2 Debtors & 1 Security Man Later


It happened last week Tuesday. The head of security at the estate where I reside decided he was going to hold the residents to ransom. Apparently, majority of the residents in the estate were owing significant sums of money to the security men. Eventually he decided that the embarrassment route was the best way to go to make all debtors pay.

I happened to be one of the debtors. Ever since the photography conference we organized in May, I’ve been unable to pay my outstanding with them as I had to resolve matters with other debtors that were sending me threats. I had explained my case to the head of security at least twice in the last 4 weeks. My total debt was now N12k (at N4k per month). On this faithful day, he would take us all by surprise.

I got to the estate gate by 7:15am on my way to drop my children in school only to see that the gate was barricaded and my security pal was standing at the entrance. “Oga, we no dey open gate for people wey never pay their dues,” he blurted out.

“Good morning sir. You know if I have, I’ll pay you…I don’t have it yet…once I get it, you’ll get paid,” I pleaded with him. Truth be told, I had just N1050 left with me that day and was even ready to take him to my ATM so he could see my account balance. Over 70% of funds that had been coming into my account had gone to settling some of the 25 vendors I owed (interestingly the most soothing words of encouragement during this time came from my mum when she told me that it was a good thing that the vendors allowed me to owe them because only people with good credit & goodwill are usually allowed to owe such big debts….I pray my goodwill account doesn’t run into deficit)

15 seconds later, I was taken aback when he grudgingly opened the gate and allowed me to pass along with my daughters. He even waved my daughters goodbye. Once again, I had benefited from implementing some principles I learnt from Dale Carnegie (How to win friends & influence people) & Herb Cohen (You can negotiate anything). One thing I have learnt over the years is not to talk to people anyway, especially those that seem to be of a lower social status.

Returning to the estate at 8am, there stood a woman with her 2 sons at the same gate arguing with the security man. The woman was calling the security man all sort of names: You must be stupid, you idiot, who gave you the ordasity (hope I’m right with the spelling of that) to embarrass us this way….. She went on and on in insulting the man. The irony of the it was that she’s one of those that owes the largest debt. If I were in her shoes, I would resort to pleading with him as against insulting the gateman while her 2 sons watched the free tuesday morning nollyhood movie.

2 hours later, she was still at the gate. The gateman was bent on not allowing her to pass until she made payment. It was then I was reminded by my subconscious that people like this security man are more powerful than they look. I know the jobs I’ve gotten as a result of befriending people like that. In one scenario, a “door woman” recommended me to her sister in Abuja who happened to be an event planner who happened to be planning the wedding of one of the senators of the House of Assembly. The wedding would turn out to be one of the most interesting I’ve covered till date…..and that coming from the recommendation of someone other people look down on.

According to my branding consultant, this ordinarily shouldn’t be something I should be writing about as it might send a message that connotes that Seun isn’t a BIG BOY after all. The message I want this to send however is for us to be conscious and deliberate about how we treat people of lower economic or social status. Be careful of how you treat or talk to that gateman, househelp, cook, driver or people you think are less important. You’ll be surprised the doors they can open or close for you depending on how you treat them. You’ll be very surprised…
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Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness

MELTED, MOLDED & MADE BY eloPhotos Academy


I wouldn’t mind being called PROUD because I’m simply PROUD of who and what I have become over the past few months. I was a seed planted at eloPhotos for 5 months and now it’s amazing to say I’ve become a blooming & glamorous flower.

I used to wonder how Femi Adewuyi, Micheal Adebiyi, Toye Peters, Kikelomo Koleosho, Ronke Alao (to mention a few) do the magic, until the eloPhotos anointing fell upon me like Peter on the day of Pentecost. Well I think you all should know that not all interns at eloPhotos get this anointing but I am one of the privileged.

Last week I was at Female CEOs Roundtable, a seminar organized alongside an exhibition at Eko Hotels and there I met a friend and colleague whom we started this dream together at DSAP (Daystar skill acquisition programme). She was so surprised to see me as she jumped at me like a fan to a celebrity. She asked how and what I did to get thus far (“far” to her was the fact that I was covering an event at Eko Hotels & Suites) and so she was so convinced I must have stepped up my game.

I was so excited at the way she looked at me like a big deal. I started to blush and smile in happiness as I told her that have been to eloPhotos academy, showing her some of my works on my Phone.

“WOW, this is so amazing”. This was what she kept saying to the point that I was beautifully embarrassed. I asked her what she was up to and she said she had not even decided on what to do yet at the moment. I stopped to wonder if she meant she had been confused for the same 5 months I have used to become what she called AMAZING. It was sad to know, but I was glad I did take a bold step into success.

I would have also been in her shoes if had not taken a wise decision when my dad pushed forward either buying a camera or going for a training. I CHOSE to be at eloPhotos, I CHOSE to wake up 3 am every day of the week, I CHOSE to sweep the editing room, to wash the toilet, I CHOSE to trek miles under a scorching sun within Lagos to get work done, I CHOSE to face the deadly traffic of Lagos for at least 3 hours every day, I CHOSE to stay up at night for night shoots, I CHOSE to keep having Photoshop fever, I CHOSE to work hard, I CHOSE to have sore feet after standing for hours covering events, I CHOSE to stay up editing all night, I CHOSE to always be a part of memory painting, I CHOSE to be MELTED, MOLDED and MADE by eloPhotos Academy. I CHOSE to be who and what I am today.

Who am I, you still may ask? I am Temitope Adeniyan and I am an “AMAZING” Photographer!


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

Photographer of the week 4: Olalekan Okeowo, MADE PHOTOGRAPHY (TRANSCRIPT)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Olalekan Emmanuel Okeowo
MADE Photography, http://www.madefotos.com
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