The Shola we met


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sodeeq Akorede

Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy.
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Fear!


In life, there are so many things to fear as humans. Sometimes fear of failing, fear of losing, fear of the unknown and probably, fear of uncertainty.  There is nothing wrong in being afraid, but it becomes a problem when you are unable to overcome your fears. 
Know this; every human being is a born champion. It however depends on how much u can confront your fears and how best u can maximize your potentials. Nothing is wrong in being afraid because you are a champion and you will always remain one. When you fail and fall, you don’t have to sit in it, get up because you still got more left in you to last you another trial. That you failed does not mean you should settle in pain or in agony… All you have to know is that there is something in you that needs to be let out. If you really think you are a champion, then you don’t have to retire, because champions don’t quit instead they keep giving whatever has brought them down a trial till they become champion of champions.
You are what you think you are and you will always be what you think you will be, when you fail, it does not mean you are a failure instead it only tells you your best is not enough, so you need to put in your best. No matter what, always be a goal getter, because it takes time to be a winner. Always put this in mind that you have failed doesn’t matter, but what matters most is failing to rise again to achieve your aim. In your struggle in life towards achieving your aim, even as a born champion, you need to believe in yourself, trust your ability, dream your goals, live your goals, fulfil your goals and failure becomes your greatest impossibility. Remember the key to overcoming your biggest fears is to look it in the eye and confront it. Don’t be scared of letting go my friend, let the pains go away so that all your dreams would be a reality… It takes leaving your hurt or pain to realize that you lost something and you need to let go and forge ahead.
Most people find it difficult to realize what they have lost because they still live in the pain of the past. It takes leaving your pain to forge ahead with life.  Therefore, if you are still living in your pain, then you can’t leave your pain and so u are tied to the strings of whatever brings u pain and moving forward seems so bleak and rather impossible..

My name is Emmanuel Obaloluwa Omole and I am a photographer

How Much Is Your Hour Worth?


So I was having a telephone “consultation” session with one of my photography colleagues the other day. After I was through giving her my opinion of what she requested for, I asked her a question that momentarily popped into the gray matter within my skull: “How much do you think an hour with Seun Akisanmi is worth?” Her response was. more surprisingly spontaneous than the question itself. “$750 per hour,” she blurted out. Wow, I didn’t even know I was worth that much in consultation fees.

I explained to her that I was considering putting a fee on the telephone consultations I provide my “clients” because I’ve been spending an increasing amount of time on “telephone consultations”. Yes, I’m beginning to like money more than you’ll expect. It is because I’m beginning to believe it has potentials to solve some of the challenges I’m going though (like not owning a BMW 540i or a BlackBerry Q10). I believe if I don’t convert my most valuable resource (i.e.TIME) into money, I’ll probably end up realizing I’m running a non-profit organization and my wife and kids might probably leave me for not taking care of them. Hope you get my drift.

Don’t get scared now, I personally don’t think charging $750 per hour will bring an overflow of paying clients now. Besides I’m still reviewing it. Its one of the things I admire about one of my UK-based photography mentors. The guy charges between €100 & €250 for a few hours of talking to him on the phone. Ofcourse it seems ridiculous to people who have been used to getting “free” advice and education but he’s getting enough clients that sign up for his service and everyone is happy at the end of the day.

It is to this end I have reviewed how I spend my working hours. I suggest you do the same also else you’ll realize that one week of your life has gone without you being able to lay hands on what you’ve “achieved”. The following are 2 policies I’m adopting with immediate effect and I’ll be grateful if everyone can work with me on this.

First, I’ll appreciate if a prior appointment is made before dropping by to see me. I feel its a little disrespectful for someone to just stop by someone’s office without informing the person in advance. And when I mean advance notice, I’m not referring to calling 1 hour before coming; I’ll prefer if one can book 1-3 days in advance. Its so that I can achiever more with the time I have in a day. I just hope I won’t be misinterpreted on this issue.

Secondly, I’ll appreciate anyone that comes to our organization to help us be more productive by waiting at the reception. Sometimes its been a little difficult for new interns to ask people that know me well to stay at the reception until they’re attended to. Heck, sometimes its even hard for me to say. However, friends’ presence in our editing room and/or studio sometimes inhibits our efficiency because we end up discussing issues that will make a 1-minute Photoshop work last for 10 minutes.

Please don’t be offended. There is so much on my table now that requires me to be a better manager. Don’t worry, I haven’t started charging for telephone consultations yet. You can always add me up on BlackBerry (PIN: 271E3BC8) or send me an email at info@elophotos.com if you need to reach me.

I challenge you to ask yourself the same question I asked myself recently: HOW MUCH IS MY HOUR WORTH? Then proceed to make those difficult adjustments that will make you proud to be considered a world-class photopreneur.

Your Photography Coach,
Oluwaseun Akisanmi