The Shola we met


After visiting the Photo-garage some months ago, our next trip was to Shola Animashaun Photography at Ikeja, last week. The visit was full of learning, just like the former.

We got to the studio around 11 am, Thursday morning, and were welcomed by some students in training during a lighting painting practice session. The students painted different shapes like the cross, rectangle and so on.

We waited for some minutes for the CEO himself to arrive. The 6ft plus award-winning photographer was not looking too well, and he really wasn’t. Shola might have been exhausted from enormous photography work demands.

The meeting started with a short introduction of everyone present. And followed by our series of ‘burning questions’ as Shola later described it on his facebook page.

The first question was by our tutor, Mr Toye, on how Shola started his photography career and his experience so far. It was as though, we were listening to the reading of a movie script. How will it not be? A man is asked a question as such, and one would expect him to summarize a journey of over a decade in some minutes.

Everyone has their own stories, and Shola was not different. If you think, everything Shola achieved today is by chance, you need to meet this man. He actually worked for what he has. He narrated some menial jobs he had to do to make a living before starting photography. Shola really worked hard to develop his photography skill right from the beginning. He was not lucky to have a photography academy he could learn from, or a willing-to-teach photographer that put him through.
Shola was however fortunate to be introduced to someone who will later teach him some basic lighting techniques. For most of these times. Shola couldn’t understand what ISO, Aperture, or Shutter Speed meant. For few years, starting in photography, he couldn’t navigate through the exposure triangle, but found solace shooting in Auto mode.

Shola is happily married to his ‘girlfriend’ as he introduced her. His kids won’t just let him be, as they interrupted him at intervals, during his meeting. Shola is very sensitive to noise, it really disturbed him, and he would caution his students or his kids most times. There was even a time he got so disturbed, that he asked one of his students to get his child busy with an academic work.

Shola was very friendly with his students of both genders, and I imagined if they were a family, and indeed they were. The loving Mrs. Animashaun, who seemed to be reserved, is also a tutor at the academy. She teaches the use of the Photoshop software. The funny Shola said he only taught her how to remove pimples, but she has now become a master.

We eventually moved our meeting outside the studio, to the premises as Shola couldn’t tolerate the noise level in the studio anymore. Shola further elaborated on his works and plans in photography and his family as well. A perception that Shola’s success is tied to the goodwill of his brother, is wrong. As far as there may be people you think will help you, Shola believes one should not expect such help, and he admonished us to the same. This has been his guiding principle so far, as he said, “Never expect anyone to help you”, but seek your help only from God, the Almighty. The meeting ended with a group picture taken by one of Shola’s kids, Tobiloba, using Shola’s mobile phone. Tobiloba is actually a photographer in the making.

Sodeeq Akorede

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

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Please play your part


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

Toye Peters

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

The Master Plan


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

THE 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

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!