Thank God Its Friday


TGIF – Thank God it’s Friday, that was exactly the way I was feeling en route Elophotos academy on Friday last week. The last few days had been quite exhaustive for me physically, mentally, financially and even spiritually, I guess you’re surprised; although it’s nobody’s but my fault, I’ve been lagging a little spiritually. I’ve become so carried away doing my photography training that I’m abandoning other things about myself and I think that part of me is fast becoming an issue I have to deal with very soon. Maybe you’ll also join in prayers for me so I don’t lack spiritually.

Don’t get it twisted, I’m enjoying my stay here at Elophotos and even though I made up my mind earlier to do whatever it takes to get the best out of this training, it’s not as easy as I thought but I’m definitely not going to give up. Travelling every day from my residence down to Elophotos’ location is not even helping matters. Since Monday last week, I’ve had to stand on a bus down to Ojota from Ikorodu. The Enor I was 2 weeks ago would rather wait for a more preferred option but right now anything is fine as long as I get to my destination promptly, even if it means walking down there.

Last week was a new story; it started out with lectures on negotiations and general clientele management. Gladly we got the opportunity to see practically how an official presentation was made when we visited Broll Property Services Limited to propose some of our products which would be very beneficial to their company. We also got an opportunity to experiment what we learnt from the negotiation and business classes. On Friday, Mr. Seun announced that we – Mosope (my colleague) and I would meet with some companies to propose some interesting deals. The experience was quite amazing as we weren’t able to reach a preferred agreement with any of the companies although some of them were more receptive than the others. But interestingly, thinking about it now, I learnt a lot of things from that experience; you shouldn’t approach 2 different people exactly the same way, I guess we made that mistake. 2 of the companies we met had Asian receptionists and we were unable to make them understand us and I think they were even threatened by the way we approached them, so note that your first impression is paramount.

During the course of the week, we had a guest lecturer Mr. Tolu (Chozenfaces), who came to share his experiences as a photographer with us at Elophotos Academy; he’s one of the self-made photographers who went through little or no basic training to get to where he is now as a photographer. One of his narrations that really got to me was that his camera started malfunctioning recently and he had not prepared for a new one and he’s going through a tough time trying to replace it now. Subsequently, he explained to us that upon every job taken, a percentage should be saved for gadgets’ insurance. He is learning the hard way now; I hope we learn from his experience. He asked us some questions I’m still trying to answer – what photography meant to us, what we intend using it for and our area of specialty in photography? It’s taking me a while to answer these questions; I hope that doesn’t mean I’m not smart though.

I’m Enor Izomor and I’m surely glad I’m a photography intern at Elophotos Academy.

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Who Sent Me


The previous week ended with a pregnancy shoot of a client at Ajah. Three interns went to assist/learn on the shoot; two of us were JJC (Johny Just Come), we sure learnt a great deal and had lots of fun, even with the mountain-size food we were served. But Guess what, I got back home 11pm. I prayed silently as I walk down to my house as everywhere was dark and no one was on the street. It was a work day in the week. I looked at myself, overly worn-out, and a saying popped up in my head; “omo wa’se o r’ise” (meaning, You looked for work and found it). I just eyed myself and snapped back immediately; “Ehn, I chose to do this, shikena! and God will help me”. I slept like forever on Saturday, but never enough. Like I’ve accumulated stress over the weeks cos I can sometimes exhibit like a “German Machine” (Chuckles)

And then Sunday came, I suddenly realized that the internship programme proper starts tomorrow Monday and I remember the rules eloPhotos Academy gave me, Jesus! Omo, I have not really rested oh! To resume 7:30, chai! I don enter am. Then I thought of using “eiko” (prank) on my “oga at the top”, Mr. Seun, maybe a miracle could happen and this “7:30am Cup” could pass over me. Although I know him too well, very disciplined, never compromising good standards, but I needed that miracle so bad. So I chatted him;

Me: Hello sir

Is the internship programme starting fully tomorrow? #smiles

Mr. Seun: Yes ma

See you tomorrow morning

Me: 7:30am!

Ok sir

Mr. Seun: Smiles

Can you imagine! He didn’t even give room for compromise (like, “don’t just go there”). Hmmm, na so I pack myself, prepare for the next day, abi who send me? No be me send myself?

The week started with editing pictures from a burial shoot. Apparently, this is the most boring aspect of photography (maybe for starters sha).

