Life Lessons From Van Damme & Volvo Trucks


By the time you’re through reading this and watching the 77 seconds video embedded within, over 10124 people would have been inspired to be the best at what they do.

It happened on November 16. As I logged unto the University of Internet to get my daily dose of inspirational education, I stumbled upon the 77 seconds video that Volvo Trucks did with Van Damme. I did not hesitate to click on the link and within one minute of watching it, I discovered that the teary gland in my eyes had resumed from their 5 month break; I was in tears.

Now, wait a minute before concluding that this Seun Akisanmi is too teary for your liking. You see, I’ve been on a recent journey to learn and digest as much information as possible that will help me in the pathway of destiny that has been set before me. Hence my reason for ensuring that I’m connected to an internet that will be a platform of continuous education for me. What stood out of the advert and jumped right into my face (hence causing the tears to burst out) was a lesson God had been impressing on my heart lately: the importance of being the best at what you do. Eventually if you’re diligent at harnessing the talents & gifts that has been entrusted into your life (and don’t you dare insult God by saying you don’t have any gifts/talents), eventually you will stand before kings and not mere men. Here was Van Damme, an actor that many of us have associated with martial arts fight scenes in movies in the 90s. What on earth is he doing associating himself with Volvo Trucks?

Apparently, there must have been a marketing meeting at Volvo trucks months ago when someone popped up a question: “Which brand can we associate our brand with that will ultimately help increase the sales of the latest edition of our trucks?” A few names popped up but Van Damme was concluded on for reasons only known to them. Perhaps it was because he happened to be one of the very few celebrity actors that could perform such a stunt. Perhaps because he doesn’t seem to have a notable stain on his image/brand. Either way, I’m sure Volvo Trucks is impressed at the amount of views the advertisement is getting now.

Consequently, I resolved to be consistent at whatever it is I’m doing now that many people might consider irrelevant (albeit they’re very relevant to my distant future). I resolve to keep writing, training and inspiring people to stand out and be the best at whatever they do (not just photography). Eventually, my seemingly tiny steps of dedication and commitment will get the attention and audience of the people/organization that matters. And although I might not be driving fine cars or using the latest photography gadgets now, theses steps of dedication will ultimately lead to me having to choose which company’s ambassadorship proposal I want to go with in 2020. It was almost as if all the years of practicing that particular stunt seems to be paying off for him now.

I was reminded of the poem I recited at a recently concluded Leadership Conference. I had written the poem (Corruption: Not an Option) approximately 9 years ago. I had even recited it about 5 times within the last 9 years. I eventually gave up on poetry because I felt it wasn’t bringing food to the table of my family of 4. After the recitation I did on November 6, I got a call from a gentleman who asked for my full name over the phone. He asked to see me in person and when I eventually saw him, I was thanked for being a blessing with the recitation and given an envelope that included a check that will put food on my family’s table for 6 months. YES, 6 months feeding allowance. In my heart I fainted when I saw the figure. I almost thought there must be a mistake somewhere. I was getting rewarded for a 5 minute poetry recitation (that took me 2 weeks to compose in October 2004) with an amount greater than what some wedding clients will pay eloPhotos for their wedding photography. I was shocked. I was in tears. And I was inspired to utilize to the greatest heights all the talents that has been entrusted within me.

And that is why I cried when I saw the Volvo Trucks commercial. I’ve watched it over 10 times in the last 3 days and each time, it moves me to inspirational tears. I will be the best at what I do. I will not just walk past on the sandy path of life, I will make a mark. I will not just be a photographer, father, friend, cinematographer, poet or son….I WILL ADD the word “INSPIRATIONAL” to all those roles. Enough of my babbling. Watch the video.

 

92 Days of Adventure in Photography


My attached love for photography dates back to as far as I can remember. Way back after my secondary school days, I have always formed the habit of taking pictures with any mobile camera phone at my disposal and also I am a big fan of admiring quality pictures taken by phonographers as well as professional photographers. I still could remember vividly how I enjoyed staring with amazement at nature’s photographs just to admire the superbly landscaped hills, the majestic mountains, the vast forest of tropical vegetation, the crystal clear water of natural springs and even the reflection of the setting sun on lakes, rivers and seas. I would always say “Nature is so beautiful”. I still can’t forget how I loved viewing different event album pictures just to get a feel of moments captured.
An eye opener into the creative world of professional photography was sparked up after what I considered an amazing two weeks of intensive training during the Set 11 photography class I had at the Daystar Skill Acquisition Program (D-SAP). It happened to be a training that was well facilitated by a man I strongly respect and nurse as a mentor “Mr. Seun Akisanmi“. He made me realize that being a photographer goes beyond what most of us think. He said that it is a career for the professional that requires one to be technically grounded with knowledge of the art and science of photography and most importantly you must have the ability to manage effectively the business aspect of it. D-SAP became the platform that ushered me into my present journey of photography.
After D-SAP, I realize that photography goes just beyond clicking the shutter button of a camera or printing a 5 by 7 picture for guests at an event for as low as $1. It definitely goes beyond all that. Hence, I concluded that there was need for me to acquire more knowledge, skills and training on how to master the technicalities of using the digital camera, on how to create amazing composition, on how to edit pictures, design and produce albums and learn how best I can run a profitable photography outfit. After accessing the available photography outfits where I could possibly run an internship with, I decided on eloPhotos Studios. For me, it was an ideal place to achieve all that I have set out to do.
On August 1st 2013, I commenced a six months internship program at eloPhotos. Prior to this date, I had a meeting with Mr Seun Akisanmi who briefed me on what to expect and what will be expected of me as an intern. Honestly, his conditions were quite demanding as it will warrant me coming to work every working days of the week with Saturday and Sunday also included whenever there is an event to cover.  I remember saying to myself that “boy this training no go easy o“. Anyway, being so focused on what I wanted to achieve, I was determined to go ahead and so I accepted the conditions with the mind that it will surely require my full commitment and dedication.
During the last 92 days as an intern at eloPhotos, I have been so privileged to have undergone so many training programs that has greatly help me sharpen my skills and knowledge about photography. The famous and most recent of them I so much treasured was the workshop tagged “WHATEVERITTAKES” held at Warri, Delta State. I have also had the opportunity of covering different events along side with my colleagues. So far at eloPhotos, I have been greatly exposed to the challenging aspect of the business of photography in key areas like pricing, financial management, customer relation, interpersonal relationship, negotiation, agreement and marketing on social media and website. Editing pictures and designing album spread was once a mystery to me but not anymore as I have been well-trained by my highly esteemed colleagues at eloPhotos. It will amaze you to know that  I was also taught practically how to make a photobook album.
Honestly, the last three months at eloPhotos has been so remarkable and worthwhile. One unique thing about eloPhotos is that everyone keeps learning everyday because we believe that in this challenging profession only creative minds can effectively stand out and keep up with the pace of this fast-moving train called photography. Conclusively, when I look back at my last 92 days, I realize that I am a better photographer than I previously was.
I think I have come to the end of my writing ability for this week so until next time, remember I’m Onodje Oshevwiyore and I am so so proud to be a PHOTOGRAPHER.

Don’t Quit Until You’ve Tried 17 TIMES


Yam in a market

Yam in a market (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

So it happened that I finally got fed up of the rice and beans breakfast I had been having in the office for the past 3 months. On the morning of September 13, I asked my colleague to help me get yam and plantain so my stomach could experience a difference in atmospheric conditions.

 

He returned 10 minutes later and declared that no one was selling yam in the area. Apparently he had suffered a temporary amnesia else he would have remembered that you don’t report back on an assignment without results; you should always do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get it done. So it was that after allowing him to return my bowl to the store room in the office, I went to get the same bowl and secretly headed out of the office to seek for my loved & lost yam.

