A MEDICAL DOCTOR’s Photographic Perspective: wHaTeVeRiTtAkEs


My name is Femi Adewuyi. I am both a medical doctor and a professional photographer. I started out as an amateur photographer in 2003 , the year I gained admission into the medical school. I  have since developed my expertise over the years and have a number of accolades on my head.

I have always asked a few questions to my mentors and senior colleagues in this business of photography ” How do I get to sell my pictures at a good price ?” , “How do I ensure that my brand remains in business while competing with colleagues who photograph at prices that are too good to be true?” I got answers to these business questions and many more at the whateverittakes seminar. A summary of the seminar in three words would be  HUMILITY, INTEGRITY and PROFITABILITY

Humility
As a photographer in the service delivery business, my customer’s experience while relating with me goes a  long way in determining if I would be hired.  Client satisfaction is hinged on how good our customer service is not just on technical competence. Satisfied clients will bring more referrals .

Integrity
My character  has a direct influence on my photography business. I learnt to be on time with my appointments and in delivery of clients work . Learning to be accountable for my mistakes was another twist to the lecture. A client can end up being a friend and  champion marketer of my business if I show integrity in my dealings.

Profitability
I learnt basic accounting techniques for tracking my income, expenditure and profit.  I was also shown how to identify my ideal client and  get a formidable marketing strategy to guarantee more sales. Learning to write a business plan and budget was quite new to me.

Other things taught include how to start a website at minimal cost, how to overcome our fears and learn to question stereotypes.

In less than a week, I’m starting to see business in new light. I am relating better with my clients and already working on my online presence.  If I have the chance to go to whateverittakes again, I  won’t go alone. I am taking my photo assistant along.
Whateverittakes Lagos Workshop (3) Whateverittakes Lagos Workshop (4) Whateverittakes Lagos Workshop (5) Whateverittakes Lagos Workshop (6) Whateverittakes Lagos Workshop (7) Whateverittakes Lagos Workshop (8) Whateverittakes Lagos Workshop (9) Whateverittakes Lagos Workshop (10) Whateverittakes Lagos Workshop (11) Whateverittakes Lagos Workshop (12) Whateverittakes Lagos Workshop (13)

 

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My Unforgettable Learning Experience at WHATEVERITTAKES Lagos


The much talked about WHATEVERITTAKES workshop finally held in Lagos after making its debut in Warri. This was to be the workshop that would help photographers stand out in the industry and I must say it delivered.
I was privileged to be a part of it. Four of the twelve participants were ladies much to my excitement. If you missed it and you are wondering if you missed anything, let me break it to you softly; you really missed out big time!  It would have been nice if I could share all I learnt with you but it’s like trying to describe what flying in an airplane feels like to someone who’s never seen the inside of an aircraft.

A lot of the valuable lessons I learnt are the kinds you don’t learn in photography books or even books that teach business skills. The words “Integrity” and “Profitablity” now carry new meanings for me. During the workshop, I had to think of why someone like Aliko Dangote would have banks lined up, trying to loan him money while those same banks might not be too eager to loan other businesses. It has little or nothing to do with the guy’s bank account.

The great thing about a workshop like this is the fact that you not only learn from the facilitator,you learn from colleagues at the workshop as well. It provided good networking opportunity. I was privileged to meet Dr Femi Adewuyi in person. He’s someone who has intrigued me ever since I heard of him; a medical doctor who does photography professionally.

The major questions I was faced with at the end of that day were those that might seem difficult to answer but are at the very core of success in the industry. Questions like: how long do I plan to stay in the industry? What kind of impact do I want to make? What are my plans for the next three years? Am I only in photography because of passion or do I carry a vision that inspires me enough to take action and do WHATEVERITTAKES to stand out and impact my family and the world at large? These are the questions I seek to answer for myself. How about you? What will you do? Will you read this article and move on to the next or will you take time out to answer these questions for yourself too? Remember, the future starts now!

by Ronke Alao

 

WHATEVERITTAKES: The elo Experience in WARRI


My trip to warri in Delta state was as eventful as the training I attended. Elophotos had advertised on their website inviting Professional Photographers and hobbyists for a training in the Business aspects of Photography. I must say, this was rather uncanny but caught my curiosity as I had never thought that photography could be studied and modeled as a going business concern. What I mean here is, I was used to seeing people run around with cameras at functions snapping away to earn a keep. A few had a semblance of studio facilities while others worked freelance.

On this fateful day, while browsing away my time on the computer, eloPhotos popped up with this bright perspective of a training program in Warri. Now, Warri is not my usual hangout due-in-part to my inhibitions about militancy and youth restiveness in that beautiful domain. As you are all aware, practically every comedian in Nigeria makes jest and get their material from the nuances of the Warri folks. That, in a nutshell, sums up my early impression of Warri. Going there was another kettle of fish.

So, following Seun’s directive after paying the relevant fee, I packed myself and I through the help of Bob Izua motors to the oil city. The program started at 9.15am with the Resource person / host welcoming the participants to the program. A brief of the training outline was made after the relevant opening courtesies of self-introduction.

It was interactive with a view to giving the participants the opportunity to make their contributions and get pertinent questions answered. I must say, it was an eye opener.
The training covered such topics as Marketing, customer relations, Negotiating, sound book keeping and budgeting, using the internet platform to energize your business portfolio and reaching out to the world. It further touched on the subjects of HIP ie; Humility, Integrity and Profitability.

The resource person touched on making projections and setting business goals in the short, medium and long term as these will serve as a pivot and guide to aching great results sustainably.

Participants were admonished to be frugal, professional, and constantly upgrade themselves as the business environment changes with time. Above all else, keeping ones business strategy close to heart was of prime importance.

Finally, we were, encouraged to interface regularly and exchange ideas with a view to moving the industry forward. The training came to a close after a group photograph was taken with Mr. Seun Akisanmi. I got back to Benin City by 7.00pm.

My name is Ema O. Ndon  (www.ndonema.blogspot.com) & I’ve made a commitment to do WHATEVERITTAKES to stand out in the photography industry

WHATEVERITTAKES THE WARRI EXPERIENCE (1) WHATEVERITTAKES THE WARRI EXPERIENCE (2) WHATEVERITTAKES THE WARRI EXPERIENCE (3) WHATEVERITTAKES THE WARRI EXPERIENCE (4) WHATEVERITTAKES THE WARRI EXPERIENCE (5) WHATEVERITTAKES THE WARRI EXPERIENCE (6) WHATEVERITTAKES THE WARRI EXPERIENCE (7) WHATEVERITTAKES THE WARRI EXPERIENCE (8) WHATEVERITTAKES THE WARRI EXPERIENCE (9)

 

Introduction to PHOTOPRENEUR 101: A Lecture by Dangote’s Photographer


Accounting is a subject I have never really liked, probably
because my dad is an accountant and if I had shown interest in it, it would have led to a lot of father-son debate while growing up (if you know what I mean) or I don’t like the fact that it’s not dynamic. With that in mind, you could actually picture how I felt when Mr Seun
called to tell me that his dad would be coming to take us on ‘being accountable’ this week. As fate would have it, it turned out to be a life changing experience.

Bright and early Monday morning, Mr Akin Akisanmi was in our office 30min before his scheduled appointment. And to find out later that he was coming from Ijebu that morning, and still made it on-time for his engagement was not surprising(talk about like father, like son). So, not to come across selfish, I have decided to share some cogent point of the lecture with you this one time before I begin to charge for it anyway.(Stop rolling your eyes)

KNOW GOD
You are probably wondering what this has got to do with accounting, so before you start to think I am sick in the head, let me set the record straight. No matter what you do, you have to put God first and to put God first, you need to have a relationship with him.

What baffles me about this is that am not sure if most of us actually realize that having a relationship with God is for our own selfish reason. To have a relationship with him means to know God through his words, abide by his principles and be appreciative of whatever God has
done for us. When God is in it, it works better. I think I need to stop here on this point and let your professional Pastors take it from there.

CAREER
Normally before you start talking money and accountability, you obviously should have a career generating the income but I am not sure what abnormally will look like because I have never tried it thou. As a career person, your number one selling point is (& should be) timeliness.

When you give an appointment, get there ON TIME; it saves you the stress of giving excuses and stands you out as a serious business person. Get to work early (I have never heard of someone, punished for being early) and stay much longer if need be.

As an entrepreneur, you need to take proper care of your business. Never allow the output of some people affect your input. An example; say you design a photobook and send it to the lab for printing. Picking up
the print at later date, you discover they had messed it up. Make them pay for the reprint and not you.

Keep your product in the mind of your client by little gesture of kindness; like calling them on their birthdays, wedding anniversaries or even every two weeks. That way they keep remembering “Lagbaja photography are nice people, they actually called me on my birthday”.

KEEP RECORDS
For you to determine that your passion can pay your
bills, you need to keep records. This means separating your business from your person for evaluation sake. At the beginning of a business year, sit-down and write out your spending profile for the whole year. Calculate how many jobs will get you there. Write down the maximum and
minimum value you will charge your clients with respect to the number of jobs. Oh! Not to forget, never go below your minimum price for any job. You know what they say ‘like begets like’.

This is getting boring and my fingers are begging for mercy; those are cues for me to stop writing. However, if you feel you need more, kindly enroll for the master class: WHATEVERITTAKES.

I am Babalola Michael Tayo and I am a photopreneur on the verge of doing WHATEVERITTAKES to stand out. By the way, isn’t the title of this write up a funky one? What do you think?

Doing WHATEVERITTAKES To Standout


WHATEVERITTAKES WORKSHOPimage

I’ve met a number of photopreneurs in the last few months who are struggling with their business. After having gone bankrupt with the organization of the recently concluded Nigeria Photography Expo & Conference (NiPHEC), you might as well consider my business as topping the list of photographers running business at a loss (in accounting terms). I’ve learnt so much (about business, life, marriage, politics, friendship & family) in the last 365 days than in all my previous years of living.

Photography for me as been a passion beyond what words can express. Ever since I got my first camera in December 1998, a sense of unconscious fulfillment seems to subconsciously overwhelm me whenever I take. pictures. Turning the hobby into a business has brought its challenges. Nevertheless, there is no doubt in my mind that photography is where I belong; Photography & I are here to stay.

At this junction, I challenge many photopreneurs in this industry (including those about to start a career in photography) to stop for a moment and ask yourself if you’re ready to do WHATEVERITTAKES to stand out in this seemingly crowded & congested business. What if you were told that shaving your eyebrow, (something most men reading this have never done in their life), would help take your business to the next level, would you do it? What if you were told that you don’t need an office or a business loan to get out of the financial mess you’ve gotten yourself into, will you believe that? Are you ready to do WHATEVERITTAKES?

Knowing that there’s no immediate plan B for me gives me no choice but to be more determined to make sure the legacy I leave behind, (as a businessman, father, husband, son & friend), can be likened to the impact Steve Jobs had on the technology industry. More importantly, I’m conscious of living a life that will hopefully lead men to the one that has given me a reason to live: Jesus Christ.

If your goal is to run a successful photography business, I invite you to subscribe to this site and watch out for more inspiring notes I’ll be sharing with you. For those that will like to take it a step further, you can register to be a part of the 7-hours workshop I’ll be running in 7 cities (October 23: Warri, October 28: Lagos, October 29: Ibadan, November 2: Lagos, November 5: Ilorin, November 7: Abuja, November 19: Port Harcort & November 12: Kano) in the country beginning October 23, 2013. It’s a one day workshop where I’ll be sharing practical steps you can take (a process of which I’ve gone through & presently going through) to build a world-class business structure. We’ll be discussing the following topics:

*Impact of Social Media Implementation (Facebook, Twitter, etc) on your business
*Financial Accountability and your Business
*Marketing Techniques of a Desperate Businessman
*Customer Service in a Photography Business
*Creating Multiple Streams of income as a Photographer
*& other pressing issues (as time permits)

Workshop fee is N12,500 and you can send a mail to info@elophotos.com for more details. For those that are looking at a more comprehensive training that includes the techicalities of handling a camera, plan to attend the last session of our 10-day course on Photography (November 25 – December 6, 2013) and you can get 30% off the training fees. Send a mail to info@elophotos.com (or add me on bb: 271e3bc8) for more details or visit our ACADEMY page

Get ready to do WHATEVERITTAKES to stand out.

Photography Classes at eloPhotos Academy (May 2013 – December 2013)


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At eloPhotos Academy, our ultimate goal is to raise world-class photographers. We do this through a series of workshops, trainings, and internship programs. You can visit out YOUTUBE CHANNEL to watch videos on a few photography topics. Contact us to learn more about our other trainings. Below is a breakdown of some of the courses (we call them modules) we offer at our academy

Module 1: Introduction to Digital Photography Gain control and confidence in your digital photography – with a strong emphasis on exposure. This course is designed to help you appreciate the different functions, controls and options in the exciting digital dimension. The class will also examine how aperture and ISO settings work together with shutter speeds to create different photographic effects.

Key Features
• Camera Wheels, Deals, and Decisions
• Aperture – Depth of Field & more
• Shutter Speed – Fast or Slow, Which Way to Go?
• White Balance
• ISO Settings
• Focusing – Understanding focus and how it relates to your image
• Flash – How to make the most from your flash, but not letting the flash make a mess of your image.
• To Shop or Not to Shop – a potential shopping list of accessories and other photo gear you may want some day.
• How to take better digital pictures.
• And many more.

Duration: 3 days
Course Fee: N40,000
DATES:
Weekday SETS: May 27 – 29, 2013 OR August 26 – 28, 2013 OR November 25 – 27, 2013
Weekend SETS: May 25, June 1 & June 8, 2013 OR October 5, 12 & 19, 2013
Registration closes when a class of 20 students has been reached

Module 2: Lighting & Composition Whether you want to create compelling head shots, professional group or family portraits, or interesting self-portraits, you can learn how to successfully light and compose your subjects in an indoor, controlled studio environment. In this class we’ll teach you how to make the most of studio lights. Effectively use “Natural” light, Learn how to be sensitive to light, one of the two main ingredients that go into making great photographs. In this class you will find out how to become a “pro” at working with natural light. You will learn to use natural light to take your images to the next level – to having them be seen as fine art. You will explore topics that will immediately transform your work, such as backlighting and window light.

Duration: 1 day
Course Fee: N20,000
DATES:
Weekday SETS: May 30, 2013 OR August 29, 2013 OR November 28, 2013
Weekend SETS: June 15, 2013 OR October 26, 2013
Registration closes when a class of 20 students has been reached

Module 3: Business of Photography In this course, you’ll be deciding whether or not you need a studio. We’ll discuss the importance of documented agreements. Other topics to be discussed include: negotiating for a job, Creating a business structure, pricing your work, customer service, branding your photography and the importance of Packaging.

Duration: 2 days
Course Fee: N40,000
DATES:
Weekday SETS: May 31 & June 3, 2013OR August 30 & September 2, 2013 OR November 29 & December 2, 2013
Weekend SETS: June 22 & 29, 2013 OR November 2 & 9, 2013
Registration closes when a class of 20 students has been reached

Module 4: The Digital Darkroom In this course you’ll learn the components of a photographer’s digital darkroom. You’ll also learn how to edit with Photoshop. Master the nuances of this powerful image-editing software. Do you find reading software manuals frustrating? Are you struggling to overcome the infamous learning curve that comes with Adobe Photoshop? Then join us as we deliver a great introduction to the program, and we always excels at answering your questions and critiquing your photos.

