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

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POOR PEOPLE DON’T LIVE HERE


Earlier this year, I was privileged to have been invited by Yetunde Babaeko to her house for a “small” social gathering. Apparently she didn’t like the way top photographers only saw each other during NiPHEC 2013; she wanted to create a networking atmosphere where we could keep in touch with each other without having to wait for a conference gathering like NiPHEC.

Present at the friday night gathering were photography mentors like Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Leke Adenuga, Seyi Body-Lawson & Uche James Iroha. Looking back, I’m not sure what exactly I had done or achieved to have been invited to such a meeting…..but that’s a thought for another day. It will turn out to be quite an insightful networking experience that I’m glad I was present at.

I listened ardently to the gist every other photographer was bringing to the table. From SEX to cigarettes to clubbing in New York to photographing stingy clients….it was as if I was in a seminar titled “How Great Photographers Think”. As if trying to soak in everyone’s gist, I found out in retrospect that the words of my mouth were few that night. I was there to appreciate and know more about how these photography colleagues of mine THINK. I had no regrets whatsoever.

I particularly enjoyed almost every discussion Kelechi Amadi-Obi brought to the table. Although some of our values were not in total alignment, I found myself praying to God for a mind as crazily creative as Kelechi’s. One of the experiences he shared with us was about his experience with a particular security man about a decade ago.

In what seemed like an attempt to understand how the rich think, Kelechi decided (in the early 2000s) that he would use the services of a creche located inside Shonibare Estate in Maryland. For those of us that might not know, owning a property in Shonibare Estate implies directly or indirectly that your net worth is over N1billion: only the rich live there.

The security men at the entrance of the estate would easily identify someone who doesn’t live in the estate by the type of car the person was driving. In those days, the reputation Kelechi’s car had was nothing to write home about. Nevertheless, he knew what he was looking for by attempting to “enter” the inner circle environs of the rich.

On one particular day, a security man stopped him at the 2nd entrance of the estate and after a quick psychological analysis of Kelechi & his car he blurted out (perhaps without much thought) “Poor People Don’t Live Here….where are you going?” He then told Kelechi that people like him (I.e. Kelechi) are not welcomed in a rich man’s estate like Shonibare Estate. Besides, he continued, that particular entrance was strictly for the use of residents of the estate. After much pleading by Kelechi to enter the estate (because he was going to pick up his child from the creche situated within), the security man insisted that he should turn back and use the main entrance.

Kelechi was offended especially because he felt that the economy status of the security man did not warrant him to make such a statement especially since he (I.e. The security man) was not considered to be in the class of rich men. He would think of what to do to make him realize that “Kelechi isn’t a poor man” (though his car might suggest otherwise).

The next day, Kelechi decided to use the same entrance where he was denied entrance. Upon discovering that the security man in question was not on duty, he gave those on duty N1000 and told them to have a great day. The day after, he did the same thing. On the third day, upon arriving at the same entrance and meeting the security man, Kelechi willingly put his “rich” car in reverse and headed for the next entrance. While reversing he noticed that the other security men were pleading with him to go ahead and enter but Kelechi would not bend to their pleas because according to the “rich” security man, “Kelechi was a poor man”.

Kelechi continued with his plan for about a week until the other security men started getting angry with their colleague for insulting a “rich” man like Kelechi in such a manner. Apparently, even the rich residents of the estate don’t tip them in such a way and here comes someone that treats them “well” but is being denied entrance by one security man because he didn’t have a beautiful car. Eventually the same security man approached Kelechi and apologized for making such a blasphemous statement. Kelechi’s point had settled in.

The moral of the story might not necessarily have anything to do with photography but I got an insight on how to handle situations in a non-conventional (but creative) way. You might take this the wrong way but I thought within myself that what Kelechi did was wisdom. He used wisely his actions to prove wrongly what someone said about him. I learnt that one shouldn’t be quick to reply people’s accusations with words. In most cases, its wiser to “do” than to “say“. If people “say” you’re a fool, prove them wrong by your “actions“. If people say you’re “poor“, let the combination of all your actions ultimately make them regret saying that.

