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)

 

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)


Find us on Google+

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)

*********************************************************************************************************
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

Titi & Dami’s Wedding


Here’s a new slide show we just did for Titi & Dami’s wedding celebration. You can also view the pictures below. Let us know what you think.


************************************************
Register for a photography course before December 28, 2012 and get 50% OFF. CLICK HERE for more information
************************************************

Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
************************************************
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

Grace & Obadiah’s Wedding Album


4 years ago today marks the day Grace & Obadiah went to the altar. I received a text message from the bride asking us to upload the album we gave them then so the world will know how beautiful the day was. Happy Wedding Anniversary to one of the most adventurous couples we’ve been privileged to cover: Grace & Obadiah.

************************************************
Discover 5 reasons why you should learn photography at eloPhotos ACADEMY. A new weekend session begins January 12, 2013.
************************************************
Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
************************************************
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

Leke & Seyi’s Wedding in Pictures


Attached herein are the pages of the wedding album of a beautiful couple whose wedding we covered in August. Let us know what you think.

***********************************************
REGISTER FOR A PHOTOGRAPHY MODULE BEFORE December 28, 2012 and get 50% OFF. CLICK HERE for more information
************************************************

Photography Courses at eloPhotos Academy


Find us on Google+

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: 2 days
Course Fee: N40,000
DATES:
Weekday SETS: December 3 & 4, 2012 OR January 7 & 8, 2013
Weekend SETS: September 1 & 8, 2012 OR January 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: December 5, 2012 OR January 9, 2013
Weekend SETS: September 15, 2012 OR January 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: December 6 & 7, 2012 OR January 10 & 11, 2013
Weekend SETS: September 22 & 29, 2012 OR February 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: December 10-12, 2012 OR January 14-16, 2013
Weekend SETS: October 6, 13 & 20, 2012 OR February 16, 23 & March 2, 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: December 13, 2012 OR January 17, 2013
Weekend SETS: October 27, 2012 OR March 9, 2013.
Registration closes when a class of 20 students has been reached

REGISTER FOR ALL 5 MODULES & SAVE N20k. 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, 234-8120129149, 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)

*************************************************************************

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 Academy. 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
———————————————————————————
Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
********************************************************************
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 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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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
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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

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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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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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

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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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

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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

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

N141 per litre of fuel and the effect on the Nigerian Photographer


Find us on Google+

Fuel subsidy removal, occupy Nigeria, coalition against fuel subsidy removal, how to download fuel, fuel price increase, Goodluck Jonathan, Most Cursed President……… just a few of the recent top google searches that brings up results that are associated with the Nigerian economy and people.

However, very few have thought about the effect it will have on the Nigerian photographer. Well here’s my take on that. I’ve already started feeling the impact. The pure water I bought for N5 on December 31st, 2011 has suddenly become N10 yesterday. The Maltina I bought on Jan 1 for N100 is now N130. My transportation to church has increased by 40% (now I’m considering attending church services on the internet). Thank God the price of my N50 gala has not changed (you see, there’s always something to thank God for).

With all of these increase in prices happening simultaneously, I began pondering if the key photography vendors would follow suit (i.e. print labs, frames, graphic artists, etc). I decided to call the MD/CEO of one of the top printing labs in Lagos, 5D Imagery. I asked if his organization was considering increasing the price of prints to photographers. All I heard was “OFCOURSE” before the line went dead. I tried calling back but my call was no longer being picked up.

MAYBE HE THOUGHT I WAS FROM CNN. Maybe the gsm network was busy. Maybe he was about saying “OFCOURSE NOT” before the line dropped dead. Maybe….. All I know is that I couldn’t reach him again. I started quizzing myself on the possible grounds they could have for increasing the price of their prints. I assumed that the generators they use at their facilities use diesel and not petrol. I assumed that the fuel subsidy was only on petrol. I assumed that they probably make about N1 million+ in sales daily and spend N20,000 in diesel daily. I assumed that a 120% increase in the cost of their fuel shouldn’t translate into a 100% increase in the price of their prints. Do the maths. I assumed that he’s a very reasonable man who wouldn’t increase his rates by more than 5% considering my calculations except for the sole reason of increasing the salaries of his staff that will be grossly affected by the fuel price hike. All these are assumptions. Time will tell what the final decision will be.

I proceeded to call another print lab to make the same inquiry. The staff at Replica studios was glad to tell me that they won’t be increasing their price at the moment. I was glad on behalf of the hundreds of photographers that patronize them. Please note that I’m not a fan of Replica studios; neither did I receive any compensation from them. We do most of our printing in-house and this report is a result of the journalistic tendencies lurking under my skin.

Another top printing outfit in Lagos, Fotospeed (located in Victoria Island), had not decided to increase their rates yet. So that settles the printing side.

As many of us are already aware that the cost of printing pictures is not the only cost we bear, there are still other areas (e.g. Frames, album designers/graphic artists, album binders, etc) that will be affected. The following are a few tips that I believe could be of help to those that care enough about their business to have read thus far.