Key Features
• Basic Setup & Workflow
• Rotating and Cropping
• Layers and Levels
• Retouching with Cloning and the Healing Brush
• Curves, Color Balance, and Hue/Saturation
• Resolution, Image Sizing and Sharpening
• Fun, friendly introduction to Photoshop.
• Learn the basic functions, as well as special tips for enhancing and adjusting your images.
• Gain confidence in using Photoshop.
• Learn how to design an album with Photoshop
•Printing technologies, types of photography print papers, deciding to print in a Lab or at home.

Duration: 3 days
Course Fee:
N50,000
DATES:
Weekday SETS: June 4 – 6, 2013OR September 3 – 5, 2013 OR December 3 – 5, 2013
Weekend SETS: July 6, 13 & 20, 2013 OR November 16, 23 & 30, 2013
Registration closes when a class of 20 students has been reached

Module 5: Website & Social Media for Photographers In this course you’ll learn how to design & manage your photography website using WordPress. You’ll also learn the importance of using social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) as a necessary branding and marketing tool.

Duration: 1 day
Course Fee:
N20,000
DATES:
Weekday SETS: June 7, 2013OR September 6, 2013 OR December 6, 2013
Weekend SETS: July 27, 2013 OR December 7, 2013
Registration closes when a class of 20 students has been reached

REGISTER FOR ALL 5 MODULES & SAVE N20,000. REGISTRATION CLOSES WHEN A CLASS OF 20 STUDENTS HAS BEEN REACHED.

VENUE:
12b Fagba Crescent, Off Acme Rd, Agidingbi, Ikeja

After making payment into our company account, send an email to info@elophotos.com to get a copy of the application form. Download the form, print, fill and bring it on the first day of class to the venue with two passport photographs along with the teller of the bank deposit. For further inquiries, contact us on 234-8079243366, 234-7038244433, 234-8101590358 or info@elophotos.com

You can also visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/elophotos for more information

For the Digital Darkroom Module, it is recommended that you bring your laptop for editing your pictures

Refreshment & Course materials will be provided along with a professional digital SLR camera for each participant for practice sessions. Please note that the camera is for practice purposes during the training and would not be taken home by participants

Payment should be made into out Stanbic IBTC account 7200147969 (eloPhotos Studio Enterprises) or our GTB account 211744703110 (eloPhotos Studio Enterprises)

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TESTIMONIALS
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The basic course in Photography is the best thing that has happened to me this year. When I decided to take the course, I didn’t know what to expect, but now, I must say it has been worth my while. I have learnt so much already I can’t wait to go out there and start making magic through pictures. Big ups to Emmagination, Damilola “DAMELL” Elliot & Shola Animashaun, they really inspired me. Please, keep up the good work.
Desi Okiemute

I have always thought of photography as a form of artistic creative expression. When I first began using a camera nearly 30 years ago, I always wanted to be able to take pictures that showed the beauty and variation that is the life experience all around us at all times. After the uncertain results that came out of my self taught efforts over the years, I finally got the opportunity for proper lessons with the Basic Course in Photography offered at eloPhotos Training Institute. After the first 3 lessons, I had already learnt some critical lessons that will enable me take the kind of pictures I have only previously dreamt of taking.”Painting with light”! That is a definition I have gained from the course.The course is a relaxed, practical and interactive one with several tips from experienced photographers. Very commendable training! Now it is up to me to decide to what level I want to take my photography – competent beautiful pictures as an amateur or as an artistic professional!
Dr. Olayinka Longe

I really enjoyed the business aspect of the training. The lectures on character, integrity, packaging, good customer service and branding were awesome. In a nutshell, it was a wonderful decision I made by attending the training because I absolutely got more than my money’s worth.
Oloyede Afolabi

eloPhotos is the place to be. Within the 8 days of the training, I’ve been able to acquire sound technical and theoretical skills in photography. The training package is so educative such that all the ingredients necessary for growth and development are included. I especially enjoyed the Branding and Marketing aspect of the training. In fact, I have decided to inform all my relatives and friends that they should not bother trying to get me a job in the telecommunications, or banking and oil industry; I’ve finally gotten a JOB.
Olumide Oshikominu

…raising world-class photographers

The Wedding Kelechi Amadi-Obi offered to cover for $600


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So while discussing with a photographer colleague the other day, I asked him how much he enjoyed covering Celebrity X’s wedding. He laughed it off and went ahead to give a break down of the deal. Now before you proceed, please note that this is not fiction: it happened to people I (and perhaps U) know very well. We’ll call the photographer C & the celebrity X.

Photographer C first met Celebrity X earlier this year when he came seeking for the services of a professional photographer. C came highly recommended and the meeting was arranged. Upon arriving at the studio of C, X was shocked when he was given a bill of $500 for the session. “But it’s just a few soft copies I need” X exclaimed. “I know this one photographer J that can give me this same session for $80″, he continued. C explained that that was the worth of the value he was bringing to the table and that photographer J was probably also charging what he felt he was worth”.

After much discussion and pleading, photographer C decided to do the session for Celebrity X without charging a dime. Knowing that Celebrity X was very popular, perhaps it will go a long way in establishing a rapour that will bring more business in the future, he thought. The session came, the session went and over 30 soft copies later, Celebrity X was convinced that there are PHOTOGRAPHERS & there are photographers. He loved the pictures. I loved the pictures. The resulting pictures were so beautiful that I even considered going for a training session with Photographer C on how to use “studio” lights.

Fast forward to a few months later, Celebrity X came back for some more. This time he was getting married and required the world class services of photographer C for the wedding day. But first, Celebrity X needed a pre-wedding session so the pictures could be used to “advertise” to the world that “Lagbaja & Tamedo” are getting married.

Once again, Celebrity X was shocked at the bill that was presented him for the pre-wedding session. “Haba, don’t forget that you’re the one covering the main wedding”, he kidded. “Do you want to scare me away now?” After much pleading and nagging, photographer C gave a discount for the session. He figured that since he’ll be covering the wedding, he has little to loose.

Once again, the pictures that ensued proved to Celebrity X that photography was indeed the Divine calling of photographer C. The pictures were (according to the choice of words used by one of my clients) “tastefully finished”.

Alas, the wedding day drew nigh. It was time to finalize the photography details of the main day. Once again, Celebrity X shouted when he got a bill of over $2000. Now at this point, the gentleman in photographer C was already getting angry. “What does this man take me for?” he asked himself. What made matters worse was when Celebrity X blurted out that “even Kelechi Amadi-Obi has offered to collect $800 for covering the wedding”.

The indirect question being posed to my colleague was thus: “Who are you to charge me more than what Kelechi has offered to take?” To say that photographer C was furious will be an understatement of the year. He nicely told Celebrity X to proceed with using the services of Kelechi Amadi-Obi since his (i.e. Photographer C) bill is not favorable.

Now at this point you need to understand that Celebrity X is the type of client that although I would have turned down since the first meeting, many photographers would have considered it a privilege to be his official wedding photographer. He was well known. He’s still very well known.

Although I knew (just like photographer C) that Celebrity X was lying through his teeth, I decided to call and confirm if indeed Kelechi covered the wedding. I called Kelechi Amadi-Obi’s studios 3 days ago (June 25, 2012) and discussed the issue with them. I wanted to confirm if it was indeed true. His project Manager laughed me off and said “that is a BIG LIE”. He told me that the minimum Kelechi takes for a wedding coverage and delivery of soft copies on a cd is $6000. (WoW. When I grow up, I definitely want to be like Kelechi.)

So what lessons are to be learnt here? You be the judge. But whatever it is you’ve learnt from this, please make sure it includes not being ridiculed or tossed to & fro by a potential client that might look or talk like Celebrity X. I eventually met a photographer that saw the wedding pictures of X (let’s no longer call him a Celebrity): the pictures were “nothing to write home about” for a person of his class.

Buttom line is this: know your worth, price accordingly and don’t take sh** from anyone that seeks to ridicule your great work (assuming ofcourse it’s great) by comparing you to another photographer.

By the way, if you were Photographer C, what would you have done in each scenario of meeting X. (This is definitely an interesting simultaneous equation in which it isn’t necessary to Find X).

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Discover 5 reasons why you should learn photography at eloPhotos ACADEMY. A new weekend session begins January 12, 2013. Register before December 28 & get a 50% discount
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For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos), add us on your bb: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

Busayo & Omotayo’s Wedding


Photographs taken by Busuyi, Bright, Favor & Tosin


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Discover 5 reasons why you should learn photography at eloPhotos ACADEMY. A new weekend session begins January 12, 2013. Register before December 28 & get a 50% discount
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For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos), add us on your bb: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

Take your photography business to the next level


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Come learn what it takes to move your photography business to the next level.

Date: wednesday June 13, 2012

Time: 9am – 1pm

Venue: elophotos studios office
12b fagba crescent, off acme rd,
agidingbi, ikeja

Fee: N500

Facilitator: Seun Akisanmi

Send SMS to 08101590358 to confirm attendance. Txt should include names of participants and photography business. Registration closes June 10, 2012
———————————–
Discover 5 reasons why you should learn photography at eloPhotos ACADEMY. A new weekend session begins January 12, 2013. Register before December 28 & get a 50% discount
———————————–
For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos), add us on your bb: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

Nigeria’s Photography Directory


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Attention all Photography-related companies. Calling all photographers, makeup artists, printing labs, videographers, album designers/makers, camera & photography equipment sellers, computer & sellers, photography schools, camera repairers, advertising & modeling agencies and photography bookstores. We’re presently working on the forthcoming release of a bi-monthly photography magazine called PICTURE THIS (http://wp.me/p1meHy-12V) and a segment in the magazine is called “Photography Directory”. In this segment we’ll be listing the contact details of organizations/companies that provide products/services that promote directly or indirectly the photography industry.

Send an email to picturethis@elophotos.com with the subject title NPD listing if you’ll like to include your company details. Listing is free for the maiden edition and costs N6k for subsequent editions. Kindly follow the following format when sending in details as submissions that don’t meet guidelines will be disqualified.

NPD Listing

CATEGORY: makeup artist (or any other category)
COMPANY NAME: moore makeup
ADDRESS: 9c Jide Ayo close Omole Phase 1, Ojodu-Ikeja.
TELEPHONE: 2 phone nos.
Website: 1 website address
e-MAIL: wemimoore@gmail.com
BB pin: 22221111

Pls be sure you have a functional website before submitting. If your business does not have an active website, don’t include the website address in the submission. Kindly forward this info to anyone you know might be interested. For further inquiries: 234-8079243366 or 234-7038244433. Deadline for submission has been moved to July 6, 2012. (Businesses must be based in West-Africa). The Publisher reserves the right to exclude any category submission if it doesn’t meet the required guidelines. If you’ve already submitted and your submission meets the guidelines above, you don’t need to send another email.

Photographically yours,

Seun Akisanmi
CEO elophotos.com
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Plan to attend the next session of Basic Course in Photography
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For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos), add us on your bb: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

TOP SECRET: Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine Premiers


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Greetings great artistic & creative citizens of the earth. We’re working on a photography Magazine (Picture This) that will be launched in mid-July and I thought it wise to let you in on the secret. A segment of the magazine will be featuring creative and beautiful pictures taken by Nigerian amateurs and professionals. We’ll appreciate if you can kindly forward any “wow” picture that is considered “creative & beautiful” (& you’ll love us to publish) to info@elophotos.com

Please be sure you have the rights to the picture and high resolution pictures should be sent. Kindly also include a brief explanation on how & when the image was gotten. Only pictures that meet our standards will be published in the 5-page segment.

There’s also a segment we call “Photography Directory”. In this segment, vendors in the photography industry have the opportunity of letting the world know how they can be reached. For the 1st edition, you can be listed for free if you can send (to info@elophotos.com) the name of your company, main services rendered, address & phone numbers For example:
Elophotos Studios
Event & Portrait Photographers
12b Fagba Crescent, off acme rd, agidingbi, ikeja
08023008873
http://www.elophotos.com

All correspondence should be sent to info@elophotos.com.

Deadline for submissions for the 1st edition is June 15, 2012.

Much Thanks to the individuals that are already on board for the success of this project: Theophilus Emmanuel, Segun Alawode, Akin Ibitoye, Dipo Odetoyinbo, Lekan Made Fotos, Abiola Oladeinde, Richard Bamidele Eko, Shola Animashaun, Olusegun Ogunyemi, Segun Adebiyi, Kikelomo Koleosho & Kelechi Amadi-Obi.

Contributions and suggestions on how to make this a world-class magazine are welcome.

Attached are sample covers of the 1st 4 editions. Please kindly drop a comment and let us know what you sincerely think and how we can make it better. For advert placement & sponsorship opportunities, kindly contact us on 08101590358 or 08023008873 or send us an email at info@elophotos.com
Spread the word and share on your social media
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Photography Bootcamp for Kids (Ages 6-19)


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In this course, your children will learn how to:

* develop technical proficiency with a compact camera
* create impact with photography
* compose pictures
* develop a photography “style”
* effectively tell a story with photography
* effectively photograph people
* know the right equipment to use for any situation
* edit images using Adobe Photoshop CS5 (FOR AGES 11-19)
* correct tone & color using Adobe Photoshop CS5 (FOR AGES 11-19)

DATES
Set 1
July 23 – August 3, 2012 (10 Weekdays)
9am – 2pm
Maximum of 10 students in a class
Course fee: N60,000
Registration closes July 16, 2012 or when class limit of 10 students has been reached

Set 2
August 13 – August 24, 2012 (10 Weekdays)
9am – 2pm
Maximum of 10 students in a class
Course fee: N60,000
Registration closes August 6, 2012 or when class limit of 10 students has been reached

VENUE
eloPhotos Nigeria Ltd
12b fagba Crescent,
off Acme Road,
Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Send an email to info@elophotos.com to get a copy of the application form. Download the form, print, fill and bring it (or fax) on the first day of class to the venue with 1 passport photographs along with the teller of the bank deposit.
You can also visit our website at http://www.elophotos.com for more information
Refreshments & Course materials will be be served. However children will be required to bring their digital cameras for the course. Contact us for details on the type of cameras to get.

Payment should be made into our Stanbic IBTC account 7200147969 (eloPhotos Studio Enterprises) or our Guaranty Trust Bank account 211744703110 (eloPhotos Studio Enterprises)

For further inquiries, contact us on 234-8101590358, 234-8120129149, 234-8191474348, 234-8023008873 or info@elophotos.com

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Plan to attend the next session of Basic Course in Photography
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For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos), add us on your bb: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

AN EXPERIENCE WORTH REMEMBERING: eloPhotos Academy


Its quite amazing how dreams come true so soon.
Exactly six months ago, I had prayed and panted (just like the deer pants for water) to be under the tutelage of a personality I met and highly respect. Since my encounter with the CEO of eloPhotos Studio (Mr Seun Akisanmi) at the D-SAP photography training last year, I had dreamt of having an advance training under him so has to equip myself with more knowledge in the field of photography and most importantly to learn the right attitude and dispositions to clients and the photography business which an average Nigerian Photographers tend to neglect or lack.

