Creativity Has Its Own Language


The previous week, for me, was an avalanche of many learning opportunities. However, by far the most remarkable event that stood out in my mind was the “creation” of the editing room tables.  I used the word CREATION because that is precisely what described the making of the tables currently adorning eloPhotos’ editing room.

Ordinarily, when people want to make tables, in fact any furniture at all, they call a carpenter,then tell the carpenter exactly whatthey want and leave the work to him; after all that is the carpenters job?  But then, as I have come to appreciate, in eloPhotos you are not bound to follow such restrictive “rules”. If you need a table nothing stops you from creating one yourself. In fact, a table does not have to be made with wood or the usual materials that the unyielding mind has arrogantly come to associate with furniture. What says furniture must be made of only wood, metal or plastic? What law prohibits a table from being made with paper?

Well, you can make your own furniture, you do not always need a carpenter to make one, and you can make one with paper. I saw it all happen at eloPhotos.

As it so happens, eloPhotos is currently renovating, and everyone is aware that there is plan to redesign the studio and bring in new furniture. But what most people, including I, never considered, was the manner some of those furniture will be acquired.

So when the amiable owner, and the creative engine behind eloPhotos – Seun Akisanmi, fondly called Mr. Seun by all, observed quite a number ofhard cylindrical paper rollers, which were be disposed by the printing outfit that occupies the second floor. He imagined that these rollers could be used for something and voiced his thoughts to the rest of us – “What if we use these to make the legs of our tables?”

Well, I was skeptical and doubted how a few about-to-be disposed pieces of cylindrical paper could possibly be used for tables? What if someone spilled water? What if these tables collapsed under the weight of the equipment’s that will be set on them?

But then, Mr. Seun not only insisted it could be done, he practically demonstrated what he meant by constructing one.  Whoa! We have an office table with wooden top and paper legs! Not only is the table sturdy, it looks neatly crafted. After the initial one, two more tables have now been constructed by members of the team using same approach and material – wooden top and paper legs.

 

This experience was a huge learning point for me, as it reinforced in my mind what is possible when creativity is buoyed by imagination. Not only was Mr. Seun able to see what was possible with supposedly worthless paper rollers, he was also creative enough to put what he had imagined together.

In my mind, albeit unconsciously, I had narrowly delimited being creative within a photography studio environment to what could be achieved with images only. Aren’t images what one “logically” wants to be creative about in a photography studio? But creativity has its own language and logic is not necessarily part of its vocabulary. It does not matter its application –whether in photography or making furniture; creativity has a common language. When allowed to blossom, creativity does the same thing over and over – connecting things that logically seem unrelated to provide unique, valuable solutions. I saw that demonstrated and it was a gratifying experience.

Segun Ishola

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In Prayers & Business


Starting the week with God in prayer and singing was not uncommon, Red 19 was on ground to head the session, Mr Seun Akisanmi had ended the prayers with his poetic-like lines. The first and the only regular meeting of the week had begun, everyone with one or two words; one two three the ball was passed and in few minutes to the hour the meeting was over.

Our usual training session had started with Sal Cincotta, a video session of about 29hrs, the thing was to break it down and take the dose of photography and business bit after bit. The Basic business principle was explained; either in photography or any other it’s all same: pricing, marketing, target market and the face of the brand. During the period one could easily behold himself as in a mirror. The description of a man who enjoys creative and passionate of his craft, he set out on a business venture to make earning, in no time he soon becomes aware of the enormity of the task he has embarked on and that business is business. His emotion and sentiment had brought him nowhere. The business is riddled with the passion of the craft, family and friend factor, and the face of undesired and undeserved clients. He is faced with mounting bills and cost, and the craft had brought him no farther than he thought.

Video classes are not uncommon with the foreign artist, and so much for download on youtube and some other video platforms. Majority are centered on camera techniques and skills, posing techniques and its likes, and just a little on doing the business of photography, getting to see the video was just it, and no much fun can be than to listen to the artist with much of the understanding of the business.

Sal Cincotta is very successful business owner and the owner of the Salvatour Cincotta photography. He turned pro back in 2007/2008, and made successes in the business of photography. His business had a time declared 1 million dollars in the year 2014 as revenue.

Snapshot was a part of the week of business of photography. We had hosted him to facilitate a class on the Tuesday. We suspended our video lecture and justify his presence with the attention of our team to his knowledge and experience. His local perspective was best right on time, no better time to share his over five year’s journey. One of the high point was to him making money and improving his art without a sense of direction and vision. At a point he made up his mind to take up the full-time role of an artist after a period of about four years and his journey had been much adventurous.

One or two things to pick, sometimes we tend not to agree their perspective of life, but they have a message and the result is evident. Mr Seun had made arrangement for us to be part of the seminar down on the island; Sottu was on ground to discuss business. The talk had ended with just little on the business and more on his techniques and portfolio. His openness to show his pricing and his packages was it for me. The bottom line is Sottu has just decided to join the league of the few who are committed and passionate about helping the upcoming.

IT IS SCRAP


“Do not blame the rich, they do not know how it feels to be poor.” That is the interpretation I gave to the outburst of a speaker at the summit I attended recently, saying cameras that are not high ends are scraps. But he failed to teach us how to get there. As much as I agree that a very good and very expensive gears kill the job for you as a photographer, you do not get to access such gears at startup except you have a rich family background. So how do you save up to acquire the “high ends” if not by using the “scraps,” which makes great images as well; after all, the camera only makes the image your eyes already saw.

I suppose he is one of the rich dudes that started out as a big boy. I sincerely did not get his point because not even he will lend out his “high-end” gear to a newbie photographer, so how does a “not privileged” newbie pull through? Really, I am grateful for the foundational education in eloPhotos, very balanced I must say.

Analysing Bayo Omoboriowo and his philanthropic photography was a high point in the week for me. Yes I call a philanthropist; His foresight is deep, his interest and commitment to things and people is impressively genuine. So many of us photographers pursue money, but he personifies the saying; “Pursue your passion and success/money will follow you pants down.” The whole event of “The Coversation”/Book launch held at the Presidency showcased his high level of wisdom,value-adding attribute, forward thinking, humility, human relations… I can go on and on, the guy
captured my heart. And all these attributes did not just jump on him as the presidential photographer, he has upheld these values and the philanthropic nature since when he was a street photographer, had a personal experience with him back in the years. Something cuts at me, who does that? Giving all the proceeds from his book launch to IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons).

All the efforts, all the calibre of people who attended the event and their supposed depth of donations! Who does not like money, not even in this recession. It reiterated the truth that; “Joy is not defined by wealth, it is contentment that has its key,” and “wealth is not in money, but how many lives you affected positively.”

October 1st won’t leave my mind in a haste, not just because it was Nigeria’s Independence, but this contentment thing that brings joy confronted me again. Took out time with some younger friends to go visiting some families unannounced, just to show some love. Touched quite a number of places but one stood out. More than meeting a full house (the whole family members were present), much more than meeting them eating, the aura in the home lighted my heart. Even though we were getting tired by then because of moving from one place to the other, we were energized by the so much love in the family. They were not the “rich” that had varieties to munch, they did not have beautifully painted walls, well tiled floors or beautiful sofas, but they had joy.

We actually met all of them; Dad, mum and four well-built young men eating “garri (cassava flakes) and beans” from the same plates, gisting and laughing over the meal. Wow! I felt that was awesome and will be more tasteful than eating “fried rice and chicken” crampy. They were all very friendly and funny, I sincerely loved what I saw. Contentment is sure a virtue to be valued in life.

I am not sure going to stop taking life lessons as I, Mosopefoluwa Onanusi, savor my photography skill learning.

Attached are pictures taken last week. Do let me know what you think of them

evening-sky-ait-rd-6 evening-sky-ait-rd-10 macror-1 rainbow-after-rain-ait-rd

The N100k I LOST


As happy and motivated as I was, I dashed my dreams and disappointed myself. I had a hundred
thousand naira within my grasp and on a platter, all I needed to do was complete a simple task of
negotiating for a particular commodity for a particular price and redeem the N100K prize but
unfortunately I was unable to complete the said task. The situation was and is so disheartening that I
can’t even explain the details without shedding a tear. The fact that I lost the money is not as hurting as
not being able to complete the task.

The week brought a lot of lessons along while coming; having not to cover an event for a cousin was a
big deal for me and became a platform to learn something new. I kind of had a soft spot for her and
didn’t even charge her a reasonable amount because she’s family, unfortunately she wanted a free job. I
really don’t understand why because I also used to have that mindset before that if my family member
ran a business I should pay less or nothing to get their services or goods, now it seems difficult for me to
charge a family member but this issue is something that is needed to be really dealt with if not, one will
soon run out business.

We have been watching a video on Sal Cincotta’s lecture on the business of photography and among all
that I’ve been learning, he said we shouldn’t feel bad for charging what we charge as photographers and
as business persons generally but should be confident to charge what we as well as our service is worth.
He also gave us tips on how to transform our business from the ordinary to an outstanding business
outfit. As much as it sounded harsh and not nice the Business tips from Sal Cincotta plus admonitions
from my boss came in handy for the negotiation with my cousin during the week because I probably
would have done the job for free on her own terms not mine.

We also had a guest lecturer over during the course of the week in the person of Adesanmi Oguntade of
Snaptures Photography. He shared his experiences with us regarding how he ventured into photography
to escape a certain academic frustration but it turned out not bad, he shared how he had failed and
excelled thus far in his photography career. I also learnt the principle of low-end customers and how
they can proportionate to great business transactions. Often times we neglect marketing to a set of
people thinking that the other set cannot afford to hire us, of course not everyone is your client, but we
can even make transform people into marketing for us without directly rendering a substantial service
to them.

My name is Enor Izomor and I’m proud to be female photographer interning at eloPhotos Academy.

Caught In A WEB


He just stood there still as a rock. He should fight for his life, struggle his way out of that unfavorable situation; I expect that he’d at least give it a try. Still he was still; I stopped to ponder for a minute, he didn’t seem to be worried about the situation he was in.

Why wasn’t he worried? Why wasn’t he devastated? Why wasn’t he struggling his way out? Why? Why? Why?

I had been in this place called Akonko, somewhere in south-western Nigeria, since the day before and seeing the lifestyle of the people in this village I was marveled; nothing like I’d ever seen before. They were so carefree and not tensed unlike the city I live in where even the oxygen we breathe in is tensed. I’ve said it times and again that if there’s a reason to worry, then these people had more than enough reasons. Where there is no electricity, no good drinking water, no health care facility, no internet or mobile network source, school fees worth less than N1k seems unaffordable, schools are equal to a dead end and a lot more that can’t be written; I think there’s no better definition for misery than these but ironically these people didn’t see it as that but were even more carefree than people that had all that and more.

This butterfly was caught in a web and when I expected it to be worried and struggle its way out of the web, it just stood there and watched in patience. I’m guessing it had earlier been struggling and fighting to get out of the web and that didn’t seem to be working so he opted to try a calmer and stress-less method, it’s just a guess but I suppose the worry-free spirit was abundant in the village called Akonko where I captured this butterfly.

Relating this to our lives, as long as man lives there will always be reasons to worry and when you try worrying does it work? I can say 99% of the time it doesn’t work except you’re banking on the negligible 1%; so I was thinking why not emulate the Akonko approach and try the calmer method. It’ll cost you nothing to try anyway; let’s reduce the hypertension in the world and loosen the web easily, it all begins with you.

Just so you know I released the butterfly afterwards.

butterfly caught in a web in akonko

butterfly caught in a web in akonko

“Google to Start FREE Photography & Makeup Services”


Now imagine you wake up on #Nigeria‘s #Independence day celebrations to discover that #Google just gave Nigerians a birthday present. Imagine they just announced that they’ll be starting, effective #October1, a #photography & makeup service arm of the multi billion dollar company. To make matters worse, imagine that you – the reader of the supposedly-good news – are either a #photographer or a #makeup artists.

HOW WILL THIS ANNOUNCEMENT AFFECT YOUR #BUSINESS?

My goal wasn’t to intentionally deceive you with a blog title that has the #potentials to render thousands of #photographers and #makeupartists #jobless. My goal is to bring to our conscious awareness the fact that it’s becoming paramount the need for us to reinvent everything we know about photography, makeup & business generally. Most of us never undertook any serious level of business education before starting our businesses and it’s affecting us whether or not we acknowledge it. My campaign is for us to have a serious rethink of how we run our artistic businesses.

I know for sure that many of us will be terribly affected if Google decides to launch such services. Their concept of #FREE will cause many of us to either sell our gadgets to survive, or move into other unconquered Google fields so we could barely survive. Imagine they start by #advertising that #passport pictures is for free. Anyone who goes to Google #Photos can get up to 200 free passport photographs yearly. Anyone who goes to any of their branches can have a free #portrait #session and get all their high resolutions softcopies for free. Anyone who visits their makeup saloons will get their first 10 sessions absolutely FREE. Truth is it won’t be funny at all. Many of us will literally cry, complain and declare that the #Antichrist has come in the form of an unmercifully evil company.

This may seem like an extreme example to give but if we don’t rethink everything we know about how to run a photography/makeup business (or any other business)…….. Everything about #pricing, #marketing,#copyrights, #negotiations, customer service, #EVERYTHING…..the end will definitely be upon us.

I’ve had my own share of challenges this year (& still going through some now) and my rethinking process has been the reason why I’ve not been active on some online social media platforms. My rethinking process has even led me to sell a few things many people consider as assets in order to invest in a BIGGER dream process. Trust me selling off our ********** wasn’t funny at all but I believe without doubt there will be results in a few months…. Many of us (myself inclusive) spend too many unproductive hours daily on #Facebook, #WhatsApp, #Twitter, #Instagram begging for people’s approval and attention when all we need to do is to spend time to invest in something so radically different that will make the likes of Ty Bello, President #Obama, Bayo Omoboriowo, Kelechi Amadi Obi or Santa Claus call us for advice. Some of us need to take 1-4 weeks off to restrategize and rethink our processes before the unthinkable & unbearable comes upon us.

Please note that this message is NOT for everyone. I don’t write it as someone professing to know much. It’s just a challenge to a few people who care to take note to invest radically in new #inspirational ways of doing things.