 

The first place I stopped by happened to be one of the hottest food selling joints in Agidingbi. They were so much in demand that even though the attendants shout and scream at the hungry clients, the clients still keep coming back often with an apology for making “Mama Put” angry. The attendant told me categorically that there was no restaurant in the area that sells yam. Apparently the attendant must have descended from the same lineage as my colleague that I sent to help me acquire the asset earlier; they seemed to be speaking the same language.

 

40 minutes and 14 mini-restaurants later, I became frustrated that I could not find one canteen that sold yam. Perhaps what my colleague said was true. Perhaps no one was indeed selling yam in the area that morning. Perhaps this was an opportunity in disguise for me to start a yam-selling business and call it “eloYam Canteen” with the slogan “Delivering HOT YAM, YOUR WAY” (or something like that). Perhaps my belief in the phrase “Nothing is Impossible” was overrated.

 

I decided not to give up. How will that make me look in front of my compatriots. That I do not practice what I preach. That going the extra mile will give you results beyond the average mind. I wasn’t about to give up.

 

Approaching the 16th canteen, it would seem that all hope was lost. The canteen had finished selling all the food they had and they were busy washing the plates. It was just 10:20am. Maybe I should just settle for rice and stew since that’s what is available everywhere. Afterall, it wasn’t as if I saw it in a vision that if I don’t eat yam and plantain that morning, the wife of my youth will run away with my 2 princesses to marry Bill Gates teenage son.

 

But I reluctantly decided to try one more time. It was then I noticed another “undercover” canteen just 2 buildings from where I was standing. I had passed that building over 10 times in the last year and did not know that it housed a canteen. I asked the woman washing plates outside if they had yam. “Go inside and buy it” was her response and I was almost doubting she heard me correctly. I thought no one sold yam in the entire area. I asked her again and she blurted “Go INSIDE”.

 

Entering through the doorway that was only wide enough to allow one slim person enter per time, I met a crowd of about 8 people waiting to get their portion of dream food. After waiting for about 2 minutes, I decided I did not want to waste my time to queue up for 15 minutes only to discover they didn’t sell yam. So I just shouted to the women selling the food “Is there Yam?” A mixture of doubt, surprise, fulfillment and happiness enveloped my soul when she replied in the affirmative. Finally I FOUND YAM. Finally YAM FOUND ME.

 

You should have seen my facial expression when the attendant opened the pot of boiled yam and began serving me my portion of destiny-fulfilling yams. I was elated. So elated that I decided to spend the entire N180 I brought to give myself a yam and plantain treat (normally, I wouldn’t have spent more than N100). Funny enough, if the person in front of me had ordered N200 worth of yam, the canteen would have run out of yam to sell consequently making me to relocate to my yam-filled village of Abeokuta. Thank God there was still yam for my soul.

 

Getting back to the office, I narrated my ordeal in search of the long lost yam. It seemed quite weird to some of my colleagues but I think the message was successfully passed across: DON’T TELL ME SOMETHING IS IMPOSSIBLE or UNACHIEVABLE. Infact, if anyone working with or for me strongly believes that its not possible for them to do what I ask of them, that might be the last time we work together.

 

I’ve learnt in my few years of experimenting as an entrepreneur that whatever you put your mind to do or achieve will come to pass if you’re persistent and especially if God is working with you. So except it is the JAMB exams you’ve unsuccessfully passed in the last 16 years, never give up at trying until you’ve tried 17 TIMES. That’s my new motto. That’s my renewed way of thinking.

 

Anyone up for some yam?

 

The FUN, The WEIRD & The RIDICULOUS


My week officially started on Tuesday. No, I didn’t skip work on Monday but as I stood in line at Silverbird Cinemas for ‘free’ popcorn and drink; the sweet aroma of the corn filtering through my nostrils and enveloping my sinuses, I felt like my week had just started.

The trip to the movies was sponsored by eloPhotos as a treat/field trip of some sorts. There’s something about seeing great movies that sharpens one’s artistic mind.

Not too long after arriving at the movies, I saw about five photography colleagues that had come to see the same movie I came to see, Elysium. I thought that was interesting. Perhaps we photographers should speak to the management of Silverbird Cinemas and see if we can strike a deal, where photographers enjoy a movie discount.

While still waiting to get my free snack, I suddenly heard a voice behind me saying, “…you could go in and see the movie for ten minutes, then come back out and the popcorn line wouldn’t be so long anymore”. I didn’t have to turn to recognize the voice; it was my boss. I couldn’t believe Mr Seun was back at the Cinema to see the same movie for the third time! I had left him and the rest of the team at the office since they all had seen the movie. No one knew Mr Seun had plans to ‘sneak’ out of the office to see the movie again.

I finally got my popcorn and fanta then found the cinema room. The movie ran for a little less than two hours and in one word, I would simply describe it as AWESOME. In case you haven’t seen it, I do not want to spoil the fun for you so I won’t give you the gist. GO SEE IT.

Tuesday ended on an interesting note. My alternate cellphone got lost in a bus and I didn’t realize it till I got home. I tried appealing to the good nature of whoever picked it by sending text messages; since he/ she wouldn’t pick my call. It didn’t work.

The next day came along and I lost an earring. Perhaps I am having my things walk away from me, one at a time. The day’s highlight was having Maximus of Phaneross Photography come and speak to eloPhotos interns on the topic, “Improving Your Photography”. It was an insightful 3-hours lecture.

As if the week had not been strange enough for me, Wednesday afternoon had to have it’s own element of weirdness. I boarded a bus headed for Ikorodu from Ojota. Just before we got to Ikorodu, I found that almost everyone in the bus was talking about some guy, a muslim cleric, who died years ago. They said he recently made an ‘appearance’ on the wall of a mosque at Owode area. His image was said to have appeared on a wall. People were reported to have taken pictures of this wonder and were now selling 5 X 7″ photo prints in traffic. Strange story or biggest scam of the year? You decide.

Lagos being the crazy city it is, I never run out of amazing things to see everyday. Things such as a man holding the cab door open for a lady to enter first. This happened on Thursday. I was taken aback, surprised to see this guy who didn’t know me, open the door for me. This may seem ordinary to you but after a week of seeing even pregnant ladies been pushed off by desperate passengers hoping to get in a bus, seeing a gentleman was very refreshing.

Thursday turned out to be a busy day. We had an event-Dieko and Tunbosun’s engagement- to cover. I headed to the groom’s hotel room to take shots of him while my colleague covered the bride. The groom was quite camera-shy but after chatting with him and doing my best to make him relax, he got comfortable with having his pictures taken.

The event was fun to cover and will stand out in my mind as the first event where I was served food. If I had any doubts in my mind about wedding photography been physically challenging, those doubts got cleared on Friday morning. I woke up wondering what hit me. I became very aware of muscles I never knew I had. My leg felt like it had 50 kg weights strapped to it.

On Friday, we had what you could call a strategy meeting. Mr Seun Akisanmi met with the interns and discussed what we learnt at the previous day’s event and what we could do better subsequently; especially on saturday for the church wedding and reception.

On my way home on Friday, I met a former school colleague at Ojota and we got talking. We both graduated from the same faculty. He asked if I worked close by. I was dressed very casually but looked smart. I proudly told him, “I am now a photographer and work at Ikeja”. I think I impressed myself with the confidence with which I said it. It felt good.

It was a week full of fun, weird happenings and ridiculous stuff but I am glad it is over.

My name is Ronke Alao & I am proud to be a female photographer.

 

How Much Is Your Hour Worth?