But there was a twist for me in the week on Thursday when my former office called me for invigilation of promotional exam of some Lagos state teachers. I was granted permission to go.

It was quiet interesting but tiring experience, you don’t want to hear my ordeal. I saw hypocrisy live, a compromise of the standard laid for students by these same teachers. Gaskia, I give it up to students (like me) that maintain high integrity in exams. For me, I see as belittling myself, I’ve got a name to protect you know. Anyway, what me I know is; exam standard is exam standard, whether students or teachers, for promotion or for certificate. At least some of us are dignified certified professionals in our various fields of practice, so don’t give me the crap that “I am an elderly person…blah blah blah”.

Easter holiday is a good succor to the accumulated stress. One other good thing about Jesus’ death and resurrection, aside Salvation and Victory, is these holidays (#smiles). If he hadn’t, chai! (rollingeyes). 

​Going From The Known To The Unknown


“How would you be taking such decision, going from the known to the unknown? With your professional certification and job prospect! This was a reoccurring question and comment that popped up when she decided to quit her paid employment for Professional Photography. Her Directors in the office couldn’t comprehend what was burning inside her, all they could summarize out of it was maybe she is confused or sweet-talked by her supposed trainer. Though family members didn’t have a choice than to support, there was an underlining fear for the decision. But she knew what she wanted and stood with it (How the whole episode went is a story for another day).

Now, the journey into professional photography started and I asked myself, “What would have informed my thinking I was a photographer (as I have been shooting before now). The first two weeks Intensive class training at eloPhotos Academy made it clear I wasn’t near a Pro (though I knew deep down). There was so much to learn, that my brain got so overwhelmed and enlarged. Learning about the Aperture, Shutter speed, ISO, White balance, Lenses, Lighting, Depth of field, Silhouette, Long exposures etc. What it entails in documenting a moment in time, as a photographer, is indeed unquantifiable and priceless. I am proud to be one of those that will be giving/trading this service.

Well, it didn’t just go down smooth inside me, I asked myself several questions to confirm if I am still sane and game for the journey ahead. I had headache at the end of each day, almost throughout the two weeks training. Yes, I knew it was going to be heavy; it was heavier than I thought. But I am glad I made the decision (My Toughest and Best ever!). I also had to go through works of several renowned Professional Photographers in Nigeria and in the world over. At this point, I had cold shivers, this occurs each time I venture into that and concluded that indeed humans are mini gods, we are creators. God indeed replicated Himself in us when He made us and breathe His breath into us as documented in the bible. And also, our brains have greater capacity than its usage. That’s my testimony of the photography works I have seen so far. Got me actually thinking and even scared at some instances. How do I make it through, how do I get myself into doing greater works. I think I have to keep feeding more on these works to enhance my creative sense and capability.

Come to think of it, I actually resigned my job to do this. Not only that, I had a strong witness in my spirit, so I told myself; Omopretty (as fondly called by my close allies), You can do this, there is NO going back, this WILL be a great success. And guess what, I love to be called a Photographer. Watch Out for Mosope Onanusi

My 11th COMMANDMENT


What gut do I have to be ungrateful to God or to complain?

This resurfaced several times in the week ended; I had another episode of experience and learning. A visit to Akonko, a village in the outskirt of Ogun state, almost linking Ibadan in Oyo state was a big one.

I loaded my bag with leggings-socks as we have been told that mosquitoes there are weight lifting and we possibly may be coming back with mosquito bikes like boil. For me, that is the scariest part.  Other expectations were that there is no electricity nor telecommunication network and we are going to be there for about three (3) days documenting the village and its residents. Hmmm, God help us.

We set out early and kept going and going like we were travelling to the east, but we eventually got there and wow! It’s for real.  I have been part of village outreaches, so the village setting; the mud houses and bushes were really not concerns for me (though doesn’t sound like where I would naturally want to be).

Then the lessons began. After resting some few minutes, we visited the farm. I noticed on our way to the farm, everyone we met gave us a well composed greeting with a Big Bold Smile, children and adults alike. For real! or are we riding on the goodwill of our host? I thought. My mind flashed back to what transpires in Lagos and I was quick to conclude this People are indeed courteous and hospitable. There are some places you live in Lagos that you just automatically lose your morals, everyone rides their own horse. These people are obviously tagged the poor, but they’ve got what money cannot buy.