The long awaited training kicked off on Monday, 19TH March, 2012 at eloPhotos office situated in Ikeja. With so much anticipation and determination against all odds, I left the city of Abeokuta and crossed the border of Ogun State to Lagos State to participate in the training. Before now, I knew I wasn’t going to be the only trainee so I was not disappointed when I got there and met other trainees from different parts of the country well sitted at the reception (which was well decorated with frames of creative pictures and a bookshelf stacked neatly with books on photography business and I was like WAOH! This is a serious venture.)

The first day was more of an introductory and interactive class where we got to meet ourselves, share basic life information and ultimately share our passion for photography. Our instructor was not left out as he did the bulk of the talking sharing his different experiences from how he decided to follow his passion (Photography), the need to read books to getting the right mentor for one’s area of specialization in photography. He also stressed the importance of having the right business mindset in photography. Interestingly, every of his words were an eye opener in one way or the other and my passion grew the more for this high calling.

The days following were devoted basically for learning and handling the camera, our “weapon of warfare”. The technicality of the camera was taught & justice was done with regard to different shooting modes, types of lenses, light meter, exposure value compensation, Depth of field, white balance, business photography and so on.

I realized right there that photography and taking pictures was beyond pressing the shutter button. It entails a wide range of things from the technicality of it to creativity, composition, being friendly, honest, & humble with clients. At this junction I began to have a clearer understanding of how the few pictures delivered by some photographers are not WAOH enough while some on the other end are great. It all boils down to having the right composition for your subject and knowing the right settings for different exposures.

It seems the week tends to end faster when you have creative stuffs like this going on for you or maybe its my notion but honestly, friday arrived faster than the speed of light. Another week of training surfaced and was devoted to the DIGITAL DARKROOM. I especially loved the MAGIC that Photoshop was capable of creating. Kudos to the inventor of this software. I mean, I love Photoshop! But like my instructor said “try as much as possible to get the best picture from camera because you will save some time in Photoshop”. I totally agree with that because a bad picture from the camera cannot deliver the best not even after serious editing with the magical Photoshop.

At this point, I cannot but draw attention to the rapid developmental changes occurring in the digital photography industry. There’s still so much to be done in the industry and I sincerely want to be among those that will keep the flag flying. One of the most crucial things I learnt at eloPhotos Academy is the importance of giving your picture a voice of its own.

As we approached the end of the training, it dawned on me how much I was going to miss my colleague photographers who just like myself had sacrificed a lot to attend this training. We were about to go back to our various destinations transformed to becoming greater photographers who will impact the world photographically. I am definitely convinced we will meet at the top where the Kings dine and wine.

In conclusion, I will like to extend my sincere gratitude to the able organizers of this training especially to the CEO of Elophotos Studio for allowing himself to be used by God to pioneer one of the best Photography training Institute in Nigeria, giving room for a person like me to have an in-depth knowledge in the field. My heartfelt gratitude also goes to his beautiful wife and his supermodel daughter Anu , who voluntarily posed for my practice sessions. Much thanks also goes out to other in-house photographers (Afolabi Oloyede & Adetunji Oremosu) who did so well in putting us through whenever we were “stranded” with the camera settings. Love you all and God bless you.

Photographically yours,

Oluwatosin
Set 10 eloPhotos Academy
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Plan to attend the next session of Basic Course in Photography
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For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos), add us on your bb: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

Basic Course in Photography (June 2012 – December 2012)


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At eloPhotos Academy, our ultimate goal is to raise world-class photographers. We do this through a series of workshops, trainings, and internship programs. You can visit out youtube channel (www.youtube.com/elophotos) to watch videos on a few photography topics. Contact us to learn more about our other trainings.
In this course, you’ll learn how to:
* develop technical proficiency with your camera
* create impact with your photography
* compose pictures
* develop your style
* effectively tell a story with photography
* be a master of “light”
* effectively photograph people
* know the right equipment to use for any situation
* make a good income in photography
* edit images using Adobe Photoshop CS5
* correct tone & color using Adobe Photoshop CS5
* produce outstanding printed images
* effectively market and brand yourself as a photographer
Set 8
January 23 – February 1, 2012 (8 Weekdays)
9am – 2pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes January 16, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached
Set 9
January 21 – March 3, 2012 (7 Saturdays)
9am – 3pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes January 16, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached
Set 10
March 19 – March 28, 2012 (8 Weekdays)
9am – 2pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes March 1, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached

Set 11
March 24 – May 5, 2012 (7 Saturdays)
9am – 3pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes March 12, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached

Set 12
June 4 – June 13, 2012 (8 Weekdays)
9am – 2pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes May 21, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached

Set 13
June 2 – July 14, 2012 (7 Saturdays)
9am – 3pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes May 18, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached

Set 14
September 3 – September 12, 2012 (9 Weekdays)
9am – 2pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes August 24, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached

Set 15
September 1 – October 13, 2012 (9 Saturdays)
9am – 3pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes Aug 17, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached

Set 16
December 3 – December 12, 2012 (9 Weekdays)
9am – 2pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes November 23, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached

Send an email to info@elophotos.com to get a copy of the application form. Download the form, print, fill and bring it on the first day of class to the venue with two passport photographs along with the teller of the bank deposit. For further inquiries, contact us on 234-8101590358, 234-8023008873, 234-8120129149, 234-8191474348 or info@elophotos.com

You can also visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/elophotos for more information

For the course, it is recommended that you bring your laptop for editing your pictures

Refreshment & Course materials will be provided along with a professional digital SLR camera for each participant for practice sessions. Please note that the camera is for practice purposes during the training and would not be taken home by participants

Payment should be made into out Stanbic IBTC account 7200147969 (eloPhotos Studio Enterprises) or our GTB account 211744703110 (eloPhotos Studio Enterprises)

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TESTIMONIALS

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The basic course in Photography is the best thing that has happened to me this year. When I decided to take the course, I didn’t know what to expect, but now, I must say it has been worth my while. I have learnt so much already I can’t wait to go out there and start making magic through pictures. Big ups to Emmagination, Damilola “DAMELL” Elliot & Shola Animashaun, they really inspired me. Please, keep up the good work.

Desi Okiemute

I have always thought of photography as a form of artistic creative expression. When I first began using a camera nearly 30 years ago, I always wanted to be able to take pictures that showed the beauty and variation that is the life experience all around us at all times. After the uncertain results that came out of my self taught efforts over the years, I finally got the opportunity for proper lessons with the Basic Course in Photography offered at eloPhotos Training Institute. After the first 3 lessons, I had already learnt some critical lessons that will enable me take the kind of pictures I have only previously dreamt of taking.”Painting with light”! That is a definition I have gained from the course.The course is a relaxed, practical and interactive one with several tips from experienced photographers. Very commendable training! Now it is up to me to decide to what level I want to take my photography – competent beautiful pictures as an amateur or as an artistic professional!

Dr. Olayinka Longe

I really enjoyed the business aspect of the training. The lectures on character, integrity, packaging, good customer service and branding were awesome. In a nutshell, it was a wonderful decision I made by attending the training because I absolutely got more than my money’s worth.

Oloyede Afolabi

eloPhotos is the place to be. Within the 8 days of the training, I’ve been able to acquire sound technical and theoretical skills in photography. The training package is so educative such that all the ingredients necessary for growth and development are included. I especially enjoyed the Branding and Marketing aspect of the training. In fact, I have decided to inform all my relatives and friends that they should not bother trying to get me a job in the telecommunications, or banking and oil industry; I’ve finally gotten a JOB.

Olumide Oshikominu

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…raising world-class photographers

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Plan to attend the next session of Basic Course in Photography
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For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos), add us on your bb: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

Take your photography business to the next level


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Come learn what it takes to run a successful photography business.

Date: wednesday April 4, 2012

Time: 8am – 12pm

Venue: elophotos studios office
12b fagba crescent, off acme rd,
agidingbi, ikeja

Fee: N500

Facilitator: Seun Akisanmi

Send an SMS to 08101590358 to confirm attendance. Registration closes April 2, 2012

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Plan to attend the next session of Basic Course in Photography
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For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos), add us on your bb: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

FINALLY, Photography training for Dsap Set 7 comes to an end


So for the past 9 weekdays, we’ve been busy training a class of 67 students that decided they wanted to be professional photographers. Together with Mr Leke Adenuga (QF), we were able to teach what we felt would be enough for a good foundation in photography business.

Daystar Christian Centre started this project in 2010 in an attempt to reduce unemployment in the society by teaching people “how to fish” instead of giving them “fish.” For Mr Leke & I, this was an opportunity to impart on the next generation of photographers in Nigeria. I can only hope & pray the students would make good use of the opportunity they were blessed with. Time will tell.

Attached are a few of the pictures taken we were in class. I’ll really appreciate it if you just acknowledge how handsome I look in the pictures 🙂

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For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos) or add us on your bb: 271E3BC8

Photographer of the week: Dipo Odetoyinbo


Transcript of the interview session with renowned Photographer, Dipo Odetoyinbo (Black Child Photography)

When did you KNOW you wanted to become a Photographer?
My journey into photography has been a love affair. I have always been artistically inclined. I’ve been into fashion, I’ve done a bit of drama and I sang for a long time. It was when I went to serve in Kano state, on the way from the orientation camp to the village where we were posted, there was this beautiful scenery. The journey lasted about an hour and was over in the blink of the eye. It was the beauty of the scenery that struck me and I felt I had to capture that beauty. I guess that was where that ‘knowing’ first started because I knew I wanted to share this beauty with the whole world.

Tell us more about your career in photography and the challenges you experienced.
I studied Microbiology in the University of Ibadan, but from my second year I knew it wasn’t it for me. I needed to do more with what came to me naturally. I needed to do a little more self discovery. I had good grades and all that, but I knew art is where I am really very good at. That very point, I decided to make it a career. I started out as a hobbyist taking pictures of landscape and nature and a few portraits. I started posting my pictures and it seemed people liked it and wanted more. A lot of people asked me to come and take their picture and I said no, no.
I was so strong and I had to do something about it because even as an amateur a lot of people felt I could take it professionally. I decided I could, but I didn’t know what the business side of it will take. Although I had been into business before I knew running a business wasn’t simple. I knew I could do whatever it takes and that I could imagine myself still doing this at age seventy.

The challenges I had are the same that faces most of us artists. The case of doing something you love so passionately, but when it comes to the end of the month it’s not like someone is going to pay you. The real challenges were the business side: how do I create this beautiful work of art and get someone to pay me for it? I also came to the point where I knew I had to do something that was relevant to as many people as possible. Art is a medium of self-expression but I found after a bit of research that I had to be more relevant.

Who were your mentors when you were starting out?
It’s funny people can inspire you but you haven’t met them personally. I have largely been self taught. But I read the works of so many great people for inspiration. I read a lot of Bryan Peterson’s books and Scott Kelby. I knew more of what was going on the international scene for a year of so. But since I was to be based here in Nigeria, I needed to know what people around here were doing. I met Mr Leke Adenuga of QF and he showed me quite a bit of how to go about the business side of it. Also through HO9 I met Kelechi Amadi-Obi, I met Barret Akpokabayen, and a few others & they have been very instrumental in helping me out.

Getting into wedding photography, I remember meeting Mr Seun Akisanmi who really showed me the ropes of the business side (before that I had made many blunders!) and it was like a corrective measure. I also had a few assists from Michael Adebiyi, who went with me to some weddings and would help cover some and he was really instrumental.

Which Photographer on earth do you admire the most?
Strictly speaking Work and personality wise, one of the people I admire most is Kelechi Amadi-Obi. Just looking at his works alone has been so inspirational. It’s because of the aesthetics and the fine-art. Meeting him one-on-one has also inspired me and because he makes me feel like I can do it too.

Tell us your worst photography experience so far?
I think I have had so many experiences that have made me re-consider this business. I remember a few years back I was called for a series of jobs by the same client, a party, portrait session, two events and so on. After we spoke he deposited some money into my account, promising that he will pay the balance later. So I focussed on delivery and I did all that I could, including getting a make-up artist for all the coverage. So when I delivered everything and it was time to get my balance, he started dragging.

The mistake I made was that I did not sign a contract with him and delivering all without collecting much. I had invested my own money for a lot of the work and it [must have] seemed like I had a lot of money and I had made my profit and that was why I still had so much balance to collect.
That has been the nastiest experience so far and till date I have not collected that money.

What is that one WOW “client” experience that you wish could be repeated with all your clients?
I won’t site one client in particular. I have several clients who have become big-time marketers for me. That just really excites me; when you work for somebody and they go out of their way to ensure that every one they know hires you, if they can afford it.

How far are you willing to go with this “Photography”?
Like I said , it was a love affair for me initially, and I didn’t stumble into photography just like that, but I made up my mind that whatever it takes I am going to make it work. I believe it’s finding out your own niche and doing what makes you stand out and not doing what everybody else does. So many people are coming into the industry, (that’s good because it gives it a prestigious look) but having so many more graduates who are leaving their degree and coming into the business, shows that it is such a fantastic industry and it requires differentiation and stating in your area of strength for it stand out.

Why should a client hire you amidst the sea of photographers in Nigeria?
For me I like to ask a lot of questions and find out a lot about the client to be able to fashion out what works for them to bring out the best. A lot of people want to look exactly the way some of my works appear and I have to explain to them why I took the pictures they’re looking at in a certain way. I think my attention to detail stands me out. For my pre-wedding shoots, I usually want to go all out.

Are you affordable?
I think I am quite affordable. That is relative, because I have a lot of very good work out there that I am sure of. So I have created different packages for weddings. On the average it starts at $900 (N150k) and goes up depending on the options that go into the package based on what the client needs. It all depends on what the client needs although we have a whole gamut of packages that cover what clients usually expect.

What is your advice for newbies coming into the industry?
I would say spend time learning and training. It’s not every one that holds a camera that is a photographer. Learn how to take pictures, learn the art and very importantly learn the business side of it. The business aspect of it is very important to whatever it is you are doing.

Assume you wake up on Feb 20, 2020 what will your dream day look like?
I have always loved travelling. I guess it would be the day I get a call from South Africa to come do a shoot there. I said South Africa because a lot of photographers are trained there and peoole still come from all over the world to get their training there. By then , I would [want to] have an outfit that has really grown and I would have a lot of people under the same umbrella and I would have branched out into a few other fields I won’t mention now. Photography is the good foundation for the other things that come with it.