The #books we’re #READING and the friends we’re KEEPING (or #mentors we’re FOLLOWING) will very well be a BIG determinant in how we’ll be #LIVING in 2 -10 years. A word, like they say, is enough for the wise. What will you do if #Google decides to move into your industry and provide the #products & #services you presently provide? Well if you’re travel consultant or tour guide, you might want to unbiasedly analyze how Google’s new baby, #GoogleTrips, will affect your business. Happy Independence day to everyone.

++++++++++++++++++++++
For those that couldn’t make this year’s Nigeria Photography Expo & Conference (NiPHEC), all he videos have been uploaded to our YouTube channel for you to download. Even if you attended, you might still want to watch it over again at youtube.com/niphec

YES It Is POSSIBLE


It is not only with God that all things are possible. With Seun Akisanmi, all you need ask is “Is it possible?” and the default answer you get is a big “Yes” irrespective of the request intended. I guess he is just exhibiting his father’s trait, he doesn’t believe anything is impossible, don’t bother dare him with it. This was our new discovery as we walk off to fixing some jobs this past week. While my colleague talked about how it was wisdom to ask to join me in the task and how taking the “is it possible?” route helps enhance the kind of favorable response, something popped up in my head, I smiled and muttered “wow, report caption.” You can imagine where my mind went to! This report thing, no be small thing o, you will just get creative by all means.

It is easy to believe the realness of something especially when it is repeated severally or more than one person is saying or doing it, it is pretty difficult to stand alone, you even have to doubt your sanity at some of those times. What saves you at those times is your confidence in the information you have of the subject matter and that is why true and sound knowledge is required to excel. I cannot imagine what would have happened if I didn’t have a fore sound knowledge of picture editing from eloPhotos or I was not confident of this, I would have been so tossed here and there by these incompetent photo labs who apparently need to fix/service their printing machines. Imagine what the problem is when an image with originally color green coming out as color blue, what! What could have happened, I sensed it was their ink, but was told they use chemicals instead of ink when I approached them. This is definitely the printer’s error, but this print guy won’t accept, he kept hammering on “I only brightened the image.” How on earth does exposure affect color!? The guy unrepentantly kept ranting foolishly, would not even allow me make my point even when the business owners came to intervene. It doesn’t seem customers’ satisfaction mean so much to them too as they were just concerned about the recent cost of print papers. Of what benefit is wasting time there, we are obviously not on the same level of knowledge. I left everything furious; my money (they were obviously not going to refund that) and their horrible papers, I am a Professional Photographer, and I can never deliver that to my client, No way! I made them understand that before I left.

The next day, I went to another lab only to get the same issue. Now, this almost got me confused, but for my sound training, I would have believed what the other print lab guy pointed was the issue- my editing. I complained, they adjusted their machine and got a “near the color” print. I accepted the result (I was tired of the whole process), only for me to be called by the first print lab that their engineer has rectify the problem in the machine and they have printed another. Of a truth when I saw it, it was the real color even better than the latter print.

So I learnt, never follow the crowd or be intimidated by them, they possibly are not right. Get sound knowledge and confidently take it on, you can be the only right person amidst multitude on a matter.

This is Mosopefoluwa Onanusi taking life lessons.

The Creative BEGGARpreneur


I had an interestingly revelatory experience last Sunday. Having just arrived in church, I went outside to try to get something to eat so as to enable me use effectively the medicine that was supposed to help me recuperate from Malaria. Getting to the food kiosk at Ikosi road, I was lost in thought trying to contemplate the most economically viable option for me to eat. It was then I came across the BEGGAR I would eventually consider as one of the most creative Nigerians I’ve met in recent times.

He approached me with the look that made it obvious to me he was about to ask something of me. I’m usually not too given to be merciful to people that just walk up to me in church to ask for money. Most of the time I’ve realized it’s a habitual career for many of them and it hurts me more to know that many of them lie about the sweet tales they tell. So even before this guy opened his mouth to ask me of what I assumed would be money, I had made up my mind that no money would depart out of my pocket that morning. His requisition would however surprise me.
“Oga, please can you buy me food? I’m not asking you to give me money, just buy me anything so I can eat. I am very hungry.”

I was touched. I thought he wanted to ask for money. I figured he must be genuinely hungry to make such a requisition to a total stranger. I was touched. I moved closer to the woman selling gala and decided to buy one gala for him. I eventually changed my mind and bought 2 gala sausage rolls for him because I was touched. He appreciated it with the usual “God bless you” gestures and I subsequently stepped away just a few feet (about 7 feet) from the gala seller. What he did next blew my mind out of the waters.

I watched him with all curiosity to see the level of vigor he would use to eat with haste the gala I just bought him. Eating it he eventually did not do. Instead, he went back to the woman selling gala and bought a ribena drink to help accompany the lonely gala down his starving system. That wasn’t the surprise.

What surprised me was when I saw him walk to a small kiosk behind the woman selling gala. I watched him as he took the gala and ribena and kept it into one of 2 big bags that was obviously filled with different food stuffs. Apparently other people had been buying him food and it looked as if he had gathered enough food stuff that will literally fill up a hungry man for at least 10 days.

I was shocked. I was angry. I felt duped. I felt like going back to ask him to return the 2 gala that I gave him because I felt he deceived me. I held my peace, stood and watched him for a few more seconds and then I was touched.
I realized that it was still a poverty mentality that made him come up with such a strategy. I realized that he had also witnessed the fact that not many people were probably as quick to dash beggars money in this season as compared to previous times. His economy had been drastically affected by the supposed-recession that has hit the country and he decided it was paramount that he change strategy if he must survive in this economy, especially if he wasn’t going to leave what he considered to be his passionate career of BEGGARpreneurship.

And then the revelation hit me. This beggar in his late thirties had to creatively change strategy if he was to survive in this times. As much as his mindset isn’t what I approve of, the idea behind his strategy is something to be emulated. If we as entrepreneurs, individuals & business owners must survive in these times, we must consider adopting new divinely-inspired strategies that will help stand us out of the crowd and make us question whether or not there’s really a recession going on in the economy.

My eyes still fixated on the beggar as he tried to arrange his spoils to fit perfectly into the 2 nylon bags that was now filled with goodies, I smiled. I watched him as he moved unto his next “client” and watched how the client yielded compassionately the same way I did. I was touched. I smiled. And then I silently prayed for wisdom for Seun Akisanmi to be creative enough to attract more clients in times like this more than ever before. May God help me. May God help us all.

The Journey to AKONKO


I was already on my way; it was 7:02am on Monday morning and like any other part of Lagos, there was traffic due to the bad state of the road and a myriad of motorists plying it. I had never plied this road before and unlike me I wasn’t interested in looking at the road. There were a few things on my mind at that time that needed quick attention; I had not submitted my weekly assignment and I needed to do so soon plus I wanted to read an editorial in a magazine I just borrowed.

It all started last week Thursday when Mr. Seun asked if I’d like to come along to Akonko; in my mind, while I answered in the positive, I’m like sir are you still asking. I’ve heard an earful of Akonko gist and was longing to see and experience for myself what I’ve heard, of course I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass me by. The trip was actually planned majorly because of an electrical engineer based in the US who was interested in providing this community with electricity to meet their basic electrical needs.

We got to the acclaimed Akonko village and it was just as I had heard- horribly looking school, dirty water to be drunk, no medical care, no mobile network or internet source, no electricity and of course terrible road network. The sight of the only nursery and primary school in the village made me chilly, the environment terrible enough for the children to learn almost nothing. We had to meet with the Baale (traditional leader) of the village so the engineer could make his intentions known; the Baale informed us about the several challenges they went through daily as a community, the most devastating for me was the lack of a medical centre in the village and the journey children took to their secondary school. There isn’t any secondary school in the village so their children had to trek a long distance to school since their parents couldn’t afford a daily transportation fare of about N800, all that ran through my mind at that point was that some children who have better opportunities misuse it and complain over trivial things while these children who have less opportunities value the little they have and go the extra mile to get the most out of it; the irony of life.

The engineer in turn told the Baale of his plans and how he intended executing his plans, the Baale who seemed to be more interested in a Medical centre set-up was still glad about this proposition although he stated clearly that funding was going to be a major hindrance due to the fact that most of the villagers live off their farm produce which isn’t worth much. The meeting ended on the note that the Baale would convey the message to the villagers and get back to the engineer via a middleman.

As soon as the engineer left, the journey began for us – eloPhotos team; the team comprised of Seun Akisanmi, Busayo Alabi, Temitope Adeniyan, Mosope Onanusi and I. First of all, we had an intensive meeting concerning eloPhotos’ now and future (I’m certain Mr. Seun can hold a meeting in the desert if need be) then we had a quick lunch before we moved to the farm. En route the farm Mr. Seun asked that we take as much macro pictures as we can to build our portfolios, thanks to this advice the journey to and fro the farm was not as tiring as it should be.

The trip slated for one night got extended to 2 nights and save for the annoying insects that kept stinging me and the discomfort (wasn’t expecting it to very comfortable anyway), the trip was worth it for me and wasn’t as bad as I envisaged. Thanks to the unadulterated air, fresh vegetables and fruits, it made our stay quite refreshing.
The trip opened my mind to a few things; the people in this village seemed very carefree and happy despite the state they were in. Of course they had worries and it was obvious that they should be worried but the case was in opposition to this fact, in my opinion they lived in a manner that was optimistic, expecting nothing but good. I caught immediately that happiness is not based entirely on your status or the wealth you have, but on the state of your mind; what’s going on in your mind and what are you feeding it with? Positive or negative? God help us all to worry not and be happy.

Enor Izomor is my name and I’m proud to be a photographer.

Here are a few pictures I took in the course of last week
flower macro

praymantis in akonko

spider

​THE CONFIDENT THIEF Vs. THE CAREFREE ME


I was shocked. I couldn’t even shout or say a single word when I caught him; all I did was hold my pocket and look at him sternly. Guess what he said. “kilo n se e” meaning “what’s wrong with you” in a tone that sounded like I’m even trying to help you.

We (Mosope and I) were on our way from Ikeja, computer village precisely, when we stopped to buy plantain chips from a petty trader on the road. I was still complaining about the size of the commodity when I felt something move slightly in the pocket of the cardigan I was wearing. Apparently a skinny dark complexioned suspicious-looking young man was trying to pick my pocket for the phone that was borrowed me. Yes, I lent the phone from my boss. I’m aware of street theft but I had never experienced it personally before, so I’m still a bit carefree with my things on the road; this was an eye-opener for me. It would have been a horrible experience if he had succeeded but thanks to God that was not the case.

I’m beginning to understand why Elophotos scrutinizes it’s applicants before accepting them on board; let me quickly share my experience.

I’ve met Mr. Seun Akisanmi severally in Daystar skill acquisition program (D-SAP) and I perceived he’s one very strict young man – well, he is. It took time, encouragement and a lot of boldness for me to decide to speak to him about furthering my photography training in his photography school (Elophotos academy). Finally, I meet him and after narrating my photography dream to him, I thought I was even speaking gibberish that day because I was really tensed. After my speech he asked, “On a scale of 1-10 what was your level of determination like, here in D-SAP?” Guess what my answer was? 4! Even I was dissatisfied with my answer. And I felt worse when he said he’s looking for people with an 8.

The questioning continued that day and even led to an assignment which further led to a meeting leading to another assessment and assignment before registration and payment was even considered. Notwithstanding I got the admission and like any young person that had been applying to a University I was elated.

Working with Elophotos for the past 3 weeks has given me better understanding as to why they go the extra mile to run the scrutiny and give you the rules and regulations before registration.

This week was more of what the hurdles of being a photographer looks like, we covered a wedding during the course of the week. Although it was quite an enlightening experience, it was also stressful and in fact even more stressful than I imagined. 

We were privileged to attend training on the importance and use of digital/social media. The training exposed me to several uses of the social media and the improvements that have been made over the years.

To wrap up the week, we had a spontaneous job on Sunday afternoon that kept us waiting for our client’s model. Unfortunately we were unable to do the shoot due to the unavailability of the model. Gladly the wait was not much of a waste of time because I learnt quite a number of things during this waiting period. I’ve come to understand now that no time should be wasted; you can actually get the best of any situation. It all depends on you and how you perceive the situation and circumstance you find yourself in.

I’m Enor Izomor and though it’s getting tougher, I’m still glad I’m a photography intern.

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.

Under The SUN or In The Rain


Preparing for the week ahead and knowing well that the week should with the submission of my weekly internship report (a on or before 8:00am Monday morning stuff), I settled to fix this. But I had not gotten the inspiration to write through the weekend. Usually, I start writing Sunday morning and end by afternoon, but alas! Nothing has come to mind, this is serious gbege (trouble) o.

Then, at about 09:00pm, while pondering on what the past week was all about, two lines in the NYSC anthem;”…Under the sun or in the rain, with dedication and selflessness…” dropped on my mind. What could have brought the song to my mind that moment, NYSC anthem! I sang it about ten years ago, and here we are, having the lyrics cropping up fresh at a time like this…. I marveled. The words of the anthem are definitely pointers to Passion, Love and Commitment, this struck me absolutely. I then remembered what transpired in the past week established that these three (Passion, Love and Commitment) majors for Photography as well, even the week ahead poses to be tougher because of the lined up to-do list, something in me feels like a super human.

It was still post-NiPHEC, hands still on deck to make some deliverables; our Zambian speaker was still in town and still has an affiliation, as he hand-picked me as his Personal Assistant, so I had to fix personal things for him, not neglecting my office work which is primary. All these took me to some places, both pleasant and otherwise. Example was Aroloya in Lagos Island where I framed the certificates of Recognition for NiPHEC speakers. Very messy and disgusting, the previous day rain had worsened the situation. There are areas where I had to jump like a squirrel, tiptoe or even close my eyes because of some black water and stuffs around. And guess what, the best selling sector there is the Food market. I suddenly realized innumerable small-scale food canteens all round the place; there is virtually no corner you turn to that you don’t find at least five, and guess what, they had customers even taking turns to be attended to. Very alarming, cooked food in this kind of place! I was just seeing typhoid, dysentery… all around. Their air was not a good one as well, as the whole atmosphere was also full of smoke from Igbo (weed), I was almost holding my breath throughout my walk through the area, until I got to where i carried out my purpose of going to this amazing place (that was my first time).Where I did my framing job, show cased another story entirely. It established the reason why the rich will always be different from the poor; Excellence in Service Delivery and Customer Relations.

