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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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
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

An Undeniable APPLICATION


Dear Sir,

APPLICATION FOR THE POSITION OF APPRENTICE

I humbly apply for a position as an apprentice in your photography school.
I am ALABI Oluwabusayo, a God fearing young man with a passion to touch lives and spread happiness. I chose photography mainly because I want to be able to experience and store the memories of the subject in the view finder of my camera. Also photography, as I found, is a visual way of capturing that illusive phenomenon called TIME. Our memories, be they sweet, pleasant, beautiful, dreadful, lovely or bitter all have they abode in TIME. Photography makes me (as a child of God, a Christian) truly appreciate the people I meet and get to know daily, because in a photograph our lost loved ones remain alive. And being the one with the eye behind the view finder, you remember every nanosecond before and after the shot.

I came across elophotos in September 2011, online before my NYSC. I visited elophotos academy in August 2013, where I met Mr Akisanmi and saw firsthand life in the academy. Haven spoken with some of the interns, I was hooked. One look at the interns rules of engagement, I realized this is serious business. Elophotos seeks to arm young creative minds with the arsenal to tackle problems they may face in the photography world and life as a whole, armed with weapons such as integrity, creativity, timeliness, professionalism and excellence.

I am young and intelligent, versatile, hardworking and ready to learn. I tackle problems with a possibility mind set and undaunted zeal. I hate to fail as well as disappoint, hence I face challenges head on. If in a team I can never be the weakest link, but a support for it in order to achieve our team goals. I have no doubt that I would be of immense benefit to this dynamic organization even as an apprentice if given this opportunity.

Yours faithfully,

ALABI Oluwabusayo