My Journey To A Village called AKONKO


I recently came back from a documentary trip I took to a remote village in Ogun state called AKONKO. I was a little taken aback to discover a civilization that survived without electricity and mobile phones. The town survives mainly on the two products its residents produce: Garri & palm oil. My documentary isn’t concluded yet but here are a few pictures that depict life in a village of 300+ residents. Hopefully you’ll recognize me in some of the pictures. More to come. Enjoy.

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Discovering the Customer-Service at DiscoveryAir


A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine recommended that I try out an airline that opened for business in June. He was so impressed with the customer-service that was extended to him during his trip to Abuja that he demanded that I give them a try.

I eventually flew with them and discovered that although they were not flying with BRAND NEW planes, the customer service I got made me feel BRAND NEW. No, this isn’t a paid advert by the company. I just thought that people out there – especially those that fly with companies like Aero-contractors who have repeatedly proven that they can treat customers anyhow – should know that they have a new option when it comes to traveling by air.

I wasn’t surprised when I checked to see that the flight was almost filled. And it wasn’t filled with people that were traveling by air for the very first time. I’m guessing that customers of other airlines decided to try DiscoverAir and see if they will get a better experience from what they were used to.

A better experience I eventually got. I even had to take a picture of the food pack just so that I can have enough evidence against them the day they decide to “reduce” the contents of the meal they give customers on board.

The last time I got such customer service was when I visited Transcorp Hilton Hotel (Abuja) in 2007. If they keep it up, I sense that one or two airlines that we’re all familiar with will eventually close business. I think you should try it out and feel free to drop you comments here if you were treated well or not. Just check them out at discoverair.com.ng and do let me know what your experience was like.


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

PHOTOGRAPHERS’ ROAD TRIP TO GHANA


So I got a travel agency to help put together a road trip for photographers. Date is February 3rd – 9th, 2013. We need a minimum of 15 photographers to make this happen. Cost comes to N85,000 per photographer and will cover transportation, accommodation and feeding. Deadline for registration is January 18, 2013 so start planning ahead.

SOME OF THE PLACES TO VISIT ARE LISTED BELOW

1. Ouidah (REPUBLIC OF BENIN)

Snake Village
It has a Snake Village where Snakes are Sacred and are being worshipped today. Pictures are allowed and you may hold and put snakes around your neck, if you are brave enough. There has never been any case of Snake bite reported. So, be brave! The Snake temple is still functional and Snakes are still being worshiped.
“Point of NO Return”
A memorial to slavery at the beach of Ouidah, one of the large slave-trade ports in Africa, a main departure point for those sold into slavery between the 15th and 19th centuries.

Slave Route
The Slave Route – a small 4km long road, is the route through which Slaves followed to board the vessels of the slave trader. They pass through the gate (Known as Point of No return) to where the vessels are waiting. The vessels sail and take them to the slave market.
The road is lined with fetishes, statues and small villages from the city to the fabulous beaches.

Discover 5 reasons why you should learn photography at eloPhotos ACADEMY. A new weekend session begins January 12, 2013.

2.Kwame Nkrumah Mesoleum

This is the last resting place of the first President of Ghana, who was a famous pan-Africanist. The Centre consists of a museum of his life and works, the mausoleum, and his statue, which stands on the spot (the Polo grounds as it used to be called) where he declared Independence for the country on 6th March, 1957.

3.Independence square

The venue for many national celebrations, dominated by the independence arch and the memorial to Unknown Soldier

4.Culture and Arts Center

The Centre’s arts and crafts bazaar and traditional textile market is the best place in Accra to find traditional handicrafts from all over Ghana. You have to be prepared to bargain hard here, starting prices are inflated. Some of the interesting items to be found include, Kente items, woodcarvings drums, local leather bags, beads and imported items from surrounding countries

5.Boti Village

Umbrella Rock

The Umbrella Rock is about thirty minutes’ walk in the forest from Boti falls. The umbrella Rock is sited on a high land and thus, making it possible to watch nature hundreds of miles away into the green. The arrangement of the rocks are in the form of an umbrella. One rock lies on top of the other, relying on only a small pivot point on the one below. Other tourist who are willing to adventure lean a ladder to the rock on the top and climb to its top. From there, beautiful forest view is right in front not forgetting the nice air breeze

Three Head Palm Tree

The three-headed palm tree has a huge stem base and from this singular stem base are three separate stems growing into the sky. The diameter of the base is about 126cm and the three stems have a diameter of about 70cm each. The height of the trees or three headed tree is about 3.2 m. It has huge lushly green leaves like any other palm tree.