Truth be told, it is obvious the rich understands the concept of multiplying wealth, so their service delivery is outstandingly incomparable with that of some low class people. And they see whoever that complains as ‘’customers from hell”. Here is the response I got for ensuring I got a near neat and perfect job; “You are the only troublesome customer we have had in one year”, and I wondered what is wrong with the eyes and brains of other customers they had if the job I turned out from there was ‘trouble’ as one of the attendants voiced out.  I agree that some low class people deliver excellent service, those are the wise finding their way greatness. I wish seminars could be organized for the guys in that market to achieve excellent jobs and more satisfied customers.

”…Under the sun or in the rain, with dedication and selflessness…”, as it resonates, is gradually playing out because I don’t think I can or anyone else can pull through, especially absolutely dependent starters in this photography business, without upholding these lines.

However, despite the present staring challenges, I chose to see the positive and greatness because this is where Mosope belongs.

Has GRACE Finished Also?


The devil was all out for me this week, it was a week of test. I have not had it this hot before, but trust me, I seriously engaged him as well. I wouldn’t allow defeat, to the devil?! Oh no, that would be too costly, so I thought. I managed to counter question and comments he came up with. He gave me close shots that almost threw me off balance, no breathing space but I was stubborn to sure win. 

It was a very tough debate; all these took place in my mind.

What a smart dude, with a nice strategy. He gave me millions of reasons why it was stupid to take such decision I had made; ‘How did you even get to this point, this is not wise at all. Now look at you, your colleagues and former bosses’ advice will be justified, Better don’t go around them yet. Even your parents will not be happy. Now you are financially handicapped, you can’t even sort some basic things again. Oh my God, at least you still had little then & hope that it will be regular. Or you should have just joggled both together. So how would you get through this now?” These are few of the numerous points he confronted me with and I can bet you, I replied every as he raises each. It was hot back-to-back, we were both stubborn but little did I know I was already sustaining some injuries. As the day goes by in he week, he battle went on and on, he was strong still, I was becoming moody and struggling to be my happy self. Could it mean he is getting at me? No way! I pushed harder.

Then a twist came. Decided to change my display picture on Whatsapp to an old picture I took about two years ago, then my boss saw it. Can’t guess what really went on in his mind, but this conversion ensued;

Boss: Chai. Is it eloPhotos that made you loose weight? Cos you fresh in this picture o

Felt like a slap, concretizing the battle I have been fighting at.

And I replied; Awww, No money again, I faked a smile.

Then a blow-like reply came; “But has grace finished also?, Or you were only surviving on money? It is well. You see yourself.”

I just remembered the experience of Jesus in the wilderness when he had his own share with the devil. And he was like; “It is written…It is written…It is written”, then finally said “Get thee behind me Satan”. Wow! I jerked back to life, that’s the word I needed to kick the devil’s ass out. That was my “get thee behind me Satan”. Those words were definitely God’s deliverance for me out of the battle, very right on time and I am so thankful for it.

I must sincerely say here that the major and toughest battle we would fight in life is within, right in our minds, but we must find our “get thee behind me Satan” word after our several “It is written.” That is when you can have aaavictory and peace.

Wow! Week in, week out, learning seems just beginning and grace has not finished yet. I remain 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.

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.

HELP! Is My Head Still On?


Each day of this past week did not pass without the feel of “is my head still on?” And I came to realise that there are heads and there are heads. Or better put, there are brains and there are brains. Little wonder why some people greatly excel and it seem some are struggling it out, while some cannot even raise their heads. I summarized, it is the extent of the engagement of our brains.

Knowledge is wider than our existence, so Learning is unending and must be deliberate. I paused and thought; what ever informed us that going to the conventional schools is what learning is all about? Are you kidding me! That must be a great lie from the pit of hell (grinned). Right now, my colleagues and I think it is even a waste of time especially in this part of the world. And when they say “knowledge is power,” I bet you it can never be overemphasized. When it is well appropriated, the result is massive, money will just be catching up. Acquiring it is one thing, appropriating it is another.

Time, uhmm I understand well now when they say “time is money.” Beyond the literal meaning, it explains that time is more valuable, than we tend to act on it. And I have waste a whole lot of it, I wished I could get those years back. I know better now and still in pursue of more knowledge. What I preach to young people had a new twist, especially when I see them whiling away their time with frivolities they esteem important, at least I have a story to tell because I have been there before.

Back to this brain thing, I felt so terrible, sweating under air conditional with some daring headache, after a session at the Google office. You know that feel when you suddenly realise you have not been using your brain well or to full capacity. And I asked myself severally; “Am I living at all? What have I been doing with my life?” I should address my mindset and tend towards positivity more, expand my knowledge and make my world work. Guys are turning out great and amazing ideas, concepts, building life structures that will surely make you pause and think. And they are achieving this much not because they have money, in fact most of them did not even trade with money, but their intellectual property. I guess I should stop here, before the headache starts all over.

Well, for me to write all these, I think my head is still on, just that my brain needs some flushings, I need space. Some formatting and reinstalling. Never mind, I’ve got a back up for the important stuffs in it.

My name Mosopefoluwa, I am on a journey of brain reformation

LOVE’S ENTHUSIASM


​There’s a rumble in my tummy but it’s not hunger pangs neither is it dysmenorrhea or constipation; I’m falling in love. I can’t seem to fathom how and when this happened, he’s got me drawn to his personality; every day and every time I try to get an understanding of who he is, I get drawn to him further. I understand better what Sinach meant when she sang “the more I know you, the more I want to know you”. I can hardly sleep these days, I’m either pondering on what I just found out about my love or trying to find out more; it’s like he follows me everywhere I go because even while I’m walking, talking, eating, boarding a bus I keep seeing him around. I find him so irresistible and I can’t stand it anymore. I’ve found some people that are experienced in this kind of love affairs, they are training me on how to love him better and maximize this love to yield pleasant results. There are also lots of people who having been through this kind of love took the initiative of writing their experiences both good and bad to the benefit of upcoming lovers like myself, I’m trying to exploit that as well.

My love life is quite complicated like a few other love affairs in our society, I get to sacrifice a few things to satisfy my lover like my four month old job, a few meals, my sleep and most of all my laziness but my dear lover is also enduring and patient with me to learn to love him at my own pace, the opportunity to love him is one of the sweetest things that has ever happened to me and he has enough room for my many flaws and even when I feel stupid, inferior and unworthy, he has a way of encouraging me to keep on.

My love is very vast and it seems I can’t comprehend him but he knows I can be versatile if I want but he’d be glad if I could just love him in my own way be it wide-angled or otherwise as long as I can focus and compose. He says I should use the right speed to allow just enough illumination so I don’t get under-exposed or super-exposed results. As expensive as my love’s family may be to maintain, they are the most accommodating and friendly I’ve met lately; because of their luxurious nature my parents had not supported my decision at first but after much persuasion and my determination I succeeded in acquiring their support to a reasonable extent.

He tends to improve himself always so I don’t get bored of doing the same thing all the time, lately he told me that he could make me see things in 360o, I thought that’d be creepy would I have to turn my head all 360o as well. He told not to worry that I’d be pleased with the results and viola just the way he said it, it happened. All I have to do is chose what I want to see per time. In essence I have control of what I’m seeing. I’m not that perfect, I’m surely not to going to doubt the love he reciprocates towards me anymore, though it may seem difficult anytime I try understanding him.

He’s told me I can use him to influence my world and that’s just superb, all I need do is make him  understand what he has to do and with my creativity and skill we can positively influence the world we found ourselves in. I’m super excited about my new love and even though it took a while for me to break up with my first love, I’ve not regretted anything so far.

My name is Enor Izomor and I love PHOTOGRAPHY so much. Proudly a Nigerian Female Photography intern at Elophotos Academy.

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!

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

Pointing fingers


One of the easiest things to do is pointing. You will agree with me that pointing at anything, whatsoever it is, is so easy that it almost require little or no muscles. Ladies find it so cool to do when taken on a “don’t worry about the bill” kind of shopping. For guys, pointing fingers is mostly in a game of hunting; that moment when some exact choices need to be made. Whether in the pepper soup joint, at the point and kill spot, at the suya spot, or where there is a handful of ‘chicks’ (if you know what I mean). It’s just part our everyday life. 
In the last two weeks, myself and my class of about nine students had been engrossed in this fun filled activity of finger pointing. Ok, stop! Before you start fantasizing about us going on a shopping spree (though I can be generous) I am not Dangote’s son. All we did was pointing fingers at each other’s’ work.
Let me at this point clarify pointing fingers or finger pointing in the context of this writing. It’s simply criticism.  It’s been two weeks I had been teaching on creative writing in photography, and I had given them several assignments from putting themselves into a particular picture and write from that perspective to writing from the photographers’ perspective. Each student came back with his/her side of the story and I must admit they have been creative. They took turns to present their story and we (myself and other students) give our criticisms. It’s quite easy to point fingers you know.
As I carefully gave my criticism (largely constructive), I couldn’t but reckon with the fact that it was a challenging moment for me. I was challenged about how creative some of them came across, and sometimes wondered if I could have been that creative if I was to do the assignment myself. This is a hard truth many will fail to admit when pointing fingers at others especially their subordinates but if we put this into consideration maybe we wouldn’t always be that harsh in our criticisms.  
And to those who enjoys the destructive kind of criticism, well, all I have to tell you is; when you point one finger at someone four fingers is pointing back at you.
Selah!
Toye Peters

A bucket or a pipeline


What’s the wisest thing to do to make sure you never run out of water in your house?

Will you haul buckets as you need water, or have a pipeline system that connects your house to the water source?

This simple analogy, if well thought about, is enough for us to comprehend the basics of personal finance. Money they say doesn’t come with a user manual. In the modern world, almost everything rests on money. It is the most-spoken language of exchange and transaction. More than this, money is the wlanguage of comfort and luxury that man craves for. Thinking of water as money, who will have more between the one who has to go out to get a fixed pay every time? Or the one has built a system (a business, investment, e.t.c.). A question we can also ask here is;

Where is money?

Or should I say, where does money reside?
In the Bank?

Maybe, but not totally.

Money actually resides with people. The more people we can meet their wants or needs, the more
money we have. Getting the water into your house using a pipeline system is no joke; it requires hard work, a lot of time, and patience. Unlike, hauling buckets to the stream, when you can just take some kegs or buckets and you have water for some time before fetching another. So is money, building a business or investment is no child’s play, it requires more hard work than to be fixedly paid 12 times a year. The day you are not fetching is the day you are not taking your bath. So the times you don’t work, are times you don’t have money.

Hauling buckets or building a pipeline is a story I first read in one of Robert Kiyosaki’s book; Cashflow Quadrant. It’s a story of a village in need of easily accessible water. So they sought for people who will help supply water to the village. Of the bids received, Eden and Hazard were awarded the contract individually, to make supply. (I use Eden and Hazard to replace the original names used in the story, which I can’t remember presently).

Eden quickly hit the ground running. He started supply immediately. He bought buckets and would go to the river to fetch water into the village. He worked hard every day to meet demands, and was making a lot of money. He would wake up very early to make water available for morning needs and would also fetch in the evening when people would have returned from work, and would need water for domestic chores. Business was booming for Eden. Soon, he bought more buckets, and employed workers. He enjoyed the market alone, because Hazard was yet to start business. Although, Eden couldn’t meet daily demand totally.

Hazard was nowhere to be found. The chiefs and the villagers were worried. They had deliberately awarded the contracts to both of them, so they could enjoy maximum water supply and good pricing as a result of the competition. The village was getting worried with Eden’s monopoly.

For 6 months, Hazards was yet to start supply. Hazard had been an example of the popular quote that if given 6 hours to cut a tree, 4hours should be used to sharpen the sword. Immediately after being awarded the contract, Hazard knew what he wanted to do, and the kind of business model he wanted to run. He knew people would not only need water in the morning and evening alone but every time. He also knew they wanted clean, quality and affordable one. More so, that water should also be in abundance. He knew hauling buckets won’t get him there. So he contracted a construction company to help build a pipeline from the river to the village.

Hazard had spent the past six months sealing agreements with different partners involved with the projects including Banks, and the only thing left is consent of the village. He explained his idea to the chiefs and it enjoyed a consensus acceptance and approval. Soon, the project began.

It took another 6months before the project was completed. Hazard could then start supplying water, but he started in style. The King commissioned the project, and the first supply was made to the King’s Palace. The water was fresher, cleaner, and cheaper than Eden’s. Moreso, Hazard could supply each household its water demand for a week. Hazard’s water gained a massive market acceptability, and more than that, new business opportunities arrived. The villagers needed containers to store water, since it’s now in abundance. So, Hazard started importing plastic drums to the village, which can contain more water than traditional pots. The neighbouring villages also started demanding for Hazard’s water. This meant Hazard needed expansion.

Eden on the other hand was getting frustrated. He was losing his customers, and workers too. He tried selling at Hazard’s price, but was running at loss. The few sales he made was from people of the neighbouring village, and he knew soon, Hazard’s water would get there.

How much will be okay to cater for your needs, your wants, and that of your family. Does your work have the capability to cater for you for a long period of time, even without necessarily “working”? Understanding the pipeline principle, is key to appreciate that, to always have resources to meet our desires, there must be a pipe that connects the source and our own pockets. Usually, such pipes are businesses and investments.

Whether we haul buckets, or build a pipeline, we’ll all have money, but not in same proportion. The choice is ours to make. To need to work all the time for a fixed pay, or to make some early sacrifices, build a business or an investment portfolio, and sleep as the bank account rises. The choice again is ours, we are the CEOs of our lives.

Sodeeq Akorede.

elophotos october sessionPlan 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.

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What is life?