My presumption was confirmed as I further interact with the residents of the village.  They were much more open than I thought, they seem not to have a choice, they just wanted a better life and feel our presence and mission could enhance this.

Looking at the people, they were not different from us, just that they don’t have the opportunity and hope we have. No good water (We didn’t take our baths for three days, only necessary areas with sachet water), no electricity, no good roads, and most pathetic, no single good healthcare centre and no good school. The sight of the school breaks my heart, a dilapidated building that has just three teachers taking from Nursery to Primary. Those attending a better school trek one hour to school and back every day as transportation is another huge issue there. Wow! How can people be subjected to such life, I see a great level of neglect on the part of Government especially when I heard they had voters’ cards. Now that is hell crazy if you understand what I mean.

Reminiscing on where I am coming from, where I am, my high hopes of the future, I sighed and said to myself;

“Thou shall never be ungrateful. By any form of complain or unseemly countenance.”

That sounded like a commandment. Yea, for me, it is my 11th, as being ungrateful or allowing situation affect one’s countenance seem now like a sin. A colleague buttressed, “if God would not further do anything else in our lives, I think He has tried.”

I thought to myself, “We and these people cannot definitely have the same prayer points”. We have hopes alive, cannot explain what their state of mind is (definitely not what you would wish). But if the people in Akonko can live happy, there is then no excuse for someone like me.

Wait a minute, sorry I forgot to mention they made very sumptuous meal with little or no ingredients. The village called Akonko is one I’ll definitely not forget.

Stuck on the Moon


Last week, I felt like I was just hanging in between two phases and I was very much excited. You know that feeling that can be described as being stuck on the moon? Yes, that one. The one you have when you daydream about something you are not sure will come to pass but you dream anyway. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not the type to daydream and get out of reality, I still do what I have to do but in this case, the whole excitement is borne out of a possibility of stepping into an unfamiliar territory. Trust you’ll like to know the reason for such excitement, well, I’ll tell you.
Sometime in October last year, I saw a vacancy advert in my church bulletin and I applied for the post of a facility manager trainee. There was no feedback for such a long time I totally forgot about it until I got a text on Tuesday, 16th February to come for an interview the following Monday. Subsequently, I was invited for the second stage of the interview two weeks later and in another two weeks and five days, which was Tuesday last week, I was asked to come pick a medical test form to conduct some medical tests at a specified hospital. I had the option of picking it up the same day or Wednesday, the next day but I was the only one in the office as my other colleagues had gone for Jide Odukoya’s Photography Workshop and the fact that I had work to do (working on some pictures) made me decide to pick it up on Wednesday morning. So, I went to go pick the form next morning and then proceeded to the specified hospital for the tests. Thank God it was only medical tests I went for and I didn’t even have to pay because going there made me realize once again that I enjoy divine health so much that I don’t have to visit hospitals, something I am always grateful to God for.

I did that the next day which was Wednesday. The interviewer asked for when I could start and I replied that I could start in April which would be the on Monday, 4th of April. However, on my farewell note when I asked, “Do I just come on Monday or what?”, I got a, “We’ll call you to come for your letter” response and based on that response, I assumed I was going to get their call latest by Friday evening. Yes, your guess is as good as mine; I am yet to get the call. Nevertheless, I have to stay optimistic so, I just waited (and I’m still waiting). The amusing part was that I’m a bit restricted in making plans. I did not want to make any promise for the coming week because I knew I might get to resume work in a new office.

Here I am, at 3:36 am on Sunday morning and I’m yet to get a call or text asking me to resume work on Monday and as much as I do not like suspense, I have to deal with this one because unlike the movies, I can neither fast forward, rewind, pause or play events playing out in reality. In other words, I had better enjoy my stay on “this moon” that I’ve found myself while it last. Just in case you are wondering, I’m not confused at all. In fact, I’m far from being confused I’d rather say I’m amused.

Already, I miss eloPhotos and I wish I could stay back for some more time. So, if I don’t get the call/text, it’ll only save me from having to miss the company of my colleagues at eloPhotos but, whatever happens, I definitely will have no regrets. I’m OLUWATOSIN Sunmola

The Blessing In Repetition


Severally and over the years, many have tagged Repetition negative; repeating a task, an examination or class, having to start a research work all over again, are some of repetition instances that do not go down well. Personally, I have been made to write some examinations all over again and even repeat a class at some points of my life, it feels terrible really.

