and even CDs that will attract different prices.

How do you market to get your clients?
I’ve found out there is no better marketing than referrals [from satisfied clients]. Unless you want to do mass marketing and you have a factory of photographers that cater for everyone. You are the premium brand. You are not just a commodity, you are a brand. It is each person that has experienced your work that goes to tell 10 other people that you are good. So the dilemma now becomes how do you convince someone who has previously used a service similar to yours for N150,000 to pay N1.5 million? Well I could include a discount say 20%, but I never start negotiating without a rock bottom walk-away price that I will not go below in my head already.

The way to become a brand that attracts premium fees is as simple as this: be a promise-keeper over and over again. Let everyone that uses your services always come back when they see that you have over-delivered beyond their expectation. And it’s not just coming back alone but telling others with passion about how they think they underpaid you the worth of your work. So my best advertisers are my clients who I have paid for their advertising by giving them more than they came expecting to get. I will not charge N5, but if I charge N2 million I will make sure he [the client] gets quality work that he cannot bring Nick Knight from New York for N10 million to do! That will leave him wondering, did I underpay this guy?

Even if it is a free job, forgetting about the money, make sure you convert that client to a moving billboard. Whatever you do, make the client happy and satisfied. Also some clients may not be happy with their job, and I may even offer them a refund until I find a way to give them the satisfaction needed. It is all about integrity and client satisfaction and once people know that is what your brand is you can charge whatever you want.

What do you want to tell newbies in the photography industry?
Passion is required! But passion is not enough. You must understand that this is not a lazy man’s job. So it is passion that makes you do all the [grunt] work happily and gives you advantage over the person who lacks passion.

Some just want to photograph beautiful ladies without understanding the details of how the camera works and all that.. the physics, the mathematics and f-stops and all that doesn’t make it so seem so glamorous. So fiddle with the camera and learn how it works and if you are sure that this is what yo want to do, do not sleep – shoot!

With every squeeze of the shutter release, you must strive to take a better shot than the last. Put in your all. If it was easy , everybody will be good at it. If you have passion for it, you will succeed.

What where you attempting to achieve with the introduction of MANIA magazine?
It is one of my projects that developed out of frustration. I love shooting fashion, though the local fashion industry is not as lucrative as the other advanced economies that have understood the economies of scale. They can design a shirt and Prêt-à-porter & 2 million units of it are sold in one week. Crazy amount of money! The Dolce & Gabbanas are dressing the world in jeans, selling belts and perfumes. So on the catwalk they are merely having fun, the big money is in the factories in China churning out their products. So when it comes to paying a photographer they don’t bat an eyelid paying you N200 million!

Over here the industry has just started and it’s lacking that kind of energy and money. But I love fashion. A lot of the magazines cannot afford the work I would love and that made me feel limited. So I created that magazine to open that creative box to show what is possible so I could break the glass ceiling above my head. So far it’s been beautiful, tough but beautiful. We were publishing bi-monthly before but now we are going monthly.

What final words do you have for fans & clients that are watching/reading this?
Do what you love, work at it! But don’t ask me for pocket money!

To view more of Kelechi Amadi-Obi’s works, visit his website at www.kelechiamadiobi.com

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For tips on growing your photography business, like our fecebook page (www.facebook.com/elophotos) or add us on ur bb: 271E3BC8

Sample Wedding & Portrait Price List/Packages


Attached is a copy of the OLD list of different packages we offer wedding and portrait clients. It is very crucial for a professional photographer to have a STANDARD price list and not just randomly give five different clients different prices for the same product. Use this as a guide to draft yours. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to give a client a discount. Just make sure you’re not short-changing yourself. Enjoy

eloPhotos Price list for 2009

WEDDING PACKAGES
Paparazzi Package
1 45-page magazine-style leather-bound customized album
1 day coverage (10hrs),
1 Photographer
2  8” by 10” glass-framed pictures
Pictures on our clients’ website (www.eloclients.com)                             N200,000