Any plans for a training platform for apprentists?
I keep getting phonecalls from people saying they want to come learn photography, but I have learnt that talk is cheap! Then I remember approaching one of my mentors once for that kind of request and I had to do a re-think when I realised I wouldn’t have the kind of time it was going to require. I had to look for another way around it. So as much as I love to create a platform for others, not everyone fits in and even though you have just a few rules, they take it for granted. I love to share knowledge so I have an internship program right now but that can’t accommodate many people, but as time goes on I intend to take on more people.
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Black Child Photography is a Visual Communication Outfit geared at providing our esteemed clients with high quality images that speak to the viewer and passes across pre-planned specific messages to targeted audiences.

www.blackchildphotography.com
Email: blackchild247@gmail.com
Telephone: +234 80-2360-1026, +234 80-9056-9305

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For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos) or add us on your bb: 271E3BC8

A Photo Session with the Twins at 2


So my nephews (or is it nieces) were 2 about 2 weeks ago and being the official family photographer I was compelled to give them a 2nd photo session (the 1st being their 1yr old birthday) that lasted for 2hours. It was a tumultuous session that made me realize the importance of being a patient person. Amidst cries & laughter we attempted to get a few nice pictures depicted below.

At the end of the session, I had more respect for the wonderful parents depicted in therein. Although I know they’re not identical twins I still find it difficult to differentiate Fadeke from Folake. Maybe 2yrs of living in the same house with them will solve that challenge. Either way, it was fun doing the shoot & I can’t wait for the twins to be 3.

Pictures taken with Olympus E3, 12-60mm lens, Bowens 500 gemini light kit, a few chivita fruit juice & an abundance of patience & love.

Looking at the pictures, don’t you just feel like having twins? 🙂 it is well

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Minutes of “Take your photography business to the next level”


Feb 16, 2012
8am

Professional Photographers were admonished:

 To Be firm in their dealings with clients

 To try not to engage in agreements unless 80% of the fees have been deposited

 To Be professional in their dealings with wedding clients and should strive not only to collect 100% of their fees upfront but to also deliver on the jobs on or before the date promised.

 To clarify all terms and conditions in discussion with the client, and where feasible; preferably face-to-face and not only through phone calls

 To make clear (especially on their invoices) details of discounts being given their client

Mr Seun further emphasized other issues including procrastination and the ethics of borrowing equipment from colleagues. He stressed that getting jobs whose net value are able to purchase a camera should rather be the goal of the photographer. This is where he also made distinctions on when and where some jobs should be turned down and that photographers must have standard packages with a pricing structure that is clear and unambiguous.

A website presence and its value was further elaborated upon and every photographer advised to maintain one where clients can view their portfolio, read terms and conditions, their different packages available and associated charges as well as discount options.

The issue of copyright laws was discussed to the effect that with the use of clients pictures for marketing purposes in formats such as online; documented detailing of agreements must be involved so that neither party can jeopardize the others’ interest either in the present or in the future. In regard to copyright infringements by the public, he put it that watermarking a photographers publicly viewable digital images and not emailing a previous clients pictures to potential new clients to view are best practices to be considered.

Attendees of the workshop also related their recent experiences with clients for the benefit of group discussions.

Shola Animashaun noted that twitter is a micro-blogging site that allows you show your expression. Twitter has 300 million users with over 100,000 new users joining everyday.

8 WAYS YOU CAN GROW FOLLOWERS ON TWITTER.
– Tweet regularly: tweet photography knowledge, quotes. Re-twit regularly suggestion to any contribution can determine some people to follow you on twitter. It is cool to start and contribute to conversation.

– Credit everything
– Engage with the big boys
-Watch your timing and consistency
-Use strategic Key words
-Practice reposting tweets
-Build relationship with potential and existing clients
-Discuss photography issues, follow fellow photographers i.e Zack Arias
Chase Jarvis
Joe Mcnally
Scott kelby
Scott bourne
Stobist
Thomas Hawk
Jeremy Cowart
Jasmine Star
Micheal Zelbel

Mr Seun took over after Mr Shola ended his session. He stressed the importance of being people of integrity at all times. One of attendees stressed the importance of being careful when partnering with other photographers. Mr Seun added that agreements should be made (sometimes in writing) even when partnering ith photographers you have never worked with before. for daily photography-related tips and articles, visit http://www.elophotos.com

A Good Reason to Give an 80% Discount


So I met with this client in her office in Ikoyi. She is the president of the Parent Teachers’ Association of a high profile school in Lagos. They’re planning a family fun fair and want professional photography coverage.

One interesting thing about the school was the fact that the percentage of Nigerians that are students is about 14%. Americans account for about 40% while the remaining 46% comprises of 53 other nationals. They wanted a scenario where the students that come in, have their picture taken and get a printed & framed 5 by 7 copy before leaving. They also wanted a photobook that will be presented as a summary of the 5hr event.

Considering the size of the school, we were going to be looking at a team of at least 4 photographers to do the coverage. Another 2 photography “editors” will be manning the 2 computer systems that will be responsible for churning out prints within a turnaround time of 15mins. I explained to her that the type of photobook package we would deliver will cost them N250k: one 50-paged 8by12 inches book. Unknown to her I was actually planning on delivering our 500k package. This is because I really want to wow the directors & parents of the school knowing that I will get more jobs thereafter. I further explained that for each student that wants a printed picture, they’ll have to pay N1k with an assumption that if about 200 students how up, that will make it worthwhile.

It was at this point that she “shouted” that the school didn’t appreciate photography enough to have allocated such an amount to it….that the amount budgeted was N100k…..that even the amount budgeted will be her personal contribution to the fair. I paused. I was shocked.

N100k under normal circumstances will not cut it. This is because I plan to pay my 6 photography assisstants for that day N10k each for their help. I’ve not even removed my other overheads.

She further explained that the school presently has a photographer that can print the same 5 by 7 picture for N250 for the students…that if I wanted to charge N1k, I would have to contribute N200 back into the PTA’s fund. I explained to her that my overhead for delivering my type of quality will not allow me go less that N1k. If they want to remove N200, then maybe I should charge them N1200. I explained that even the N1k each student will be paying is a token compared to what they will be getting and what we will have to gone through. She said she’ll present it to the Directors and get back to me.

One of the things that surprised me is the fact that the school was considering bringing Whiz Kid for the show but my own photography bill was too much. Its ok to pay Whiz Kid over N1million for his 15minutes+ performance but its not ok to pay the photographer N500k for the 5hour coverage. Wow. Even the N1k I was charging will only pay me if a minimum of 200 students show up. There was no guaranty that 200 of the schools’ over 800 students will show up. It was a gamble for me.

I eventually told her that I would still work with her budget of 100k for the photobook but for this time only. Considering the fact that it isn’t the school that will be footing the photography bill & that we were the ones that covered her husband’s birthday a few months back, I would work with her budget.

More importantly, I thought it will be a great avenue to meet the type of clients that I’ve always wanted to work for: the elites of the society. Don’t let’s even start mentioning the school fees each student pays (in $) per term. Don’t let us also mention that the United States government has a big interest in this school. Let’s talk about the fact that this could be my opportunity to eventually be one of the photographer’s that will be covering President Obama’s child naming ceremony in a few months. Let’s talk about the fact that this could be an opportunity to eventually be photographing events for the United Nations. Let’s talk about that. Now that’s enough reason to break my rule of not giving anyone discounts. I think its a good risk to take.

The 80% discount I’ll be giving them (considering the fact that I still want to present the 500k package) will be my cost of advertisement to reach a new class of clientele. Let’s hope I’m right. May God help me. May God help us all

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A Colorless Photo Session With Bisola & OMJ


It all began on January 31st, 2012. I tweeted that I felt like giving someone a photo session. She was the first the respond with a good reason. I sent her an email with my conditions

…there’s a good chance that we’ll choose some of the pictures taken to showcase on our blog, website, exhibitions, competitions or future books I’ll be writing. We’ll watermark the pictures that will be put online so that will reduce the chance of it be used by anyone else. We will never sell your pictures to anyone. If I’m the one that will be taking the pictures and will not have the right to use the pictures for these purposes, it significantly reduces the level of creativity I’ll be bringing to the table…..except ofcourse you’re paying an amount that will really motivate me. Just tot I be frank with you upfront. Let me know what you think and we can take it from there & decide on a mutually convenient date

It was ok with her. 2 weeks later we were having fun with her handsome boy in our studios. I decided to go colorless. The rest is history. Let the pictures tell you the story of what went down. Pictures taken with an Olympus E3, 12-60mm f2.8 lens & Bowens Gemini studio lights kit.


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5 things you probably did not know about Kelechi Amadi-Obi


So I was able to finally get another meeting with Kelechi for an interview session. We chatted for about 65minutes and I discovered more of his interesting personality & lifestyle. The following are discoveries that you probably never knew about KAO

1) He has 4 children: 2 boys & 2 girls. I was always of the assumption that someone like him will be too busy to have more than 2 kids. I was wrong. He seems to be a caring father and is very proud of his 4 children

2) He Gets at least 240 messages daily on his facebook page. Infact if you really need to reach him, don’t bother. Sending a message to his facebook page: he rarely checks it. With over 10,000 unread messages, you’re better off giving him a call on 080******** if you really need to reach him (fill out the contact form on http://www.kelechiamadiobi.com/contact)

3) He doesn’t have a BlackBerry phone. With enough resources to buy BlackBerry Porshe for all his staff, I was surprised when he said he doesn’t have a BB. He would later explain to me that a Blackberry is one of those technologies that “wastes” people’s precious time. If he got one, he would have to add countless celebrities as his contact and they might get offended if he doesn’t reply their pings. He figures that if someone really needs him, they’ll contact him the “old-fashion” way by calling. A part of me agrees with him, the other part………………….

4) Has the most beautiful photographer’s office I’ve ever been to in my life. His office is designed and decorated in a way that will make his type of clientele comfortable. By the time he’s giving a client an invoice, the client will know that he is not your average “papapa” photographer: he’s comfortable & he means business. Its the type of office that motivates and challenges me without him talking.

5) Walks everyday from his home to his office: a 30minute journey. In an attempt to keep fit, he considers driving to work an unnecessary luxury. He rather walk to the office and later go to the gym. That’s why he could afford to show off the “six pack” I thought I saw behind the firm shirt he was wearing. It is well

Just a few info for you to know what it’s like to be in the shoes of a photographer in high demand. Now get to work and make your photography business and world-class brand.

To read the entire transcript of the interview, check out the link http://wp.me/p1meHy-LB
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The Dangers of Seeking Approval from Peers & Mentors


WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THESE PICTURES?
I’ve had quite a number of photographers who have recently sent me some of their works. They want to know what I think of their pictures. Most importantly, they want to know what I don’t like about the pictures. Sometimes I wish I knew the criteria for being a photography judge/critique. Is it by the fame one is perceived to have, or is it by the type of clients one is known to service….I’ll know the answer one day.

Please don’t misunderstand me; I’m not casting down anyone for asking me to critique their pictures. On the contrary, I feel honored. Its just that many people don’t handle criticisms (or the lack of it) very well. Truth be told, most people that have asked for my opinion (one way or the other regarding their pictures) have great collections. Most people that take photographs that are considered “ugly” or “bad” usually know that within themselves. They know its bad enough not to ask for people’s opinion.

Many times we want to hear a large amount of people tell us how great our pictures are (myself included) so that we can feel good with ourselves and reaffirm what we feel we already know: I’M A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER.

Sometimes, I feel getting constructive criticisms go a long way in helping us get better. Sometimes we get depressed because we feel our works are not “appreciated” enough.

The following are a few comments I’ve heard read from critiques:

“Take it easy with the editing”
“I think the picture would look better in black & white”
“The pictures are too sharp”
“The picture is not sharp enough”
“Wow, I’m stupified by these pictures”
“Well done, great job”
“I’m so proud of you”
“God will take you to greater heights”
“May Allah bless the works of your hands”
The list goes on.

But this is the point I’m trying to get at. I feel a lot of us should be conscious of the fact that the photographer that’s your mentor may have a different style from yours. He (or she) may prefer black & white pictures and you may become sad because he didn’t click the “like” button on your colored pictures. He may dislike the fact that you made the background out of focus and you might be sad.

Yes, we may argue that our mentor knows better but we forget that we are all artists. Even the gentleman (or lady) that designed the Japanese flag must have gotten the “disapproval” of his creative mentors. How else can you explain logically a small red dot on a white background. But the government of Japan loved it enough to compensate the fellow for his work of art.

And that’s my point exactly: ultimately the opinion of the person that matters the most is the potential client that will be paying for your services. Sometimes the photographs you take that they fall in love with are the ones you wanted to throw in your recycle bin. Now you’re thinking twice because there’s a $1000 cheque in your hands that proves you were wrong.

Peers & mentors are good guides but they may sometimes not agree with your creative tendencies. Take their advice, but still carve out a niche for yourself. Don’t just take pictures that look like those of Jide Alakija, Tunji Sarunmi, Aisha Augie-Kuta or Kelechi Amadi-Obi. Take pictures that look like U: your style is your art. Sometimes I save some of my “blurry” pictures because one day they could be used for an exhibition somewhere. Hope I’ve not been misinterpreted thus far….

By the way, what do you think of my pictures? 🙂
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PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE WEEK 5: Kelechi Amadi-Obi (TRANSCRIPT)


We met with Kelechi on Valentine Day’s eve and had a heart-to-heart talk. He just concluded a photo session with Jay Martins and was eager to share with us about his journey so far in photography. The following is the transcript of the 45-minute interview that ensued

Tell us who you are & how you got into photography?
My Name is Kelechi Amadi-Obi. I went to secondary school in Government college Umuahia, after my primary school (Library Avenue primary school, Umuahia again) so I pretty much grew up in my city. Right from childhood , I had always been fascinated with visual arts, usually the best artist of the class in primary school. My primary school was next to the library (hence it’s name), in fact my mum was the headmistress of the school.

My house was next to the school. I had developed the habit of research early and going to the art shelf in the library. Whatever craft I needed to learn I knew early on that I could learn it on my own. I discovered great wisdom hidden in all the books. I became obsessed with trying to master the wisdom of any book I was reading.

By the time I finished secondary school it was obvious I could communicate through the art of the visual though I never thought about how to make a living from it. I didn’t see any gallery or museum or art school in my area. I’d never met a real artist and only read about them in books. So I thought it was something only done in Europe. So back then, when I would make a drawing, I would tell my little sister then that ‘This is a masterpiece!’ I tried to visualise myself [being] like Rembrandt, Van Gogh or Picasso, but it all seemed like a fantasy world.

But when it came to choosing my career, this was story: My family is a family of lawyers. My father was a high court judge and only two professions were recognised in my house; you were either a medical doctor or a lawyer. So I chose law after passing my JAMB examination and gained admission into University of Nigeria (Nnsuka) [UNN]. It was there, [UNN] that my eyes were opened and In fact, I attended ACCA exhibition in Bonna gallery in Enugu then. I was in the midst of real artists. I thought ‘this is it! People actually live this kind of life!’ I immediately grew comfortable with that, and while I was studying law, I was practising my art, and became popular for it. I chose a brand name De’ Zulu (from a movie Chaka De Zulu, who I thought really kicked ass) for business name.

It was in my third year I made the decision I would become a full time artist after I finished law school. But I was not going to be a drop-out because people would misunderstand me. I also found out that in law, there were some things that would benefit me.
After finishing law school, I settled in Lagos with my aunt (Aunty Nnena) and by then my father was late. The only thing I could afford then was a cardboard paper and pencil. So I said, “Great, let’s start making art!”
Freshly out of law school, that was a stubborn and ridiculous thing to do.