Life is beautiful but not always easy. It has problems too; and the challenge lies in facing them with courage, letting the beauty of life act like a balm, which makes the pain bearable during trying times, by providing hope. Happiness and sorrow, victory and defeat, day and night are the
two sides of a coin. Similarly, life is full of moments of joy, pleasure, success and comfort punctuated by misery, defeat, failures and problems. There is no human being on earth; strong, powerful, wise or rich, who has not experienced struggle, suffering or failure.

No doubt, life is beautiful and every moment is a celebration of being alive, but one should be always ready to face adversity and challenges. A person who has not encountered difficulties in life can never achieve success. Difficulties test the courage, patience, perseverance and true character of a human being. Adversity and hardships make a person strong and ready to face the challenges of life with equanimity. There is no doubt that there can be no gain without pain. It is only when one toils and sweats it out that success is nourished and sustained. This reminds me of what Uche James Iroha said, “Money is a graduation of sweat”. Thus, life is not and should not be just a bed of roses; (anyways I really need to sleep on that bed of roses though). Thorns are also a part of it and should be accepted by us just as we accept the beautiful side of life. I came to learn many things from last week activities at the highly esteemed eloPhotos Academy, from discussions, classes and task assigned to me. The thorns remind one of how success and happiness can be evasive and thus not to feel disappointed and disheartened rather remember that the pain of thorns is short-lived, and the beauty of life would soon overcome the prick of thorns. This is the joy I have in heart, that as an intern I will be faced with challenges even from fellow students and the world at large but the ability to endure and conquer it is what makes the best in me glow. Those who are under the impression that life is a bed of roses are disillusioned and soon will become victims of depression and frustration.

One who faces difficulties with courage and accepts success without letting it go to its head is the one who experience real happiness, contentment and peace in life. Those who think that good times last forever easily succumb to pressure during difficulties. They do not put in required hard work and efforts because they break down easily. You can take the example of a student, who burns the mid night oil, makes sacrifices and resists temptations so that he can perform well. Similarly, a successful executive has to face the ups and downs of life, not forgetting that life is a mix of success and failure, joy and sorrow, if he loses hope during difficult times, he would not achieve success and would be replaced by others. Even the strongest Kings and Emperors have had their cup of woes. Life has not been a bed of roses for them.

The adage “Uneasy lays the head that wears the crown” has been rightly used for people, who are successful and are enjoying power and authority. To sum up, life is beautiful just as roses but it has challenges which are like thorns and have to be faced and overcome by all. Those who accept these challenges and succeed are the ones, who know how to live life in its true sense. Thus, enjoy life but also be prepared to bear the pricks of pain before getting to the top. One of the most captivating moment of my life last week was the insight I got from a book I read on photography titled THE SECRET OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY.

To end with, I would use the words of my mentor which goes thus, “how much money do you want to make in photography in the next five years?” Some of the answers from my classmates amuses me because when I think to myself

“Does this person have what it takes to rack in this amount of money in the next five years?”

Sad enough, the answer is NO!

So I say this word, NOTHING WORKS ACCORDING TO PLAN IF THERE’S NO PLAN.

I am King Lemuel and I am a 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!

The Galatians 6:7 Principle


For whoever is a Christian, Gal 6:7 would almost be in your list of well-read scriptures because it has over time, grown into a passage that every Tom, Dick and Harry uses to judge some situations whether they are right or wrong. Galatians 6:7 states that “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

I’ve come to understand that if you sow into the life of your mentor, you definitely would reap bountifully. Well, only on the condition that you sow right but then not sowing and sowing right would definitely attract its own fruits which would be the rewards. Many times, you don’t have to do this directly; it can also be done indirectly. There are a million and one ways to sow into the life of a mentor and I’d be listing a few. Paying a token to learn from such a person can be a form of sowing a seed. Buying him or her things is a way of connecting to not only the mentor but the creator of the mentor. Dedicating special time to understanding their vision and also helping them to achieve this is also a way of sowing a seed. It’s a common saying that when you climb on the shoulders of a mentor, you are able to do things more than them not because you are better but because of the pitfalls you have been able to see ahead and avoid as a result of the platform you’ve been raised on. This is also a way of sowing a seed because you promote them and bring out the greatness in them. Giving or sowing now as the topic implies provides the platform to also roll minds with great people; there are many times you get the opportunity to do a few things not really because you are qualified to do such things but because you’ve been able to adequately leverage on the platform that your sowing into the life of your mentor has provided for you.

When we look around us and we talk about great people, there are things that we will notice/observe about such a person be it their awards, financial splendour and the influence. The God that we serve is so great that it is only a fool that will not associate himself with Him. He will never give right to the left and left to the right

Seeds are hard to sow; it’s quite easy to throw the seeds of an orange away than culture it into being a big tree. It’s easier to just spend that money with you than sow it into the life of a mentor. It’s much easier to pray for yourself than involve the name of someone else in your prayers. Seeds are quite hard to sow but the reward is bountiful; so why not face the pain now and enjoy later. Ignore the pain and sow the seed. Ignore the difficulties and sow the seed.

I am Emmanuel Obanijesu Omole and I am a photographer.

One long week at eloPhotos


Another adventure as a new intern at the ELOPHOTOS ACADEMY began on Monday 13th, July 2015. As usual, Mondays are always a busy day here in Lagos, nevertheless as I dress up to go work ,there is this big picture in my heart, and the consciousness that  I’m a  new intern at the prestigious ELOPHOTOS ACADEMY, makes  me feel like there’s nothing I can’t achieve. This first just concluded week has been such an adventurous one for me. I arrived ELOPHOTOS ACADEMY at about 7am on
Monday; thoughts of how things were being done at the academy flooded my heart, and thoughts of getting acquainted to my new classmates. Before long, virtually all the students were come together for the morning devotion, it was a once in a life time devotional prayer and praise session, as one of the interns named BOLUWATIFE AKINDELE filled the room with worship, as we all praises to the lord, before TUNDE TALABI; another intern lead us in an Holy Ghost filled prayer session. One would mistake the academy for a prayer meeting this particular Monday.

After benediction, a roster with portions of chores was read out and everyone got busy putting things in other. After we finished the chore assigned to us all, it was time for the business of the day which of course was learning photography. .After the class ended, it was practical time. Myself and a few of my colleagues went shooting images at the road side just to help us attain perfection in the area of photography that our teacher; MR TOYE PETERS had earlier taught us in the class.

As the night drew near, I thought to myself how could I be better at what I do, the answer came the next day when our highly esteemed director; SIR SEUN AKISANMI, called us for a meeting with him. For me, it was not just a meeting but a turning point in my life and my chosen career. He spoke about some basic imperfections, and gave advice to us all. There were many instructions and guidelines he gave
us in his words which sent chills to our spines. One of such questions which struck me was when he asked, “WHAT QUALITY IN YOU WILL MAKE A CLIENT HIRE YOU ABOVE ANOTHER PHOTOGRAPHER?”

The room was filled with dead faces and minds trying to fathom what answer to give to this question. The answers from other interns weren’t really convincing to me as I couldn’t think of what would make a client hire me above another photographer. As the meeting was coming to an end he gave us an assignment to take 10 different head shots of people in our vicinity. After thinking of where to get 10 headshots, an idea of going to the mall at Alausa Ikeja came and I was happy that some of my colleagues liked the idea, followed me and it was a great time at the mall. Talking to people I’ve never met to allow me
take a head shot of them proved to be herculean task, but we got a few nice shots and went back to the academy.

In less than a week, I’m now used to everyone at the eloPhotos Academy. Thursday was a very busy day for everyone at the academy as some were busy completing the frames that were to be used at a 70th birthday of a client, the preceding day which was a Friday, some were charging batteries to be used, others running errands so as to make the Fridays event on point, if I end without expressing my gratitude to an exceptional intern whose character towards me was nice, then I’m just like that basket that can’t hold
water, it was past the hour of 4 when YEWANDE an intern  came to me and said,

“I noticed that since you came to this academy, have not seen you eating before, are you fasting?”

I reluctantly smiled and replied I wasn’t fasting but I might have been overwhelmed by the purpose for which I was here than watching over what to eat. She left and when she returned few minutes later, and she asked me to accompany her to get food, only to find out she was actually buying the food for me. I was left humbled by her kind heartedness and I want her to know I sincerely appreciated the food. Friday came and it was the anticipated birthday of our client. I was be privileged to be a backup photographer at the event which started at the church before we moved down to the reception at the Muson centre Onikan, for the reception of the ceremony. It was a big birthday party as many dignitaries were present, too much to mention after taking shots over shots the birthday came to an end we headed back to the academy. It was a wonderful outing for me and I knew it was the same for my colleagues too. I
really want to say a big thank you to SIR SEUN AKISANMI; CERTIFIED OLUYA for giving me the opportunity to be a part of what I love to do best; freezing time through photographs …..

I am King Lemuel and I am a photographer.

A day in my life in 2020: Jide Jokodola


What a great day, I shouted from my bed around 6:30am in room 202 of the world’s only 7 star hotel; Burj Al Arab, Dubai United Arab Emirate. I wonder how all my nights on earth could have been if I have to the opportunity to sleep in this luxurious apartment. May be that was why I woke up late…smiles. I am so excited and I see it as a great privilege not to only lodge here, but to meet and network with the who’s who of the world. It’s Friday 6th March 2020, I thank God for bringing me thus far, and all in my mind is my presentation today at the Gulf Photo Plus Conference for the next two days. I am also eager to meet my mentor; Mr Seun Akisanmi, who is a Guest Speaker and would be speaking on “The Business of Photography”

As I prayed, my phone rings; picking my phone during prayers isn’t an option so I waited patiently till my prayers ended only to check after to see that my wife was the caller! Apparently, she thought I had forgotten my duty of calling her every morning – I never can! The view from this magnificent building overwhelmed me that I forgot to call her early. Although, she does not like it when I travel for long especially for my documentary projects, she supports and loves my works. I quickly pick my phone to call her back; with great enthusiasm, she calls me by my pet name and I smile, calling hers too.

My wife reports about how our twins passed excellently in their last examination and I cannot but congratulate her for her motherly supervision. My project tour has taken me away from home for 2 months now. In fact, she describes how proud she was when Taiwo won the award category of the Overall Best student in Science and Kenny; the Most Creative Art student in their school’s annual award day. It gladdened me to hear that. Without hesitation, I told her about the referral I got. It was the portrait I took Magaret Chan, the former Director General of the World Health Organization at the World Economic Forum annual meeting some years back that attracted and made their Executive Board to invite to cover this 2020 annual meeting. It took quite a while for my wife to remember the experience I had during the shoot because she knows I have quite a huge portfolio of dignitaries.

Interestingly, I had a research on the nature and weather of the whole continent of Asia that had to be submitted to the National Geographic Magazine by the end of April. Although, I had traveled to about seven countries in Asia sometimes last year, I could not continue because of the cold temperature at the mountainous far North of Burma, South East Asia that really affected my health. Therefore, I had to finish up my conference here and quickly travel to Cambodia and Cyprus, which I didn’t forget to tell my wife. I had also been granted by the Prime Minister of Lebanon to take the pictures of the hills and people they want to put in their new 500 Lebanese pound currency, marking their 77th year of Independence from France.

I had been so engrossed in talking to my wife till I noticed the time was 8:14 am. Wow! I had to end the call in the midst of the conversation in order to prepare for my presentation which was scheduled for 11:00am. It was time to check my mail. I get loads and loads of mails on a minute basis that it gives me quite an ache having to check these mails one to another. The moment I opened the mail, my attention was drawn to a particular mail. I had received a mail by the largest photography and imaging show; PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo in North America, if not the world. I’ve been asked to be one of the Keynote Speakers in that year’s October conference. Apparently, they’ve would have seen my works on Al Jazeera recently about “The Beautiful Drug Addict”, the documentary about the Columbian women. I took the portraits of teenagers and women into drugs and their involvement in drugs and crime, in the view to attract humanitarian intervention.

Consequently, another mail that got my attention was the one from the World Health Organization which was inviting me to become one of their Ambassadors in Africa. Wow! This to me was a great opportunity indeed. In fact, this to me is a dream come true; to be a Diplomat of internationally recognized organization. Actually, this may have been as a result of the documentary I did in the remote areas of Ogun state, Nigeria and Mindanao village in Mozambique about “Combating Child Hunger” in 2007.

At 10:30am, dressed up and ready for the D-day and at my door step is one of the organizers of GPP, Dubai conference. Opening the door, I found out that there are also about four protocols to guard me through the elevator. I never know I am this so influential in Dubai too. Sir, we have a limousine ready for you downstairs and it’s going to be a 5 minutes drive to the event centre, the organizer said. 5-minutes limousine drive! In my mind, I thought this would have been an over-pampering technique for not paying my Speech fee. Arriving at centre, seeing the welcoming team gives me another perspective about my life. This is an ovation I never received in my entirely life thus far. My presence attracting the press around the world, with flash lights on me here and there, I stepped to the red carpet for a couple of interviews. I try to imagine the numbers of cameras with burst mode towards me. Looking ahead to seeing my most humble mentor, Mr. Seun Akisanmi, with his customized designer jacket coming down from his BMW 9 Series, I marveled at such the huge crowd that rushed at him despite the Guards, Police Officers and Security Experts around him. I quickly rounded up my interview to meet him. Very elated meeting me as a Guest Speaker too, he cracked a joke and we laughed together as we walked inside together.

The peak of it all was that the award category as “The Photographer of the Year”. As the nominees were called, I panic and as eventually my name was called, I stood up in enthusiasm to receive my award. After the whole event, I was taken back to my luxurious room. I stood at the mirror to magnify my creator for such a great privilege of this achievement. Thanks to the people that helped me thus far; Pastor Sam Adeyemi, Pastor Bola Odutola, Rev’d Folajimi Sadiq, Mr. Seun Akisanmi, my family and most beautiful wife.

Ojo James’ day in 2025


14th August 2025

“Yaaaawwwnnn.” I deserve a rest, don’t I?