1. Have a comprehensive website. In this day & age, a websiteless professional photographer is a unserious photographer. In fact such photographers should remove the word “professional” whenever they’re referring to who they are. The only reason for you not having a website should be because you’ve not taken any pictures and have not “launched” your photography business (and if you fall under this class of photographers, its ok to stop reading this piece now because the rest of the tips might not be as important).
One of the major advantage of having a website now is a reduction in your cost of transportation. Most clients that call me now already have an idea of the quality I bring to the table because they’ve seen my job online. Consequently, the major issue we usually discuss is how & when I’ll be getting a deposit. Even if they ask to see what the final album looks like, there’s a 90% chance that we’ve already sealed the deal. I can’t imagine going to Lekki from Ogba just to show a potential client my collections only to end up not getting the job. Not only would I have wasted over 4 hours for the trip, my transport fare (toll gate fee + fuel) will not be refunded. So be smart, develop your website TODAY.
N.B. You can still register for the forthcoming workshop on website development (Fire your web designer) by the end of January 🙂

2. Don’t give your clients any discount. If you’re a business person in Nigeria, you know what the normal buying protocol is: you ask seller for price of product, seller gives you her price, you ask for the “last price”, seller gives you a discount, you act as if you’re not buying anymore and further ask for a “final price”, seller is almost angry (in some cases, seller curses you & your father’s house) but finally agrees to your last price, you seal the deal with seller. Kapish.
Chances are you’ve given discounts to almost all the clients you had last year (don’t tell anyone but I’m guilty of that too). In other to cope with the increase in your “cost of production”, you’ll be better off not giving any discounts than to increase your price. Just tell your potential client “You know the current subsidy situation….you’re still getting a great deal because I have chosen not to be like everyone else by increasing my price.” I have a funny feeling that it will work.

3. Create other streams of income. Until now, all you did was take the pictures; you contracted every other aspect out and finally get a photo book a few weeks later. Well, maybe its time to consider contracting out those other aspects to yourself. Yes, YOU. If you pay someone else to design your albums, start designing yourself. Though it can be tedious, consider binding the albums and creating albums boxes for yourself. Better yet, start marketing to your fellow colleagues that might need your NEW services. You’ll be surprised the extra money you’ll save and make.

4. Sharpen your Unique Selling Point (USP): this is the time you need to seriously market yourself based on your USP. If you’re known to arrive early for events, deliver promptly to clients, design creatively or a good communicator, these are selling points that could help stand you out beyond the price you charge. Focus on them and bring the clients’ attention to the fact that it will be their loss if they don’t hire you.

5. Build a team. Building a team of photography assistants will go a long way in easing your burden. There are jobs that many photographers turn down because they are not paying what you charge. However if you present an alternative for the client that entails having your “accredited & reliable” assistant cover the photography assignment, you could charge lesser than your standard fee and still increase your income. If my assistants or colleagues are assigned to a job, usually the client saves between 20% & 50% in fees. Many photographers may not agree with me on this but with the right associates, you’re likely to increase your chances of going for a vacation earlier than you planned.

6. Choose your friends wisely. Yes, I know things might be difficult at the moment but it is times like this that I’m conscious of associating myself with people that have a plan for a future. I’m likely to be closer to someone who believes he stands a very good chance of getting a photography job (even if it seems the “market” is saturated) than someone who complains and moans about how its hard to make it in life. Yes, they might not be perfect but at least I’ll learn from them that which will help take me to the next level. That’s why I love photographers like Jide Alakija, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Shola Animashaun & Leke Adenuga to mention just a few; they share what they know with you and are not afraid of you ending up more successful than them.

7. Develop a long-term business plan. The situation presently is a temporary one. If you focus too much on it without a long-term business plan, you’re likely to end up with a 9-5(sorry 8am – 8pm in most cases) job sooner than you think. Infact, you should be thinking of incoperating the present fuel price hike as a strategy for taking your business to the next level. You may ask, HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? Trust me, this is a season of unprecedented opportunities for Nigerian photographers. If only you can see it…….if only

8. Take advantage of social media. If you’re not presently utilizing the potentials of social media (facebook, youtube, twitter, google + etc) you’re seriously short-changing yourself. I’ve made over N2 million in the past 18 months as a result of my “business” presence on these social media. Anyway whichever way you look at it, the extra income will be worth it. TRUST ME.

9. Be financially prudent. More than ever before, this is the time to be more prudent in financial matters. I’ve recently had to give up my love for a daily consumption of 100-150cl of Pepsi. Apart from having a negative impact on my health, it had an impact on my finances too. So far, I’ve not drank a drop of Pepsi this year. SO FAR. I had it replaced with a cheaper & healthier alternative: WATER. You might have to reduce your expenses (although some would consider some of these to be an investment) in chocolate, movies, partying, phone calls, & ………….. well you know what else you spend. It is high time you reduce or remove the SUBSIDIES on such items; it will leave you with more resources to invest in your business. Trust me, I’ve already saved over N1200 this year alone as a result of removal of the subsidy I previously allocated to Pepsi. Do the maths & you’ll discover how richer I’ll be by the end of 2012

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Picture This (Episode 1): Starting out in Photography (TRANSCRIPT)


Great day, everyone and welcome to the show that we have been talking about for many months now. Finally, it has arrived! I’m Seun Akisanmi and I’m going to be your host along the way. I want you guys to stay tuned to this channel every Tuesdays and Fridays as we bring to you a fresh and inspiring episode of this show.