It was atop my aunt’s balcony I started making art-works. The first time I went to shop for frames for the artworks the owner of the frame shop asked, ‘’Are these works for sale?’’ I answered, ‘oh, they are N10,000 each” and he bought all five of them! I thought, wow! From nothing to N50,000…. I blew N25,000 immediately on art materials.
I went back to continue with painting. I was amazed at how easy it was to sell those artworks. A friend of mine who was also a fellow artist, came around and found what I was doing interesting. So he said he knew a few people who are collectors. He packed all the works I had that morning and in the evening he came back with N100,000 cash after collecting his commission. Incredible! It became clear I could make a living in Lagos as an artist.
Eventually I had an exhibition, followed by another, and the rest is history. I became popular and was absorbed into the art world of Lagos.

Gradually I was using the camera to take photos for my paintings as reference materials, and as I did I realised I needed to master lighting. More of my paintings were of the human figure and I needed to photograph models for them. I liked to look at the way light falls on the body in the different shapes and forms. I got deeper and deeper into controlling the way light goes into the shutter, through the aperture to make an exposure. So I could thoroughly underexpose a picture or slightly over-expose it to get a kind of feel [I wanted].

While doing that I had mastered the little intricacies of photography. It struck me that some of the photos I was making were already finished artworks. I started hanging out with more artists. I would visit the likes of Don Barbar (even he had collected some of my paintings he found interesting) and he would take me to his dark-room to develop some prints. I was amazed that what I saw was just like my paintings. I then started using Uche James Iroha’s dark room while he was working in Dolphin Studios in Surulere to process my works which I shot in black and white. Soon after, I got my own dark-room. This made my interest in photography come up even more.

It was all just fun, and I wasn’t making a dime from photography at the time. Until a guy (also a photographer himself) came in from Germany to curate an African art exhibition, as part of the biennial, in Bamako Mali. He wanted to have eleven photographers. Someone had told him about my collection of nudes and he came around, looked at them and found them quite interesting. And since he thought they were good enough for the exhibition, I got invited to Bamako Mali. Uche James Iroha, TY Bello, Amaeze Ojekere (representing his dad) and others from diaspora, Mali and Senegal, South Africa were all participants in this exhibition. It was like an art exhibition Olympics for Black Africa!

There were curators and scouts from all over Europe. Some of the curators from Italy came over and after liking my work, they invited me to come and exhibit in Italy. They took my contact [info] and sent me tickets .
Upon returning, myself, Uche James Iroha, TY Bello and Amaeze Ojekere came together to form a group called Depth of Field – a collective of artists who wanted to spend time creating work. And soon we were exhibiting in France, Germany, England, New York and we became very popular. That even sucked me deeper into photography. While this was happening it was my work as a painter that was providing my upkeep.

Gradually people & advertising agencies came to me with briefs for an artistic advertising shoot. When they came I would say, Sure, I’ll work with you, but these are my terms…… Then they would say no, and propose things like N30,000 per scenario. My response would always be , ‘Sorry, I don’t work that way. If you want to call me, you pay for my day and that starts from N150,000 to N200,000. You want me to work for you, it means paying premium for my time. I had gotten advice from Don Barbar about the advertising agencies not having respect for photographers and how not to let myself be treated that way.

So I would walk away from big jobs, but when I did get a job [on my terms] and the brief was given to me, I wouldn’t sleep over it. Even if it was a brief on Still Life photography, I would spend the night, the next day, and so on, studying about it, test-shooting it and then do some more reading again until I mastered it… just to make sure I deliver on my promise.

So if I had been given N150,000, I will make sure I deliver a N250,000 – quality of work. The philosophy then was if I gave the client more, the extra that I was giving them was actually payment for advertising. This is because the person I was shooting for will then go round telling others, “this guy is awesome!” It worked like magic. So while I didn’t get many jobs, the ones I got took a lot of time, a lot of people banged their phones on me, saying who is this guy? Because I would not shoot at the price they were calling. I told the ad agencies, ‘the guys who were doing jobs at N20,000 0r N30,000 per scenario were shooting themselves in the foot by doing too many jobs, and having no time for research to perfect their skills or even money to purchase equipment.’ In the long run you advertisers will run out of good material to work with and you will be compelled to import photographers from the UK, costing you more than three times my bill. So I am actually saving you money!”

As if I was clairvoyant, it happened just as I said. The ad agencies got stranded when big clients came from overseas looking for a certain quality of work and very few photographers who could deliver that quality.
That was how I began and continued to grow, and since then I have not changed [my principles]. Over the years I have been researching continuously to learn new tricks to push the threshold of my craft. I want to be in the place, where the most difficult challenge is what I want to face, so that when I conquer it, it becomes normal [to do so], and then I look for another challenge, more difficult and I face it.

So as time went on, I started enjoying my own personal shoots and I make sure that even in spite of all the commercial work one is doing, I find time to express myself as an artist and that is where I am now.

Please enlighten us about how the issue on copyrights apply to photographers in the Nigerian photography industry
Under the copyright act , the rights to a work of art, resides in the person who makes the work of art. In relation to photography, it is the photographer. It does have exceptions, where such rights are limited, like if it is an image of an individual, there are circumstances where you must obtain a release from the individual. You don’t go shooting somebody’s photo and then go selling it for a corporation to do an advert with. THAT WOULD BE INFRINGEMENT and you could be sued. Somebody’s right ends at the point where another person’s begins. But if you got a model release that tells you that you can do whatever you want with the image, then there is no problem.

If you are taking pictures of landscape or even people in a crowd, you won’t get sued. In terms of doing commercial work it Is still applicable. Whenever you do a shoot, under the law, the rights to those images still reside with you. Photographers are advised to, in writing, give their clients license to use their images for definite time duration within a definite geographical area. That is what you are being paid for in addition to your expertise. If it is not written, the right still resides with the photographer automatically.
How do I deal with this? When I am having a client relationship, my interest is to make sure the client gets what he wants. A lot of people who are into advertising don’t even want to use the images for more than 6 months. But if they indicate that they want to use all over the world, say for twenty years, then you bill them accordingly. The usage matters and that is why I advise that you put this into consideration.

Even though it is a shoot that is for one scenario, it is the usage that determines the billing. It is based on what you have told me that it is to be used for a product [packaging]that I come up with my bill of N1.5 million. If they complain that “isn’t it just for a single scenario?” – I tell them If you have commissioned me to shoot the image for use on your product [branding] I cannot restrict your usage in terms of location (country), time duration or even format. In that case it will even be a disservice not to give them the rights, but your client should know that different types of usage attract different kinds of fees. It is as simple as that.

Once an oil company called me to do a shoot for their oil rig. After we had discussed on the fees, they were like after the shoot is done, I will sign a relinquishment of all rights to the images. I said in that case therefore the agreed bill then increases by 800%. If I am not to have any relationship with my work forever after, even to put it on my website, then I will bill you for it. I ended up not working with them and I was very glad I didn’t.

I think what we do serves a purpose beyond just taking photographs. We are people with opinions. As a photographer, you are a storyteller, a chronicler of history, and our work also promotes social engineering and influencing culture.

For me, photography is your first impression. When someone says Nigeria has a bad image, I take it very literally. What Nigeria has is bad imagery. Bad photography. We do not have enough people being patronized by the right people. So you may visit the Nigerian embassy in France and see booklets about Nigeria, full of tourists’ photos, pixellated because they were stolen off the internet, with absolutely no regard for the photographer, while at the airport in Capetown, I see uncountable numbers of coffee table books in a mad duplication of excellence. Amazing South Africa, so many [different] books [with pictures] taken by excellent photographers who have spent hours trying to duplicate (recreate) these images over and over again!

This reflects in their economy as people see the place [South Africa] and keep trooping there in spite of the violence. We haven’t even started [over here] with photographing our environment – I tell you! It’s amazing!

Could you explain your typical workflow from when a client engages you to when you deliver the images?
The first thing is you get a call. Usually it goes like, ‘’Mr K, we have this brief we want you to shoot – please can we know the price?’’(The price is the first thing they jump to…) continues ‘’It’s not a complicated concept, can you tell us how much you will charge?’’ I will respond that at this stage I don’t think we should be talking about price, but you can send me a written brief of the concept so I can go through it to see if it is what I can deliver to you adequately.

So I stall, and if they are people I have not worked with before, I try to set up a meeting to discuss their concept. Because whoever is on the other side [of the phone] is probably comparing your price with those of others he has written down on the paper in front of him. To him you are just another photographer over the phone, until they see how you are going to execute their brief and solve their problem. I believe this is more important than the price I am going to charge.

So when we meet, and I see the brief, I will itemise what is needed (costs) e.g location and let them also know the latitude of the most extreme scenarios (unforeseen) of the cost of equipment and time! At this point, they may say “it’s just three people smiling!”… I say that means three scenarios and this is what is required, the lighting needed, the method of making them smile and so on, the casting for the kind of feel needed and even for the seemingly simple smiling requires the right type of model.

So through it all I am trying to bring my own expertise into the brief and by the time we are through [discussing] I give them the bill and tell them they have to pay 75% – 80% upfront or we don’t have a deal. (Ad Agencies can make thirty days turn to sixty days and you start wondering, has their client paid them? And they could have been paid a long time ago and be telling you that they are still being owed).

So we establish with the client that they are ready and the date agreed is solid. When they come for the shoot, when it’s done, we have a little time for re-touching (most ad-agencies want to do their re-touching themselves) and then we look through the images and give them the best ones in high resolution.

And if you are shooting PR images for an individual say maybe an artiste, again it starts when they call, concept is discussed and we set up a date and they pay their cheque. On the day of the shoot, we do our work and we give them low resolution files that are watermarked ‘for view only’ for them to review in the comfort of their home and decide the specific ones (up to the number that comes with the package) that they want (I rarely go beyond 20 images), so that we can edit them.
For weddings and events those now include physical media like books and even CDs that will attract different prices.

How do you market to get your clients?
I’ve found out there is no better marketing than referrals [from satisfied clients]. Unless you want to do mass marketing and you have a factory of photographers that cater for everyone. You are the premium brand. You are not just a commodity, you are a brand. It is each person that has experienced your work that goes to tell 10 other people that you are good. So the dilemma now becomes how do you convince someone who has previously used a service similar to yours for N150,000 to pay N1.5 million? Well I could include a discount say 20%, but I never start negotiating without a rock bottom walk-away price that I will not go below in my head already.

The way to become a brand that attracts premium fees is as simple as this: be a promise-keeper over and over again. Let everyone that uses your services always come back when they see that you have over-delivered beyond their expectation. And it’s not just coming back alone but telling others with passion about how they think they underpaid you the worth of your work. So my best advertisers are my clients who I have paid for their advertising by giving them more than they came expecting to get. I will not charge N5, but if I charge N2 million I will make sure he [the client] gets quality work that he cannot bring Nick Knight from New York for N10 million to do! That will leave him wondering, did I underpay this guy?

Even if it is a free job, forgetting about the money, make sure you convert that client to a moving billboard. Whatever you do, make the client happy and satisfied. Also some clients may not be happy with their job, and I may even offer them a refund until I find a way to give them the satisfaction needed. It is all about integrity and client satisfaction and once people know that is what your brand is you can charge whatever you want.

What do you want to tell newbies in the photography industry?
Passion is required! But passion is not enough. You must understand that this is not a lazy man’s job. So it is passion that makes you do all the [grunt] work happily and gives you advantage over the person who lacks passion.

Some just want to photograph beautiful ladies without understanding the details of how the camera works and all that.. the physics, the mathematics and f-stops and all that doesn’t make it so seem so glamorous. So fiddle with the camera and learn how it works and if you are sure that this is what yo want to do, do not sleep – shoot!

With every squeeze of the shutter release, you must strive to take a better shot than the last. Put in your all. If it was easy , everybody will be good at it. If you have passion for it, you will succeed.

What where you attempting to achieve with the introduction of MANIA magazine?
It is one of my projects that developed out of frustration. I love shooting fashion, though the local fashion industry is not as lucrative as the other advanced economies that have understood the economies of scale. They can design a shirt and Prêt-à-porter & 2 million units of it are sold in one week. Crazy amount of money! The Dolce & Gabbanas are dressing the world in jeans, selling belts and perfumes. So on the catwalk they are merely having fun, the big money is in the factories in China churning out their products. So when it comes to paying a photographer they don’t bat an eyelid paying you N200 million!

Over here the industry has just started and it’s lacking that kind of energy and money. But I love fashion. A lot of the magazines cannot afford the work I would love and that made me feel limited. So I created that magazine to open that creative box to show what is possible so I could break the glass ceiling above my head. So far it’s been beautiful, tough but beautiful. We were publishing bi-monthly before but now we are going monthly.

What final words do you have for fans & clients that are watching/reading this?
Do what you love, work at it! But don’t ask me for pocket money!

To view more of Kelechi Amadi-Obi’s works, visit his website at www.kelechiamadiobi.com

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For tips on growing your photography business, like our fecebook page (www.facebook.com/elophotos) or add us on ur bb: 271E3BC8

Sample Contract for Event/Wedding Photography


I’ve had a few photographers ask me for a copy of the contract/agreement we give couples to sign before we cover their celebration. I decided to put it up here knowing it might help to “enlighten” potential clients also. You’re free to use and adapt to your specific needs. It will help reduce the conflicts between photographers & clients after the pictures have been taken.

Agreement for Wedding & Event Photography

eloPhotos Studio Enterprises hereby agrees to photograph the wedding of

On December 30, 2008 & January 3, 2009.

Bride’s Name:Groom’s Name:
Date of Birth: _____________________Date of Birth: _____________________
Venue of Engagement: __________________________________________________________Time:
Venue of Church Wedding: ________________________________Time:
Venue of Reception: __________________________________________________________
Couple’s Future Address ________________________________________________________________________
Bride’s GSM:                                         Groom’s GSM:

Description of Photographic Services to be Provided
20 hours/2days of photography coverage, 1 60-page magazine-style album, 2 13” by 19” framed pictures, and uploading of pictures to http://www.eloclients.com

Charges: The package fee is based on the Photographer’s Standard Price List and includes the photographs described therein. If the fee is not based on a package but is a session fee, all photographs shall be billed in addition to the fee and in accordance with the Standard Price List. In addition to either the package fee or the session fee, the extra charges set forth below shall be billed if and when incurred.

[ * ] Package Fee (1 60-page album, 2 13”by 19” frames) ………………N220,000

Extra Charges (when incurred)
8” by 10” glass frames ……………………………………………………………………….. N5,000
Extra Album………………………………………………………………….N70,000
Special retouching (per extra picture ordered)…………………………………………… N1,500
Overtime (per hour)………………………………………………………………………………. N3,000
13” by 19” canvas frame N15,000
SubtotalN220,000
Less depositN100,000
Balance DueN120,000

Balance Due Date: December 16, 2008N80,000
February 2, 2009N40,000

Package Delivery Date: Album pictures shall be uploaded to http://www.eloclients.com on February 2, 2009 by 12noon. The album shall be printed and delivered not later than one week after the pictures have been approved by the bride & groom.

The parties have read the conditions of this Agreement, agree to all its terms, and acknowledge receipt of a complete copy of the Agreement signed by both parties. Each person signing as Client below shall be fully responsible for ensuring that full payment is made pursuant to the terms of this Agreement.