Boti Waterfalls (Twin Waterfall)

Boti Falls is a 30m high waterfall within the Boti Forest Reserve about 30 minutes east of Koforidua. A small hike down some stone steps takes you to the waterfall with a pool at the base, which is safe for swimming. Boti falls is actually made up of two waterfalls. According to the local people the big one is the male and the smaller one, a female. When the two merge, it is said that they are mating. The merging forms a rainbow.

6. Elmina Castle (Cape Coast)

It was built in the 1480’s and occupied by different Europeans and ostensibly fortified to defend their ‘territories’ and to enhance and protect their ‘gold trade’. The castles’ warehouse-trade, were later converted to dungeons to facilitate the slave trade, the last stop for slaves to await shipment to their destinations to suffer their fate.

7. Kakum National Park (Canopy Walkway)

This is Africa’s first forest walkway; the fourth of its kind in the world. It was commissioned in 1994. It is a bowel-loosening canopy which 350m long suspended bridge, seven in number and strung firmly unto 7 tall trees 30m above lush forest floor.

8. Aburi Botanical Garden:

This one of the most beautiful, peaceful and fascinating places in Ghana. Opened in March, 1890, and covering 64.8 hectares and overlooking the Accra coastal plain from an elevation of 370 to 460 metres above sea level, the Aburi Botanic Garden is a must experience for every Ghanaian as well as visitors to Ghana. Butterfly and bird lovers would love Aburi Gardens for the presence of many species of butterflies and birds that would come so near as if wanting to perch on one’s head. Another delight of Aburi Botanic Garden is the blossoming mixture of indigenous and exotic trees of global importance, aesthetics and medicinal properties

9. Mokola Market

One can obtain beautiful African Textiles, Foodstuffs, Traditional clothes, shoes, cosmetics, etc. It also houses a bank, restaurants, offices, etc. Because of its central location it enjoys a lot of patronage from residents in Accra and tourists alike.

 10.Dodi Island

The Dodi Island became one of the displaced settlements when the Dam was constructed in the late 1960’s. It covers approximately 55 acres of space. The inhabitants on the Dodi Island are friendly and accommodating. They normally welcome visitors with a traditional cultural dance, agbadza from the Volta Region. Their primary occupation is fishing. The Volta River Authority and the Hotel have plans of developing the Dodi Island into a world class tour site.

11.Labadi Beach

Is the busiest beach on Ghana’s coast. It is one of Accra’s few beaches and is maintained by the local hotels. An entrance fee to those not staying the hotels is charged. On holidays and weekends there are often performances of reggae, hip-life, playback, and cultural drumming and dancing

12. Next Door Beach

Is a rocky beach with purple sand and a great subject for Professional Photographers.

13.   Accra Metropolitan Tour

14.   Volta Region
Interested participants should send a mail to info@elophotos.com for more details

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 Crazy Photographer’s 12 Goals for 2012


In no particular order of priority, behold 12 of the goals that I plan to achieve by December 31st, 2012.

1. Wash my plates after eating. It’s a weakness that many husbands and bachelors are guilty of. I plan to express my love more to my wife by washing my plates after eating. It’s the least I can do. Can’t promise to wash any other person’s plate but I’ll start with mine and see how it goes.

2. Spend 2 nights at the 7-star hotel in Dubai. I plan to document photographically my stay at this hotel. It’s one of the projects I wholeheartedly look forward to embarking upon. At $2000 per night, I better start taking my photography business more seriously and begin saving.

3. Photograph an event in Asia. I’ll prefer a wedding coverage to a rioters’ coverage. Either way, covering a joyous moment in an Asian culture will be fun. India will be good for a start

4. Host a photography convention in Nigeria. This is going to be BIG. Planning a 3-6 day convention will be the first of its kind in Nigeria and I’m confident it will be impactful. Watch out

5. Get an invitation to speak at a photography convention/conference in the United States and/or Europe. Don’t have an idea how this will come to pass but I’m preparing my speech/notes so that I’ll be ready once the opportunity comes knocking

6. Co-found a Photography Association in Nigeria. To help address issues such as the rights of a photographer & a standard level of professionalism, an association registered with the government is inevitable. If you’re interested in helping out, holla at me.