First of all, our goal is to raise the standard of professionalism in the photography industry. A few years back, I realized that there were a lot of photographers coming into the industry that don’t know how to start or what to do especially with regards to the business of photography. It is one thing to have a camera and it is another thing to run a photography business; hence the reason why we started a show like this.

The second goal (reason) for this show is actually to increase awareness and appreciation of photography in our society. Gone are the days that a child would tell his dad or mum that “Dad, I want to be a photographer“ and the dad or mum would slap the child. I want by the end of 2012, a three year-old child could tell his dad or mum, “Daddy,mom, i want to be a photographer like Seun or Shola or Kike or Lara…. & the parents won’t scold him/her for that. The goal is to increase the awareness of photography, so with the episode that will be showcasing as time goes on, these are areas that we will be addressing. Stay tuned.

Welcome back! At this junction, I feel it is important to explain that not every episode would contain all the segments that we have planned. In a previous upload, i explained that we would be having, for example, a segment we call, “PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE WEEK“, “PHOTO OF THE WEEK“, “PHOTO FACTS“ and different segments. You need to know that because we are trying to make it a short program, not all the segments will be packed into one episode. For example, we will be having on Friday, “The photographer of the week“ section and whatever else we need to discuss. I am just trying to let us know in advance so that you know you are ready. So stay tuned.

So, in this episode, we will be talking about what we titled, “STARTING OUT IN PHOTOGRAPHY“ and I will be giving some tips for a lot of photographers that are coming afresh into the industry.

My first and foremost tip for every new and fresh photographer in this industry is this; DO NOT GET A CAMERA. Yes You heard me right, I said “don’t buy a camera yet”. This is the one of the first major mistakes that I feel a lot of photographers make. They feel that once they have gotten a camera (at this stage we are in the revolution of photography, a camera is easy to get, it is affordable especially the digital camera, it is affordable and easily to get) they feel “now i know everything about photography“, “now let me conquer the world!“ But they are about to find out that what they thought was a “stepping stone” actually becomes stumbling block.

This is so because most of us were not taught in the University how to actually run a successfully business, how much more a photography business. So, if you ask me, I would rather you get a mentor first before you buy a camera. It is important you get a mentor i.e., somebody that is already a photographer in this industry. If you are talking about the photography industry in Nigeria, there are at least 20 to 30 great photographers that we could reckon with, & I’m sure you have heard of their names. So, if it means writing them, talking to them on the phone, associating with them, applying for an internship program even if it is for one day, one week, one month. If you ask me, I usually recommend a minimum of 3 to 6 months.

Associate with someone you consider a mentor before you buy that camera. Besides, considering the fact that this is an industry you know little or nothing about, don’t assume that even the camera you are getting is actually what you need, you never can tell at the end of the day after buying that camera, you realize you have actually wasted resources. So take my word for it, don’t buy a camera yet. Now you might be wondering what if you have already gotten a camera, “WHAT CAN I DO?“ Well, my advice to you is this, just sell the camera to me…….. I’m just kidding. But really, it is still important you look for a mentor because what it takes to make it in this industry is way beyond just getting a camera.

So, the next advice I will give those that are coming afresh into the industry is this, (and this is should in case you don’t happen to find a mentor or somebody that you can talk to or work with on an internship basis or learn from): GET BOOKS ON PHOTOGRAPHY.

I had this challenge when I was starting out in 2006. There were little and very few people that I could actually call my mentors. I was fortunate to find about two people then: Tony Makati (thank you Makati for showing me the way) and Yomi Siffre, the lead photographer at Siffre studios. Thank God for these two guys and mentors that really helped me out there but beyond what they offered me, beyond the tutelage they provided for me, i still got some books on photography that helped me to better lay a solid foundation.
If you don’t have access to getting the hard cover books, get eBooks. One of the challenges we face in Nigeria is the fact that there are few bookshops that actually sell books on photography. In a way, you can’t really blame them because a lot of us (i.e. photographers in Nigeria) are more likely to spend N300,000 or $5000 to buy a camera than to buy a $20 dollar book. I’m sure there are a lot of places you can get a lot of e-books to download. Even if you have to “Goggle“ the keywords. Try search phrases like “I’m new at photography“, or “learning photography“ and the resources that will come up would amaze you: at least 100,000 results will show up.

At this point, there are at least 4 books that I feel you must do whatever you can to get (preferably before buying a camera). In fact, if you don’t have any money to get these books, sell your camera and buy these books and you will be glad you did.

The first and foremost of all the books is a book that has transformed my life. Interestingly enough, this book has nothing to do with the topic of photography. The title is “Outliers“ and it is written by Malcom Gladwell. It is the number 1 book I would recommend, not just for people starting out, but for every business professional.. Every professional, every business owner needs this book, “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell.