Ofcourse, the ultimate wisdom is to realize that you can’t be stopping at every junction in life to be “proving” yourself to people that might think otherwise. Just focus on doing what you know how to do best and eventually they will see the results of your labour and change their minds about what they “thought” or “said” you were. Some people thought photography as a profession was going to be my worst decision ever. The same people that “thought” that have paid me millions of Naira for my photography services.

Enough of my babbling. Whenever you meet people that think you don’t deserve something, take it as an encouragement “pill” to make you focus on your vision and destiny. Ultimately and in due season, those who thought you don’t deserve it will realize that its actually people like you (Yes, YOU) that really deserve it.
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Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness

Daystar Skill Acquisition Project SET 9: A New Class of Photographers


Just concluded a basic training program at Daystar for 48 students of photography. Attached are a couple of “creative” pictures taken by students in the class. Let me know the one you like the most & why.


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Plan to attend the workshop on November 4: The Multi-Million Naira Photography Brand

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Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
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REGISTER FOR A PHOTOGRAPHY MODULE BEFORE December 28, 2012 and get 50% OFF. CLICK HERE for more information
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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

 

The Multi-Million Naira Photography Brand: A Photography Workshop


REGISTER FOR A PHOTOGRAPHY MODULE BEFORE December 28, 2012 and get 50% OFF. CLICK HERE for more information
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Our bimonthly gathering of professional photographers is here again. Come network with over 200 photographers in the industry. Come learn what it takes to grow an irresistible world-class photography brand.

Facilitators:
EMMANUEL EFFIONG-BRIGHT: Branding can sometimes be a very complex concept to teach. Without much hype and publicity, Emmanuel Effiong-Bright (Emmagination) has grown to become one of the most creative facilitators on the subject of ideas and brand development.
For someone who has facilitated human resource development sessions for top brands like SAMSUNG/IYF, TOTAL, LM ERICCSON, METRO EYES and FIRST BANK, it’s not difficult to see why he brings the same level of commitment to SME brand education and development.
ELOPHOTOS, ASHERSMITH DESIGNS and FLAWLESS are just some of the envied SME brands Emmagination has helped re-engineer. Visit his site at www.emmaginationconsulting.com

RICHARD BAMIDELE-EKO: He has been instrumental in the building of the Kelechi Amad-Obi Studios brand in the last five years, which has not known a better last year. His wealth of experience in the business side of the photography profession will be of great benefit to all who seek to improve the processes that invariably grow world-class brands.

Date: Sunday November 4, 2012

Time: 2pm – 7pm

Venue: Our Place, (A2W New Corporate Head Office) 7 Olufunmilola Okikiolu, off Toyin street, off Allen Avenue, Ikeja

Fee: N2,000 before October 31, 2012. N2,500 thereafter. Make payment into our GTB account (0007361345 elophotos studio enterprises)
After paying, Send an SMS to 08101590358 with names of participants and/or photography business name. Bring teller/payment confirmation to venue. For questions/inquiries, contact Favour (08024494106) or Tosin (08022935383)

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Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
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Plan to take a course at our ACADEMY
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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

HELP!!! My Family Don’t Appreciate My Photography!!!


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He sent me a bb message asking to see me urgently. He was frustrated. After finding his way to our office 24 hours later, he was getting ready to explain the ordeal he had been through.

His name is Lagbaja Tamedo & his cousin had approached him to ask for his photography services as his contribution to the forthcoming wedding. Since Lagbaja was financially broke, he had told the cousin that instead of making a financial contribution, he’ll give him a whopping 60% discount off the photography bill. The discounted bill would come to $320 (N50,000). He figured that should be enough to cover his basic cost of production for the album he’ll be delivering to the cousin. The cousin agreed to his terms.