Glamour & Glitz Package
1 magazine-style leather-bound customized albums (60 pages)
2 days coverage (20hrs),
1 Photographer
2   8″ by 10″ glass-framed pictures
2  13” by 19” framed pictures
Pictures on our clients’ website (www.eloclients.com)                             N290,000

Red Carpet Package
2 magazine-style leather-bound customized albums (45 pages each)
2 days coverage (20hrs),
1 Photographer
2   8″ by 10″ glass-framed pictures
2  13” by 19” framed pictures
1 multimedia VCD
Digital Negatives on CD
Pictures on our clients’ website (www.eloclients.com)                             N360,000

Paradise Package
1 magazine-style leather-bound customized album (90 pages)
2 days coverage (20hrs),
2 Photographers
2   5″ by 7″ glass-framed pictures
2   8″ by 10″ glass-framed pictures
2  16” by 20” framed pictures
1 multimedia VCD
Digital Negatives on CD
Complimentary Pre-Wedding Session
Pictures on our clients’ website (www.eloclients.com)                             N420,000

FAMILY PORTRAITS
Package 1
2-3 hrs Session @ any location in Lagos state
2  13” by 19” framed picture
1  16” by 20” framed picture                                                                    N100,000

Package 2
2-3 hrs Session @ any location in Lagos state
4  13” by 19” framed picture
2  16” by 20” framed picture
1  20” by 24” framed picture                                                                    N200,000

Package 3
2-3 hrs Session @ any location in Lagos state
4  8” by 10” glass-framed picture
4  13” by 19” framed picture
4  16” by 20” framed picture
2  20” by 24” framed picture
1  30” by 36” framed picture                                                                    N370,000

OTHERS FEES
Pre-Wedding Photo Session
20,000

Makeup per person
7,000

Leather Album
70,000

Customized Standard Album
110,000

Event Coverage (4hrs)
70,000

Extra Photographer per event (10hrs)
50,000

Multimedia VCD
7,000

5 by 7”   Glass-framed Picture
5,000

5 by 7”   Canvas-framed Picture
6,500

8 by 10” Glass-framed Picture
7,000

8 by 10” Canvas-framed Picture
8,500

10 by 12” Framed Picture
9,000

12 by 16”     “         “
15,000

13 by 19”     “         “
19,000

16 by 20”     “         “
30,000

20 by 24”     “         “
45,000

30 by 36”     “         “
82,000

36 by 48”     “         “
104,000
Travel allowances apply for coverage outside Lagos state & Nigeria. Please contact us to make other enquiries that are not mentioned above.

Basic Course in Photography (January 2012 – April 2012)


At eloPhotos Academy, our ultimate goal is to raise world-class photographers. We do this through a series of workshops, trainings, and internship programs. You van visit out youtube channel (www.youtube.com/elophotos) to watch videos on a few photography topics. Contact us to learn more about our other trainings.In this course, you’ll learn how to:* develop technical proficiency with your camera
* create impact with your photography
* compose pictures
* develop your style
* effectively tell a story with photography
* be a master of “light”
* effectively photograph people
* know the right equipment to use for any situation
* make a good income in photography
* edit images using Adobe Photoshop CS5
* correct tone & color using Adobe Photoshop CS5
* produce outstanding printed images
* effectively market and brand yourself as a photographer
Set 8
January 23 – February 1, 2012 (8 Weekdays)
9am – 2pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes January 16, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached
Set 9
January 21 – March 3, 2012 (7 Saturdays)
9am – 3pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes January 16, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached
Set 10
March 19 – March 28, 2012 (8 Weekdays)
9am – 2pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes March 1, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached

Set 11
March 24 – May 5, 2012 (7 Saturdays)
9am – 3pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes March 12, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached

Send an email to info@elophotos.com to get a copy of the application form. Download the form, print, fill and bring it on the first day of class to the venue with two passport photographs along with the teller of the bank deposit. For further inquiries, contact us on 234-8101590358, 234-8120129149, 234-8191474348 or info@elophotos.com