The second book I would recommend is a book titled “Teach yourself photography” and it is written by Lee Frost. It is a very good book and it comes with a companion DVD. Especially if you are someone that learns very well when you read on your own, this is a good guide to help you even if you have a mentor. By the way you can get all these books from AMAZON.com.

The third book is a guy that has really been a blessing to me, John Harrington. Although I have not met him in person, he’s a mentor of thousands of photographers. The title of his book is “BEST BUSINESS PRACTICES FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS“. I got this book about 4 years ago and it is one of the books that helped me to lay a very solid foundation in my photography business. Do your best to get this book.

The last but not the least is a book written by one of the oldest photographers of our age (come to think of it, I’m not sure if the guy is still alive). His name is Tom McDonald and the title of the book is “THE BUSINESS OF PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY”. It is a great book that showcases the top 10 to 15 portrait photographer (a few years ago). It gives us an idea of their business models, how they run their businesses & how they do their marketing. Do whatever you can to get this book. The book is written by a photographer that has been in the business for over 40 years. Can you imagine? The guy has been running a photography business even before i was born. So learn from his mistakes and don’t repeat them all over again. Tom McDonald’s “THE BUSINESS OF PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY“.

Once again, all these books can be gotten on AMAZON.com. So sell your camera, do whatever you can to get these books and that will help you on your way to becoming a true professional photographer.

So by now, once you have gotten a mentor (& you’ve been trained) and these photography books, the next step is to get a camera. I’m saying this because by the time you read some of these books, you will have an idea of the type of camera that will fit the type of photography that you actually want to specialize in.

Once you’ve been trained, you’ll realize it was a good thing you didn’t buy the camera in the first place because that is when you’ll learn that some of these cameras have prices that are more than your university school fees or annual rent or mortgage payment. It is really important you know what you’re really dealing with here. Even for the students that come through our training program, at the end of the training, we still give them books to read because with the rate at which new information is coming into this industry, you really never can know everything. So it’s important you keep yourself up to date.

And at this junction, this is where people ask me “which camera should I get?“ That is a very good question. Which camera should you get? That is the question of the century. When i started out, I asked my mentors (Yomi Siffre & Makati) which camera they would recommend for me. And guess what? They gave me different answers.

Take Yomi Siffre, for example. The guy is a fan , a great lover of Nikon products. That was over five years old! The guy is still in love with Nikon. He told me, “Seun, if you are really serious with photography and you really want to make it, make sure you get a Nikon camera.” I listened to him, noted down his answer and went over to my other mentor.

So I asked Mr. Tony Makati,”which camera do you think I should get?” He told me,’’Seun if you really,really want to make it in this photography industry, make sure you get a Canon camera.” Come to think of it, Canon was his favorite camera then. And I can still remember when I was talking to him about getting a camera then; he was actually cleaning about three of his Canon cameras. So the question of which camera to get was an easy answer for him.

Makati told me to get a Canon camera. Siffre told me to get a Nikon camera. Then, I sat down and thought to myself,”is it true that the camera that people use (Canon or Nikon) is what determines how successful they’ll become?” Knowing the type of person that I was, I decided to go against their advice. I can be stubborn sometimes. I wanted to prove to these people that”If I don’t use Canon or Nikon, I would still make it in Photography”.

So I settled for a camera that none of them recommended for me: Olympus. And I think if Olympus were to come to Nigeria right now,they will consider me as one of their Ambassadors. (Considering the amount of Olympus cameras I own). The point I’m trying to bring out of this is the answer to that question,”Which camera should I get?”

And the answer to that question is: IT DEPENDS. It depends on your taste, it depends on the camera manufacturer that you are in love with. And my main suggestion is for you to visit a site like www.DPreview.com. The site provides independent, non-biased reviews of every camera that has been manufactured for the past 6 to 10 years. And sometimes even for Canon manufacturers, you could place two cameras side by side and compare. It is a site that gives you more technical information than you would ever need! That might be a good place to start. But I won’t come here and tell you,”Canon is the best, Olympus is the best or Nikon is the best!”

I know some people that could kill for Canon and they will tell you,”look if you are not taking pictures with Canon,you have not started your photography business”. But I tell them many times if pictures are seen as great pictures, how many people look at the picture and say ”Wow! I bet you used a Canon camera,” or “I bet you used a Nikon camera.” Most people just appreciate the beauty & care less which camera you use.

So if you are trying to settle on a camera to choose, go to www.Dpreview.com & do a research depending on your style of photography or what you want to specialize in. And whatever you conclude, whatever is comfortable by you is the right camera to get. Especially the camera that fits your budget, it’s really important it fits your budget.

One other thing you should consider when getting a camera: it is really important to get a camera that you know your colleagues or your mentors have. For example, it was not necessarily a wise thing thing that I decided to choose Olympus then because as at that point in time (2006), I was about the only person that I knew was using Olympus cameras. We had people in Nigeria repairing all these digital cameras and most of them specialized in the repairs of Canon and Nikon equipment. So I placed myself in a hot spot; I put myself in a corner. When I had any issues with the cameras, I was left alone to resolve it myself.

