3 Lessons from the night shoot


It all started when I and a fellow colleague decided to try out some stuff during the night at the office. Thursday soon came and we had discussed earnestly on how we wanted to put so many things to practice and work on during the night. It didn’t take quite long before the day ended and everyone else departed from the office. We had dinner and then started some work. We started with shooting some videos inside the studio till we concluded on the concept we wanted to get outside. In no time, we got our equipments ready and moved into the dark to shoot. He modelled for me while I was behind the camera. As we began to shoot into the night, my mind began to notice somethings around. I looked away in order to focus on the shoot but was till determined to get something out of them. The moment the shoot ended, I pleaded with my colleague to give me a few minutes as I decided to translate those moments into what I had in mind. Those things I saw earlier were lights; lights from the different bulbs in the surrounding. I immediately knew what those lights could translate into so I set my camera and I began to shoot. I had always seen bokeh pictures severally on the internet but had never had the opportunity to produce anyone myself. I leveraged on the opportunity I had then and began to make those dream pictures of mine. After I took a couple of pictures, we retired into the studio, copied the pictures to my system and then retired to sleep as it was going early into the next morning at that time. I decided I was going to work on the pictures the next morning because I was feeling so sleepy already.

I honestly felt like I hadn’t slept enough when my alarm rang at around 4: 00am which made me put it off and continue my sleep. I can bet that virtually everyone has had that sleepy experience before. Later on, I woke up and prepared for the day which had eventually come. Fast forward to when I began the editing of those pictures. It was at that time some stuff began to dawn on me. I was beginning to see so many things that I had not noticed at all during the shoot. I would be sharing just 5 lessons from the shoot.

  1. LIGHT IS ALWAYS NOTICED!

Whether the light is as small as that coming from a nokia torch or as wide as that of a car’s headlamp, one thing I noticed was that, the light was always noticed. I feel that many times we get too carried away by the quest to be popular and famous that we forget to shine our light. Impact is a form of light and should be the goal of each and every one of us. Hence, we not only impact, we can get the fame and popularity that is embedded in being lights. I think I’d rather chase impact and get both impact and popularity than chase popularity and end up frustrated. There’s no how you chase impact and you wouldn’t be famous/ popular. This just makes me remember a part of the bible; Matthew 5:14 – 16 that says

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick: and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

  1. LIGHT ELIMINATES DARKNESS

However or whenever a form of light is introduced, it eliminates whichever form of darkness that it in the surroundings. Darkness flees whenever light is introduced. I began to think that the reason why some things could seem dark or misunderstood to me was because light had not been shone on that sphere.

  1. LIGHT HAS A SPHERE OF INFLUENCE

Even the sun does not light up the whole world at the same time. It works on some parts and then, when the earth revolves, the other parts of the earth are lit. Be it in business, art, education, entertainment, there is a sphere of influence that each of us occupies where we can always shine as lights. We obviously cannot shine everywhere but we all have been placed in strategic positions where we can shine and reflect the glory of God.

The lessons to learn from the night shoot are too numerous to write in one article. I have learnt quite a good number of things and I hope you have too

I am Boluwatife Akindele and I am a photographer.

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!