3 weeks after the wedding, the cousin was calling my Lagbaja to ask for the wedding album. My friend asked him for the $320 payment he ought to have received before the wedding and an argument ensued. The cousin argued that he did not agree to pay such an amount and that he thought that the photographer will be giving his photography services free of charge. The cousin started insulting our photographer friend and that infuriated him (I.e. Lagbaja). This wasn’t the first time a family member will treat him thus. That was when he pinged me for my advice.

My first response was that he should accept responsibility for what has happened. I strongly advice against being so quick to “donate” one’s professional services to family members just because they’re family members. In my experience, it’s usually those closest to you that don’t seem to appreciate the creative juices flowing in your veins. Just ask Jesus when he attempted to do miracles in his hometown.

I asked him why he didn’t put it in writing so as to reduce the chances of an argument later on. I asked him why the cousin didn’t pay the discounted bill weeks before the wedding date. The chances of getting your bill paid by a client are significantly reduced if they don’t pay 80% of the bill 2-4 weeks before the wedding date: it will end up being another prayer point that the host of heaven will have to deal with. Like my mentor once said, God gave us a brain so we’ll give God less work to do.

I told him that one of the few people on earth I don’t bother writing an agreement for is my father: his memory is as sharp as Usain Bolt is fast. ALWAYS put everything down in writing. You’ll be grateful you did.

I asked him to go ahead and deliver the album to the cousin whether or not he pays because the photographer’s reputation will still be at stake. Although this was a hard pill to swallow, I knew that a disgruntled customer (or cousin) will be a better marketer of his/her experiences with you than a satisfied customer. An unsatisfied customer will tell 10 other people while a satisfied customer will testify to less than 5 people.

Finally, I convinced him to attend the forthcoming photography workshop on Running a Profitable Photography Business. He’ll have the opportunity learning great business tips from the likes of Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Leke Adenuga (QF), Shola Animashaun, Folake Ojeikere & Yetunde Babaeko.

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REGISTER FOR A PHOTOGRAPHY MODULE BEFORE December 28, 2012 and get 50% OFF. CLICK HERE for more information
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Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
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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

 

Running a Profitable Photography Business


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Our bimonthly gathering of professional photographers is here again. Come network with over 100 photographers in the industry. You’ll have the opportunity of knowing how the following “Photography Businessmen & Businesswomen” operate profitable businesses in the photography industry: Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Leke Adenuga, Yetunde Babaeko, Shola Animashaun & Folake Ojeikere. Be one of the first in Nigeria to get an autographed copy (by Kelechi Amadi-Obi) of PICTURE THIS Magazine which will be launched on that day.

Date: Sunday August 26, 2012

Time: 2pm – 7pm

Venue: Best Western Lagos Ikeja Hotel, 12 Allen Avenue, Ikeja

Fee: N1,000

Facilitators: Seun Akisanmi, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Leke Adenuga, Shola Animashaun, Yetunde Babaeko & Folake Ojeikere

Send an SMS to 08101590358 to register & confirm attendance. Text should include names of participants and/or photography business name. Registration closes August 24, 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

Exhibition Pictures of Dsap Set 8 Photography Students


So we rounded up another 2-week training program for a fresh set of 54 photography students at Daystar Skill Acquisition Project. As usual, it was fun & fulfilling working with a bunch of people that have never worked (for the most part) with a professional camera. Below are the interesting pictures that was churned out by the set. Thanks to Mr Leke Adenuga (QF), Dipo Odetoyinbo, Segun Alawode & Chyder 5 for helping to facilitate the training. Get ready for the manifestation of these photographers. Which of the pictures do you like the most?
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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

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 4: Olalekan Okeowo, MADE PHOTOGRAPHY (TRANSCRIPT)


Hi there!
I’m here to share a brief story about me and how I got into photography. I got into photography as a hobbyist. I love to appreciate the beautiful things in my environment and anything that amuses me and stimulates interest.
I like to come out in the morning to appreciate the brightness of the day. I like to see people’s faces and see when they are smiling or even frowning. It was with the thought of how to capture those moments in a way that lasts, that the urge set in to get myself a camera to try and have a record of the things I love and appreciate.