My body had to let out the fatigue that had built-up within her. The yawn was a testimony to the fact that my body needed a break from all the activities it had been through that day. I took a lazy look up at the wall clock in my hotel room and I realized my thoughts have actually not been in “today” but in “yesterday”. The time on the clock read 01:27 hours and I began to wonder what time I returned to my room. I picked up my diary to pen down the events of today, I meant of yesterday and as I wondered where it all started from, everything came right back…

My day had started quite early as usual at 04:15 hours of the 13th August. The alarm had sung her usual melody for me as I dragged myself out of bed into the bathroom to wash my face. I returned to my study table to have a look at my files and get them ordered in readiness for the day. I would be speaking at a conference organized by the Ministry of Environment of our dear country on a topic titled “Industrialization; its Impact on our Environment and the Restoration Process.” I had been invited based on my documentations that I had put together, in motion and in still photographs, which the government had come across.

“How did I get here?” I asked myself. As I recollected and reconnected events, I permitted myself to enjoy the golden moments of the past that put definition to the present.

It all happened five months ago when I got contacted by National Geographic in the United States of America due to some of my works in images that had been observed over time. The voice, which belonged to the Head of Environment and Conservations, Mrs. Joanne Praiser, discussed about hiring my services for a photo experience that they felt was going to be out of this world and she added that “we really do not wanna miss this moment because we have waited for it for four years.” “What could this moment be?” I thought within myself. I was humbled. I was told to make preparations as I would have to be flown in to discuss the brief. When the brief was discussed, I realized it was really out of this world. We were going to have our photoshoots on another planet, planet Mars! Whoa!

National Geographic had partnered with NASA, such that the latter would assist the former with her spacecrafts to get to Mars as a result of the timing of the closeness of Earth to Mars all because this doesn’t happen often: just once in every two years. I could go on and on with the collaboration but then, it was an awesome experience for me. On the team was renowned photo-environmentalist, Joel Satore as well as the Engelman brothers, Charlie and Kirby. How these guys have grown!

I took a quick look at the time and realized it was 06:47 hours. Well, I felt I still had some time on my hands; the conference was not going to start until 09:00 hours. There was enough time to sieve through the prepared scheduled list for the day aside the conference; it prompted me to make that quick business call to my planner on one of my exhibitions that would be coming up in two weeks from now. And having gotten assurances on the flow of the process, I returned back to my preparations briefly before I went into the showers to make myself ready physically. By 08:30 hours, I was en route the conference centre at the High View Spaces at the nation’s capital, Abuja.

As a national event, it was graced by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; the minister and state commissioners of Environment; other ministers in the federation; environmentalists and environmental photographers alike.

I did not have to mount the podium until about noon. My presentation was purely based on my documentations in pictures…motion and still. It comprised of my trip to Mars, how marveled the crowd was!; pictures of Mars from the distance was observed but all in all, the climax was stepping out of the spacecraft, to take pictures of the sandy-rocky surface of Mars. As part of our assignment of saving our world, we took as many thriving plants from Mars to be cultivated on earth since it had been proven that they would also thrive so well on earth and do much better than the plants we have on earth in terms of carbondioxide usage. Well, that’s biology. I ended my session; it erupted in hall wide applause. It was really cool to be a success in environmental photojournalism.

True to plans, we ended at 14:30 hours and thereafter went into an hour meeting with the top echelons of the nation. Afterwards, we stepped out to assigned areas of the environment to cultivate the plants in turns. The environment would be safe again and fitter for life.

At 20:15 hours, there was the capstone event, a cocktail party that had works of photographers exhibited, albeit, a tip of the iceberg for the coming exhibition that was going to hold in Lagos in two weeks.

I returned to my hotel at about 23:18 hours. Could I pick up the phone to call her now? I gave it a try…it rang, and kept on ringing. Just as I was about to hang up, my wife picked up the call at the other end. I was excited to hear the voice of the one who had backed me up and given every inch of her support to a man who has been away of late more than been around. Is this the price of being successful in my profession as a photojournalist? She seems to understand but then, I knew I’ll have to work on this to make my home front continue to thrive. Our kids have been bedded, my regards I did forward to them. “My Choice, I will be home again in 24 hours, thanks for your support all along, I love you real big.” “Love you too and see you soon”, she responded.

I went back to work afterwards, sifting through files.

“Yaaaawwwnnn.” I deserve a rest, don’t I? And the time was 01:27 hours of the 14th of August, 2025. Happier than ever was I as a photographer!

My name is Ojo, James O., C.E.O, Kim Canon Photos.

The week I met Youssuf Karsh


It’s Sunday! And it’s really funny how time flies!

The wedding I had assisted in shooting a day before really got a great hold of me. I didn’t feel like getting out my bed, but I still had to; I didn’t have an option anyways. I obviously couldn’t miss church service because of sleep.

With my eyes open and meditating on a few things, I felt like I had been hit so hard with a baton as my whole body ached. Who says photography is small business? I bet such needs a surgery. Amidst all the pains, I managed to get up to prepare myself for church service and in some time I was ready to go and fellowship with the brethren.

Service went well; not as usual but with a new experience. Every new service day opens me up another dimension. If you claim not to go to a church because of hypocrisy, I bet you’re just killing yourself. I moved on to a relative’s house and spent some time there; blood they say is thicker than water. As much as I wanted to enjoy the Sunday with my relatives, I knew I had to prepare for Monday. Having to think of Monday always tickles me. There’s no place like eloPhotos! That’s where you work with fulfillment in mind.

Monday came and seemed like one that had lots of potentials in it for me. Getting late to work wasn’t an option; I had learnt that from Mr.Seun, so I had to do everything in time in order to get to work early in time for the devotion.

Introduction to Digital Photography was the course Mr. Toye started with us on Monday, 29th June 2015.For me, I was so curious to know how Photography had evolved or transformed into what it is now making me pay precise attention to the class. I truly enjoyed the class.

Bingo! An idea dropped in my heart! I reached for a physics textbook which talked more on the idea of light and understanding it in order to fully grasp its potentials in my photographs even though I wasn’t a science student back at school.

During the class with Mr Toye few of my colleagues complained of boredom, I guess everyone has what interests them ‘cuz for me it was great fun.

Tuesday 30th, started on a good note too; continuation of Introduction to Digital photography , Mr Toye told us how the pin hole camera was the first camera, what really struck me was the fact that a man named George Eastman the inventor of Kodak lost relevance when digital Photography came into being.. He didn’t move with the flow of digital Photography and so most people don’t even use the “film” for pictures anymore, it is now the era of Memory cards as storage. He must have really lost ooo! It was another experience for me when I and a colleague was sent to picture works to print Toyin and Joe’s pictures. I had always known that most people in Nigeria don’t have a good customer relationship, but I have not stopped thinking and often times asking why mostly printers give people attitude, is it that they don’t enjoy what they do?  Well! Things will change soon- I believe.

Our program in church started on Wednesday and there was no point missing it. (Day 1 of the 7 days of glory).

We started our class on the discussion of our different researches given to us as an assignment  about Youssuf Karsh on Wednesday, 1st July, 2015. The terrible experience Youssuf Karsh had in his childhood days reminded me of mine ..hmmmmm! Even though his own wasn’t deliberate, mine was. That’s another issue for another day though. We were taught about image quality and the different file formats which exist. We discussed about types of photography and I learnt that there is a difference between forms and types of Photography. We had another assignment still about Youssuf Karsh and Ansel Adams. If you’re gonna make it in Mr. Toye’s class, then you must be a good assignment doer. He never gets tired of giving assignments

On Thursday, it was a privilege for me to minute Mr Seun’s meeting with Mr Kolawole, initially I thought it wasn’t so good an idea to involve a 3rd person in their discussion but it dawned on me that I was getting opportunities faster than I could imagine to handle people’s confidentiality which will help me in training my own members of staff in future. It was something I learnt from COZA though I practised this first when I worked as an admin officer for a little while in my former place of work (Fairview School). After the meeting, I joined my colleagues and we were divided into groups to share our views about Ansel Adams and Youssuf Karsh’s works respectively. We ended the lessons after airing our views about the ancient photographers and we called it a day after which I left for our Day 2 of the 7 days of Glory at COZA.

“Thank God it’s Friday” is what almost everyone says in Nigeria. I spent most part of that day outside the studio, I went to Mr clever’s office accompanied by Francisca for the collection of the photobook which wasn’t ready and I headed to computer village and spent something not planned for to fix my laptop’s sreen sensitivity.

We had a weekend class with Mr.Toye at Elophotos with a new Student and the week ended well.Hmmm! What a productive week! I never really got to meet Youssuf Karsh but his legacy lives on. I got to read so much about him that I now feel I’ve met him in reality

I am YewandeOladipo, a Photographer and I’ve met Youssuf Karsh.

Dear Kaduna Photographers….


Dear Kaduna Photographers,

Today’s scheduled workshop had to be cancelled  because we had an issue with the leadership of the photographers’ association over there.

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Apparently they want us to settle them before we can hold a workshop there and are upset that we didn’t consult them before deciding to advertise the workshop. Although their argument that we’re committing a crime by planning to defraud photographers of their hard-earned N2k is borne out of ignorance of what we’re trying to achieve in the photography industry.

Consequently they’ve threatened to do whatever it will take to disrupt the workshop & I personally don’t have the energy at this point to face them knowing that I’ll be travelling by road to reach Kaduna (from Jos). If you’re a member of such an association that fights back at a good thing coming their way, please reconsider your reasons for joining as this will inadvertently result in the dwarfing of your photography career.

For those that are ignorant of the law, you’re only mandated to join an association if your photography business is NOT registered with the government (via Corporate Affairs Commission). And even if that is the only association that exists, you have the government’s permission to start another association that will be beneficial to the group of photographers that want to move forward in their careers. I wish you the best in your photography endeavours & pray that mindsets of people that think that my presence in Kaduna (or any other city) is a threat to their “territory” will eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you happen to change your mind before the forthcoming Nigeria Photography Expo and Conference 2015 (which holds from June 13 to 15 in Abuja), I will personally make sure you get a a few complimentary tickets to attend some of the classes. Visit www.niphec.com/seminars for registration details.

To the leadership of the photography association, thanks for saving me the stress,  time &  money of getting to Kaduna. The rewarder of man will bless all our efforts. Let me go back to my comfortable bed and rest awhile, for there are 6 more photography territories to be conquered.

Port Harcourt, here I come.

Photographically yours,
Seun Akisanmi, for #NiPHEC2015

The 9-cities Photography Workshop Tour Begins…


We’re gearing up for the 9-city workshop tour teaching on

“OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES OF RUNNING A PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS”.

The photography industry in Nigeria is on the verge of a BOOM. Positioning your photography business rightly (irregardless of your current challenges) will help you maximize the benefits that are ahead. Join us in any of the cities listed below and be part of the photography brands that will remain relevant come 2025 & beyond. We’re excitedly looking forward to meeting you. Workshop time for all locations: 9am – 1pm.

April 22: Abuja
IHVN Training Room, 1st Floor, Millennium Builders Plaza(Old Nitel Building). Plot 251 Herbert Macauly Way, Almost opposite NNPC Towers. CBD Abuja

April 24: Jos
To be announced

April 27: Kaduna
Mediatrix
NNPC 1st Gate

April 29: Port Harcourt
Photostation Studio, No 60 Old Refinery Road Elelenwo

May 1: Lagos
eloPhotos Studio, 12b fagba crescent, off acme rd, agidingbi Ikeja

May 4: Ibadan
No 20, Awolowo Avenue, Old Bodija, Ibadan

May 6: Illorin
Yemi Ajala Studios, No 26, Eastern Reservoir Road, Tanke, Ilorin

May 8: Warri
STUDIOREFOCUS, shop G8 CK Value Plaza, Opposite Permanent Camp, by Police Post Orhuworun-Dsc, Warri.

May 11: Enugu
To be announced

Once payment of N2,000 has been made into Diamond Bank account number 0060967085 (Nigeria Photography Expo & Conference Enterprises), send an email with your full name & teller number or transaction id.

For further inquiries, send a mail to register@elophotos.com or call Jide (0808 839 8029) or  Femi (0703 334 3250)

Kindly share/retweet/rebroadcast

NiPHEC 2015……… 69% Loading….


Over 25 Workshops, Over 20 Facilitators, Over 2000 Photographers, 2 cities, ONE Conference. Kindly download and share the following graphics on your social media platform and help us spread the good news of photography. Click HERE for registration details.

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Preaching the Gospel of Photography


It is official. We’ll be going on air beginning March 10, 2015 by 12 noon. The Gospel of Photography is a program where we discuss & address issues in the photography industry with the goal of making you not just a better photographer but also someone that appreciates the profession. Kindly subscribe to the YouTube channel so that you’ll be among the first to be updated once a new episode is uploaded (on YouTube) every Tuesdays. The program will first be airing on Dove TV (available on Startimes, Consat, MyTV & ROKU) every Tuesdays from 12pm – 12:30pm. For questions & suggestions, send us a mail at gospelofphotography@elophotos.com

#gospelofphotography

NiPHEC 2015 To Hold June 14 – 20, 2015


The forthcoming edition of the 3rd annual Nigeria Photography Expo and Conference slated for April 6 – May 2 (2015) has been postponed to June 14 – June 20. The 7-weeks shift in date has been necessitated due to the political atmosphere in the country which has affected not just the logistics of organising a successful conference but  also (in more ways than anticipated) the economy of the country.

We strongly believe that the political dust would have settled once the new President of Nigeria is inaugurated by May 29 thereby giving way for many organisations & individuals to part of this monumental event in the photography industry.

Consequently the newly updated schedule will be put up as soon as we confirm the availability of our speakers &  facilitators. We wholeheartedly apologize for whatever inconvenience this might have caused the multitude of attendees that have scheduled their annual leave/holiday during the previously set dates. Kindly share the new dates with those you know might be planning to attend.

With the likes of Jide Odukoya, Demola Olaniran, Abdulahi Maigaskiya, Uche James-Iroha,  Aisha Augie-Kuta, Kikelomo Koleosho, Rick Sammon, Emmanuel Effiong-Bright, Olamide Bakare, Zach & Jody, Tom Saater, Seun Akisanmi, Bisola Ijalana & other world-class photographers, you’re bound to have a wonderful time of networking & learning. We’re excitedly looking forward to seeing you at #NiPHEC2015.