You can also visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/elophotos for more information

For the course, it is recommended that you bring your laptop for editing your pictures

Refreshment & Course materials will be provided along with a professional digital SLR camera for each participant for practice sessions. Please note that the camera is for practice purposes during the training and would not be taken home by participants

Payment should be made into out Stanbic IBTC account 7200147969 (eloPhotos Studio Enterprises) or our GTB account 211744703110 (eloPhotos Studio Enterprises)

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TESTIMONIALS

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The basic course in Photography is the best thing that has happened to me this year. When I decided to take the course, I didn’t know what to expect, but now, I must say it has been worth my while. I have learnt so much already I can’t wait to go out there and start making magic through pictures. Big ups to Emmagination, Damilola “DAMELL” Elliot & Shola Animashaun, they really inspired me. Please, keep up the good work.

Desi Okiemute

I have always thought of photography as a form of artistic creative expression. When I first began using a camera nearly 30 years ago, I always wanted to be able to take pictures that showed the beauty and variation that is the life experience all around us at all times. After the uncertain results that came out of my self taught efforts over the years, I finally got the opportunity for proper lessons with the Basic Course in Photography offered at eloPhotos Training Institute. After the first 3 lessons, I had already learnt some critical lessons that will enable me take the kind of pictures I have only previously dreamt of taking.”Painting with light”! That is a definition I have gained from the course.The course is a relaxed, practical and interactive one with several tips from experienced photographers. Very commendable training! Now it is up to me to decide to what level I want to take my photography – competent beautiful pictures as an amateur or as an artistic professional!

Dr. Olayinka Longe

I really enjoyed the business aspect of the training. The lectures on character, integrity, packaging, good customer service and branding were awesome. In a nutshell, it was a wonderful decision I made by attending the training because I absolutely got more than my money’s worth.

Oloyede Afolabi

eloPhotos is the place to be. Within the 8 days of the training, I’ve been able to acquire sound technical and theoretical skills in photography. The training package is so educative such that all the ingredients necessary for growth and development are included. I especially enjoyed the Branding and Marketing aspect of the training. In fact, I have decided to inform all my relatives and friends that they should not bother trying to get me a job in the telecommunications, or banking and oil industry; I’ve finally gotten a JOB.

Olumide Oshikominu

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…raising world-class photographers

A photo session in the middle of the road


It happened yesterday night. While shooting the video for an episode of PICTURE THIS, we were interrupted by a series of car horns by the traffic near my office. It then occurred to me how lovely it would be to do a photo shoot in the middle of the road. I decided not to think too much about it. “JUST DO IT” is a motto I live by. I grabbed my Olympus e-3 (ISO 100 & shutter speed 2 seconds), a 12-60mm lens & the nearest model I could lay my hands on: LARA (coincidentally she was 6 feet from me).

VOILA! Although I admit it was a little risky, the task was fun considering the fact that I was working with an adventurous model. The following were a few of the pictures we came up with at Lateef Jakande rd, Agidingbi. Next destination: Third Mainland bridge.

For your road & expressway photo sessions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

WARNING!!
Children: Do not try this at home!
Adults: Make sure you have Life Insurance coverage & a WILL before trying this.

BB Pin: 271e3bc8

I steal BlackBerry DPs for a living


Find us on Google+

Yes, the truth is finally out: I steal blackberry display pictures (DPs) for a living. Actually its more of a hobby as I am yet to get paid for doing this. For every photographer/artist out there that use their works as DPs, it is important you watermark them because you never know where they might end up

Attached are just 781 of the interesting DPs I’ve downloaded in the past 3 months from my BB contacts. I’ve tried my best to exclude “personal” & sensitive pictures but would still gladly delete any if you can prove that you’re the original owner. I’m still looking for more to download so don’t hesitate to add me. Enjoy. BB Pin: 271e3bc8