So if you are going for a Canon camera, it’s important you decide that it is because you know one or two people that have Canon cameras. So if you encounter a challenge with your Canon you could ask them for help. Same thing goes for any other camera choice. Of course, by now a lot of people decide to choose Olympus camera because they know someone like me that has Olympus cameras. Presently,we have Olympus and Nikon cameras & we are considering getting a few Canon cameras because I like getting used to all the different cameras.

So there goes the answer to that question,”Which camera should you get?” Whichever one fits your budget ,whichever one most of your friends are using and whichever one is comfortable with you.

So that is it for today’s episode of PICTURE THIS. Stayed tuned till Friday when we continue on what it takes to start out in photography. Until then if you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to send us an e-mail at picturethis@elophtos.com. We will not only incorporate it into the show somehow but we will get back to you as soon as possible.

One more thing that you will do for me is this: visit www.youtube.com/elophotos to subscribe to this channel. The “subscribe” button is right at the top of the channel. By subscribing, you become one of the first few people who get a notification once we upload an episode. So subscribe to the channel, share the program with your friends, “like” it if its ok. And if you feel we are not really doing well, please email me at picturethis@elophotos.com
Tell us what you feel we could do better & any help whatsoever you could offer would be appreciated. Let this be a partnership like I mentioned earlier and together we would help to build a better photography industry. Stay tuned and keep taking those pictures

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How much should a wedding client deposit before you’re bound to cover their celebration?


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That is a debatable question. Last month marked the 4-years wedding anniversary of one of our clients. The bride approached us to be the official wedding photographer of the day. Being a close friend at the moment, she felt she deserved a discount of some sort. I eventually agreed and told her the condition of the discount warranted that she would have to pay the full discounted amount before the wedding day.

It was a 2-day celebration and we eventually settled for N100,000 (approximately $650). After paying in bits & pieces she was eventually able to make a total deposit of N55,000 before the wedding. I explained to her that this wasn’t acceptable as a large percentage of clients who don’t pay their wedding photographer upfront usually end up defaulting. She explained that it will not be her story & that she will pay the balance not later than 2 weeks after the wedding.

My greatest mistake was to have agreed to her terms. As at the time of this writing the balance is still unpaid and they are yet to get their wedding album. The agreement was that if they didn’t pay the full amount they wouldn’t get any pictures; not even 1 soft-copy.

Sometimes I wonder what the couple would tell their guests & children whenever the wedding album is requested. If I were to go back in time, I would not have accepted the wedding.

That particular wedding made me take my wedding contract & agreement more serious. Now everything is written down and signed by the couple & the photographer weeks or months before the day of celebration. We’ve even had a client that told us after his wedding that he thought he was getting 2 albums and I had to ask him to check the agreement again. He apparently forgot.

One of the major conditions in the wedding contract is for the client to pay a minimum of 80% of the total bill before we will be “bound” to be the official photographer. In cases where we’ve worked with the client before, the client sometimes pays 100% before the event. Considering the fact that most of our clients are “referred” to us, there’s an assurance that we’re likely not going to disappoint on delivering what we promised.

So next time you meet a wedding client that is bent on paying 50% and balancing later, think twice. There’s been many scenarios in which the client is supposedly a trustworthy individual and I’ve been disappointed afterward. Besides, how come the caterer, musician, MC, band, decorator, & other vendors get between 80-100% payment upfront. It’s your call.

Structure the payment plan in a way that will favor yourself: the photographer. Even if my client were to pay my balance now, what album or quality package should I deliver: the package of 4 years ago or my present package (considering the fact that i did not give them a written agreement then)? Be the judge

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A Crazy Photographer’s 12 Goals for 2012


In no particular order of priority, behold 12 of the goals that I plan to achieve by December 31st, 2012.

1. Wash my plates after eating. It’s a weakness that many husbands and bachelors are guilty of. I plan to express my love more to my wife by washing my plates after eating. It’s the least I can do. Can’t promise to wash any other person’s plate but I’ll start with mine and see how it goes.

2. Spend 2 nights at the 7-star hotel in Dubai. I plan to document photographically my stay at this hotel. It’s one of the projects I wholeheartedly look forward to embarking upon. At $2000 per night, I better start taking my photography business more seriously and begin saving.

3. Photograph an event in Asia. I’ll prefer a wedding coverage to a rioters’ coverage. Either way, covering a joyous moment in an Asian culture will be fun. India will be good for a start

4. Host a photography convention in Nigeria. This is going to be BIG. Planning a 3-6 day convention will be the first of its kind in Nigeria and I’m confident it will be impactful. Watch out

5. Get an invitation to speak at a photography convention/conference in the United States and/or Europe. Don’t have an idea how this will come to pass but I’m preparing my speech/notes so that I’ll be ready once the opportunity comes knocking

6. Co-found a Photography Association in Nigeria. To help address issues such as the rights of a photographer & a standard level of professionalism, an association registered with the government is inevitable. If you’re interested in helping out, holla at me.