For sponsorship & exhibition enquiries, please kindly contact the following coordinators:
Niyi Ogunkoya, niyiogunkoya@elophotos.com or +234 9098844036.
Femi Adewuyi (+234 8036105170), Obasola Bamigbola (+234 8034965884)  info@niphec.com

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

The NUMBER That Changed My LIFE: 12


One would the unprecedented emancipation of the enigmatic lacuna that juxtaposes the essence of the dozen in the seasonal variation in a calendar period. Wow! This could have been another one from Honourable Patrick Obahiagbon. In fact, this sentence requires a 2075 Edition of Cambridge Dictionary to understand. Well, it could simply mean that something unique happened in the month of December.

I could have concluded that I was at the Cinema or the number of movies I watched in recent times has really affected my mindset but this appears to be me as one of the cast. Are these truly the men of old? The twelve disciples gathered together and it seems they were waiting for someone. Apparently, there would have been a schedule for a meeting on that particular day. Suddenly, one of them supposedly to be Apostle Peter just called me…“Bro! Diplomat! Could you please come and quickly take our portrait as well as our group picture”. You mean me, I asked.

As if we had known each other from Adams. Who told him I am a photographer, I pondered within. Without much ado, I quickly jumped to the offer and brought out my camera, calling them one after the other. I didn’t identify them at first, until Peter was calling out their names to be in order. This was the first time in my life I photographed white aged men. Within me, I was wondering these men would have been resurrected several times.

Camera setting… Action…Smile… All these were my words. In fact, I was overwhelmed by how aged but agile these men were. I photographed them on and on but I could not but paused when I heard John called out Judas Iscariot. It was as if a documentary of him quickly ran through my mind. All his acts written in The Book ran through my memory. It took few seconds for me to bring back my camera to focus. While taking his portrait, in my mind as if my camera should just turn to a gun and shoot him. *winks* I can’t avenge for God but the Jackie Chan in me wanted to fight “Shoki” that moment. *laughs*

Consequently, the session went smooth though stressful because most of them did not bring out their best smiles despite my efforts. Eventually, they noticed the master they have been expecting was around the corner. They just quickly asked me to excuse them. “O my God!”, that could have been one of my best moments to photograph Jesus. That would have given me a Life time Award as a Photographer. Well, if they did not allow me see him, may be another time; I said. I immediately stepped aside to view all the pictures I took. Brrr…! What is this, I shouted. I didn’t put a memory card inside the camera I used.*sighs* this is a terrible mistake, I lamented.

Immediately, I saw myself by the bedside. What could have gone wrong? It is dark. I struggled to find my smart phone to check the time. It is 12 at mid night. I started wondering about everything. I tried to go back to sleep but I could not sleep till the dawn of the day. Ah! Today is the 12th day in the 12th month of the year. Is this a coincidence? I managed to sleep a little until I woke around 12 at noon. Wait! There is something fishing, I said. I remembered that I searched for a photography training institute on the internet some days back. I jumped off my bed. Getting out under a very scorching sun, I grabbed my wallet to check the address. Number 12b! Come! The number of the place is 12b! Definitely, there is a direction with this number. In fact, this is an insight towards my pathway of success in life. The place is eloPhotos. I’m into my second month of training and I’m glad for this awesome privilege. My name is Jide Jokodola & I’m not only going to be a world-class photographer but one with remarkable positive influence across this generation and the ones to come. Watch out for me.

A Day In My Life In 2020: Jide Jokodola


What a great day, I shouted from my bed around 6:30am in room 202 of the worlds only 7 star hotel; Burj Al Arab, Dubai United Arab Emirate. I wonder how all my nights on earth could have been if I have to the opportunity to sleep in this luxurious apartment. May be that was why I woke up late…. smiles. I am so excited and I see it as a great privilege not to only lodge here, but to meet and network with the WHO’s who of the world.

Its Friday 6th March 2020. I thank God for bringing me thus far, and all in my mind is my presentation today at the Gulf Photo Plus Conference for the next two days. I am also eager to meet my mentor, Mr Seun Akisanmi, who as a Guest Speaker, is speaking on The Business of Photography.

As I pray, my phone rings. And only to check after my prayers to see that my wife has been the one calling. Apparently she thought I had forgotten my duty of calling her every morning. The view from this magnificent building overwhelms me that I forgot to call her early. Although she does not like when I travel for long especially for my documentary projects, she supports and loves my works. I quickly pick my phone to call her back. With great enthusiasm, she calls my pet name and I smile, calling hers too.

My wife reports about how our twins passed excellently in their last examination and I cannot but congratulate her for her motherly supervision. My project tour has taken me away from home for 2 months now. In fact, she describes how proud she was when Taiwo won the award category of The Overall Best in Science and Kenny, The Most Creative Art in their schools annual award day. It gladdens me to hear that. Without hesitation, I told her the referral I got. It was the portrait I took Magaret Chan, the former Director-General of the World Health Organization at the World Economic Forum annual meeting some years back that attracted and made their Executive Board to invite me to cover this 2020 annual meeting. It took some time for my wife to remember the experience I had during the shoot because she knows I have quite a huge portfolio of dignitaries.

Interestingly, I have a research on the nature and weather of the whole continent of Asia that has to be submitted to the National Geographic Magazine by the end of April. Although, I had traveled to about seven countries in Asia sometimes last year, I could not continue because of the cold temperature at the mountainous far North of Burma, South East Asia that really affected my health. Therefore, I have to finish up my conference here and quickly travel to Cambodia and Cyprus, I told my wife.

I have also been granted by the Prime Minister of Lebanon to take the pictures of the hills and people they want to put in their new 500 Lebanese pound currency, marking their 77th year of Independence from France.

I’ve been so engrossed in talking to my wife and I notice the time is 8:14am. Wow! I have to end the call to prepare for my presentation by 11:00am. Checking my mail, I received a mail from the largest photography and imaging show; PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo in North America. I’ve been asked to be one of the Keynote Speakers in this years October conference. Apparently, they’ve seen my works on Al Jazeera recently about The Beautiful Drug Addict, the documentary about the Columbian women. I took the portraits of teenagers and women into drugs and their involvement in drugs and crime, in the view to attract humanitarian intervention.

Consequently, the mail that got my attention is the one from the World Health Organization inviting me to become one of their Ambassadors in Africa. Wow! This is a great opportunity indeed. In fact, this is one of my dreams come through; to be a Diplomat of an internationally recognized organization. Actually, this may have been as a result of the documentary I did in the remote areas of Ogun state, Nigeria and Mindanao village in Mozambique about Combating Child Hunger in 2007.

At 10:30am, dressed up and ready for the D-day and at my door step is one of the organizers of GPP, Dubai conference. Opening the door, I found out that there are also about four protocols to guard me through the elevator. I never knew I am this influential in Dubai too. Sir, we have a limousine ready for you downstairs and its going to be a 5 minutes drive to the event centre, the organizer said. 5-minutes limousine drive! In my mind, I thought this would have been an over-pampering technique for not paying my Speakers’ fee.

Arriving at the centre, seeing the welcoming team gave me another perspective about my life. This is an ovation I never received in my entirely life thus far. My presence attracting the press around the world, with flash lights on me here and there, I stepped to the red carpet for a couple of interviews. I try to imagine the number of cameras with burst mode towards me. Looking ahead to seeing my most humble mentor, Mr. Seun Akisanmi, with his customized designer jacket coming down from his BMW 9 Series, I marvel at such a huge crowd that rushed at him despite the Guards, Police Officers and Security Experts around him. I quickly rounded up my interview to meet him. Very elated meeting me as a Guest Speaker too, he cracked a joke and we laughed together as we walked inside together.

The peak of it all is the award category as The Photographer of the Year. As the nominees were called, I panicked. Eventually my name was called & I stood up with enthusiasm to receive my award. After the whole event, I was taken back to my luxurious room. I stood at the mirror to magnify my creator for such a great privilege of this achievement. Thanks to the people that helped me thus far; Pastor Sam Adeyemi, Pastor Bola Odutola, Revd Folajimi Sadiq, Mr. Seun Akisanmi, my family and most beautiful wife……

To be continued….

The Day I Was ARRESTED in Ekiti for…


It was indeed an August occasion. One that I would never forget. I had been invited by Obasola Bamigbola to teach on the Business of Photography to a class hungry photographers in Ado-Ekiti. He had proposed we charge a fee of N2k and limit attendance to 10 students and I suggested we reduce the fee so as to reduce the excuse of the average potential participant for not making it because it was “too expensive”.

The workshop was to hold on August 28 by 7:30am and I eventually got to the city around 1am. My sleep was short, my excitement was high, my expectation was optimistic. After a short meeting at 7am with one of Ekiti’s finest photographers, Femi Adagunodo, I headed to the location where the workshop was to be held (Glintz Multimedia).

The time was almost 8am and my nervous quotient was raised by a factor of 100. Just 5 more minutes and the workshop would start officially. Suddenly, I heard the voice of someone that sounded like a thug. He was asking for confirmation of where the photography workshop was to hold. After Obasola answered him in the affirmative, he insisted that no one should leave the room that we were all under arrest. Truth be told, I honestly thought it was a joke.

After summoning his fellow thug compatriots, I realized that we were being treated like criminals whose crime was murder. At that moment, I knew that the police really isn’t your friend. Or are they? I was about to find out.

After arriving at the police station, we were directed to the office of the person that was supposedly the “oga at the top”. I was appalled at the level of treatment a police official hurled at a citizen before hearing their side of the story of whatever they were charged with. Apparently, the unwritten rule is that you’re “guilty until proven innocent”. The Oga would eventually ask the other 8-10 photographers that were arrested with us to step outside while Seun Akisanmi (that’s me) and Obasola Bamigbola remain in the room.

Present in the same room were three individuals that had apparently filed the petition that warranted our arrests. The OgaATtheTOP flipped though a few pages of stapled petition papers and with a disfigured face (as if he just drank bitter leaf juice), demanded to know who I was and what I was doing in their terrain. After a 60-second brief reply to his interrogative question, I started glancing through the pages of my internal memory book to see who I might have offended enough to petition the police for my arrest. Could it be the 23 NiPHEC vendors I still owe one outstanding or the other? Could it be my mother-in-law that I’m yet to deliver her 60th birthday album? Could it be my friend whose daughter’s birthday album was still in my archives? I was blank.

The charges against me was three-fold and had been initiated by the leadership of the Ekiti State Association of PROFESSIONAL Photographers. The first charge against me was that I had advertised a training program that was part of an embezzlement scheme to defraud participants of their hard-earned N1000 and present certificates to them that will make them go into the photography world and “spoil” their market. It sounds funny right? You should have seen how I was smiling when I heard that. The words “preposterous” and “ludicrous” began to play table tennis in my medula oblongata (sorry, I’m a distant relative of Senator Patrick Too Much Grammar).

The second charge was that we claimed to be PROFESSIONAL Photographers without associating ourselves with the “alpha & omega” association of professional photographers in the industry. At this point I was looking at the faces of the 3 accusers of the brethren, two of whom were older than my father. Suddenly, I felt sorry for them after reading what seemed to be deep bitterness in their eyes. They were really cross with me that we didn’t liaise with their association before advertising such a workshop. Honestly, I felt compassion for them in my soul.

At that very moment, I had a mini-trance that gave me an understanding of what people like Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr went through. I was encouraged knowing instinctively what such an incidence will do to the proliferation of the gospel of photography. I smiled. I frowned. The thought of such “association” members loosing their “market” share of clients to the advent of digital technology made me feel sorry for a set of people that were unwilling to acclimatized to the wind of “positive” change blowing in the industry.

The third charge against me was read: that Seun Akisanmi & Obasola Bamgbola have done a similar workshop in the last one year and embezzled participants’ N1000 without offering them value for their money. At that moment, the two words that were playing table-tennis in my head had a tie: this was both preposterous and ludicrous.

I honestly don’t feel it necessary to even start explaining the speech I gave in my defense. The summary of what I later “educated” the clueless Oga of police was that IT IS NOT COMPULSORY to join an association of skilled workers (barbing, photography, hair styling, makeup artistry, etc) before you can practice what you’re passionate about. Ofcourse if what you do for a living involves risking someone’s life one way or the order (e.g. Medicine, law, etc) you’ll need a license from a governing authority. But photography hasn’t gotten to that level yet (anywhere in the world) that you’ll need a license for practicing.

We were at the station for almost 3 hours and were eventually dismissed after lawyers from the Justice Department came to our aid to educate the association executives and Police on our right to willfully join an association. According to Section 40 of the Constitution of Nigeria, we have the right to “peaceful” assembly and association. If photography associations feel threatened by the new generation of photographers rising up now, the foundation of their tenets of association needs to be re-visited. Especially when I’m being accused of training people that will get into the industry and start charging N50 per picture instead of N100. If only they know we’re out to raise world-class photographers and not just Ekiti-based local champions.

I left the police station with a sorry heart for the system of Policing we have in this country. The same Oga of Police (along with his assistant) that had disrespected us when we showed up at the station were now asking us to “give them something”. I gave him something quite alright. I looked into my wallet and handed him the last copy of a small rectangular paper I had on me: my NiPHEC complimentary card. If he was surprised, it didn’t show on his face.

The workshop was eventually rescheduled to 2pm and we had a fulfilling time in the presence of the Lord, sorry, participating Photographers. Getting back to Lagos, I sensed within me that the industry is on the right track of transformation. Incidences like this one will only help promote the impact photography is having (and will continue to have) in our society. I also made a resolution not to be forced to join an association whose mentality borders on the belief that the sky is too SMALL for all us to fly.

So after being arrested in Ekiti for being an associationless photography preacher & practitioner, my passion for what I do has been renewed. Dear WORLD, get ready for the revolution that is coming…

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Contact us on 08120129149, 08023008873 or info@elophotos.com for a detailed list of options of classes to take at eloPhotos Academy. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness. A new session begins November 3, 2014
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Participants of the Ado-Ekiti Photography Workshop

The Year I MARRIED 2 WIVES


The year was 2006. The day was August 19. The time was 12:05pm. I had just uttered the words “I Do” after a Reverend in a church in Benin City asked me if I was serious about taking to wife a princess/damsel/friend/sweetheart called ELOHIAGHE. A few minutes later we were introduced to the world as Husband & Wife.