So I was having a telephone “consultation” session with one of my photography colleagues the other day. After I was through giving her my opinion of what she requested for, I asked her a question that momentarily popped into the gray matter within my skull: “How much do you think an hour with Seun Akisanmi is worth?” Her response was. more surprisingly spontaneous than the question itself. “$750 per hour,” she blurted out. Wow, I didn’t even know I was worth that much in consultation fees.

I explained to her that I was considering putting a fee on the telephone consultations I provide my “clients” because I’ve been spending an increasing amount of time on “telephone consultations”. Yes, I’m beginning to like money more than you’ll expect. It is because I’m beginning to believe it has potentials to solve some of the challenges I’m going though (like not owning a BMW 540i or a BlackBerry Q10). I believe if I don’t convert my most valuable resource (i.e.TIME) into money, I’ll probably end up realizing I’m running a non-profit organization and my wife and kids might probably leave me for not taking care of them. Hope you get my drift.

Don’t get scared now, I personally don’t think charging $750 per hour will bring an overflow of paying clients now. Besides I’m still reviewing it. Its one of the things I admire about one of my UK-based photography mentors. The guy charges between €100 & €250 for a few hours of talking to him on the phone. Ofcourse it seems ridiculous to people who have been used to getting “free” advice and education but he’s getting enough clients that sign up for his service and everyone is happy at the end of the day.

It is to this end I have reviewed how I spend my working hours. I suggest you do the same also else you’ll realize that one week of your life has gone without you being able to lay hands on what you’ve “achieved”. The following are 2 policies I’m adopting with immediate effect and I’ll be grateful if everyone can work with me on this.

First, I’ll appreciate if a prior appointment is made before dropping by to see me. I feel its a little disrespectful for someone to just stop by someone’s office without informing the person in advance. And when I mean advance notice, I’m not referring to calling 1 hour before coming; I’ll prefer if one can book 1-3 days in advance. Its so that I can achiever more with the time I have in a day. I just hope I won’t be misinterpreted on this issue.

Secondly, I’ll appreciate anyone that comes to our organization to help us be more productive by waiting at the reception. Sometimes its been a little difficult for new interns to ask people that know me well to stay at the reception until they’re attended to. Heck, sometimes its even hard for me to say. However, friends’ presence in our editing room and/or studio sometimes inhibits our efficiency because we end up discussing issues that will make a 1-minute Photoshop work last for 10 minutes.

Please don’t be offended. There is so much on my table now that requires me to be a better manager. Don’t worry, I haven’t started charging for telephone consultations yet. You can always add me up on BlackBerry (PIN: 271E3BC8) or send me an email at info@elophotos.com if you need to reach me.

I challenge you to ask yourself the same question I asked myself recently: HOW MUCH IS MY HOUR WORTH? Then proceed to make those difficult adjustments that will make you proud to be considered a world-class photopreneur.

Your Photography Coach,
Oluwaseun Akisanmi

The SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHER


“You are too serious”
“Try to smile always”

I get these comments a lot; even my boss and colleagues tell me the same. It’s not like I’m a rigid person but I guess I just find it somewhat funny to smile when I am not amused. I heeded their advice & I’m all smiles now. As I am writing, sorry, typing this article, I am smiling knowing this will be my first write-up that will make it to eloPhotos website. 🙂

Monday morning and Lagos traffic are best friends made in heaven. As if I had not been through enough stress, I got to Agege and discovered that the Acme ‘keke’ park had been demolished. I felt lost because that was the only place I knew to get transport to Acme except of course the dreaded ‘okada’. So I seized the only available option, walking.

Fortunately for me, when I got to Pen-Cinema roundabout, I got a ‘keke guy’ who was kind enough to drive me back to their new park. I had to join the queue too; apparently there were others waiting in-line before I got there.

Our devotion that morning was excellent, thanks to Ronke for that. She read from Colossians 3vs23-24, ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people…’. A lot of us do what we do half-heartedly. That’s why a customer care representative will talk to a client snobbishly. It’s why a photographer will not package a client’s job well; giving the excuse he was not paid well while forgetting he was paid what he asked for. Always remember it’s between you and God.

Tuesday was supposed to be just a regular day, until Mr Seun Akisanmi fixed an appointment for me with Matt Damon. I was to see ELYSIUM with a colleague, (yeah! yeah!!! I was at the cinema). All work and no play makes Tayo a serious photographer. Before I go on about the movie, Tuesday is always a good day to see a movie at Silverbird Cinemas (Ikeja) because the ticket comes with free popcorn and drink.

I have known Matt Damon since ‘the Bourne series’ and it feels like I know him personally. Seeing him on the trailer of Elysium, I was hoping he won’t fall short of my expectation. The movie was so amazing that I couldn’t pick out any low point or so I thought. The Elysium is a luxurious space habitat; home to the very wealthy which separates them from the poor who lived on an overpopulated, devastated Earth. It cuts across themes such as love, health care, immigration and class issues which to me are some of the issues we have in Nigeria. I really wish I could see the movie again though.

Wednesday was one of those fast days, more like the way lenses work; it zooms in on you and almost immediately zooms out too. Fast as it may be, my photographic spirit still ministered to me to do a shoot on, ‘A Graduate’s Reality’.

Knock! Knock!! Special Thursday, reporting for duty sir. I refer to it as a special Thursday because not every day do you get to shoot Mr Seun Akisanmi. Like every photographer, I think he likes being behind the camera. He was my model for the ‘Graduate’s Reality’ shoot and he
played the depressed graduate part well. The pictures attached within proves it all.

We started the shoot with my camera acting up and Ronke thinking I was nervous because I was shooting our boss. It was fun. We came up with different concepts and Mr Seun got to shoot his own crazy idea too.

Friday was one those errand days. I had to pick up NiPHEC certificates at Duduprintz, and also buy some stationery at Ikeja.

I am Babalola Michael Tayo and I am no longer a SERIOUS photographer.

wpid-Graduate-Reality2.jpg
image
image

A Photographer’s Greatest ASPIRATION


Have you ever asked yourself what your ultimate goal is as a photographer? Where will all these picture-taking skill get you at the end of the day? What will make you fulfilled the most as a photographer? What will put a lasting smile on your face at the end of your photography career?

These are questions I believe every full time professional photographer should ask perhaps before proceeding further in this increasingly growing “okada” business. Perhaps if the answer is clearly known to oneself and written out on a plain sheet, then we would have a clearer idea on the pathway to take to reach the desired destination.

Is your end game as a photographer to buy the 2013 BMW 540i series (like some photographers I know of)?. Or is it to buy a 6-bedroom Duplex on Banana Island? Or perhaps to own an apartment in Donald Trump Towers? Or will you be fulfilled using the photography riches you get in 25 years time to build an estate for the homeless? Or will fulfillment come in the form of being the first photography professor in the University of your dreams?

As long as you have a clear goal, I don’t believe these aspirations are necessarily wrong. The important thing is to have an ultimate goal at the back of your mind. Perhaps it will give you renewed energy and focus on your journey to the land of Photography Destiny. Perhaps it will make you be a better manager of the resources entrusted to you at the moment. Perhaps it will make you realize how much more important you need to build a solid foundation in this increasingly growing & challenging profession. Being prepared is key here. The amount of time it took to build the foundation of the World Trade Centre is not the same time it took to build the 3-floored building where you leave (unless maybe your building is the White House).

As for my ultimate aspirations. My ultimate goal on earth is to have made a foundational and institutional impact in the lives of at least 10,000 photographers thereby helping to take photography as a career to the same enviable position where law & medicine are placed.

My ultimate heavenly aspiration is to be the official photographer that will cover the wedding ceremony that will witness the unification of the church to Jesus Christ. Its the grandest of all wedding that will ever take place (in eternity and in time) and I will be there as the OFFICIAL Photographer to document it. I do not know the camera I’ll use or the amount of albums my Lord will order but I will be there for the coverage. That is my GREATEST ASPIRATION.