7. Write my first photography book. Still thinking of a title. So far I might settle for “Diary of a mad black photographer.” Or what do you think?. I hope everyone that has been encouraging me to write a book will not ask me for complimentary copies; you’ll need to purchase it so I’ll be encouraged to write more books. I’m still open to better title suggestions.

8. Start a clothing line. Don’t know whether to call it eloFashion or Seun Akisanmi but the designs that have been playing around in my head can’t be expressed in photography; a fashion design outfit is inevitable. I know its important to be known for just 1 thing but having multiple streams of income isn’t a bad idea. Anything to make me quickly get my edition of BMW 750i before it is discontinued.

9. Earn $1 million in photography income. Though my bank account balance might be reading $70, I believe this is the year of the manifestation of my millions…..in dollars. Watch out

10. Stop drinking 100-150cl of Pepsi everyday. Just discovered that such a habit is neither good for my health
Nor my bank account. I plan on replacing the Pepsi drinks with a daily dose of 3 litres of water. I just hope the Pepsi seller won’t go bankrupt this year because of my decision.

11. Read at least 10 hours of photography materials every week. This will be necessary if I need to keep tabs with the loads of information that will be added to the database of photography in 2012.

12. Write everyday in 2012 on my journey & experience in photography. This will be interesting. Doing a writeup on photography every single day…..will be challenging and fun. One down 365 to go. 2012, I’m ready for you.

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RE: 12 Nigerian Photographers


How do I start. I’ve gotten very interesting & controversial feedback (including the one in your heart you’re yet to express) from the list of 12 Nigerian Photographers to watch out for in 2012 (CHECK IT OUT). Like I mentioned clearly in the writeup, it is a very biased opinion on my part that is based on reasons that might not be logical to many; they’re not even logical to me.

Although I got “Thank you” messages from the people who made the list, my intention was originally not to encourage or inspire them. Many on the list might not look like anything at this moment but I was taking a big bet (with myself) that they’ll manifest within 12 months. And I didn’t receive any form of compensation for the PR either.

The people who made the list could in many ways be likened to the 12 that made the disciples’ list of Jesus; most were not people who you think should be chosen. Infact I have many photographer friends that can be on such a list. I definitely hope you’re not angry with me for not including you.

In my opinion (there goes Seun again with his opinion), if a photographer looks at the list and murmurs within that he/she is better than some of the names mentioned, that photographer did not deserve to be on the list. As much as many people will disagree, current technical ability was not a mandatory condition for making the list. My very-biased analysis of the photographer’s HEART was a big condition.

To crown it all, it’s not an ALMIGHTY list. In fact if you ask Jesus at the moment to write such a list, none of the names might show up. I would definitely hope that my name would show up if Jesus was the author, but I wouldn’t be upset if it didn’t.

I’ll be more concerned to make sure that my name shows up (& remains) in the BOOK OF LIFE. Just like there’s no guaranty many people’s name will remain in the book of life forever, there’s no assurance these people will still be in the industry come December 2012. The idea is just to watch out for them.

So next time we meet in person or online, please don’t be angry with me for not including your name. I’m just being a politician and it’s just my biased opinion. Better still, for a more comprehensive list of people who I think you should watch out for in 2012, check my Facebook list of friends. Last time I checked it was over 4700 and still counting. So forgive us our trespasses as we forgive………

Please, please, don’t be angry with me. PLEASE

Changing Faces


By the mention of Changing Faces I know some of you are reminiscing (if you are in that age bracket) about an R&B all female(?) group that laced the nineties with some of their widely appealing songs. Ok, I forgive you. I had chosen this title for this post before It occurred to me too. (I know I have easily given you a clue about my age too)
Well, it so happens that this music group has as much to do with this write-up as does playing an Elvis Presley song at a ten year old’s birthday today! I can see you keeling over in laughter.
Indeed a ten year old whom I shall call ‘K’was having his birthday and this post is about that story and not the music.

I recieved a late call to help cover ‘K’s birthday the previous evening and by now I knew next to nothing about the client, except the address of the venue.

By photog instinct I reckoned a high FPS SLR camera would be useful to catch kids in their own world and at some point a fast lens would also come in useful if the rare opportunity ever came to take relatively still shots up-close that could be used for portraits. You know children are hardly listless when we adults are already exhausted. By now I can hear you guessing my age. Well let me fill your imagination with more: I knew by now I would be doing a lot of kneeling and squatting to get really good shots that would capture the world through a ten year old’s eyes and my back was going to pay dearly for the exercise.

I arrived at the venue even before the client or their guests were present, studying the light situation in every part of the room. I opened my camera bag and my jaw dropped when I discovered I had only a 50mm prime lens and two camera bodies! Nooooo!

    I cant go to desired wide angle with this!

When all those blessed little things start jumping all over it would be total disaster! Till this moment, it remains a mystery how I had swapped lenses into the wrong camera bags while getting ready to travel to the venue. Fortunately the ‘official. Photographer arrived shortly after and I teamed up with him and the rest as they say was a ”downhill ride”.