I had met my wife at a mutual friend’s place at 6:30pm on February 26, 2005. In May 2005, I was sure she was the person I wanted to spend my life with. Our courtship started immediately and the climax of the relationship would be the exchange of vows on August 19, 2006.

Little did I know that I would fall in love with another entity that would eventually rock the foundations of my marriage. I wasn’t conscious of it until my wife uttered the words 3 years ago: “You’re married to this your PHOTOGRAPHY more than you’re married to me.” I was quick to deny that blasphemous statement. I would eventually check the dictionary definition of MARRY and surprisingly stumbled on an interesting definition: TO COMMIT YOURSELF TO SOMEBODY.

Although I usually hate admitting it when my wife was right, I silently swallowed within me the realization that I was not only committed to somebody called ELOHIAGHE; I was also committed to “somebody” called PHOTOGRAPHY. Infact, it would seem that I had paid more attention to the latter wife (of whom I had courted since I was 10 years old) than to the former wife.

How else would you explain my hunger & thirst to buy more books for “Photography” than for “ELO”. I would eventually buy over 200 books on photography and less than 20 books on marriage. Come to think of it, its this same love I have for both entities that made me think of a way of combining both parties’ names to form a business name. The first three letters from my human wife combined with the words “photos” from my mental wife forms the word eloPhotos. It was borne out of an understanding within me that I was being poetic.

8 years has “waka” gone and I would realize that the resources I’ve committed to my Photography wife has made me to be a better photographer than a better husband. Infact, I realized that most of the people (over 80%) I considered as mentors usually have more marital problems than “photography” problems. Some even go the extra mile of divorcing their wives just so they could focus more on their “secondary” wives: PHOTOGRAPHY.

A lot was going through my head a few days ago when I was invited by Yemi Royal to speak at World Photography Day celebration at Freedom Park, Lagos. I found myself asking within myself a lot of questions.

Could it be coincidental that my wedding anniversary also happened to be the day photography was invented?
Could it be destiny that my calling is to be committed to both my wife and to photography? Why are many of my proteges not at this gathering to learn?
What is the future of Photography in Nigeria & the World?

Although I knew in my heart the answers to many of the questions, I felt a huge responsibility upon my shoulders. Will I be able to effectively LEAD a family of 3 ladies & 1 guy (wherein I’m a minority) while simultaneously helping to shape the foundations of an industry. Will I be considered a success by my wife and daughters on the same scale as I’m being admired & adored by my photography “children”.

Its more of a burden than I envisaged. Especially when I find myself having visions of my photography escapades in 142 years from now…. Especially when I find myself having portrait sessions for 3 of my favourite great men of the bible: Jeremiah, John the baptist & Joseph…. Especially when I find myself thinking of the type of conversations I’ll be having with them to bring out their serious side and their jovial side.

Getting back home from the World Photography Day Celebration, I found myself ruminating on the wise counsel of speakers like Seyi Body-Lawson, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Don Barber, Ade Plumptre & Olusola Akeredolu & Mr Adeboye. It was as if I had returned from one of those sermons that Jesus preached and half of his followers stopped following Him. Was I ready to take this photography to the next level? Can I simultaneously succeed in photography and in family.

I would eventually find myself in my office at an hour wherein I ought to be cuddling my real wife. Am I really ready to do WHATEVERITTAKES to standout? On this and many more questions I meditated on until I woke up the next morning in my office. The time was 5am, August 20.

A new day has dawn in my life, marriage and photography. Never before have I been clearer about my purpose. I’ve made many mistakes….I’m still learning…. But at the end of it all, I pray for grace to fulfill destiny in my photography & in my marriage.

My name is Seun Akisanmi and I’m not even sure if the title of this posts correlates with what has been written thus far. Just airing my heart. All will be well.

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Contact us on 08120129149, 08023008873 or info@elophotos.com for a detailed list of options of classes to take at eloPhotos Academy. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness. A new session begins September 1, 2014
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The AKARA Experience


I remember when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I decided I was old enough to cook. I can still PICTURE our kitchen at Ilaka street, Ilupeju, Lagos. It was going to be my first memorable experience at cooking AKARA. I figured out that I had eaten and seen enough akara to know to prepare one. For my non-Nigerian fans who are unfamiliar with Akara, it is blended beans that ends up being fried in cake balls (I hope I explained that well).

Anyway, I put what I figured to be the right amount of oil in the frying pan and excitedly prepared for frying experience I would never forget. I poured in a few scoops of the blended beans and started stirring. Yes, believe it or not, I was stirring the AKARA in the frying pan. As I continued with the stirring experience, I wondered to myself why the AKARA was not turning out to be the solid small balls I was used to being served by my wonderful mum. I had seen her many atimes stir ogi (blended corn) and had assumed that it was the same formula for the akara that was. Served side by side with the ogi.

I was wrong. What came out of that experimental stirring experience was what I would considered scrambled akara. If only I had swallowed my small pride and asked my mum for the right formula for creating world-class Nigerian Akara. If only I had asked, I would not have ended up with a scrambled portion of akara.

Fast forward to February 2014. During a conversation with one of the students at eloPhotos Academy, I asked him how many books he had read and digested on relationships and marriage. His response: “books don’t work for stuff like that, the Holy Spirit will guide me.” I decided it would not be a wise use of my time to argue with someone who felt it unnecessary to read books in order to get the right knowledge about an institution he was about to be contracted into for the rest of his life. Why didn’t the Holy Spirit teach the person photography, I thought. It would have been cheaper for the person not to have wasted financial resources to attend a program at eloPhotos Academy if indeed the Holy Spirit can teach us all things. Sometimes I think a lot of Christians can “overspiritualize” issues.
And herein lies my point. If you’re considering going on an adventure of which you know little or nothing about, it is only wisdom (or put another way, common sense) if you attempt to climb on the shoulders of people that have been there before. You do that when you spend time with them, read books and listen to their directions, advise and admonitions.

My emphasis is on the multitudes of people that are rushing at lightning speed to enter into the kingdom of photography. Many feel that they need no form of education and that all they need is a Nikon D4 (just like a young lad recently psyched the mum to invest N1.6 million to acquire). Its like waking up and deciding that since one needs to learn how to drive, the next step is to go to the car dealership and order a Rolls Royce.

It is on this premise that I’ve decided to focus with laser accuracy on raising world-class photographers via the platform called eloPhotos Academy & Nigeria Photography Expo & Conference (NiPHEC). It is on this premise that I’ve decided to do my best to make sure that people that care to learn from me will not repeat my AKARA experience. It is on this premise that I’ve deliberately unconsciously developed a weakness for accumulating over 150 books on photography alone….just so that I can get the right education as not to repeat my 1987 AKARA experience

Even if you decide not to use the aforementioned platforms to establish or strengthen your photography foundation, please make sure you get some form of education before acquiring photography gadgets that I can bet you won’t utilize up to 30% of its functions.

Even if you’ve already made the “wise” mistake of plunging headlong alone, swallow your pride and talk to someone that can help you be a better photographer and photopreneur (this applies to other industries also). Even with the little I know, I’m still learning everyday. I just finished talking to one of my colleagues I respect very much, Shola Animashaun, about how to handle a “copyright” issue I was having with a client. At the end of the conversation, I learnt how to better price myself for photography jobs for client like the one I was having issues with.

So before you use all that funds to buy the latest photography gadget (ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE JUST ENTERING THE INDUSTRY), get some form of education that will hopefully prevent you from an AKARA experience. Better yet, take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Your photography destiny will not be the same.

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Contact us on 08120129149, 08023008873 or info@elophotos.com for a detailed list of options of classes to take at eloPhotos Academy. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness.

The PASSPORT Photographer


Some weeks ago a friend called me from church asking if I take passport photographs and of course my answer was “Yes”. He immediately said “ok, so how much is it for 8 copies?” I told him 5000naira. He was so surprised and he said the same thing you’re probably thinking right now: “Is it not passport, I can get 12 for N200 sef.” Of course it is just passport photographs and you can even get 20 for 200 or for free but the question is I’m I just an “ordinary” Photographer.

Sometimes in June, I did a free family portrait session for a potential client and (luckily for me) they loved it! Some days back, I got a call from them asking me to come take pictures for their anniversary and of cause they knew it wont be free, so I charged them. They were so surprised and they were like “just for pictures? It’s quite expensive we already marketed you to people and if its this expensive the won’t call you.” Of course at that point I knew they were not my client!

One reason I hate shooting for free is that the clients might actually not know the worth of what they are getting for free. And it’s sad.

You see, not everybody believed the gospel even when heard from Christ himself. They still didn’t drop their nets to follow him. In the same light, we should realize that not everybody is our client.

I hate it when I hear the question “is it not to take pictures?” But I’m glad to answer you here. Of course it’s just to take pictures but I’m not just a photographer. I’m a professional photographer. Not just because I use a professional camera, or because I trained at one of the best photography schools in Nigeria. It’s mainly because I’m different.

I’m sure you’ll doubt that until you get to see what I can do and some of what I’ve done. I am obviously not the best but I was worse. Feel free to ask for a “free” shoot (terms & conditions apply) & you should be convinced.

Attached here are photos I took last week. First, is the picture of elophotos academy most valuable gadgets: 2 books every trainee must read before the end of their 1st month. The second one is a picture of a solitary orange. During my practice session, I surprisingly saw only 1 orange on a BIG orange tree and made me imagine if it was just 1 person in the world, how lonely it will be. The third one is a picture I took practicing composition with patterns). I hope you find it creative.

Written by Temitope Adeniyan
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Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Contact us on 08120129149, 08023008873 or info@elophotos.com for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness.

Photography Workshop in Abule-Egba: Doing It Better


Earlier in the month, I was privileged to teach at a photography workshop organized by G-Janth Print Lab situated in Abule-Egba, Lagos. It was particularly interesting to know that a number of the photographers in attendance were  my father’s age-mate. Interesting to know that this many photographers were really hungry to do better in their photography. The workshop was titled “Doing It Better” and we discussed issues ranging from marketing your photography to branding. Attached are some of the pictures taken.
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Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness

Photography Workshop in Abule-egba lagos (1) Photography Workshop in Abule-egba lagos (2) Photography Workshop in Abule-egba lagos (3) Photography Workshop in Abule-egba lagos (4) Photography Workshop in Abule-egba lagos (5) Photography Workshop in Abule-egba lagos (6)

The Family Portrait Session of the Century


The year was 2007 AD. April to be precise. I was preparing for my first solo photography exhibition. The venue was Silverbird Galleria in Victoria Island. The idea of a solo exhibition had been borne out of the need to get financial resources to look for a new office space because my then landlord (for the office) had given me an eviction notice. The exhibition will eventually turn out to be one of my first series of great marketing feats as a photographer. Great unforgettable lessons would come of it too.

After the first day of exhibiting, I would eventually get an interesting call at around 9pm. It originated from one of the clients whose picture I was showcasing at the exhibition venue. It would eventually turn out to be a moment I would never forget (even if I have a brain transplant).

Let’s take a few steps back in time. Precisely 6 weeks before the exhibition. I was preparing to photograph my friend’s family in one of the most beautiful homes I had ever stepped into. Steve had been a family friend of over 15 years. When he found out I was into photography, he decided I was the best person to help document some moments in their life. We decided a session with his wife and 2 daughters at his brother’s mansion would be sufficient.

We agreed that in exchange for doing a complimentary session for his family, I would have the rights to use the pictures for marketing purposes. At least I could have sworn I made that clear. But there were no written documents to back up the verbal agreement. Afterall we were friends and what could happen.

What did happen eventually turned out to be more of a heart breaker than I had expected. I had gone ahead to use 2 of the pictures for the Silverbird exhibition and the wife had seen the framed exhibits on the first day. He expressed his dissatisfaction with her husband (Steve) about how I was revealing to the world their personal family moments. Steve had called me to ask that I remove the pictures from the exhibition. I was surprised. I was shocked.

I was surprised because I thought we had an understanding (albeit unwritten) about me using the pictures for my marketing purposes. I was surprised because the only compensation I got for the shoot was a nylon bag of snacks from Mr Biggs. I was upset because the first and best family portraits eloPhotos ever had would be considered too beautiful for the world to see. I was speechless.

For the sake of peace, I would eventually give them the framed pictures at no cost as a token of how sorry I felt for hurting the wife’s feelings. It was a painful gift. More painful now that I know that its one of the best family portrait sessions I have ever taken. The thought of the beauty of the pictures almost always brings out a tear in my eyes.

Ever since that day, I learnt the hard way not to photograph any client (even if its Michael Jackson or Tu Face) without a written documentation of the expectations of both parties: photographer & photographee :). Sometimes I’ve lost some jobs because of the fact that I put things in writing. But I have no regrets. One of the major bone of contention is the argument of who really owns the right to a picture. That’s why I try to put it in my terms & conditions the following clause before a client decides whether they really want me as their photographer:

“The fee we billed for the wedding coverage entails us having the right to use the pictures for our portfolio, samples, self-promotions, entry in photographic contests, art exhibitions, editorial or for use on any of our social media platform. We usually try to clarify this to clients before any job so as to avoid any arguments in the future. Usually what ends up happening is that we use a few of the best pictures to promote what we do. Clients that usually don’t allow this pay an extra premium for us to relinquish those rights. Please do let us know what your on that is.”

The lesson has been learnt. The deed has been done. Thanks to the family portrait session of the century & Mr Biggs, I’ll always try to remember to put things into writing before bringing out my camera to SHOOT anyone.
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Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness

The HARVARD Client (PART 2)


And so it happened that I would find myself doing yet another job for the client from Harvard. This time around, it would be a portrait session for his family. It happened approximately 4 weeks after the incident in PART 1.

Location was at his mansion in Abuja. As at December 2008 when I found myself in his house, that would go down on record as the most beautiful house I had ever stepped into. It was situated in an estate in Abuja that I never knew existed. If you had taken a picture on the streets inside that estate, one would have thought you were in Dubai. It was that beautiful.