The JAMES – IROHA TOUR


“Hello, you’re welcome to my photo garage……”
That moment was priceless and golden. I flashed back to the first moment I heard that voice which was when he was awarded the life time award at NiPHEC (Nigerian Photography Expo and Conference) 2015. Uche James Iroha is a photographer and I had been following him for a long while on social media. Meeting him in person this time around was quite a thrilling experience and it was one of the major experiences that defined the past week except of course the day when I…. (Top secret! Not to be shared with any one *smiles). That aside, it was such a great time and I can’t wait to let the cat out of the bag.
I, along with my fellow interns from eloPhotos studios were given the opportunity to visit Uche James Iroha; one of the top photography products of Nigeria to learn from him and let him share his experiences with us.
We arrived the venue at around 12:13 pm and from the view outside, we knew we were in for serious business. Though he didn’t come to attend to us till around 12:31 pm, his trainees did a good job at entertaining us. Even the artwork on the walls were not left out, we were enthralled as the sight; it was quite amazing. During our time of waiting, we exploited the moment in taking selfies and settling ourselves down awaiting the man of the moment.
He didn’t take long before he came and he gave us enough time to familiarize ourselves with the environment. We had our seats and were all ready to listen to him speak and inspire us all.
“I am James; Uche James Iroha, I am a photographer and the conductor at this photo-garage” that was his introduction which to me is worth an award. I guess I was expecting to hear “I am the award winning, Nigeria’s top bla bla blah” but I was dumbfounded as his reply was simple, straight and quite humble for a top photographer like him. It reminded me of how humble I must rem ain no matter how far I go in this photography journey. He gave a quick introduction of himself and told some stories and as you can expect, it was full of humour. I kept staring at him; I had never expected him to be this warm and friendly based on my assumption of his kind of personality. He had proven me wrong. He explained that he calls himself the conductor of the garage because God (which he calls the driver) was only using him to get a number of people to a destination. After spending a couple of time talking about his photography, he moved on to telling us all to introduce ourselves and the genre of photography we intend specializing in.
Introduction began in earnest and he dedicated special time towards each and everybody that introduced themselves. He would explain the technical needed in that form of photography, the skills needed and sometimes his experiences in that field. His trainees weren’t left out as they were also given the opportunity to learn from the visit.
Fast forward to round 3:54 pm.  Heavy heads, burning hearts, eyes with passion and photography visions on fire, Mr. James ended the meeting with him. We couldn’t help but be marvelled at so much depth that had just been released which obviously was far from the shutter speed, aperture and ISO which many of us had learned and relearned; it was a new perspective to photography. One of the things we had learnt amongst all were what he defined as the 6 steps to a creative work which includes:
Look
See
Observe
Study
Confirm
And then shoot!
We had several pictures with him and in no time, we were all on our way to the studio.no doubt, we had been filled. As Mr. Seun would always say, it is the implementation of these things that matter and not just the hearing. It was overall a great outing; one enough to write a book from.
I am Boluwatife Akindele and I am a photographer desperate to implement these things in my business.

7 DAYS


It’s just been few days since I began my internship programme at eloPhotos studios and it’s been fun, engaging, strange, lovely, eye opening, stress filled and everything you can think of. I resumed eloPhotos with just a basic idea of Photography and within one week, I can say that there has been a paradigm shift. It’s been quite tasking having to wake up as early as 4:00 am just to be able to do all that needed to be done before leaving home as well as beating the resumption time of 8:00 am. Within one week, I have become a stronger and more enlightened fellow; that I know for sure.

For me, one of my most inspiring moments was having to sit to talk with Mr. Seun or having to work on a project with him. I am always awed at the amount of wisdom he emits. You don’t need any form of meter to measure this, except of course your brain. His resource of knowledge is limitless. Sometimes, I had to steal glances and stare at him for minutes!

Each and every day of the week came with its high points and I can only thirst for more. With the creativity, life lessons and hard work one gets to encounter on an everyday basis, one might just be on his way of joining the wierdos’ club; of which Mr. Seun happens to be the chairman.

Meeting new friends and having to cope with different school of thoughts is really challenging. Different people hold different suggestions about a particular subject which in most cases might differ from how you were taught. My colleagues as well as our tutors have been helpful and encouraging. I had to spend a large part of my time having to write, think and plan. I got to learn that from Zach and Jody Gray at NiPHEC 2015. As much as that can be an excuse to be lazy, I guess I’ve chosen never to be associated with the average. That would require some hard work from my side but I’m ready to do whatever it takes to succeed in this industry – Photography. I’ve learnt to be excellence oriented; to give the best and not my best at every given task whether it is photography related or not (Well, virtually everything we do is photography related).

I also joined the eloPhotos group of those who eat “wanke” I don’t know the English name for that meal but after hearing about it over and over again, I tried my hands on it. Whether or not it was worth it, you’d get to know that in my post specially dedicated to the experience of joining the eloPhotos wanke eaters association.

Come to think of it, if you’re thinking of training at eloPhotos or you’ve made a decision to do so, please do yourself a favour by erasing impossibility from your head, mind and heart. If possible, forget the spelling of the word because it would save you so much stress on a long run because Mr. Seun would always love to tackle you and would always have his way. The last week was full of discovering many SEEMING impossibilities and breaking so many fallow grounds. With series of assignments and brain racking tasks, there was no boring time at all.

“Bingo!” The moment I’ve been waiting for. My high point this week was having to work on a frame. The most creative frame ever seen anywhere in Nigeria. I’d just have to be discrete about what I’m releasing here though but seriously, watch out for it.