Bride’s Signature__________________________ Groom’s Signature _____________________________

Photographer ________________________________________ Date _____________________

This Agreement is subject to all the terms and conditions on the following page (please read carefully):

1. Exclusive Photographer. The Photographer shall be the exclusive photographer retained by the Client for the purpose of photographing the wedding. Family and friends of the Client shall be permitted to photograph the wedding as long as they shall not interfere with the Photographer’s duties and do not photograph poses arranged by the Photographer.

2. Deposit and Payment. The Client shall make a deposit of N50,000 to retain the Photographer to perform the services specified herein. The balance shall be due 3-4 weeks before the date of the event. Refusal to pay the balance before the date of event will result in delays in the date of delivery of the album (s). No part of any order will be delivered or uploaded to the internet until payment is made in full. If the Client refuses to pay the necessary deposit within thirty (30) days after the event, Client shall be in default hereunder and shall pay 5% monthly interest on the unpaid balance until payment is made in full. Payments shall be made either in person or cheque/cash deposit into our Guaranty Trust Bank account 211-744703110 under eloPhotos Studio Enterprises.

3. Order Changes. Once a service is chosen or an order is placed and all necessary payments made, the sale is final and nonrefundable. No verbal changes will be accepted. Any schedule or order changes must be documented, submitted, and signed by both the contracting party/parties and the eloPhotos for confirmation and mutual authorization.

4. Cancellation. If the Client shall cancel this Agreement sixty (60) or more calendar days before the wedding date, any deposit paid to the Photographer shall be refunded in full. If Client shall cancel within sixty days of the wedding date and if the Photographer does not obtain another assignment for that date, liquidated damages shall be charged in a reasonable amount not to exceed the deposit.

5. Photographic Materials. All photographic materials, including but not limited to negatives, transparencies, proofs, and previews, shall be the exclusive property of the Photographer. The Photographer shall make proofs and previews available to the Client for the purpose of selecting photographs. The Photographer may, with the Client’s permission, make the proofs available on a Web site or CD-ROM.

6. Copyright and Reproductions. The Photographer shall own the copyright in all images created and shall have the exclusive right to make reproductions. The Photographer shall only make reproductions for the Client or for the Photographer’s portfolio, samples, self-promotions, entry in photographic contests or art exhibitions, editorial use, or for display within or on the outside of the Photographer’s studio. If the Photographer desires to make other uses, the Photographer shall not do so without first obtaining the written permission of the Client.

7. Client’s Usage. The Client is obtaining prints for personal use only, and shall not sell said prints or authorize any reproductions thereof by parties other than the Photographer. If Client is obtaining a print for newspaper announcement of the wedding, Photographer authorizes Client to reproduce the print in this manner. In such event, Client shall request that the newspaper run a credit for the Photographer adjacent to the photograph, but shall have no liability if the newspaper refuses or omits to do so.

8. Failure to Perform. If the Photographer cannot perform this Agreement due to a fire or other casualty, strike, act of God, or other cause beyond the control of the parties, or due to Photographer’s illness, then the Photographer shall return the deposit to the Client but shall have no further liability with respect to the Agreement. This limitation on liability shall also apply in the event that photographic materials are damaged in processing, lost through camera malfunction, lost in the mail, or otherwise lost or damaged without fault on the part of the Photographer. In the event the Photographer fails to perform for any other reason, the Photographer shall not be liable for any amount in excess of the retail value of the Client’s order.

9. Photographer. The Photographer may substitute another photographer to take the photographs in the event of Photographer’s illness or of scheduling conflicts. In the event of such substitution, Photographer warrants that the photographer taking the photographs shall be a competent professional.

10. Inherent Qualities. Client is aware that color dyes in photography may fade or discolor over time (usually after 20yrs) due to the inherent qualities of dyes, and Client releases Photographer from any liability for any claims whatsoever based upon fading or discoloration due to such inherent qualities.

11. Photographer’s Standard Price List. The charges in this Agreement are based on the Photographer’s Standard Price List and are only guaranteed once deposit is made. This price list is adjusted periodically and future orders shall be charged at the prices in effect at that time.

12. Client’s Originals. If the Client is providing original prints, negatives, or transparencies owned by the Client to the Photographer for duplication, framing, reference, or any other purpose, in the event of loss or damage the Photographer shall not be liable for an amount in excess of N2000 per image.

13. Miscellany. This Agreement incorporates the entire understanding of the parties. Any modifications of this Agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. Any waiver of a breach or default hereunder shall not be deemed a waiver of a subsequent breach or default of either the same provision or any other provision of this Agreement. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Sample Wedding & Portrait Price List/Packages


Attached is a copy of the OLD list of different packages we offer wedding and portrait clients. It is very crucial for a professional photographer to have a STANDARD price list and not just randomly give five different clients different prices for the same product. Use this as a guide to draft yours. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to give a client a discount. Just make sure you’re not short-changing yourself. Enjoy

eloPhotos Price list for 2009

WEDDING PACKAGES
Paparazzi Package
1 45-page magazine-style leather-bound customized album
1 day coverage (10hrs),
1 Photographer
2  8” by 10” glass-framed pictures
Pictures on our clients’ website (www.eloclients.com)                             N200,000

Glamour & Glitz Package
1 magazine-style leather-bound customized albums (60 pages)
2 days coverage (20hrs),
1 Photographer
2   8″ by 10″ glass-framed pictures
2  13” by 19” framed pictures
Pictures on our clients’ website (www.eloclients.com)                             N290,000

Red Carpet Package
2 magazine-style leather-bound customized albums (45 pages each)
2 days coverage (20hrs),
1 Photographer
2   8″ by 10″ glass-framed pictures
2  13” by 19” framed pictures
1 multimedia VCD
Digital Negatives on CD
Pictures on our clients’ website (www.eloclients.com)                             N360,000

Paradise Package
1 magazine-style leather-bound customized album (90 pages)
2 days coverage (20hrs),
2 Photographers
2   5″ by 7″ glass-framed pictures
2   8″ by 10″ glass-framed pictures
2  16” by 20” framed pictures
1 multimedia VCD
Digital Negatives on CD
Complimentary Pre-Wedding Session
Pictures on our clients’ website (www.eloclients.com)                             N420,000

FAMILY PORTRAITS
Package 1
2-3 hrs Session @ any location in Lagos state
2  13” by 19” framed picture
1  16” by 20” framed picture                                                                    N100,000

Package 2
2-3 hrs Session @ any location in Lagos state
4  13” by 19” framed picture
2  16” by 20” framed picture
1  20” by 24” framed picture                                                                    N200,000

Package 3
2-3 hrs Session @ any location in Lagos state
4  8” by 10” glass-framed picture
4  13” by 19” framed picture
4  16” by 20” framed picture
2  20” by 24” framed picture
1  30” by 36” framed picture                                                                    N370,000

OTHERS FEES
Pre-Wedding Photo Session
20,000

Makeup per person
7,000

Leather Album
70,000

Customized Standard Album
110,000

Event Coverage (4hrs)
70,000

Extra Photographer per event (10hrs)
50,000

Multimedia VCD
7,000

5 by 7”   Glass-framed Picture
5,000

5 by 7”   Canvas-framed Picture
6,500

8 by 10” Glass-framed Picture
7,000

8 by 10” Canvas-framed Picture
8,500

10 by 12” Framed Picture
9,000

12 by 16”     “         “
15,000

13 by 19”     “         “
19,000

16 by 20”     “         “
30,000

20 by 24”     “         “
45,000

30 by 36”     “         “
82,000

36 by 48”     “         “
104,000
Travel allowances apply for coverage outside Lagos state & Nigeria. Please contact us to make other enquiries that are not mentioned above.

Basic Course in Photography (January 2012 – April 2012)


At eloPhotos Academy, our ultimate goal is to raise world-class photographers. We do this through a series of workshops, trainings, and internship programs. You van visit out youtube channel (www.youtube.com/elophotos) to watch videos on a few photography topics. Contact us to learn more about our other trainings.In this course, you’ll learn how to:* develop technical proficiency with your camera
* create impact with your photography
* compose pictures
* develop your style
* effectively tell a story with photography
* be a master of “light”
* effectively photograph people
* know the right equipment to use for any situation
* make a good income in photography
* edit images using Adobe Photoshop CS5
* correct tone & color using Adobe Photoshop CS5
* produce outstanding printed images
* effectively market and brand yourself as a photographer
Set 8
January 23 – February 1, 2012 (8 Weekdays)
9am – 2pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes January 16, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached
Set 9
January 21 – March 3, 2012 (7 Saturdays)
9am – 3pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes January 16, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached
Set 10
March 19 – March 28, 2012 (8 Weekdays)
9am – 2pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes March 1, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached

Set 11
March 24 – May 5, 2012 (7 Saturdays)
9am – 3pm
Maximum of 20 students in a class
Course fee: N150,000
Registration closes March 12, 2012 or when class limit of 20 students has been reached

Send an email to info@elophotos.com to get a copy of the application form. Download the form, print, fill and bring it on the first day of class to the venue with two passport photographs along with the teller of the bank deposit. For further inquiries, contact us on 234-8101590358, 234-8120129149, 234-8191474348 or info@elophotos.com

You can also visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/elophotos for more information

For the course, it is recommended that you bring your laptop for editing your pictures

Refreshment & Course materials will be provided along with a professional digital SLR camera for each participant for practice sessions. Please note that the camera is for practice purposes during the training and would not be taken home by participants

Payment should be made into out Stanbic IBTC account 7200147969 (eloPhotos Studio Enterprises) or our GTB account 211744703110 (eloPhotos Studio Enterprises)

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TESTIMONIALS

———————

The basic course in Photography is the best thing that has happened to me this year. When I decided to take the course, I didn’t know what to expect, but now, I must say it has been worth my while. I have learnt so much already I can’t wait to go out there and start making magic through pictures. Big ups to Emmagination, Damilola “DAMELL” Elliot & Shola Animashaun, they really inspired me. Please, keep up the good work.

Desi Okiemute

I have always thought of photography as a form of artistic creative expression. When I first began using a camera nearly 30 years ago, I always wanted to be able to take pictures that showed the beauty and variation that is the life experience all around us at all times. After the uncertain results that came out of my self taught efforts over the years, I finally got the opportunity for proper lessons with the Basic Course in Photography offered at eloPhotos Training Institute. After the first 3 lessons, I had already learnt some critical lessons that will enable me take the kind of pictures I have only previously dreamt of taking.”Painting with light”! That is a definition I have gained from the course.The course is a relaxed, practical and interactive one with several tips from experienced photographers. Very commendable training! Now it is up to me to decide to what level I want to take my photography – competent beautiful pictures as an amateur or as an artistic professional!

Dr. Olayinka Longe

I really enjoyed the business aspect of the training. The lectures on character, integrity, packaging, good customer service and branding were awesome. In a nutshell, it was a wonderful decision I made by attending the training because I absolutely got more than my money’s worth.

Oloyede Afolabi

eloPhotos is the place to be. Within the 8 days of the training, I’ve been able to acquire sound technical and theoretical skills in photography. The training package is so educative such that all the ingredients necessary for growth and development are included. I especially enjoyed the Branding and Marketing aspect of the training. In fact, I have decided to inform all my relatives and friends that they should not bother trying to get me a job in the telecommunications, or banking and oil industry; I’ve finally gotten a JOB.

Olumide Oshikominu

____________________________________________________

…raising world-class photographers

Take your Photography Business to the next level


Come learn what it takes to run a successful photography business.

Date: thursday feb 16, 2012
Time 8am-11am
Venue: elophotos studios office
Voluntary Fee: N500
Facilitator: Seun Akisanmi

send an SMS to 08101590358 to confirm attendance. Registration closes Feb 15, 2012

PICTURE THIS: Episode 8. CLIENT SATISFACTION VS. PERSONAL SATISFACTION


Today our discussion has to do with something every photographer needs to address and the sooner the better – Client satisfaction or personal satisfaction, which do you value most?

Do you prefer that your client be more satisfied with your job than you are or vice versa?  Let me share a personal experience from a job we did for a client. We covered his wedding in November. He flew in from Canada where he is based two weeks to the wedding date. It was then I met him for the first time. We had to do a pre-wedding shoot quickly, and when I delivered the pictures he expressed some dissatisfaction with the editing. This [according to him] was because we did not remove some sideburns, some backgrounds and that he was expecting more [graphic] editing than we did.

I explained to him that yes, we can do that; but the type of editing we do is minimalistic, noting that what he wanted us to do with Photoshop could cost a lot more. But he still insisted. True, he had paid a reasonable amount as fees (equivalent to about $2200.00) for his wedding coverage.

This was a rare scenario, because I wasn’t accustomed to this type of editing (request from clients). So it begged the question, ‘should I please him or should I insist on what I want?’

I eventually had to re-edit all the pictures and it took longer than we planned. So we delivered the pictures a few days before the wedding. I felt satisfied that we accomplished it, but it did not end there. When we did the design for the wedding albums, we sent him a proof. He wasn’t pleased with half of the pages of the album and raised issues like how he did not want certain pictures to appear and how his sideburns (again) were not edited to his satisfaction. It left me thinking maybe it would have been better if he had contracted someone else for skin surgery before the wedding and save me the amount of time and detail required for editing. But I had concluded this is a client I was going to serve and chose to please him no matter what. We recently concluded the re-editing on his album and hope that he will be pleased this time.

I have met a lot of photographers who have faced clients who want this editing and that editing, portraiture, skin smoothing, background editing and some other editing that does not fit their style of photography. I think first of all, all the explanation of what is involved should have been done in writing before taking responsibility to be the client’s photographer and before acceptance of a photographer’s fees, because once this takes place, it means you have agreed to go the whole nine yards.

But even with all the documentation you will still encounter clients who still insist they want something more. It’s up to you to decide if you want to please your client or if you want to please yourself. Every photographer needs to address this. Personally, what I do is ask myself who pays my bills at the end of the day? And while a lot of photographers might feel differently about this there is a good chance that it might determine if they will remain in the photography business a few years from now.

Another experience I’ve had is with someone whom I hired to make a customized shoe for me. It turned out very tight when he delivered it. He explained that he’s only satisfied when he likes shoes that he’s made for clients and seeing them wearing the shoes, and that given another two months, the pair he made for me will expand.

I was like, ‘I am not comfortable in them, and I am the one paying for the shoes so I should care less whether you like the shoes or not. I should be satisfied because I am the client.’

Ultimately it is when the client is satisfied (I believe), that you get more referrals. Eventually I convinced him to take the shoes back since I was not satisfied, even though he tried to persuade me that they were ok.

That is something I try not to do with my clients. Many times when I take their pictures and they’re asking me which one they should select, most times I let them make that choice, as they will have those pictures in their homes for the rest of their lives. The ones I suggest anyway are usually not chosen. I could say,’ I like this picture where you are smiling’ and they would be like, ”No! my teeth are too out in the open. I would rather have you frame this one where I am not smiling….” Even though I don’t like it, my head is thinking, who pays for my overhead at the end of the day?