I remember while in secondary school that I was the one preferred to take pictures whenever the need arose. Without anyone telling me what to do, I could take better pictures than my peers. So I continued from there, got myself a camera phone, and kept taking pictures, tagging my friends showing them to people. In fact I influenced my friends to start taking pictures, as they fell in love with what they saw.

As time went on, the need to start fending for my own needs came with responsibilities. But I never wanted to settle for a salaried-paid job. I can be stiff-necked about that and would rather take time to learn [a skill] to add value to myself. So I opted to learn graphics and did a whole lot of other things for my personal development.
Still I had growing needs and responsibilities and after a wide search I resorted to taking up photography as a career since it had always been a passion. If you ask me, there is nothing bad in turning your passion into an opportunity that will pay your bills.

I needed to take it to the next level and not just get onto the streets saying I am a photographer. I knew it was more than just buying a camera. I knew I needed to get trained to become an authority in this field. And I knew that if I wanted to excel, this relied on how much I knew about the business. So I went everywhere I could, did research online for materials and magazines to equip me with more knowledge. A friend brought an application form to me for a skill acquisition program. I promptly filled it and applied and that was how the race began.

The skill acquisition program was a two-week program and it was there I met great photographers like Mr Seun Akisanmi, eloPhotos boss and I learnt everything I know from him. I got the knowledge I needed on the job and started my own outfit – Made Photography.
During the course of my training other great photographers such as Shola Animasaun, Damilola Elliot, Michael Adebiyi and one person I mustn’t fail to mention, Leke Adenuga. Mr Leke made me realise that photography is serious business that is full of endless possibilities and that the only limit you have in photography is- YOU.

I have had a lot of challenges in photography. The major one: STARTING OUT. You need to be creative, you need technical know-how. You need to be spontaneous. You need to be business-minded and know how to get to your clients and convince them to patronise you because you are capable of delivering [even more than] what they need.
It’s not an easy task. You have to be up and doing. Think and do a lot of research. It takes all that and more. You need self confidence. You need to be sure that you can deliver in your own field. Not that when you get hired and you can’t present quality jobs to your client.

The most interesting part is when you present your clients with their pictures and they go, ‘Wow!’ and they fall in love with you because of those pictures (even though it was something that came out of your natural passion and you even know you could do better than what they already seen), that is a very encouraging high point.
Bringing joy and happiness to people is invaluable. That people really appreciate what I am doing keeps me going.

The next 5 years for me in photography? MADE photography will already be a household name. Even kids will be saying ‘I’m made, I’m made!’ It will be really interesting! Creating a beautiful image for photography and helping people understand its essence from behind the camera to the finished product is my goal. And when that happens; people will be saying Made was behind that.

The whole essence of photography is to make you see the beauty in the world & the universe, not just in an imaginary way…. making moments last forever. Freezing moments and making people want to keep [and treasure] those records with which they make reference to the past is what photography does. Imagine you have a lovely grandma that you grew up with And when you don’t have her any more, maybe 5 years after, you still have a picture of her when she was smiling, or when she was playing with you….it’s like she’s still with you. That is what photography does. It brings back memories that you want and makes them stay with you.

My advice for upcoming photographers is you need to love what you are doing. Give it your best. You don’t want to be in photography for the wrong reasons (e.g. If it’s what your parents or friends want you to do). If you don’t have a passion for it, there will be frustration when the pennies you earn stop coming or the people who were your reason for doing it are no more there. But if you truly love photography, you need to take it to the highest heights. Learn all you can and be an authority in it. You stand even before presidents to tell them what they don’t know about photography, because of the information you have.

Olalekan Emmanuel Okeowo
MADE Photography, http://www.madefotos.com
BB Pin: 258C6A4A

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!