My name is Seun Akisanmi and I’m proud to be a PHOTOGRAPHER that will fulfill destiny.

What is your greatest aspiration?

Beyond A Photographer’s Viewfinder


My name is ONOS and here’s my photographic view of my first few days as an intern at eloPhotos Studios.

The week started on a different note with the Monday morning devotion back in place. It was a time where we fellowshipped with one another and committed the activities of the new week into God’s hands. It started with a few worship songs by Mr. Tayo Babalola and thereafter a brief exhortation was given by Mr. Seun Akisanmi. He talked about the power of the tongue as he emphasized on the need for us to be watchful of what we say to others as it will go a long way.

At about 9am, training commenced with intensive lectures on composition in photography by Mr. Samuel and Mr. Afolabi. Both facilitators made me to understand better that beyond a photographer’s viewfinder is the art of composition which is placing or arranging visual elements or ingredients in a work of art. Mr. Afolabi talked extensively on the famous Rule of Thirds that basically has to do with the photographer placing the subject off the centre of the frame. The rule of perspective, 70-30, 80-20, and 50-50, were also discussed in detail.

Mr. Samuel went further to say that good or correct composition is impossible to define precisely and there are no hard and fast rule to follow that ensures good composition in every photograph. According to him, there are only principles and elements that provide a means of achieving pleasing composition when applied properly. Some of these principles and elements he made mention of are balance, shape and lines, pattern, texture, tone, contrast, framing, foreground, background, lighting, volume, simplicity, subject placement, center of interest and the viewpoint/camera angle.

The facilitators expantiated on the art of composition, types of photography, and the forms of photographing on Tuesday and Wednesday. According to Mr Samuel the forms of photographing has to do with portraits and landscape. Some of the types of photography he mentioned and discussed were fashion, travel, event/concept, wedding, advertising/product, food, underwater, sport, war, aerial, documentary/street, portraiture, landscape/nature, wildlife, architectural, and lifestyle photography.

On Wednesday, Mr. Afolabi of 4labi 4tos and Mr. Adebayo of Twelve 05 photography talked explicitly on documentary/street and product/food photography respectively.

Training on Thursday happened to be very insightful as the pricing and business aspect of photography were treated in-depth by the lead facilitator Mr. Samuel. He advised us as upcoming photographers to never be too quick to give a price to a client over the phone. He said we should try to calculate all the cost involved. Cost that will be involved includes transportation, printing, producing album book, framing, camera/equipment rental, accommodation, design of album, creative fee, refreshment, and cost of going with an assistant and all these should all be considered during the calculations.

He went further to say that it is fair to charge 5% of the cost of your camera/equipment as an equipment rental fee. He also said that in calculating profit you either markup which has to do with using a multiplying factor or you use a percentage on your cost as profit. A client’s bill is the addition of the cost plus the profit.

On Friday, training sessions continued with Mr. Samuel lecturing on light and the use of studio lighting gadgets. Series of practice sessions were done inside the studio and later outside the premises with the use reflectors to bring in more light to a subject. The day ended with a studio shoot session that involved two models, a makeup artist and a hair stylist where I assisted in holding the reflector and adjusting the main and fill light.

Finally during the cause of the shoot, I noticed that the models had their preferred sides which they loved to be photographed. The makeup and hair style done on the models helped to enhance their looks and make their beauty quite flattering. I also found out from my colleagues that photographing models may not be lucrative as compared to shooting weddings. However, models are certainly the most easy and beautiful clients to shoot and will most likely be repeat customers year after year when they need to build up their portfolio.

My name is Onos & I’m proud to be a PHOTOGRAPHER.

Tunbosun & Dieko’s Pre-Wedding Session


I was privileged to document the pre-wedding session of Tunbosun & Dieko last week. Although it was the first time I would shoot such a session at night, it would eventually turn out to be one of my most exciting sessions.

We had been communicating with the couple via email and that faithful Tuesday night will be the 1st time I’ll meet them. Though I had never met Dieko before, he would turn out to be one of those grooms that would make you happy for choosing photography as a career. Coperative, patient and understanding, he was truly a gentleman. No wonder Tunbosun would decide to spend the rest of her life with him.

Regarding Tunbosun, I can’t remember ever meeting someone that was so in love with being photographed. I had only heard of such people but it was a priviledge to meet her. Every photographer’s dream, she would have preferred we shoot till the dawn of the next day.

The 90-minute session will eventually go down memory lane as one of my most fulfilling moments as a photographer, especially after reading the comments Tunbosun sent me after seeing the pictures. Only the joy of having Jesus in my heart can overshadow the joy I felt after the session. I was reminded once again that I had not lost touch in my creative ability to photographically document a memorable moment.

“Sir, we are deeply grateful. We enjoyed every bit of the photo session. I was looking @ the pics, and I didn’t know when I started smiling. Full 32 😀 Thanks very much sir. Am so excited!!! I am laughing. Dieko & I, are in total agreement that you should please use as many photos as you want on facebook and your website. Your work is fantastic and we are happy to promote it.”

With those encouraging words, I earnestly look forward to covering their wedding come September. Attached herein are a few of the pictures. I hope it makes you show your 32 the way Tunbosun showed hers. Enjoy!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
If creative wedding photography is a priority for you, feel free to contact us to book us for your day of celebration.
EMAIL: info@elophotos.com
BB: 271E3BC8
FACEBOOK: http://www.fb.com/elophotos
TWITTER: @elophotos
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

AFTER EARTH: A Photographer’s Perspective


I was privileged to see the movie “After Earth” at Silverbird Cinemas courtesy of my boss. Though I am not a fan of science fiction, I enjoyed the challenge of having to “analyze” the movie and see it not just for its entertainment value, but to see it through the eyes of a photographer. I went with my colleagues and we had one major assignment; to do a write-up on what we learnt from the movie as photographers. Highlighted below are the lessons I learnt.

Life Lessons
• Fear isn’t real; it is only a product of our imagination. Even where danger exists, fear only has as much power and influence as we give it over ourselves.
• When fear is given a chance in our lives, it paralyzes us and causes us to make irrational decisions that may put us in danger and then cause more fear. More like a vicious cycle.
• From time to time, we need to step out of our comfort zone not just to achieve greatness but to avoid living a life of mediocrity bound by fear.
• Experiences from our childhood can either help us be better people but it can also hold us back from living a full life as adults if we do not break-free of beliefs that hold us back or based on any truth. We sometimes need to launch out rather than playing it safe especially as artists.
• Things are not always what they seem. There are always exceptions to what people generally believe. The character played by Will Smith, (I think his name was General Cypher), told his son (Kitai) that everything on earth is inclined towards killing humans but Kitai “found favor” with a large bird who rescued him and kept him warm on a certain night when earth froze up.

Photography Lessons
Apart from the life lessons that I learnt from the movie, I also had moments where I could see certain scenes differently due to my photography background.
Layers: Understanding the concept of layers in photo shop was one that took me quite a while during photo shop class but it immediately came to mind when I saw the virtual screens that the General flipped through to see his son’s location per time. The screens weren’t all images of the same location but to me it looked like slices of f a block and I believe, helped me understand layers more.
Getting/Thinking Out Of The Box : Kata had to get out of the box of safety that he was in and do things he never thought he was capable of doing instead of complying with the “rules”. This is an important lesson as an artist, to step out of the norm, break the rules, do the unfamiliar in order to advance in one’s career
• The movie also had interesting composition in some scenes and use of light.

by Ronke Alao
************************************************
Be one of the first to get notification when new posts are up. Add us on your bb: 271e3bc8 and like our FACEBOOK PAGE
************************************************
Register for a photography course at our ACADEMY. A new session begins August, 2013.
************************************************

 

Photography Boot camp for TEENAGERS


It was day 3 of the largest gathering of photographers in West Africa: NiPHEC 2013. Time check: 7:48am. Sope’s mum drove him to conference venue to attend the seminar “Raising the NEXT GENERATION of photographers” in the rainfall that blessed the city of Lagos.