This should be addressed. I have met  many photographers who complain about their clients and they were never forced to take the clients on anyway. But once payment is received, it is binding, legal and almost like a vow, to have to satisfy the client.

This is my opinion, the more satisfied clients you have, the more likely you are going to be in business for a while to come. Interestingly the more difficult the client is and you strive to make sure he is satisfied, the more referrals you are likely going to get from such a person.

So a client might be asking for things that are seemingly unachievable, if it comes with additional cost, explain it to them and if they are insisting that they will not pay extra, still do it! Go out of your way to do a job that they will be pleased with at the end.

Client satisfaction or personal satisfaction? You may have to create a balance between the two. But ultimately if the client is satisfied, in the long run you too will be satisfied.

One other terrible experience that comes to mind happened when I did a job for a client who was a commissioner in Abuja [Nigeria]. When I met her to collect the payment for services I rendered, she actually threw the money (about $1,000 cash) at me, asking to take the money and get out of her presence. Apparently she was upset prior to my meeting her and she’d  had an argument with her personal assistant. That would normally make some of us angry, and feel undignified but it is in scenarios like this we need to act maturely. I tried to be patient and counted the money to be sure it was complete, and thanked her before leaving.

Try to be patient with your clients, make them satisfied and ultimately your business will be grateful [to you]  for it.

BB Pin: 271E3BC8

PICTURE THIS (Episode 7): The Importance of Insuring Your Equipment


In this episode, Seun Akisanmi shares his experience during one of the days of the protest in Ojota, Lagos. He stresses the importance of insuring your photography equipment.


Today I will be sharing my experience on one of the days of the just ended protest in Lagos State, Nigeria over the removal of fuel subsidy.
It all started on the second day of the protest at the Gani Fawenhinmi Park, Ojota. After taking my pictures. I boarded an ‘okada’ (a motorbike transport) on my way back to the office.
Behold, the bike rider tried to navigate a junction at high speed and skidded, and in what looked like a scene from Mission Impossible 5, we had a terrible accident. It was fatal. [While] I was injured a bit on my hands and side; the rider had ten times my injuries.
My cameras did not survive however. It was really-really sad, as my most expensive lens valued at $1,100.00 got broken in two. Also, by looking at the extent of damage to one of the camera bodies that was with me, you can get an idea of how fatal the accident was. I didn’t want to share this earlier because I wanted to use the lessons learnt for this episode [of Picture This].
If you are a photographer based here in Nigeria, especially Lagos, by now you should have an idea of how dangerous a lot of these motorbikes are. So my first [piece of] advice is this: The bike rider must have on a helmet and an extra helmet for you [the passenger]. This indicates to a large extent, whether the rider is less risk than one who does not have. My first mistake was that I boarded the bike of a rider who did not have a helmet – a dangerous freak!
Secondly, even if he has a helmet and he is going very fast, do all you can (it’s even ok to hit the side of his head) and shout to warn him. Make sure you don’t keep quiet. Voice out so you don’t suffer for nothing. Otherwise if at the end of the day something happens, all you will be getting is “sorry! Forgive me” and all that. No monetary reward comes with the emotional [and physical] tragedy.
Thirdly, (and by my opinion the most important) advice is this: For any equipment you have acquired, whether it’s the camera you have bought through amazon.com (like I recommend) or it’s your laptop that is related to your photography business; I strongly suggest YOU INSURE IT! I had procrastinated, because even my insurer called me just last December asking, ‘When are you going to pay premium on all your equipment that we have valued for you?’ I’d told them, I’m trying to get more cameras in January so that I can pay the entire premium at once. And here I am [in January] I have had the accident and while this [lens for instance] cost $1,100.00, I would have paid just about 5% of the value as premium.
If [only] I had protected my equipment with just 5% of it’s value (and it covers accident, fire and theft) in one of these new packages insurance companies are beginning to offer even photographers here in Nigeria, I wouldn’t be crying like I am know.
Of course I am grateful for being alive. I just would have loved to add it to my testimony. This [lens] was my baby. So, for any camera, even an expensive phone or any equipment that has to do with your business that you have invested over $400.00 (calculating it’s total value); 5% cannot be too much to insure it. So don’t procrastinate. Any major insurance company will offer you insurance cover for your equipment, and if you are being turned down, send me an email and I will recommend one for you. Or simply ask the insurance agent for the company covering your car or house.
I hope all these three lessons will be of help to you.

Picture This (Episode 6): Working with a Professional Photographer & Photographer of the Week


Today’s episode is dedicated to all the new photographers that have decided one way or the other to be an intern or assistant to a present photographer they respect. There are some rules I feel we all need to be aware of, so that none of us are in default of things we don’t know about.

First of all, if you have decided to become an apprentice, you should consider spending a minimum of three to six months. This should be enough time to learn the basics and hopefully give you a good foundation for your own photography business.

Once you have chosen who you want to work with, you should meet with the person and discuss all the possible rules that the photographer has. Some rules may seem funny but don’t blame them. It’s because of their experiences that they have set certain standards and rules that have worked for them.

For example, at eloPhotos we don’t have any public holidays. For some apprentices we have worked with in times past this really hurt them as they felt like, ‘Christmas day? Shouldn’t I be with my family?’ I feel it’s ok that for celebrating Christmas, we choose another day because we get jobs on Christmas day, like family portraits, weddings and so on that we have to cover and I can’t tell clients, who are ready to pay, ‘sorry, I don’t work on new year’s day!’

There are some other funny rules; like certain photographers will tell intending apprentices that without the apprentice having a camera, they can’t work with them. I don’t blame them either as previous apprentices they have worked with have destroyed their cameras.
Know all the rules and follow them to the letter.

Secondly, be conscious about how you talk about your new mentor. Know this upfront, there is no photographer or person that is perfect. A lot of us have flaws we are dealing with. You might have a professional photographer that’s temperamental. Be conscious of not discussing the weakness of your new boss with others. This is like sowing seeds for when you become the boss of your own business and you have apprentices under you. If there are issues you need to address with your boss, talk to him/her and not to outsiders.

Thirdly, (and this is one of the most important) if you are on a photography assignment, with or for your boss, all the rights for the pictures you have taken belong to that professional photographer even though you took them with your own camera. So even though this might seem difficult, (and you might be planning to use pictures you take for your own marketing purposes), all the pictures belong to him (I.e. Your boss) especially when he/she is paying you for it.

Many photographers have experienced this kind of scenario where the assistant uploaded the pictures from an assignment to their own personal website the day after the assignment. That’s why they (the professional photographers) won’t call on some assistants anymore.

Here’s my personal example: It was at a Christmas carol, I covered this for a colleague of mine. I took many great pictures at the event that included guests like an ex-president -[Gen Gowon rtd] and it made me feel somewhat bad that I wouldn’t be able to use those pictures as I would love to. It was a contract, and both parties understood the rules. As painful as it felt, I gave all the pictures to my colleague as the owner [of all the rights]’

At this point, please stay tuned for [our weekly segment] the photographer of the week [Samuel Ijiyokunola – Living moments photography]

Excerpts from youtube video

‘I used to work with an NGO with a focus on HIV/AIDS –treatment and education.’I enjoyed my job. When on field programmes, I took the pictures for our reports. When it was time to move on, I did. I knew I wasn’t going to pick up another paid job. Rather, I was determined to earn a living from my passion. I decided for photography and although the knowledge I had about it then could not give me the confidence to charge fees in hundreds of thousands for covering your wedding or for family portraits.

I knew I needed training. So I was asking around for where I could train. While in church, [Daystar Christian Centre] on a Sunday I picked up the church bulletin where a Skill Acquisition Programme was being announced. I put in my application and was among the chosen few.
It was at this training I met great minds like Siffre Abayomi, Damilola Elliot, Sola Animashaun, Segun Adebiyi, the effervescent Leke Adenuga, Ephraim Makati and my coach Seun Akisanmi. All of them were saying the same thing: ‘I am a professional photographer.’
I said to myself, ‘Sammy, you didn’t make the wrong choice!’

After the two-week training, I opted in for additional training and luckily I won the scholarship to the apprenticeship programme with eloPhotos. It was a wow experience.

Here’s to the trainees in eloPhotos presently: ‘Your boss, my coach [Mr Seun] is a Very Good-Badt Guy!’ He told me and some of my colleagues few days after we resumed the apprenticeship to pick our choice of camera [from his arsenal] and practice all we wanted because there was a wedding event that very weekend that we were going to cover.

That wedding was my first baptism. While I was trying to get an aerial shot of the groom’s entrance into the ceremony, I mis-stepped and my trouser pants ripped. Mr Seun asked to me keep going on, and so for the next three hours or so I continued covering the wedding, because at a point I didn’t even remember I had a tear in my trouser!

From then on, I kept enjoying it more and more as my knowledge in photography grew, sealing the fact that this was where I belonged. I had learnt a whole lot after the 6-month apprenticeship

He [Mr Seun] being someone who lets it all out without hiding [knowledge], guided me and my colleagues on starting out, and under his tutelage I founded Living Memories Photography where I am now the lead photographer.

“It’s been good, it’s been gracious and it’s also been ugly” I had a time once when I woke up thinking, ‘Sammy, aren’t you going to get a supporting career?’ But it’s at times like that I resolved and put my feet down! So I went out and while at a shopping complex that day, I decided, I wanted to have an exhibition!

So I told Mr Seun about it and he said, go ahead and plan for it! I didn’t have the money and even a camera as I didn’t own but rented cameras also from Mr Seun. I didn’t have prints ready to hold the exhibition with! Somehow, I got events where I got the pictures I used for the exhibition and it was just about the [penultimate] day or two before the exhibition that the money for it came.

It [photography] has been a learning curve. I learn from every job and event. A few days back a family had a joint party for the three girls (cousins) who shared the same birthday, different ages five, four and three years old.
Trying to get them all smiling and in the same shot seemed impossible, as per time it would be two smiling and the third doing something else entirely (like crying or frowning). One parent wasn’t helping by scolding them so I asked to be left alone and decided to try and take their pictures individually.

I had to do something; I started reciting rhymes and poems for them, and things that would interest kids. That was the first time I had to deal with three kids at the same time and somehow I learnt new tricks [that worked]. That’s how it has been for me.

I have a learnt a lot about how to relate with people.
Every day, I learn something new about photography, the business, packaging, pricing, negotiation, camera use, editing, and album design and so on. I read blogs and books, and watch videos and so on.
So all in all, it’s been fun!

PICTURE THIS: Episode 2, Starting out in Photography (Part 2) & Photographer of the week (TRANSCRIPT)


Find us on Google+

Picture This

Great day! And welcome to another wonderful episode of Picture This, your guide to photography. Once again, I’m Seun Akisanmi, and I’m going to be taking you through what we have for you today.

We started on a topic we titled, “Starting Out in Photography” on Tuesday and we will be continuing from where we stopped. No need repeating what we talked about, but the next major point that I will be mentioning for a lot of us that are starting out in the photography industry is….. “When you have decided to buy your camera(s), try to make sure you are not buying from Nigeria!” It’s sad to say, but the reason I don’t recommend buying any of your serious equipment here in Nigeria is: I am yet to meet a seller/ retailer here in Nigeria that sells these cameras, flashes, and lenses etc with warranties.

That basically means if you buy a Canon, Nikon, Olympus camera, lens or equipment) and any of it develops fault(s) within a month or two, it implies nothing will be done for you. I say this based on the experience I have had. Whenever you buy anything, check the receipt and ask, “does this come with the manufacturer’s warranty?” Good luck with the answer you get.

Most of the equipment we have purchased in eloPhotos have been bought through Amazon.com You might say you’re not travelling to USA or abroad to buy these equipment, but if it means looking for a relative who is, you are better off buying these equipment through them. Amazon.com is not just the largest online seller of equipment like these, but there are lots of companies that sell these equipments with warranties.

In fact, I recently realised that a company like Nikon for example, actually offer a warranty of five years on some of their lenses and cameras. This means if you bought a camera from one of their authorised dealers, if anything goes wrong with it within a span of five years, that is not directly your fault of course, just return it and they will repair or replace and send back to you.

Personally, I have experienced the wonderful customer service of Canon. We have our own Canon Pixma pro 9000 printer, as most of the printing we do is done in-house. It got faulty about 6 months after I bought it. I called Canon, “I have this equipment, and it’s not up to a year that I purchased it and it’s faulty. What are you guys going to do about it?” After taking me through a series of troubleshooting steps on the phone, we still discovered we could not resolve it. So they requested I send the printer back and in fact, they had sent a replacement for the printer even before I had sent the one with me to them! It was really wonderful. They trusted me and kept to their word. That is unlikely to happen here. I have bought equipment here, recently I got an external flash and in less than 2 months it became faulty.  In fact we have two faulty external flashes; and I am sure the company we purchased from locally will definitely not return our money or give us a brand new replacement.

So if you are considering buying any camera you have decided on getting, please do yourself a big favour; buy it from a company like Amazon.com or any online company that is considered an authorised dealer.

The next tip for those starting out in photography has to do with the ‘megapixels’ of the camera. I am sure we have heard a lot said about megapixels and cameras. Practically every 12 to 18 months, camera companies like Nikon or Canon come up with a new model that has more megapixels than the previous. The truth about all the ‘megapixels’ is this: the companies want you to believe that the higher the megapixels of the camera, the better the results you are going to get. To an extent this is not entirely true, and I want you to consider this when looking at the camera to get. The goal is not to get the highest megapixel camera and interestingly, the cameras with the highest megapixels are very expensive.

The fact that you need to ask yourself is, ‘What is the size of the prints that I am going to be making?’ If you are going to be making 5”×7”, 8”×10” or maybe 10”×12” print size, trust me, you don’t need a 15 megapixel camera or an 18 megapixel camera to do that.

The truth in my own opinion, is that for most practising photographers, especially if you consider yourself an event photographer, most of us don’t need a camera with more than 10 megapixels. I know in talking about this a lot of people will definitely get angry with me, saying “How can you say that my Canon 7D or 600D has this and I know the advantage?”All I am saying is it is one of the major things to consider.

I know a photographer who has a Canon 7D, a powerful camera by any standard. I think he even borrowed the money he used to purchase it. But he ended up only taking pictures that were being printed on 5”×7” paper. The truth about most of us starting out in photography is we don’t have all the money in the world.

If you are an advertising photographer, and most of what you will be printing is the size of a 5- storey building then by God, get the highest megapixel camera!

When someone tells me they have a $1,000 and they are just starting out, I usually don’t recommend spending up to half of it or more on the equipment acquisition.

You need to really plan well. Megapixels don’t always mean better quality always. In some situations, in combination with other settings, they do, but not always.

So make a wise decision and take my advice. Most of what I have shared so far have actually been some of my own experiences and also what I have learnt from the many mentors I have had both in person and the multitude of books I have.

I hope you are enjoying this show so far. At this juncture, we will feature a photographer that I respect, a great photographer in the making by the name of Lara Tiamiyu

Hello Everyone, My name is Lara Tiamiyu, I’m a photographer and also a model. I started photography as a hobbyist…. I could recollect that back then in school on campus, there was this guy who used to take pictures and I used to stare a lot at his lens, he had a very long lens then and I would wonder, wow, what is this? And even after the pictures were printed out; I would be like, wow, this guy is good!