However at some of these instances, I have enjoyed the repeated version more because I became wiser, more knowledgeable and the result came out better. Though I had this deep seated inside, the acceptance was not an easy pill to swallow.

So recently, I repeated a class!

Yeah! I got you! It’s not what you are thinking. I repeated a class, but this time as an assistant to the facilitators to a course I once attended. The facilitators were both my mentors. So I established the great blessedness in repetition. Sitting right behind the class, hearing facilitators break down the highlights and make explanations, I felt like “this is just the best time to go through this class”. I made a whole lot of jottings, but this time, more relating unlike the first time that was filled with definitions, listings and all sorts. They sounded and looked more real as I can relate with them now; things I am presently experiencing in my internship training, though I am still a Work-in-Progress.

I also had to share some personal experiences and ideas with the students, assist where they need help or lack understanding, checking and sifting their project work and as well taking the class up in the absence of the facilitators. All these brought me to another level of learning; it was an experience I will not forget in a hurry. The students were also very smart and quite intelligent, they asked great questions that brought up deep answers, there was an evident zeal in the atmosphere.

The repetition journey did not just go without being garnished with some other sweet addendum. I met and became more familiar with some other young, purpose driven facilitators in the general school as there are other courses running. I am certain some of them have got my face (if not my name) registered as well. This is a good one for me for my quest to surrounding my life with possibilities and positive people; it also has the capability of softening the ground and breaking some protocols in future.

Another high point of learning for is, learning from other assistants that were later available for the course. Trust me, I did not overlook any new thing I saw or what I never knew. I tried all best possible to learn there and also booked to learn much later after the course.

I know by now, someone is liking this repetition journey and would not mind to probably deliberately repeat a task or never see repetition as failure anymore. Great inventors in our world never got it once, they tried severally. As a matter of being positive, “FAIL” is taken to be;

F – First

A – Attempt

I – in

L – Learning

For me, repetition makes learning stick more, you are better off. I am not saying we should keep failing so that we can repeat some things, be deliberate about what you do, choose to repeat some as the need arise. Anyway, God sure knows when best to make us go through a repetition to prune our lives.

As I drop my pen, repetition is no more out-rightly an enemy; we must just be deliberate and create positivity in it.

I MUST DIE THERE!


When you hear the word “I must die there” in this part of the world, a signal of “No retreat, no surrender” pops up. Oh yes, it is. A feel of “even in the midst of odds and hindrances, I will stick to this and I must achieve this.” That even when I am being overpowered or overwhelmed by challenges, or at the point of death, I will stay glued. I guess that is the height of commitment to what you believe in, and I also think until you get to this point, you don’t turn out in your best and you don’t achieve the best result.

I was encouraged to this point in a recent time. In the midst of listening to one of my mentors, beyond his words, I felt deep his passion and can match it with great results he has turned out. And I thought within me “really, my vision is worth my life.” If I don’t give it that, who will for me? Then he muttered those words, “I must die there.” Wow! that struck me, that is the word and attitude that will make this whole ‘me’ happen.

Day after day, I found myself resounding the sentence to myself. Though I had never come to the point of considering changing my mind, I have been stressed and stretched, felt bad and annoyed with myself and some people, even sometimes reacted. But in these times, that sentence just does magic for me. Just like the bible said of Jesus, “…for the glory laid before him, he endured the death of the cross…” So at every whip, the glory gets closer.

Come to think of it, I don’t think I have any other choice, this Must work! Loads of people want to learn how I made it, many want to say “didn’t we tell you?” A lot more would benefit from this move, so it MUST work.

You know one other interesting thing I find in this willpower I am getting acquainted to, the outstanding complacent part of me will be melting out as the days unfold and it pushes for constant positive thinking.

This whole process I have signed in for is getting more interesting by the day, this is definitely beyond just  making good images, this is a rebirth.

Many times when we see our mentors, we admire and quickly want to be like them. We don’t have an idea what has gone down into becoming who they are. Anyway, its all paying off, that is why we admire and aspire to be like them. I still have a whole lot to conquer.

Entrepreneurs really, deserves some constant great accolades and treat. Those guys are not cheap at all, they are treasured assets. Now I am understanding better, I appreciate it more and I will die there.

My name is Mosopefoluwa, I am proud to be a Photographer and an Entrepreneur in the making.

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
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10 Players; One goal!