And there I was at 10pm preparing for what will also be the latest family portrait session I’ve had for a client. I was very conscious of making sure that I did not break or scratch anything. My guess was that I probably could not afford to pay for anything I accidentally damage.

The man’s 2 children had arrived from America the day before and had planned to spend just 3 days in Abuja. That night was the only time left for them to do the shoot. And so it happened that the session would start at around 11:30pm.

My first experience with the man had created an unconscious intimidating cloud over my head whenever I was with him. How else would you explain my being nervous in his presence. At one moment, he started directing the session and for some unknown reasons that created the impression within me that I was a LEARNER.

20 minutes into the session, my Harvard client would excuse himself to receive a visitor. I wondered within myself the type of visitor that would stop by one’s house at 11:50pm. Coincidentally, it would be the type that was the CEO of one of Africa’s biggest banks. Eventually, the guest CEO walked into the room we were having our session and his presence seemed to multiply my nervous quotient by 5. I was super nervous. Why? I can not say.

My nervousness increased when my client started bragging to his guest that I was the best photographer in town. If only he had seen some of the images I was taking. If only he could peep and see the blurry and dark images that I was trying to hide from him. “He’s the one that took my pictures during the event last month,” he continued. Although I knew it was a compliment, I don’t know why that gave me goose bumps.

Eventually the CEO’s visiting time was up and he would greet us all farewell. After he left, we continued the session from where we left off. 5 minutes into the session, I would eventually notice that my hands were shaking. I felt intimidated in the presence of this client. Perhaps I should have done some type of meditation before the shoot. Perhaps I should have taken some type of medication that would ease my nerves.

Matters got worse when the client’s son (who coincidentally happens to be attending Harvard also) asked me how much I was charging his father for the session. N100k was my reply. He shouted and asked me why I was so expensive. The father asked me the same question. I thought I had explained my charges to the man before agreeing to come to his house for the shoot. Perhaps the mistake I made was not to have come with a written document detailing the charges. I explained that N100k was the minimum I charge for going to a client’s house for home sessions. I assured him that I wasn’t trying to defraud him. His response? “Anyway, its for my house in America that I need the pictures for, so continue shooting.” I was more tensed.

(At this junction, its important to note that I don’t just write about my experience with some people just to narrate how terrible they are or how holy I am…the goal is that we learn one of two things from these “Super Story” encounters)

The shoot continued and a few minutes into the session, my N350k camera kit fell down. Remember that story about humpty dumpty falling down on a wall? This was worse. Eventually, that would be the last time my Olympus E3 camera functioned properly. Ultimately, I had to send the camera to Olympus in America for repairs. $500 later, the camera returned to me in pristine condition.

What hurt me more was the fact that I did not get a dime from that session. It wasn’t that the fallen camera damaged the pictures; we would eventually finish the shoot with my backup camera. The client eventually procrastinated choosing the pictures he wanted framed and I learnt key lessons that I doubt I’ll ever forget.

I learnt always to be confident no matter who I was shooting (even if the person is Jesus or Satan). I learnt always to have a backup camera for any job outside my office domain. I learnt to always ask for 80% of my fee before leaving the home of a family portrait client (especially someone I have never worked with before). I learnt to always put the strap of the camera on my neck during a shoot because if I had worn the strap, there’s a 99.999999% chance that the camera would not have gone the humpty dumpty route to destruction. I learnt to put it all in writing no matter what so that no one will accuse me of not informing them of my fees thereby resulting in unnecessary argument during a session.

That was December 2008. In 2012, I would eventually get a call from the same client requesting for a quote to do another job. I replied with a detailed email explaining to him that we still have an outstanding of N100k. He was furious. He called to explain that how can he owe me for pictures that he never did use. He explained that the presidency was after his life so he had to escape the country and seek asylum. And after 5 minutes of explanation, I found myself apologizing to him for not knowing what he went through.

But the lessons had been engraved in my heart the hard way. The Harvard Client will never be forgotten by this big-headed photographer. I am a better & wiser photopreneur because of him. So the next time you’re privileged to be one of the students in our Academy and I tell you to ALWAYS wear the strap of your camera on your neck (or shoulders), this is the reason why that rule came into being.

For one reason or the other, I have a funny feeling I might still do business with the HARVARD client one day. When that day comes, I shall by all means be READY.
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Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness

The ENLIGHTENED Makeup Artist


My journey into the world of photography was generated by passion and motivated on my quest for excellence.
As a professional makeup artist (MUA) I was tired of begging photographers at events to help me take shots  ‘before’ and ‘after’ of the bride, which most times disappoint.  I had to resolve to the use of my camera phone which could only do little and these affected my profile and credibility. I remember sharing my ordeal with my uncle who later got me a DSLR (Canon EOS 50D) in 2009 on is way from UK.
Hmmm! now I have a DSLR; problem solved someone would have thought but that only introduced me to a greater challenge of getting professional shots like Seun Akisami, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Jide Alakija, TCD, Atunbi (to mention but a few).
 I barely understood the functions of the machine I had even with the manual attached. I enquired what the problem was from pros in the industry. One said to me, you need a reflector to use this kind of camera to get this kind of shot, so I rushed to the market and got a 5 faced reflector. Another said, you need an external flash with a 50mm lens and I got one. Yet I met another photographer who told me all you need is a zoom lens for that portrait shot and I kept buying. The funniest of this was when I went shopping for strobes and beauty dish after a photographer friend had honestly told me to set up a photo studio since I already have almost all the necessary equipment to setup. I am sure you know what happened there after..lol
At this point you must have thought I was some daughter of a millionaire to be buying all of these. Not so true although I’ve had my own share in life struggles. With all of this put together, one will confuse me for a professional photographer at an event because most of these equipment were not owned by many photographers. On several occasions, I get many of them using my equipment to get better shots while I still battle with my auto mode on my DSLR.

Why not go for a training you would have said? But most professional photography academy didn’t have a flexible time table which would permit me time to do my business while I get trained.

My story changed when I met a family friend who took me through his archives and told me he had learnt photography at eloPhotos Academy during his holiday just for two days. My face was beaming with surprise because he sounded unbelievable. I had to make him use my camera to confirm he was telling the truth and truly my doubt was confirmed as invalid.  I joined the next session (July 2014) at eloPhotos Academy and not only did I learn but in 3days I was a better photographer and person. 

Now I understand the functions of each of my equipment including my beauty dish. Before I forget, you do not only learn photography at eloPhotos; you also learn how to become a successful brand. You don’t want to know the number of books I have had to read up on Business, Life and Photography as it is a watchword at eloPhotos. And I am loving every bit of it. Thanks to my coach, SEUN AKISANMI, you can call me Yetunde Bakare Adedayo the photographer with a twist.

Note to fellow MUAS: Get yourself trained at eloPhotos Academy to understand the business of photography in relation with your job; at least you will stop being a thesis for so called event photographers who only enjoy using your equipment to get great shots while they leave you with poor pictures for your profile. You should be the first beneficiary of your equipment. Attached are a few pictures I took during the 3days training. Do drop your comments and let me know what you think.
# elo photo 123.CR2 elo photo 0991

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Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness

The Politics of Negotiating for a Photography Ambassadorship Deal


Sometime late in 2013, I got a call from a multinational photography-gadget organization. The company was about to launch one of their latest picture-taking gadget and they needed someone to be an ambassador for the product. I asked them why they thought I was the best candidate for such a role and they told me I was number one on their list because of the mere fact that I organized a conference that brought together photography enthusiasts and professionals in Nigeria.

Although I tried not to show too much excitement over the phone, I reckoned within myself that this was the break I was looking for. This was going to go down as the singular deal that will help resolve my over-N5million NiPHEC debt. I was excited, I was elated, I was nervous.

The gentleman at the other end of the phone proceeded to explain what the organization expected of me should I accept the job. They would require that I take pictures with their latest camera equipment and do a few writeups after I’ve presented the pictures at a conference that would hold four weeks later. That meant that I had only 27 days to travel the country to take pictures that would represent each state of the federation. WoW. Talk of excitement meeting adventure.

“How much will it cost us,” the guy finally asked. Over the years, I have learnt not to be too quick to give (a client I know little about) a price over the phone. I threw the question back at him. “What is your company’s budget for this?” He stressed that the budget for marketing had been depleted and that they were stretching themselves thin on this particular project. STORY! I ‘ve heard that before. Last time I checked, they made over $1.5 billion in sales in 2012 alone. But when it comes to paying for what will be a stressful task, the marketing budget is in red. In that case my middle name is “Clinton”, I thought within myself.

I asked him to put everything in writing and send me a mail to make it official. He promised to call me within a few minutes regarding what they were willing to pay. Ok by me. I immediately went to Google to do a little study about the product that was about to be launched in Nigeria. Impressive features it had.

I subsequently did what I always do when confronted with giving a quotation for a task I have never done before: I called one of my mentors. I explained the entire scenario to her and told her how I was considering giving them a bill of about N4 million. “So they contacted you too,” my mentor kidded. Apparently they had contacted her before reaching out to me and the bill she gave them must have been beyond their budget. Hence, their need for an alternative ambassador. She would later advice me not to quote anything less than N3.5 million. She promised to get back to me with more suggestions. Eventually, I never heard from her or the company again till 2014.

Here’s what transpired. Apparently, she had put a call through to the same organization to renegotiate her deal with them. The company eventually settled for her and I would find out in the media. I put a call through to the gentleman that had called me only for him to tell me that the event was cancelled and that he had to travel urgently to South Africa to handle other matters. Yeah right, and I’m the cousin of Obama. 2 weeks later, the conference would eventually take place and the pictures taken by their Ambassador (my mentor) with the camera will be showcased. Why the guy lied to me is still a mystery to me till date.

I felt hurt. Perhaps if I had not called my mentor for advice, I could have nailed the job. But how could I have known that she was my “competitor” in the deal of the decade. I felt hurt. I felt betrayed by someone I trusted. Or perhaps, it was just business and not betrayal. Perhaps.

But then I thought about it all over again. Perhaps there’s one interesting thing to learn from this. Apparently, I must be doing something right in the eyes of a multinational photography organization to attract such attention. In the eyes of the organization, I was on the same pedestal with the one I considered a mentor. If this organization was keeping track of what I was doing, then other organizations must be “following” whatever it is that I’m doing. Consequently, I encouraged myself with the assurance that more of such deals will be coming my way.

And come my way they would eventually do. Approximately 3 months later, I would find myself in the office of yet another multinational organization. This time around, I wasn’t surprised. They gave me a breakdown of what they would require of me if I were to be signed up as one of their ambassadors. And then the “how much will it cost us?” issue came up. I told them I would get back to them within a few days.

I went online to research about the company only for me to realized that their 2012 worldwide sales figure was over $2.6 billion. WOW. This was definitely a BIGGER organization. Which mentor should I call for “advice” now. I definitely was not about to fall down in the same spot twice. I thought deeply and eventually knew in my heart who to call. I decided the best mentor to call for advice on giving a fair price (to a large-scale organization like that) should not be based in my country. I decided to call my United States renowned photographer friend and mentor, Michael Grecco.

The 25 minutes phone conversation I had with him was like attending a workshop on “How not to shoot yourself in the foot as a photography Ambassador”. Thank God I called him. As a Hassleblad Ambassador, he had (and still has) enough experience up his sleeves. I would eventually submit an 8-figures fee that would be close to what my international colleagues were being paid. Although the company never did get back to me, I believed with all my heart that I didn’t over price myself out of the deal. For whatever reason, the company is yet to secure an Ambassador for their photography-related products.

I’m 101% convinced that greater opportunities and ambassadorship deals still lay ahead of my destiny regardless of what has happened. Till then, I’ll keep doing what I think I do best to keep attracting such attention from photography multinational companies. One day, something will click.

Although what my mentor did hurt me, I decided to add it to my repertoire of experience. Infact, I even sent a gift to my mentor so I could tap into that grace of being considered worthy to represent an international photography organization.

If it was you that a mentor hurt in such a manner, what do you think you’ll do? Be honest now.
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Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness

The EXCEPTIONAL Photography Intern


I got the following “requirements” from a mentor of mine about 2 years ago when he was in search of an intern. Anyone thinking of working with a photographer should note that most serious photographers adhere strictly to the guidelines below. The only difference with the guideline herein and the one we have at eloPhotos is that we are ready to absorb a potential photography who doesn’t even have a portfolio. Just something for us to think about.

Personality: Personality is important because you’ll be working in a team unit. You’ll need to have a positive attitude at all times. You’re also representing the photographer on-set, so you need to interact with the clients respectfully.

Drive/Passion: Let’s face it, if you knew it all you wouldn’t be applying for the internship, so let’s leave the ego at home. Come ready and wanting to learn. We can only help those who want to learn and are eager to advance their careers in photography.

Talent: I look for people who have potential. If you are a newbie, take some time and focus on learning the basics. Develop a portfolio and then contact me. It takes a lot of energy to mentor an intern, so I have to be choosy with my time investment. I want to help everyone but that’s not possible. I want to take those who are on the verge and get them to their potential.

Work Ethics: Photoshoots are not a walk in the park. You will be asked to work in extreme conditions. Long hours on set are likely. You will be asked to hustle. You will sweat. You will be thirsty. You will be hungry. You will have fun. When you’re not on set, you will be asked to scout locations, do research, run errands, etc. Your errands will be photography related (Well, more or less). All these things that you do will help you with your own photography business down the road.

Discreteness: When you meet my clients on set, don’t go home and Facebook friend request them. Please respect their privacy. Social media is great, but please think twice before you put anything on blast. When on set, no cellphone pics or videos are permitted. Some campaigns are confidential until it actually is released to the public. I’m also a very private person, so please be discrete about my personal life.

Availability: Sometimes I’ll get last minute bookings, Long hours on set are likely. You will be asked to hustle. You will sweat. You will be thirsty. You will be hungry. You will have fun. When you’re not on set, you will be asked to scout locations, do research, run errands, etc. Your errands will be photography related (Well, more or less). All these things that you do will help you with your own photography business down the road.

Responsiveness: If you get an email/text from my assistant or me, you need to respond quickly. Not the very next day. It’s a fast pace business.

An internship is only the first step in your photographic career. The next step is to turn the internship into an assistant position