I would always come round just to stare at his camera, especially the lens, but I never knew why I loved it then, I had no idea about it until after school. I realised that I spent more money taking pictures from this same [particular] guy, than even buying [lecture] handouts. I had many more pictures than my handouts.

My roommates then would be like “Are you ok? You don’t even have money to eat, you want to take pictures?” ‘Yeah, I just want to take pictures!”

I love moments, and beautiful things around me being captured. After school, I wanted to do photography but, I didn’t know how to start. I didn’t want just the normal photography shops I saw around that you go to and they have this blue background. They just take you, you stand, no action, no moment, they don’t capture anything! I didn’t want that. I wanted special photography. So I talked to a friend of mine, his name is Faith and he told me that he could talk to a friend of his, that might know somebody that can help or link me to a better photographer, in the kind of photography I want. He linked me to Ayoade Precious and I talked to him that I want photography so badly. I didn’t even go in search of a job after school, because I knew I wanted photography.

Despite the passion I have for modelling, [that is in-built, natural, I love modelling a lot] but besides that I wanted to be a photographer. Ayoade told me that he knows someone who is a good photographer in his church. So Ayoade introduced me to Seun Akisanmi and I went to his office and it all started from there.

And I was so impressed when I got to his office and saw books and was like, ‘Wow! You can learn photography by reading a lot of books. That was four years back and all the way it’s been very interesting. He told us to read more books, do research and it’s been fun, I’m telling you.

That’s because this is what I wanted to do and nobody had to tell me to do it.

My major challenge when I started out was getting cameras to work [with]. It’s not funny! When somebody trusts you to cover their wedding or an event that doesn’t happen twice. I went to a couple then and they were like, “Are you sure you can handle our wedding [photography] and really give us what we want?” And I said ‘Sure, I can!’ even though I didn’t even have pictures to prove.

They gave me the contract and to God be the glory it was wonderful. But the major challenge was getting a camera. To a layman photography is expensive and you should know that now. On this particular day I could remember, I had to cover a wedding. I had informed one of my colleagues that he was going to lend me his camera to use. But I was surprised when I called him a day before and he was saying, “Aww, Lara, I’m sorry, I can’t give it to you, it’s not available…” I said, ‘You should have told me! Who do you expect me to call now?’ I called someone else and it would take five hours before I get to him.

When I finally arrived the the venue [of the wedding], I was tired and exhausted. So where was the strength [I needed] to cover this event? How am I gonna tell the couple that, oh, I’m so tired? And it’s so gonna be obvious in the pictures, (because an image is all about the expression the photographer has in him or her. There is something about reflecting i.e. pictures reflect. To me, any mood I want my subject to be in, I reflect it to my subject. If I’m not happy, it’s going to tell in my pictures. I have to be happy to get those moments I want.)

I spoke to myself, ’Lara girl, you have to work. I don’t know [how] the strength just came from within! I started taking pictures and my God, it was wonderful!

Also apart from getting a camera to work with, when I started out; one of my biggest challenges was: GUYS! To me while I am on field working, my eyes always go to and fro not because of any other reason than, I don’t want to miss any moment. Like if there is woman behind me dancing who is so, overjoyed and I have to catch that moment. I have to watch everybody and so my eyes [could] come into contact with a guy once or twice and in his mind, he’s just thinking that the [female] photographer is admiring him.

I’m not! I’m only working and that is the way I love to do – My eyes are always everywhere. So if you see a female photographer looking all around, do get insulted and don’t think she is tripping. No, she’s not.

There was this particular day, while covering a wedding; one of the groomsmen liked me and I didn’t know anyway. My colleague overheard the discussion between him and one of the confetti ladies.

He was like, “I like that photographer! I might even ask her out” And she was like “Are you Ok? You are tripping for a photographer? Please don’t!”

When my colleague told me, I wondered, are photographers not human? Can’t they be admired for what they do or be taken serious? Why is it so? Please we need to change that perspective. We have many people who went to school of medicine or law and end up becoming photographers. That is what they have passion for and not the profession they tried to get into. So if you see [photographers] please learn to appreciate them. Anything you can’t do, appreciate people who do it, because you don’t know how to.

You could be a doctor and I’m a photographer. While I don’t know anything about giving injections if I gave you my camera, you can’t handle it. So respect me for that – Thank you!

I had been working on how to get to my [kind of] clients, the people I really want to work with. Some might not want to give you a check of two hundred thousand for pictures and they’re like”is there gonna be gold in the pictures?” That has been a challenge [too] really.

I wanted to do an exhibition at the Palms shopping mall, that was my target, but it was way expensive. So I talked to Seun Akinsanmi about it and he called me that the British Council was organising an exhibition at Eko Hotels and I had two days before entry closes. I wasn’t ready with my pictures and I did not have any [required] equipment. But the strength came, and I went around to get everything [needed] done and luckily, I had the exhibition and it was successful! It was a dream-come-true that was so rewarding.

I met people that on a normal day, I won’t have opportunity to talk to one-on-one, like the commissioner of tourism. Some of them came to my stand and La Royal concept to them was just a name. They asked “do you run this?” and I said Yes and they marvelled at a young lady like me doing something like this. Through that I got a contract to cover Calabar Festival. I t was a big one, and if I had not done that exhibition I would not have got the contact. I was really happy about it.

My dream wasn’t to have a big studio and be running it. I actually wanted to help and work with others to achieve their dream, in spite of the fact I didn’t know how. At this point, it’s changing, and La Royal Concept is not just about photography. Later on, in about five years, we are going to be adding a spa and salon in a mini-complex. The spa and the salon are all about beauty and photography is all about beauty and moments. I love moments a lot and I love capturing moments.

For those starting out, you really have to have a passion for it, and when I say that I don’t meant just liking it or just because of the money. If it is because of the money, I daresay you are heading for regret . You are gonna get out of it before you know it. So you need to do what you have passion for because at the start you are going to encounter challenges. It’s your passion that gives you the strength to move on, so without the passion I don’t know what could happen. God knows best. But please let your passion direst you. Do what you love to do and what brings smiles to you each time you do it. Each time I handle a camera I forget my sorrow. I forget everything behind me and I am always smiling. A client once told me I have been watching you and behind the camera you are always smiling. The inner happiness is there, it comes from within and it reflects. Pictures speak. If you are happy doing it, you may not mind of they are not paying your money and you never know what the free job is going to fetch you. If you are happy doing it.

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So that’s it for today’s episode of Picture This, your guide to photography.

Let us know what you think of the show. I always say, if you like the show, you could always subscribe to this channel by visiting youtube.com/elophotos and clicking on the SUBSCRIBE button. You could also share it with your Facebook friends, Twitter followers and if you like the show, just click the ‘like’ button there

But if you have any issues, problems or questions whatsoever, please let us know to make this a better program and also incorporate some of the questions you have. Till we meet next time on the same channel on Tuesday, keep talking those pictures.

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Lessons From a Family Portrait Session


On December 21, I got a call from a gentleman who referred to himself as PA (initials for his name). We were recommended by his colleague at his workplace, Mobil Producing Nigeria. We covered the wedding of the daughter of his colleague last Christmas (i.e. 2010) and he loved the pictures enough to refer us. Majority of our clients call us because their family, friends (or enemies) recommended us.

“Do you do home service”, PA asked. My response? “You just spoke my language.” We scheduled the shoot for Dec 28 & I explained to him right there on the phone what my minimum charge for home sessions was ($300 as of the time of the telephone conversation…..& could have gone up as at the time you’re reading this :>). I didn’t want to drive for almost 2 hours to get to his house only for him to tell me that was beyond his budget. He was ok with the bill. I was happy that he was ok with the bill.

I took a sample size of one of the 13″ by 19″ frames I’ll be delivering because he wasn’t familiar with sizes & dimensions of frames. He would eventually choose the type of “standard” frame that will go with the 2 pictures he wanted. I packed my camera bag about 3 hours before we set out. Under normal circumstances, this was too late. I teach my students to always have their camera bag & equipment ready at least 12-24 hours before a location shoot. Thankfully I did not forget anything.

I made sure I ate breakfast before leaving for what usually ends up being a 6 hour-minimum ordeal (3 hours roundtrip for transport & 3 hours for the session). I never eat at a client’s house before a shoot, even if the client insists. I’m usually very anxious to get the main job out-of-the-way & receive a cheque than to sit down and be “making myself at home.” Sometimes I wonder if clients really mean it when they tell you to “make yourself at home.” I’m sure they wouldn’t have been happy had I ordered chinese food or pounded yam in an attempt to be free in their home. Anyway, I told him that a glass of water would be ok by me and my two assistants nodded in agreement to my requisition. Most clients that we do home sessions for are usually nice enough to offer food & drinks. In fact there is usually a 98% chance that I would end up enjoying a session with a client that offers food & drinks: they’re usually pleasant to work with.

It was interesting that though he was living in such a beautiful house with his wife & 2 children (maybe the family just moved in), there wasn’t a beautiful family portrait in view. Maybe it was in the master bedroom upstairs. All I know was that I was about to make their “living room” come alive with beautiful portraits. And, boy, did we get beautiful portraits. Like most of our family portrait clients, they wanted a high level of privacy with regard to their pictures; hence the reason you’ll see none of it on the internet except you’re a friend of the family and they give you the password to their viewing folder on our clients website (www.eloclients.com).

Before we started the shoot, I explained to him once again how the whole process works. The family changes into 2 or 3 attires (preferably matching in colors), we take as much pictures as their energy will permit, we upload the low resolution pictures on a passworded folder at http://www.eloclients.com & they choose the ones they’ll want us to frame or print for album(s).

With a glass of cold water quietly going down my throat, we began setting up our Bowens lighting equipment while they changed into their first attire. I always choose a spot or corner to put our bags or other small gadgets. It helps us easily account for anything we might have taken to the location.

Usually the first 20 minutes of the session usually doesn’t result in any “framable” image because the family is still trying to adopt to this stranger that calls himself a photographer.

I don’t just tell them to pose this way or that way; I engage them in conversations that will bring out the expressions that I want. To the 10 yr old boy, I would ask him how many games he has on his Playstation or what he thinks of the cartoon characters “Pinky & the Brain.” To the teenage girl, I would ask who her favorite R&B or pop artist is: Beyunce or Rihanna. And before you know it, you can hear the humming lyrics or Rihanna’s “Umbrella.” To the father, I would talk about how lucky he was to have gotten a lady as beautiful as his wife. I would tell him how beautiful his house is & how I would one day love to be able to afford the BMW 750i that was sitting in the garage. To the mum, wife & mother I would start by complimenting her on her looks or whatever she’s wearing (shoes, perfume, jewelry, etc). I would tell her how lucky she is to have a wonderful husband like hers. Usually & in most cases, all parties end up giving me the facial & emotional responses that translate into great & framable pictures.

I enjoyed the session and once again had to respond to their offer of hospitality: “What will you eat or drink?” “Malt will be ok,” I responded and my assisstants nodded in agreement.

I don’t know why but at the end of most of our sessions, I would not get a cheque unless I ask the client for it. Either they forget (yeah, right) or like the conductor in the average Lagos “Danfo”, they want me to forget. HOW CAN I FORGET. I asked for the “small rectangular” piece of paper and he gladly gave it to me. He ordered for an extra frame and I was glad I was about to start the new year on a really high note.

I was so happy with working with him that I offered to give him three 5″ by 7″ complimentary frames for his office. He was happy. My assistants were so happy with the level of hospitality received that they forgot the sample albums we took there. Now that made me unhappy because it will cost me un-budgeted funds for transportation for something that could have been avoided. I guess they learnt their lesson: never leave a client’s house without everything that belongs to you…..including the cheque. NEVER

for daily photography-related tips and articles, visit http://www.elophotos.com or add us on your BlackBerry 271E3BC8

Goodbye to Pictures on Facebook


Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

It is with a heavy heart I write this. As at 3am on December 20, I completed the deletion of over 90% of our pictures on Facebook (facebook.com/elophotos) and our main site http://www.elophotos.com. I felt that was the best decision to take at the moment.

I got a call on Dec 19 from a client friend that we covered her wedding 2 years ago. She had just been presented with the maiden version of a new magazine, Wedding Shakara. Her wedding pictures were printed in the magazine and she was calling to find out if I gave them the pictures. Apparently they had downloaded the pictures from our page on facebook where we had it showcased for the bride (with her approval and permission) & her friends to view.

The pictures were used without the permission of the photographer or the client. There has to be a professional law in Magazine Publishing 101 that states the unauthorized use of pictures. Maybe I’m missing something.
The client was shocked; I was disappointed. I was disappointed because this is not the first or second time this has happened in the past few weeks. Just a few days ago we had a potential client visit our office only to be surprised that we were the ones that photographed the much publicized picture of a girl, my 3 year old daughter, fetching water with a waste bin. The client had recently seen the pictures in a newspaper without any photo credits.

It is painful because the unauthorized use of such pictures increases the probability of a client not trusting the photographer; especially if a privacy agreement prohibiting the unauthosized use of such pictures was signed in the first place.

I remember another client that called a few months back to ask if I was the one that gave the Style magazine (This Day Newspapers) her picture for use on an article. She didn’t believe me when I said I didn’t give them the permission to use the picture; especially because the magazine imprinted ‘photo by elophotos’ at the footnote of the picture. I would have thought that a media outfit like This Day/Style Magazine would have sought permission before using such pictures.

But then again, maybe the fault is mine. If the pictures had been watermarked, potential users would have contacted us directly for either purchasing the license for use or getting the appropriate permission for publicity. Even with the concept of water-marking ones pictures, we’ve had our water-marked pictures used on a cd-jacket cover that was used to sell cds.

Perhaps the rules might be different in the journalism world. Perhaps the unwritten rule is that “if the picture is available on the internet, you can download and use to your satisfaction.” Perhaps there are other laws I am unaware of with regard to pictures & copyright. Will somebody please enlighten me on this matter. This Day, Wedding Shakara, anyone….please enlighten me.

I guess I should stick to uploading client pictures to passworded galleries online. That might help curb this a little. Either way, it is to this effect that I had to delete over 90% of our pictures on facebook & elophotos.com (including the photo album of the Superstar, Supermodel ANUOLUWAPO).

I apologize to all our fans that will miss all the pictures. We will attempt to watermark all the important pictures and re-upload them to our website before the end of January 2012. Apparently this is something we ought to have started years ago. Forgive us our trespasses as we continually learn the art of this business.

Although I know that water-marking the pictures still won’t stop those that are bent on using them, it will at least reduce the unauthorized use of such pictures. I just wish there is a way facebook could provide the option of not allowing some pictures to be downloaded. Till they get around to doing that (if they have done that already, please write me and let me know how to activate such features), I’ll stick to water-marking and using sites like Smugmug.com or wordpress.com that provide the type of security I need.

If you’re a potential client reading this, please understand that this is the reason you’re not seeing as many sample pictures as will make you convinced we’re capable to meeting your photography needs. Just give us a call & we’ll arrange a meeting for you to be able to view as many works as your time will permit. Either way, our site (elophotos.com) will once again be pictureful before the end of January, 2012.