“Pheeeew!”
That was the sound of the referee’s whistle which signified the beginning of the match. In no time, the game began! There was so much noise from the team hailing the team F. looks so much like team M didn’t have much supporters on the field of play. With so much skill and teamwork, the players from team F passed the ball to each other. She exhibited so much dexterity in handling the soccer ball on the 105 by 68 meter – field. T passed to A, after which A to M. M approached the goal post with eyes that said “This is mine!” She swung her hands high in the air and then….
I yawned noisily. I guess it was just one of my so called naughty dreams.
Of course, what were you expecting? I ain’t no fan of football but this was more than a football match. When you see 10married women come together to form a team towards a cause then you know that this is more than a football match.
Ever since late July, Mr. Seun Akisanmi had always told us about a group of women who were planning a surprise party for their husbands which they tagged “Husbands day”. I thought it was more of a ladies joke sort of until I got to meet two of them some weeks back. Listening to them talk about their various experiences in their marriage made me get goose bumps about the whole marriage thingy. The previous week was the time we got to conclude the various sessions with the remaining 8 women in the group of 10 as the event was scheduled to hold on Saturday.
Diplomatic, you might call them; but that’s what they are. A team of women that know what they want and know the right way to go about accomplishing it. A few lessons I learnt from the experience with them as I knew that implementing them in my life as a whole would go a long way in creating the better me.
In a brief, I learnt the importance of teamwork, appreciation, associations, goal setting and togetherness.
So she passed the ball to Player A and Player A skilfully approached the goal post. The goalkeeper was looking tensed already. It was looking like magic. How the women seems to proficiently handle the ball against his team dazed him. In a few seconds, she was right in front of him. He blinked his eyes, cleaned the beads of sweat which had adorned his face and in a twinkle of the eye, the ball had found its way into the goalpost. The whole field was ablaze with shouts of joy. All the members and fans of Team F couldn’t contain their joy; they ran all over the filled with chants of praise for team F. Team F had scored against Team M. Then, the strangest thing happened, both members of the different teams hugged themselves as a measure of appreciation of the amount of work done from both teams. Well, I hope you understand… I can be weird at times.
I am Boluwatife Akindele and I am a photographer!

3 MONTHS TO GO


While I put pen to paper to compose the usual piece that we are meant to submit on or before Monday morning at 8am, it dawned on me how little I had done through the whole week. Initially I felt the sole idea of this writing thing is basically to help our writing skills, brighten up our grammar and maybe build our diction but that isn’t the only case for me. I try as much as possible to put down in details that which I have done, what I learnt, my mistakes that I noticed, what amazes me, what blows my mind, what I find not very good and other side attraction like the new babe I meet e.t.c. Writing the weekly report for me is like preparing my own report card with my hand and in doing this, I see a lot about myself that I didn’t realize all through the week.
This report is no different from my usual style of putting a check on my performance. Having spent relatively 120 minutes in a week living my life as a photography trainee at eloPhotos, I realized that I found it a bit challenging to put down something worth writing as a report, something worth reading about. The challenge is not even putting together the report but tangibly stating what I learnt and the image that I produced. It gives me concern that I still struggle to state in specific term what I achieved in the week as an Elophotos trainee.
The truth is that I didn’t go the whole week strolling around eloPhotos office, wondering how beautiful my female colleagues are, pulling the truck to fetch water, going errand, buying food, pacing from Strait gate School to eloPhotos office back and forth. I learnt quite a lot on editing. Miss kike taught me her work flow on Photoshop (portraiture, layering). I also learnt customer relationship and expressed the fruit of the spirit (Patience) in some cases where clients have chosen to provoke me. I also learnt that a hard and tough client can be bought over. I learnt a little here a little there too.
Doing all this things seems normal to me now, not worth making my report. Maybe I need to take things easy here, may be not, maybe I have a very high expectation, maybe I am reacting to the fact that my hunger for achieving the goals I set for myself at eloPhotos is nowhere near satisfaction reach.
I will clock 3month on Tuesday 18/08/15 at Elophotos. It’s exactly half time for me at Elophotos on Tuesday. I will then have just 3 more months left to learn all I can learn at Elophotos as a trainee. 3 more months to read as much books as possible on the book shelf,  3 more months to learn some magical Photoshop technique, 3 more months to create outstanding images, 3 more months to eat “wanke”, bread and beans and laratu rice every morning, 3 more months to compulsorily resume at an office at 8am, 3 more months to learn those business techniques from Mr Seun, 3 more months to make as much mistakes that I can and find someone  to correct me almost immediately, 3 more months to be a better person, 3 more months to make that quantum leap, 3 more months to be the best that I can be. Unfortunately, my tuition fee also runs out in 3month and I pray at the end of 3month I can put together a beautiful piece narrating how I was able achieve a whole lot in the space of 3 months.
Thank you for taking time to read.
Tunde Talabi