Sope was the 1st of 23 children around to learn the process of becoming a complete photographer from Afolabi Oloyede of 4labi4tos & Kikelomo Koleosho of Red19 Photography. I was challenged by the passion of this generation of photographers and encouraged by the support of their parents who brought them. The
children where so happy meeting Joe McNally and asked him questions on how they can shoot for a living like he does.

We have received a number of inquiries on giving these children more training and exposure in photography. So we decided to squeeze one into our training schedule for this summer.

SUMMER PHOTOGRAPHY BOOT CAMP FOR TEENAGERS.
The camp will hold for 10 days (9am-3pm daily) and will introduce the children to basic camera operation, exposure & composition principles etc.

Date: AUGUST 12, 2013 – AUGUST 23, 2013 (excluding weekends)
Venue: eloPhotos Academy, 12b fagba crescent, off acme rd, Agidingbi, ikeja.

The tuition for the camp is N75,000 (includes a complimentary Canon A2500 camera for student to take home). Registration closes August 2, 2013

For more details email us at info@elophotos.com or call us on 08023008873, 08101590358 or 08120129149

Together let’s make your child a world class photographer.

For ADULT Sessions, CLICK HERE for more information

Curriculum for SUMMER PHOTOGRAPHY SCHOOL FOR TEENAGERS.

Day 1: Introduction to the world of digital photography

– What is photography
– The history of photography
– The future of photography
– Why photography is a lucrative career

Day 2: Getting started (for digital photography, few things you need)

– Digital Camera (mobile phone, point and shoot, DSLR
– Computer (purposely to edit images with editing software like photoshop, lightroom etc)
– Personalized research via goggle, books and photography materials
– Get a mentor in the field

Day 3: Introducing your digital camera

– Different types of camera and their advantage and shortcoming
(a) Consumer camera (b) Prosumer camera (c) Professional camera
-How does a Digital Camera takes pictures
(a) how the image goes in
(b) how the photo comes out
-What does this button do
(a) Power switch (b) Shutter release
(c) Zoom (d) Manual focus
(e) Memory card port (f) Battery port
(g) Data port and AV (audio and video). ports. (h) Power adapter port
(i) Status display

Day 4: Getting into the menus

– Picture quality (JPEG or RAW)
– Shooting mode
(a) Creative mode – Manual mode, Program mode, Shutter priority mode, Aperture priority mode
(b) Automatic mode – Auto mode,Portrait, landscape, Macro, Sport, Night.
– Flash mode
– Aperture or f-stop
– Shutter speed
– ISO or sensitivity

Day 5: Getting into the menu part 2

– White balance
– Bust mode or single mode
– Focus mode, etc

Day 6: Taking care of your digital camera

Day 7: Composition

– Portrait
– Landscape
– Events

Day 8: Documentary photography

Day 9: How to market your passion and convert it into money

Day 10: Grand finale/Project Implementation

************************************************
Be one of the first to get notification when new posts are up. Add us on your bb: 271e3bc8 and like our Facebook Page

The Controversial Wedding of the Century


Now Picture This. While relaxing in your apartment in ikeja, you receive a call from someone who called himself Segun Lagbaja. He’s calling from London and attempting to book you for his forthcoming wedding in August. He had seen the album you did for a client 2 years earlier and had vowed to use you ever since. After a series of emails sent back and forth between both parties, he settles for your most expensive package for a wedding coverage: a whopping $13000 (N2,100,000).

Like most clients you’ve had in times past, your only chance of meeting the couple before the wedding is when they arrive Lagos 7 days before the union. While still recovering from the shock of finally having someone order for your most expensive package, you receive an alert from your domiciliary bank account: $7000 had just been wired into your account with the balance to be remitted once the couple meet with you shortly before the wedding.

With the funds arriving in your bank account at such a time as this (especially when your account balance is nothing to make you smile about), you proceed to use about $4000 to settle some of your outstanding overhead. You were even close to giving a testimony in church for such a breakthrough job.

Fastforward to 7 days prior to the wedding. Segun just called to inform you he just arrived at the International Airport in Lagos. He seems to be more excited about you covering the event than any client you’ve come across. He informs you that he’ll stop by your office to meet his wedding photographer since your studio is close to the airport. Besides his hotel is situated in Ajah, a 1hr journey from the airport.

“Sola & I will see you shortly”. You could not wait to meet the beautiful bride that won the heart of a groom that values photography enough to invest such an amount. Your waiting is about to end.

Finally, Segun walks in. You easily recognize that it was him with the type of ride he drove. Especially when you looked through your window and saw the luggage in the Toyota Prado he drove into your compound. He’s accompanied by 2 other individuals.
************************************************
Be one of the first to get notification when new posts are up. Add us on your bb: 271e3bc8 and like our facebook page http://www.fb.com/elophotos
************************************************
Register for a photography course at our ACADEMY. A new session begins August, 2013.
************************************************
You exchange greetings and he immediately gets straight to business. “I only have 10 minutes to spare as my aunty is waiting for me to pick her up in Lekki,” he exclaimed. He brings out an envelope and counts $5000 cash to add to the deposit he had already wired. You had never seen so much $100 bills in your presence at any given time (except maybe in the music videos you often watched on tv). You were caught in between emotions than ranged from shock to excitement. ‘This is going to be an awesome wedding’, you thought within.

Your excitement seemed to come to a halt when he introduced you to his bride-to-be. “Meet Sola, my sweetheart”. Apparently Sola was one of the guys with him in the studio. Your shock was evident by the fact that you were unable to utter any words for the next 10 seconds. This will go down as you first ever “same sex” wedding coverage.

At that moment an article you read in Punch Newspapers a few weeks ago came to mind. Apparently the House of Representatives just passed a bill that prohibits same sex marriages. Besides the fact that each of the “partners” will face up to 14 years in jail, any vendor (photographer, decorator, event planner, makeup artist, etc) that is a part of making the wedding a reality will face up to 10 years in prison. However the bill will become law once the President of Nigeria signs and approves it.

Suddenly your heart begins to beat faster. You weren’t sure whether to tell Sola “nice to meet you” or just to keep quiet. Herein lies my questions: Will you still go ahead and cover the wedding especially when you consider the fact that you’ve received over 90% of your photography fee and spent about 30%?

What will you do?

A Photography Internship Without Regret


There is a common saying which says “there is no limit to learning in life; in any place we find ourselves there are always salient lessons hidden that we patiently need to learn if moving to the next level is our utmost desire. Also, it is often said that the very second a man stops learning, he immediately starts his journey to the grave beyond.

Hi everyone, am elated entering the creative writing chamber once again after a few weeks break, not that I just decided to fold my hands,  it’s just that l’ve been occupied with other creative stuffs except writing. As a matter of fact my presence right now is to share in details diverse lessons I have learnt as an intern at eloPhotos which all together has made me a better person & Photographer.

Without much ado, let me delve into these lessons one after the other. Being an intern at eloPhotos has helped me in setting specific goals and working towards achieving them has made me believe strongly that having directional goals go a long way in turning unique dreams into reality even in the face of all odds. Now talking  about goals, I understood that your goal doesn’t have to be an edifice at the onset (am not saying we shouldn’t have lofty dreams), we can as well start from little. Making deliberate plans to achieve daily set goals invariably builds one’s confidence to achieve greater long-term goals.