But when the official photographer pointed at the client’s family vehicle pulling up to the venue entrance I knew this was the opportunity to capture the celebrant’s expressions at the beauty of the venue, the decorations, cake and eagerly waiting friends.

Confined by my equipment selection error, I quickly trained my sights to frame through the viewfinder on the SLR now fitted with 50mm prime lens. I was cautiously aiming to capture his face as he came out of the car but it appeared he was looking downwards and just being led by his parents.

As they approached the entrance where I already knelt shutter-button ready, waiting to snap up the moment he looked up, it struck me, that as this was his birthday, there was no need telling him to look up and smile, or was there ? But since he wasnt, as soon as he got close enough, I called his name (I had been told his name) to try to cajole him to smile for the camera. He looked straight through my lens and his face changed. He parted his lips to form a smile, and I could tell immediately. – ‘K’ was special – meaning he had special needs as he suffered from muscular dysfunction that made him almost unable to prop his head up and form a straight smile. But he was so happy at they way I called his name, I knew I had touched a chord in his soul that would vibrate for long and kneeling down had paid off because at his eye level, he had looked into my camera with glimmer in his syes that could warm up anybody’s heart.

I knew then immediiately that his facial expressions though largely mixed because of his condition, could not hide the joy he was radiating.

As I lowered my camera for the first time after the first set of shots, I watched him hurry to be among his friends and pose for another picture. I reasoned that ‘K’ was well aware of the difference in his appearance. But seeing that it did not hide his. happiness made me think that in spite of it all I wouldnt change a thing about him for that singular moment I captured on camera. I saw the real him in spite of his rapidly changing facial expressions, knowing that he will grow into a fine gentleman and he will be happy.

So as I put the viewfinder up again I felt tears trying to come up, but held back. And that I did until the event ended…..

While many of us would rather trade our imperfections and if we were ‘K’, the real treasure is in who lies within….. No changing face can beat that!

12 Nigerian Photographers to watch out for in 2012


English: Hotel photographer and a hotel guest ...

First of all, please note that the photographers mentioned here are in my own opinion. There are photographers that I know deserve to be on this list & if your name isn’t here, PLEEEAAAASSSSSEE don’t take offense.

Most of the photographers mentioned here are actually new in the industry & might not be known by many at this point. Their future is so bright that you’ll need sunglasses to view them. Also, I’m not being compensated for mentioning them. Most of them didn’t even know I was going to write about them.

Although they all have their weaknesses, I’m looking beyond that and presuming they’ll address them in the coming year. One common characteristic of every one of them is the fact that they don’t have a backup plan for 2012; its either photography works out for them or photography works out for them. I like that. I like people who burn bridges and put all their energy into whatever they’re doing.

Therefore, in no particular order of importance or priority, I present to you the 12 Nigerian photographers that are about to threaten the reign of the top names in the industry in 2012….. Get Ready.

1. Shola Animashaun (www.sholaanimashaun.com)
Forget Kelechi Amadi-Obi, forget TY Bello. If it was legal to steal a photographer‘s portfolio, I will gladly steal Shola Animashaun’s entire collection. His clientele & portfolios in comparison to mine makes me look like an intern. Let’s just say if I’ve spelt PH, he has spelt PHOTOGRA. An award-winning photographer, he was the official photographer for a number of celebrity shows in the past few years including Hip-Hop Awards & MTV Awards.

With the resources he has on photography (some of which has been useful to me) you’ll be angry with him for not presently running a Photography school. He says he wants to completely spell PHOTOGRAPHY before starting & I insist he shouldn’t wait for the perfect scenario: just start. Visit his site, follow him on twitter & Facebook and see why I want to be like him when I grow up.

2. Adio Olla-lekan: Made Photography (www.madefotos.com)
This guy is the undiscovered “Whiz kid” of the photography industry. He even looks like him too. He’s just less than a year in the industry and has taken pictures that I wished I took in my 3rd year as a photographer. Hence the reason he considers himself MADE. Just call him Mr MADE. I love one of his slogans: Forget Superman, trust MADE. Now, isn’t that catchy? Well, I think it is anyways.

He’s someone who will prove to you that it’s not all about the camera but mainly the person handling the camera. Although his website is just over 1 week old & might not have enough pictures to make you spend over 10mins viewing, watch out for him in 2012 and you will be ……………… (Fill in the blank in December 2012)

3. Lara Tiamiyu: La Royal Concept (www.laroyalconcept.com)
One of the best female photographers I’ve had the honor of working with, Lara is in a class of her own. Her beauty might be what will make you ask for her complimentary card but once you see what she can do photographically, you’ll definitely want her to be your lifetime photographer. Let’s just say if she covers your wedding, you can rest assured that award-winning images will inevitably be the results.

She’s one of the very few people who I can ask to cover an event on my behalf and not worry about what she’ll deliver. Her touch is almost……ROYAL. After her recently concluded exhibition at Eko Hotel, you can’t but wait to see what she’ll be up to in 2012.