So, I’d be sharing 5 life nuggets I learnt this week. Of course, you don’t have to pay for this but if you need premium life counselling and consultancy, you can contact me on 0815….. *Lol. Just joking though. Now back to our 5 life nuggets;

  1. As much as lies in your hands, do all you can do to make it to the top. When I mean all, I mean positive things. Don’t tell me you stole just because you wanted to make it to be rich
  2. Always think like there’s no box and not thinking outside the box like we’ve always heard. Dream as much as you want to achieve. The sky is a starting point.
  3. Be accountable to people. (*grins). Let someone have a track record of you. I quite have an issue with this as I tend to only let my good part out while the not too good remains between me and God. Now, that’s its out, I know I’m working on it.
  4. Effectively manage your time. Don’t let circumstances / situations use your time for you.
  5. Communicate your vision with those who you surround yourself with. When I say those you surround yourself with, I mean those who you want to run with you on that mission.

Now, that I’m through I feel like adding another one but I’m integrity inclined. I said 5, its 5.

Overall, my first week at eloPhotos is one I would tag enlightening. I really can’t wait for the next week to begin.

I am Boluwatife Akindele, and I am the photographer you all have been waiting to see.

Please do feel free to comment and share on your social media platforms

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MY INITIATION STORY


At this moment, I can only imagine many of us unconsciously remembering on or more of those stories we were told in the past about someone who got initiated into a cult and/or one of those Nollywood films we had watched in the past that had done quite a lot of damage to our mind-sets over a lot of things.

On a more serious note now, it’s the initiation story or rather, my initiation story! Wanna know how it happened? Let’s go….. I know you’d enjoy this!

FRIDAY, 10TH JULY 1:40 PM

“Ko si isu o. isu ti won” (Meaning – there’s no yam; yam is now expensive)!

That statement broke my heart for a few seconds or more. I had never expected this at all. At that moment, I was at crossroads and needed to make an important decision.

Some minutes earlier, I was at our editing room at eloPhotos; confused, tired, weak and hungry. The weather had not helped matters at all as the rain made me “hungrier” or so I thought! I needed to get something to eat but had little or no amount of money to spend on that. It’s quite funny how fast I have turned into one who is very conscious about how he spends money even though I never studied economics throughout secondary school. Well, when the realization of somethings dawn on you, responsibility shows face. So I concluded then that I was going to get fifty naira yam which of course I had concluded would cater for my hunger needs till I left the office that evening.  Another intern had shared my views and had agreed to do same!

Obviously, I was stuck with this food seller who said she didn’t have yam because yam was expensive in the market and for me, beans wasn’t an option. I was almost thinking I was going to remain hungry throughout the day until…

“Would you rather eat wanke?” Yewande asked.

Yewande is a colleague at eloPhotos; another intern and wanke was one term my ears had grown accustomed to hearing ever since I started the internship programme. What “wanke” meant in English I didn’t know and what it was composed of, I didn’t know likewise! Sluggishly, I answered in the positive. I really didn’t know what I was in for but I felt it would be nice. To confirm my heart rumbles, I asked Yewande again if the meal was sweet. She answered me in the positive and it just did it for me!

If it was sweet and had been eaten every intern at eloPhotos and they were still in love with it, then it’s a go. I added that she should just serve me “wanke” fifty naira. I was a bit shy having to say that but then, it was my money and she wasn’t giving me any extra o! In no time, she was done serving the food and we were fast on our way back to the studio to have a delicious wanke meal! In a few minutes, I was initiated; not to any cult but to the wanke club. All I knew about the wanke meal was that it was made majorly from rice. It was later I got to discover that many of the interns got initiated too after they began the internship at eloPhotos. So, my case wasnt any different. It was quite shocking for some to see that I was eating this generational meal but then I had no option.

Come to think of it, I just remembered I had a balance of fifty naira to collect from this “wanke” woman. Forgoing it wasn’t an option at all. I know I would remember to collect it or maybe use it to buy another plate of wanke. Anyways, that’s my decision to make not yours!

Are you planning to come to eloPhotos, please do not forget to ask where wanke is sold and have your initiation soon!

My name is Boluwatife Akindele, recent initiate into the wanke club and proud Photographer!

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!