Also, the business, creative & technical side of photography is something have been exposed to at eloPhotos academy. I have embraced them heartily and it has been a platform for me to build a world-class photography brand. Needless to say I’ve joined eloPhotos  in the cause to changing the shallow mindset of the populace as regards Nigerian Photography.

The next lesson I will like to share on is ATTITUDE which entails right & positive disposition to work and to people, especially one’s colleagues. I realized that one’s disposition to work (i.e. ability to do things appropriately and to carry out assignment with or without supervision) helps in bringing out the best in me. Likewise, our manner of speech, temperament, and approach to people either make or mar our success in life. Human relation is a crucial factor which needs to be developed more than the creative pro-skills.

Being at the right place at the right time, with the right knowledge and tools are essential in making an impact in life. Also, making adequate mental, physical preparation for rare opportunities that seldom comes our way is something that requires conscious effort.  And the more opportunities I tend to have to hold the camera and shoot, the more confidence I gather and this is a universal principle which applies to all. Hence, confidence, a good self esteem and vital photography elements are what you get on platter of gold at the academy.

However, in case you are having difficulties in getting your brand accepted by the masses (out there), it won’t take you forever to learn the right marketing skills to apply to bait your targeted clients. Trust me, it works effectively. Your next challenge will now be timeliness, managing and treating your client right. The bottom line invariably should be your clients which ultimately turn out to be your indirect marketers.

Readers are leaders. At this moment, I would like to buttress two traits simultaneously.  The reading habit and the leadership traits. Howbeit differently they exist, they are neatly interwoven. “You can’t give what you don’t have”. Learning under a gem that exhibits a reading culture as his second nature has intensified my curiosity and broadened my horizon thus making me yearn for more. The academy is the one adequately equipped with a library of books that address key issues in the business arena. The more I make the library my companion, the more I receive an in-depth insight on the subject matter.

Punctuality is the soul of every business. Perhaps you were born with lateness habit and you are considering yourself a CEO in the next few months, you better look for a solution centre to drive that habit far from your reins.  Clients have tagged many photographers as perpetual late-comers which I don’t think is a good testimonial to any brand. To curb this, at eloPhotos academy, cultivating a punctuality habit is one of those traits learnt though not penciled in black and white as part of the module.

Moreover, I have learnt to go about my daily activities with a deep sense of humility, accept constructive criticism with an open mind and treat my colleagues with due respect.

Overall, having my internship at eloPhotos has been a worthwhile experience. An experience that has built and launched my photography career beyond my initial expectation. My cumulative experience can perfectly be liken to a year old baby driving a BMW car based on the amount of knowledge acquired; no doubt “knowledge is power”. It’s been exactly a year down the lane, looking back, I have no regret.

Photographically yours,
Tosin Bakre

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

5 Reasons to Learn Photography at eloPhotos Academy


Find us on Google+

1) We’ve helped to build the foundation of more professional photographers in the last four years than any other training academy. Just ask the following outfits for confirmation: La Royal Photography, Red 19 Photography, 4labi 4tos, Mint Photos, Oleku Photos, Made fotos, Lamzy Photography, Greenshots Photography, Kakadu Photography, Jobi Photos, Freeze Photography, Photography by Maximus, Living Memories Photography, Novo Images, Sazzy E Cre8tive Concepts, Eastward Eden Photography, la Belleza Photography, Nobis Photography & L’enigma Studios.

2) Our seasoned facilitators are good at what they do. Although it’s hard to believe one could learn so much in just 10 days, we go the extra mile to make sure you fully comprehend what is being taught. Let’s just say you’ll end up saving yourself 9 years of stress and failure if you heed to what we teach within 10 days.

3) If after the first day of class you’re completely unsatisfied with what you’ve learnt, we’ll gladly refund your money if you request. We’re just that confident of what we teach.

4) Our emphasis is more on the person behind the camera and not just the camera itself. We believe that a photographer should be so grounded that he can use any camera that comes his way (be it Nikon, Canon, Sony or Olympus).

5) I, Oluwaseun Akisanmi, am one of the best people to have as your friend and mentor in the photography industry. Although I’m yet to win any award in photography, my goal is to raise world-class award-winning photographers. I usually don’t rest until I’m sure I’ve done my best to address whatever question you bring my way. Like a caring father, I will not let go of you until you make it in the industry. I usually don’t brag but that’s one thing I’m known for. Attend our academy and you’ll be our photography friend for life…..except we end up separating due to one party’s character flaw. Either way, you have little to lose.

Go ahead, give us a call on 08120129149 or 08023008873 and let’s help kick-start your photography career.

************************************************
Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
************************************************
For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our Facebook page, add us on your BlackBerry: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

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


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


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

************************************************
Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
************************************************
REGISTER FOR A PHOTOGRAPHY MODULE BEFORE December 28, 2012 and get 50% OFF. CLICK HERE for more information
************************************************
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 Gathering of 201 Nigerian Photographers


REGISTER FOR A PHOTOGRAPHY MODULE BEFORE December 28, 2012 and get 50% OFF. CLICK HERE for more information
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
So we witnessed the largest gathering of Nigerian photographers on August 26, 2012. Attached herein are a few pictures taken at the recently concluded workshop on “Running a Profitable Photography Business”.

Facilitators included Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Yetunde Babaeko, Leke Adenuga, Shola Animashaun, Emmanuel Effiong-Bright, Folake Ojeikere & Ade Plumptre. If you missed this gathering of 201 Nigerian photographers, don’t miss the next workshop slated for November 4, 2012.

The Photography Revolution has begun.
Get a copy of Nigeria’s first photography magazine: PICTURE THIS. Click here for a list of agents near you

 

FINALLY OUT: PICTURE THIS Magazine


REGISTER FOR A PHOTOGRAPHY MODULE AT eloPhotos Academy TODAY. CLICK HERE for more information
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The long-awaited foremost photography magazine for hobbyists & professionals is out: PICTURE THIS.

For N1k it should be available in all major bookstores & magazine/vendors’ stands (in Lagos) within a week. However you can also arrange to get your copy from any of the partners listed below depending on the area that is closest to you.

Feel free to call us on 234-8079243366 or 234-7038244433 if there’s a location not listed herein that you can help out with. Like I mentioned earlier, more bookstores and magazine vendors will be added in a few days. For orders of 5 or more copies, kindly give us a call and we’ll deliver to any address within Lagos State. Feel free to share on your social media network.

———————————-
UNILAG, Akoka. Dolapo 08029494655 bbpin 238388A3

UNILAG, Dept of Mass Comm. Abiola Oladeinde 08025687884 bbpin 296E30C1

SURULERE:
1) Samuel 07038244433 bbpin 21894759
2) Michael 08063482462
3) Tosin 08028629706 bbpin 22CEF99A
4) Lara 08038930888 bbpin 2371B3F2

ABEOKUTA: Damilola 07066490511, 08027636933
bbpin 28B60E72

APAPA/AJEGUNLE: Maximus 08095001309
bbpin 271DF530

EGBEDA: Segun 08137544841 bbpin 294747E1

OGBA: Olusegun 08055591040 bbpin 227D6448

LEKKI/AJAH: Furz 08133215368 bbpin 229DF347

SHANGISHA: Dmayo 08080806882 bbpin 29F26582

BARIGA: Lekan 08035649655 bbpin 2775FEC1

FESTAC/AGO/OKOTA: Shade 08121110627 bbpin 28C98C5C

BERGER: Olamide 08024583984 bbpin 231798AC

AJUWON/AKUTE/IJU/CANAANLAND: Kikelomo 08028599886 bbpin 222C59E3

AKUTE/LAMBE: Favour 08024494106

AKOWONJO/IYANA IPAJA/ EGBEDA: Yemi 08023255066

IKEJA: Godson 08022313820

OGBA: Tosin 08022935383 bbpin 21F62AA8

WARRI,DELTA STATE: Michael 08025378879 bbpin 235A85A1

Mr Bode Adeosun
Business Centre
1,Thomas Laniyan Street,
ANTHONY VILLAGE, Lagos.
08068891515