7. Write my first photography book. Still thinking of a title. So far I might settle for “Diary of a mad black photographer.” Or what do you think?. I hope everyone that has been encouraging me to write a book will not ask me for complimentary copies; you’ll need to purchase it so I’ll be encouraged to write more books. I’m still open to better title suggestions.

8. Start a clothing line. Don’t know whether to call it eloFashion or Seun Akisanmi but the designs that have been playing around in my head can’t be expressed in photography; a fashion design outfit is inevitable. I know its important to be known for just 1 thing but having multiple streams of income isn’t a bad idea. Anything to make me quickly get my edition of BMW 750i before it is discontinued.

9. Earn $1 million in photography income. Though my bank account balance might be reading $70, I believe this is the year of the manifestation of my millions…..in dollars. Watch out

10. Stop drinking 100-150cl of Pepsi everyday. Just discovered that such a habit is neither good for my health
Nor my bank account. I plan on replacing the Pepsi drinks with a daily dose of 3 litres of water. I just hope the Pepsi seller won’t go bankrupt this year because of my decision.

11. Read at least 10 hours of photography materials every week. This will be necessary if I need to keep tabs with the loads of information that will be added to the database of photography in 2012.

12. Write everyday in 2012 on my journey & experience in photography. This will be interesting. Doing a writeup on photography every single day…..will be challenging and fun. One down 365 to go. 2012, I’m ready for you.

for daily photography-related tips and articles, visit http://www.elophotos.com or add us on your BlackBerry 271E3BC8

Outstanding Nigerian Photographers: My Story


I was born in St. Nicholas Hospital on the 31st of October 1978. Apparently my dad had just passed the final stage of his ACCA certification (after attempting it 5 different times), my mum just got promoted to Supervisor level at the bank which made them able to finally afford their first car: a Volkswagen beetle. They were grateful to God, hence the reason they called me OLUWASEUN….
I’m the 1st of 5 children born to Akinola Benjamin Akisanmi (an accountant) & Omolara Florence Akisanmi (a banker).
I finished secondary school at International School Lagos, UNILAG in 1995. And completed my undergraduate degree in Accounting/Business Administration in 2003 from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Illinois USA. My love for photography began in December 1998 when my mum came to visit me in the university, asked me what I wanted for a Christmas gift & eventually bought me a Samsung film camera. When I eventually came back to Nigeria, I decided I was going to start a career in photography. My professional photography career started when I got my first professional camera in 2006. I was inspired by the teachings of Pastor Sam Adeyemi whose church, Daystar Christian Centre, I started attending. He encouraged us not to wait to be “employed” by an employer in the Labour market, but we should “start with what you have”. I took his advice and decided to start a company & get paid for what I love doing. If I had not gotten into photography, I would have been in the I.T. industry (software & hardware engineering or eCommerce). I enjoy writing poems, teaching sunday school classes (ages 8-9) & eating chocolate (mars, twix & snickers). I’m married to Ofure and we have a daughter, Anuoluwapo. My dream is to establish a world-class photography institute where people can come to learn & appreciate photography as a profession or hubby. I also plan on raising/training 10,000 professional photographers by 2015. One of the major challenges I faced when I started out was that I wasn’t taken seriously by family members. In a way, It was a motivating factor as I was bent on proving them wrong; that I could actually make it in life as a photographer. It made me develop a passion for reading books in order to get the right foundation. The other major challenge was having to defend my charges to clients who would rather pay a musician N1 million than to pay a photographer N100k. It made me determined to be the best that I can be so that I would eventually be worth the N1 million photographer that clients would hire for their weddings. Most of the mentors that helped my photographic foundation were photographers abroad whose books I read (over 20 photographers). Some of the Nigerian mentors that have been of great help to my photography destiny include Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Leke Adenuga, & Ade Plumptre.
I specialize in weddings, portraits & any photography job that requires a high level of innovative creativity. Name of our studio is eloPhotos Studios although most of the job we get are on location outside the studio. My advice to young photographers is that they make sure they get the right foundation especially if they want to build a successful photography business. One of the things they can do to shorten their journey to success is to attach themselves to a photographer they respect (& is successful) for a minimum period of 3 months. They’ll be glad they did. I’m yet to win any photography awards. Nigerian photographers that I recommend include Michael Segun Adebiyi (www.michaeladebiyi.com adebiyimichael1@gmail.com), Dipo Odetoyinbo (of black child photography), Shola Animashaun (www.sholaanimashaun.com). My name is Oluwaseun Akisanmi & this is my story.