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
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Facebook: Elophotos Studios

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

At the top of the building


It has become a common cliche today among some photographers to say that the industry is flooded and there are now too many people pressing the shutter, which shrinks the  individual photographer’s market share, turnover, and profit. This mindset is as untrue as believing that all phones are thesame. Everybody knows that a Tecno H5 is not same as a Samsung Galaxy.

Understandably, running a business in this age, can be very challenging especially in a great country like Nigeria, where it requires a lot of doggedness, tenacity, perseverance as personal attributes, and flexibility to change, prompt innovation, foresight,
as business features, to succeed and edge competitors but, one of the business lessons the 21st century has taught us is that there is always a unique place for every business willing to pay the price, a vacuum which usually is even too large for it alone to fill.

As much as I am also not totally immune from this ‘incorrect thinking’, it was an experience that taught me once again to think the right way.
I was part of the team that shot the Episode 12 of the
First Nigeria Photography TV show, the Gospel of Photography, and it was shot at the top of a 4-storey building not far from eloPhotos Academy at Ikeja. The location was a change from the usual, which mostly is the studio, and it was also a reflection of dynamism, which is a core culture of eloPhotos.

At the top of the building, during the shoot, I felt different. I was
seeing the environment I’ve always seen, in a different way. It was a beauty to behold. To the east, I  could see the busy Lateef Jakande road, tops of different buildings, as well as planted tress. Other sides too seemed similar especially to the north, where the palm tress at the end of Acme Road, formed a pattern, beautiful for the photographic eye. It was from this beauty I saw around, I started drawing similes to being at the top in work and most importantly in life.

Firstly, I realized there was large expanse of space, which made it easy to see far and wide, down and top, all at the same time. It was quite different from the ground where it seems as if there are houses everywhere and everybody is struggling for survival. I correlated this with the need for a photographer or any other person regardless of profession or field of interest to nurture the desire to be at the top.

Up there, there are only unique competitors, because at that level, only unique and valuable companies thrive, like Google, Apple e.t.c and this can only be achieved by building a formidable brand over the years. Businesses at this level can see and connect with the industry leaders, explore the abundance and opportunities around, erode the lack mentality. This is true for
everything and anything; if we must get the best out of our lives, be it our jobs, marriage, or any other thing, its always best to be at the top.

Secondly, I had the freedom to choose where to look, yet not losing sight of the other sides. I could choose to focus on looking at a place,
an an swiftly shift my attention to other sides if circumstance
demands. I liken this to opportunity of diversification which being at the top offers. When starting out in any venture, its normal to choose a specialization or to focus wholly on one’s profession while ignoring other things. But the privilege being at the top offers is that you can spread your tentacles to explore and exploit other business opportunities around you, to diversify investments, and capitalize on new ventures as they appear, to identify industry loopholes, and far emerging opportunities.

Thirdly, I realized one of the major things that make LandscapePhotography a wonderful aspect of photography. And it is the art of revealing the beauty of any place in the world no matter how rough or clean it might seem. The view of a city, a town, a village or even a small locality from the top is just phenomenal. No wonder one will see a picture of  the ‘brown roofs’ in Ibadan, and will exclaim ‘WOW’. The environment may look like an old-ghetto down below, but when at the top, we see the same place differently.

In lieu of this, I strongly suggest that once in a while, we go to the top of a tall building, preferably in an environment we are used to. It might seem simple but I think the experience can affect all aspects of our lives positively. At the top there are no worries, not that those worries have suddenly died, but they’ve actually gone on exile in the face of the beauty your eye beholds up there. And this is not only true for Lagos, it can be practiced anywhere.

The experience reinforced the conviction in my heart it is a fallacy
of reasoning that one can’t  make a headway in photography or any other profession because the industry is flooded. This is very untrue. Being at the top in business requires uniqueness and value, and whenwe say the industry is flooded, we are actually revealing our own inadequacies, and saying that we can’t pay the price to be there, because in reality, everywhere and anywhere, people are plenty down below, but at the top, there are only few people who make things happen. You can be one of them.