Mr Bernard Ogbonna
TrippleSkills Communications
3,Thomas Laniyan Street, ANTHONY VILLAGE, Lagos.
08023939189

Lisha’s Books & Stationery Store
1, Alade Lawal Street, ANTHONY VILLAGE, Lagos.
08027563270, 08024228126

Mr. Joseph
QuickShop Supermarket
16, Oyedele Ogunniyi Street,
ANTHONY VILLAGE, Lagos.
08083278508

Mrs. Savini
Books 4 All Stores
28, Olorunlogbon Street,
ANTHONY VILLAGE, Lagos.
08033018080

Miss Blessing
HealthServe Pharmacy
4,Alhaja Oluwakemi street, ANTHONY VILLAGE, Lagos.
08165520994

Happiness alli
Airport hotel, awolowo way, IKEJA
08187665743

Oge
17 kodesho street, opp KFC, IKEJA
07035707027

Orji
44 awolowo way, IKEJA
08038184672

Mrs. Bukola Bolaji – 08033128835, 07023331224
S. Mofenik
9, Ajose Street, Mende-Maryland,
Lagos.

Hope – 08066005770
Branama Kitchen
11, Ajose Street, Mende-Maryland,
Lagos.

Mr. Olufemi A. Taiwo – 08033512502, 08055895167
Yes! Photography
11, Lateef Jakande Road, Agidingbi,
Lagos.

Chinwe – 08033030779
Mr. Kenneth, CEO – 08033079056
Ebili Junior Stores & Supermarket
18, Olorunlogbon Street, Anthony Village, Lagos

The Hub Media Store
Palms Shopping Mall
Lekki, Lagos

Laterna Ventures Limited
13, Oko-Awo Close, Off
Adetokunbo Ademola Street,
Victoria Island,
Lagos State, Nigeria

If you cant find a location near you and would like to be a distributor or sales agent, contact us on 234-8079243366 or 234-7038244433
*********************************************************************
For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos), add us on your bb: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

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


Find us on Google+

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

———————————–
REGISTER FOR A PHOTOGRAPHY MODULE 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

 

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 Photography Gadget Criminal


So I’ve gotten more than a couple of pings and calls in recent times asking me for the best photography equipment to buy.

“Mr Seun, what do you think of the Canon 600D?”
“Mr Seun, should I buy the Nikon D4?”
“I’m thinking of buying a Bowens Gemini light kit”

The list goes on. But what is interesting is that fact that these questions are being asked by photographers that (in my own opinion) have “enough” gadgets to cater for their present photography needs. But NO, they tell me they want to be like me and have 3-8 cameras. Besides, (according to these perpetrators) that’s a good sign that you’ve “arrived” and are doing well in the industry.

The first question that I ask in an attempt to answer their questions is “Why do you think you need this new equipment?” Most of the time the answer I get is not sound business-wise. I understand that it is a good thing to have a backup camera, but that should not be at the expense of your bank account running into a ZERO balance.

And that leads me to the other question: why should you have to empty (or in some cases, BORROW money) your bank account to buy the Nikon D4 just because you want to be like Scott Kelby or Joe Mcnally? It might make sense emotionally but that is not a wise way to run a “profitable” photography business….especially if you’ve not gotten jobs recently and you’re assuming the new equipment will bring jobs…. Yeah right. In that case, I’ll tattoo the American flag on my forehead so I could be granted citizenship of USA.

So here’s my take if at all you’ve analyzed logically (not emotionally) your need for new photography equipment. If you’re planning to invest $6500 to buy a Canon 1Dx, it makes business sense to have an extra $6500 in your bank account after the purchase. If I’m going to buy a BMW Active Hybrid 540i for $60k, it will be foolish of me to proceed with the purchase if I do not have $60k in financial investment or reserves. This is a habit that is that is practiced by the wealthiest people on earth.

So if I feel I really need the BMW 540i that I’ve so much talked about, it will be to my advantage to start thinking of practical business activities that I would be engaged in that will ultimately fetch me $120k. For only then will my wealth extend beyond the gadgets or possessions in my possession.

So before you commit another crime of buying equipment that you probably don’t really NEED yet, think twice and consult the opinion of at least 3 mentors. Enough written.

To learn more about the business success habits of great photographers, plan to attend the forthcoming forum on taking your photography business to the next level. Next session is Sunday August 26, 2012. Facilitators include Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Yetunde (Camara Studios), Leke Adenuga, Shola Animashaun & ………. Be part of the largest gathering of professional photographers in 2012. Your business will not remain the same. More details to come.

Photographically Yours,

Oluwaseun Akisanmi
———————————–
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
———————————–
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


Find us on Google+

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).

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

The Mercedes Benz Client


Find us on Google+

I met him on a sunny afternoon on March 10, the day Wiz Kid made me cry. Although his composure didn’t look like one that could afford our services, I had developed a mindset of not judging a book by its cover. He asked for our complimentary card and I gladly gave him adding that our minimum package for home service family portraits was $625. He said it was ok by him and that he would call us when he was ready.

I would eventually get his promised call 13 days later. He was calling to book a session for April 1. I reminded him what the minimum cost implications was and was a bit surprised when he told me it was expensive. He asked me if I could “reduce” the price for him and I “nicely” told him that I couldn’t. I explained to him that I’m sure he was well aware of the fact that there are photographers that can do the session for him for $200 or less. I reminded him of the quality of the jobs he saw at our exhibition stand 13 days earlier. My persuasion didn’t last for more than 20 seconds and I was surprised when he said “no problem”. I explained to him the importance of me getting his email address so I could send a “mini-agreement” or summary of everything we just discussed. He gave me the address and I sent the following message a few days later:

Hope your family is doing great? Just wanted to confirm Saturday’s session and give u a summary of what to expect. We should be arriving at your place by 10am and will be coming with a makeup artist to help do the makeup of your wife. The session would last about 2-3 hours after which we’ll upload the pictures to a pass-worded folder on http://www.eloclients.com by Tuesday afternoon. We usually prefer a cheque payment of at least N80k to be made at the end of the session. The framed pics will be delivered 1 week after you’ve made your choice of 3 pics of 13by19 frames. 10 edited softcopies of your choice will also be given upon delivery of the frames. We look forward to making you a satisfied client. Kindly confirm if 10am is still ok by you. Thanks

I instantaneously got a call from him telling me that I made a mistake in the message: the session was supposed to be on Sunday not Saturday. You see, I was a little nervous writing a client I had never dealt with before and demanding that he pay me 80% of my minimum package before he even dreams of getting anything delivered. I have had clients in time past who gave all manner of excuses just so they would delay in making a deposit. I was glad this client was going to be different. Or was he? I was about to find out.

April 1 arrived in a jiffy and I was all set to shoot the family. One of our assistants that was supposed to follow us changed plans at the last-minute. Because we had planned to go in his car, we found ourselves running 30 minutes behind schedule because we were looking for a taxi. The client had called to ask us to come by noon because there was a chance he could still be in church. I told him we should be there by 12:30pm and was able to get there 10 minutes earlier than planned.