4. Samuel Ijiyokunola: Living Memories Photography(www.livingmemoriesng.com)
Now this guy is interesting. In less that 6 months of starting, he has covered over 6 major events (5 of which are weddings), made over N500k & does not yet have a camera he can call his own. Call him a businessman, he’ll rather use $50 to rent a camera than to use $1000 to buy one. Give him a bag of cement & 3 months and he might as well present to you a completely built house. He’s very diligent and I won’t be surprised if he buys his first house in 2012 from the proceeds of photography. Though his website is not complete yet, stay tuned to his channel in 2012 and you’ll be surprise on how far a good business mindset can get a photographer within 12 months.

5. Olamide Oluwagbemile: Lamzy Photography
I can still remember the first day she walked into our training academy. I was teaching a class and almost forgot my next line. I thought to myself “Who is this model & what does she want with photography?” 3 months later, she would eventually turn out to be one of the most interesting students we’ve ever had. Her pictures are reflections of who she is: BEAUTIFUL & STUNNING. Although she doesn’t have a website yet that will convince you of her potentials, watch out for the next TY Bello in 2012.

6. Babatunde Ogunjobi: JOBI PHOTOS
A Unilag graduate of Physics, he decided to pursue his real passion 1 year ago. So far he has no regrets. When he presents to your wedding album, you’ll be amazed at his ability to make your wedding more beautiful than the wedding day itself. One of his strength is in album design & I’ll gladly give him any album to design on my behalf (although he still thinks he doesn’t know much). You can check back by the end of January for the link to his website that he has been working on.

7. Lilian Novo Isioro, Novo Images (novoimages.com.ng)
By the time 2012 is over, it is photographers like Lilian that will prove to Nigerians that what a man can do photographically, a woman can do better. Her passion for photography goes beyond the pictures she takes in the day; she even dreams about photography when she sleeps. As I write this, I just finished answering her question on what default settings to put her Photoshop in & the time is 1am. Her looks is to her advantage also; she’s likely to win a bid for a photography job with her looks alone. Hey, that’s my opinion. She doesn’t ‘hustle’ to take pictures; she takes her time. We’ll have the whole of 2012 to see how much territory she’ll cover. Guys, fasten your seat belts because Novo Images is on the horizon.

8. Afolabi Oloyede, 4Labi 4Fotos (www.4labi4tos.com)
His specialty is children photography. I mean he has photographed more children than Ansel Adams photographed landscapes. With the patience and endurance he has for children, he’s bound to emerge as the official CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC of NIGERIA. His present challenge is in trying to sort out the pictures to showcase on his new website. Give him until January to resolve that. He might not look like it but be on the lookout for the guy that firmly believes “anything is 4ssible.”

9. Dipo Odetoyinbo, Black Child Photography (www.blackchildphotography.com)
Dipo assisted me in the training of 59 new photographers in October, 2011. He’s so competent a teacher that I felt comfortable coming to class late many times; I knew he will take charge. He happens to be my mentor in all things fashion. His dress sense is so “successful” that its hard to believe that he’s just over 3 years old in the industry. His photography is as breathtaking as the designer blazers he has in his collections. With a training academy in the works for 2012, he’s bound to be a potential mentor for the floodgate of photographers that will troop into the industry come 2012. Watch out

10. Shade Ishola aka Sha-Sha, SazzyE Photography (sazzyE.shutterchance.com)
If you ask me, I think this lady is not on planet earth. She has such an interesting mind of her own that makes her…..misunderstood. After forsaking the destiny of a fashion designer, she’s bent on making it in photography or else….. Her hunger and thirst for righteousness photography will definitely get her somewhere if she hangs on. Even if you think her gallery is not enough to wow you at the moment, be on the lookout for the top lady fashion photographers in 2012. I’ll be on the lookout for her myself.

11. Deola Oludimine, Freez Photos
If there was an award for the fastest album designer, Deola will win 2 years straight. After a recent trip to Kenya where he trained some youths on Photography (courtesy of the Redeemed Christian Church of God), he’s considering starting what he calls Freez Business Institute. I wish him well. With another training engagement booked for Zambia in March 2012, he’s bent on making Photography an enviable profession. His website, freezphotos.com, should be up & running by the end of January. Stay tuned

12. Damilola Kuku, Supzie Xpression
With a stature that will make potential clients think she’s still in secondary school, Damilola’s specialty is bent on getting some mouths remain wide opened. When she recently told me she wanted to specialize in Nude photography & New Born, I was taken aback. Its one area that few Nigeria photographers dabble into. Apparently (according to her) there is a high demand for such pictures and not enough supply. May God help her in meeting the demand. Although I am yet to see a picture she has taken, I’m taking a big gamble that she will stand out. I pray she proves me right else my prophetic photography career might be over before you know it. Anxiously awaiting the arrival of her canon 5d kit, you should be anxious to see what will become of her in 2012.

13. Seu….., sorry I forgot it ends at 12

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So that’s it for my biased opinion of 12 Nigerian photographers to be on the lookout for in 2012. It has already been labelled interesting, political & funny. What do you think?