GO TO THE TOP OF A TALL BUILDING TODAY AND TRANSLATE THE EXPERIENCE.
Wondering who effectively translated the building top experience? My name is Akorede Sodeeq and I’m a Top Photographer.

A Mind-blowing week of learning


PLEASE LET ME TELL THE WORLD NOW. (2ND WEEK OF MAY, 2012)

Tick, tick, and tick like the hand of the clock the days of the week rolled by. Its a week that gave my brain quite some work to do (I mean thinking creatively) and eventually using my time effectively.

At Elophotos world on Wednesday, I met my boss editing and putting finishing touching to a video interview of a classic photographer (Micheal Adebiyi) and I watched him with rapt attention. Not long after, he stood up to attend to other vital issues and I humbly sought his indulgence to explain the job to me so l can go on with it, because honestly I was already feeling restless not doing anything. He gladly consented and put me through in few seconds.

Once he took his leave, I fastened my sit belt and continue where my boss stopped. At first, it took me a while composing the question creatively but overtime I found my footing and off I went. This was something I have never done before, nevertheless I took it as an opportunity to learn it and store the knowledge in my mental hard disk.

Its a new day! A day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it was my words when I open my eyes and behold its Thursday. I quickly did my morning routine and set out for office (Elophotos) the habitation of mind blowing books I really want to digest, and the dwelling of creative pictorial works.

On getting to the street I changed my mind to go on bike which was my first attempt from my door house straight to the office. I determined in my mind not to pay any JJC fare any longer to the bike men or conductor, so I put my negotiating skills which is also one of the skills I learnt at Elophotos to work and guess what, oh it works! I mean I took the bike from oke-ira (Aguda inside) down to fagba crescent at N80 as compare to how I took it before at N100 from Aguda bus stop to First gate.

I walked into the office, got the environ cleaned up and settled down to continue with the book have started reading on understanding exposure. The saying that knowledge is power is so true because as I divulged the book I began to have an in-depth knowledge of how to get a great pictures under different scene (be it snow time, at dusk, at sunrise, at sunset, and so on) with the right exposure.

After so much satisfaction from the book, I switched to editing pictures on my PC, practicing using my magical photoshop. I realized that practice, practice makes perfect. With Photoshop one is prone to forget the use of few tools if one does not constantly put them to use.

At around quarter to four, a brief meeting anchor by Mr. Seun Akisanmi was held with the interns, where the organizational values, the project at hand, pro and cons, the dos and donts were clearly stated. At a point in the course of the meeting I felt bad because I wont be around on Mondays when deliberations about the week will be done. The meeting came to an end at 5.30pm or thereabout and I left the office with this melancholy feeling which persisted till sleep caught my eyes as I laid my head on my pillow pondering at night.

The next morning (Friday), I got to the office earlier than the normal resumption hour as instructed by my boss. I got there as an obedient servant and I was sent immediately to Victoria Island to give one of our prestigious client something which apparently she needed that same morning of her birthday. I bounced on the street anticipating on getting to VI where I will feed my eyes with the goodies that awaits me. (Am not a Lagos Girl, I be Journey Just Come, so dont blame me).

I put a call through to the client so I can get the description of where am going and merely hearing her voice on phone which is so endearing, even increases my anticipation the more. The Holy Spirit made it so easy enough for me to locate the place with little or no stress and here comes my way an epitome of beauty. If I had not seen her picture before now, I would have believed her radiant beauty today was because of the celebration in the air. We exchange pleasantries, deliver the message and of course I didn’t forget to congratulate her and also ask if the cake will get to me. We laughed it off and bade each other bye. Mission accomplished, LOBATAN! Just like Photoshop, there are one or two other ways to get to your destination in Lagos, so was the case as I journey back to the office.

Another encounter I had with another vibrant soul, (Mr Emmanuel Bright) is also something that lingers in my memory throughout the day. A believer, an idealistic and a vision carrier are the three words I will use in describing him. We got talking just for a short minute and he got my horizon widening up for greater works. To a fool it might seem he talks too much but to me, his words were not only meaningful but also inspiring to keep you spell bound up to his final statement. Moreover he talks for a living, so who cares once it reflects on the positive side in his bank account. I like such people, will want to be around them and learn from them especially because the Bible says that in the multitude of counsel, there is safety.

Photographically yours,
Tosin Bakre.
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Plan to attend the next session of Basic Course in Photography
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