The house was one of the biggest & FINEST houses I’ve been to in my life. We pressed the bell but got no response. We hit the “armored” gate but knew that it was almost impossible for the inhabitants of the house to hear us. It was blistering hot outside and I called my client over 28 times to let him know we were outside. No response. If this was a prank for April fool’s day, it was working quite alright. My colleagues were already getting tired of this client that had chosen to disrespect the 2 beautiful assistants on this sunny day. We laughed, almost cried and proceeded to buy 8 pure water sachets to hydrate our fast-dehydrating human vessels.

1:29pm. Still no response to the multitude of my calls. I was getting angry. I hate dealing with clients or colleagues that don’t know how to keep to time. Could it be that he had forgotten? For Christ’s sake, he called me the night before to confirm.

Time check: 1:45pm. I asked my colleagues to wait for me while I go look for a taxi to get us back to the office. I couldn’t handle the waiting under the sun anymore. Suddenly my phone rang and our client was on the other end of the line asking if we were at his house yet. He explained that he was held up in a meeting and just finished. He then proceeded to call his wife (who had been at home all this while with the children) to ask her to open the gate for us.

WOW!!!!. That was the 3-letter word that proceeded from my mouth when I entered the compound. I have never met someone who had so many Mercedes-Benz cars. By the way, how many does one really need. According to this client of mine, 4 is a good start. I began trying to estimate the total costs of the cars alone and guessed it wouldn’t be less than $375,000 (about N60million). WOW!!! Just for cars. How much will the house and the contents be worth. It is well with my soul.

E350, G55, GL450 & S550 were the models I saw. Mercedes will probably have him on their list of “Priority” clients. I’m sure they send him birthday cards also. Either way, I was glad to be reminded that the type of clients I love to serve still exist in Lagos, Nigeria.

Enter the house. I immediately discovered that I had made the terrible mistake of not finding out how many children the client had (and their ages). If I had known that I would be dealing with 4 children between the ages of 6 years & 3 months, I would have read more books on children photography. For some reasons, I don’t know why I thought he had just 2 children in their teens. I would soon discover that having 4 children is one of the ways God imbibes the virtue of “Patience” in the life of a parent. It was something else working with the wonderful children: patience was definitely a necessary virtue.

A bigger surprise awaited me when the wife of my client finally came down to meet us in the living room. I was shocked. I would have sworn that she was the daughter of the client I had been chatting with. In her early thirties, she will prove to be one of the most beautiful mother-of-4 I have ever met. She was beautiful. She is beautiful. I guess it is impossible not to have a beautiful wife when you have enough money to be one of Mercedes top customers. Only God knows the type of soap and cream that she uses to get such flawless skin. Perhaps, I would discover the soap when my wealth manifest.

All this while, the husband (the one I had been liaising with all along), was not even at home. He left a message that we should begin the session and that he’ll join us when he arrives. He finally arrived as we were setting up our lights and I would later discover that 4 Mercedes-Benz were not the total number of cars he had

On a serious note, my 2 thumbs are aching me so much that I’ll have to conclude this by 11pm tomorrow evening (i.e. 11pm April 23, 2012)
———————————–
Apparently the car he drove in with was a Range Rover Sport. This gentleman was living life well. The scenario made me wonder how many cars I’ll end up having in 5 years time; I don’t think I’ll have up to 5 though.

I found him to be one of the most humble rich men I had ever met. Sometimes its a little hard describing what “humility” is all about but this man was definitely a humble gentleman. Watching how he talked gently to the wife and scolded wisely the children, I felt like I was in a “Family Affairs” class.

The session started and I had to explain to the couple that it is important they do not scold the children during the entire session of over 2 hours as this will seriously affect the countenance of the children in the pictures. The only thing they should strive to do is to pamper the children as much as possible for the duration of the shoot; punishment for misbehavior can always be given once the shoot is over.

One thing that struck me about this family was the fact that there wasn’t any single picture of any of the family member in sight; this was going to be their first family portrait session. I was surprised. I was humbled.

They changed into 3 different outfits and we moved from the living room to the swimming pool area and we were through by 5pm. After the session, the gentleman offered us some refreshments. I usually refuse to be entertained by clients until I’m done with the shoot because I’m always eager to get the job out of the way; besides I can always “refresh” myself once I leave the client’s place.

I asked him if he’ll like to review the pictures and was surprised at the response he gave. “I do not have the mental capacity at the moment to view the pictures.” Wow. This wasn’t just a client with too much money, this was a client with a lot of grammar. Apparently, the shoot had worn him out and he was being beckoned by the wife to come eat at the dining table.

“What name should I put on the cheque?” I usually like this part of the day. Few minutes later, I was holding in my hands a 6″ by 2″ rectangular paper that had figures written in it with the power to make me SMILE. He seemed to trust me that I would deliver the pictures on my word.

The question I then ask myself was whether this client was worth waiting for under the sun for as long as I did. With that rectangular piece of paper in my hand, you can’t guess wrong what my answer is. This was one scenario where it pays to be patient. It pays to give your client the benefit of a doubt because there might be a good reason why they showed up late or did something that pissed you off. It’s up to you to determine how much you can take but like the Yoruba proverb says “He who is patient will successfully cook a stone.”

The only challenge I have however with this client now is that he refuses to pick my call or reply my texts. I uploaded his pictures to http://www.eloclients.com and have been calling him to let me know the pictures he would have us frame so that we could get it over with. I realize he is a busy man but feel a little guilty that I’ve “eaten” his money without delivering the “goods”. Ok, maybe I’m not guilty. But if you were to put yourself in my shoes, what will you do to get the attention of this Mercedes-Benz client to choose the pictures he wants framed. Help me out.
———————————–
Plan to attend the next session of Basic Course in Photography
———————————–
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 day Wiz Kid made me cry


Find us on Google+

It happened on March 10, 2012. The job that inspired “A good reason to give an 80% discount” was finally happening. It was a family fun fair gathering of parents, teachers & students. At about 12:55pm, the MC (who coincidentally happens to be the president of the Parents Teachers’ Organization) shouted with extreme excitement on the microphone: “Boys & Girls, please welcome a Nigerian celebrity & superstar……WIZ KID”. Suddenly the students started screaming (in excitement) while heading with haste towards the main entrance of the school.

As if each student was bent on being the first to touch Wiz Kid (sometimes, I’m not sure if its spelt WizKid, Wiz Kid, Whiz Kid or Whizkid) you should have seen the desperation in their eyes. What surprised me more was the fact that the parents were even more excited than their children. With the students in the lead, the parents were not too far behind. They were running, screaming, shouting, & laughing SIMULTANEOUSLY. You would have thought Michael Jackson was the celebrity they were about to welcome.

It was at that very moment that my eyes began to leak water. No, my tear glands were not malfunctioning; I was just overwhelmed and SAD. As I watched the crowd hurry to the school entrance, the tears wouldn’t stop flowing. Watching the sea of heads, I was reminded of the inevitable day that my name will be mentioned in a roll call in heaven either by an archAngel or our Lord Jesus. The question that rushed through my big head was this: Will the host of heaven, along with Jesus, celebrate & welcome me with so much excitement and pride? Will Jesus announce to the hearing of all present that “THIS IS MY BELOVED SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED“…. The tears kept rolling because I wasn’t sure of the answer to the question.

My eyes almost met with one of our photographers but I quickly ducked my head. I couldn’t afford to be “seen” crying. Throughout the 20-minute stay of the earthly celebrity (12 minutes of which was used to mime 3 of his songs from his album), the question kept ringing in my head. Regardless of whether or not he collected any compensation for the 12-minute performance, I pondered whether I would be compensated with so much heavenly value for my 33+ years on earth. It got me thinking and I started crying.

God, help me. God of heavens, PLEASE HELP ME.
———————————–
Plan to attend the next session of Basic Course in Photography
———————————–
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