“Google to Start FREE Photography & Makeup Services”


Now imagine you wake up on #Nigeria‘s #Independence day celebrations to discover that #Google just gave Nigerians a birthday present. Imagine they just announced that they’ll be starting, effective #October1, a #photography & makeup service arm of the multi billion dollar company. To make matters worse, imagine that you – the reader of the supposedly-good news – are either a #photographer or a #makeup artists.

HOW WILL THIS ANNOUNCEMENT AFFECT YOUR #BUSINESS?

My goal wasn’t to intentionally deceive you with a blog title that has the #potentials to render thousands of #photographers and #makeupartists #jobless. My goal is to bring to our conscious awareness the fact that it’s becoming paramount the need for us to reinvent everything we know about photography, makeup & business generally. Most of us never undertook any serious level of business education before starting our businesses and it’s affecting us whether or not we acknowledge it. My campaign is for us to have a serious rethink of how we run our artistic businesses.

I know for sure that many of us will be terribly affected if Google decides to launch such services. Their concept of #FREE will cause many of us to either sell our gadgets to survive, or move into other unconquered Google fields so we could barely survive. Imagine they start by #advertising that #passport pictures is for free. Anyone who goes to Google #Photos can get up to 200 free passport photographs yearly. Anyone who goes to any of their branches can have a free #portrait #session and get all their high resolutions softcopies for free. Anyone who visits their makeup saloons will get their first 10 sessions absolutely FREE. Truth is it won’t be funny at all. Many of us will literally cry, complain and declare that the #Antichrist has come in the form of an unmercifully evil company.

This may seem like an extreme example to give but if we don’t rethink everything we know about how to run a photography/makeup business (or any other business)…….. Everything about #pricing, #marketing,#copyrights, #negotiations, customer service, #EVERYTHING…..the end will definitely be upon us.

I’ve had my own share of challenges this year (& still going through some now) and my rethinking process has been the reason why I’ve not been active on some online social media platforms. My rethinking process has even led me to sell a few things many people consider as assets in order to invest in a BIGGER dream process. Trust me selling off our ********** wasn’t funny at all but I believe without doubt there will be results in a few months…. Many of us (myself inclusive) spend too many unproductive hours daily on #Facebook, #WhatsApp, #Twitter, #Instagram begging for people’s approval and attention when all we need to do is to spend time to invest in something so radically different that will make the likes of Ty Bello, President #Obama, Bayo Omoboriowo, Kelechi Amadi Obi or Santa Claus call us for advice. Some of us need to take 1-4 weeks off to restrategize and rethink our processes before the unthinkable & unbearable comes upon us.

Please note that this message is NOT for everyone. I don’t write it as someone professing to know much. It’s just a challenge to a few people who care to take note to invest radically in new #inspirational ways of doing things.

The #books we’re #READING and the friends we’re KEEPING (or #mentors we’re FOLLOWING) will very well be a BIG determinant in how we’ll be #LIVING in 2 -10 years. A word, like they say, is enough for the wise. What will you do if #Google decides to move into your industry and provide the #products & #services you presently provide? Well if you’re travel consultant or tour guide, you might want to unbiasedly analyze how Google’s new baby, #GoogleTrips, will affect your business. Happy Independence day to everyone.

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For those that couldn’t make this year’s Nigeria Photography Expo & Conference (NiPHEC), all he videos have been uploaded to our YouTube channel for you to download. Even if you attended, you might still want to watch it over again at youtube.com/niphec

The Journey to AKONKO


I was already on my way; it was 7:02am on Monday morning and like any other part of Lagos, there was traffic due to the bad state of the road and a myriad of motorists plying it. I had never plied this road before and unlike me I wasn’t interested in looking at the road. There were a few things on my mind at that time that needed quick attention; I had not submitted my weekly assignment and I needed to do so soon plus I wanted to read an editorial in a magazine I just borrowed.

It all started last week Thursday when Mr. Seun asked if I’d like to come along to Akonko; in my mind, while I answered in the positive, I’m like sir are you still asking. I’ve heard an earful of Akonko gist and was longing to see and experience for myself what I’ve heard, of course I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass me by. The trip was actually planned majorly because of an electrical engineer based in the US who was interested in providing this community with electricity to meet their basic electrical needs.

We got to the acclaimed Akonko village and it was just as I had heard- horribly looking school, dirty water to be drunk, no medical care, no mobile network or internet source, no electricity and of course terrible road network. The sight of the only nursery and primary school in the village made me chilly, the environment terrible enough for the children to learn almost nothing. We had to meet with the Baale (traditional leader) of the village so the engineer could make his intentions known; the Baale informed us about the several challenges they went through daily as a community, the most devastating for me was the lack of a medical centre in the village and the journey children took to their secondary school. There isn’t any secondary school in the village so their children had to trek a long distance to school since their parents couldn’t afford a daily transportation fare of about N800, all that ran through my mind at that point was that some children who have better opportunities misuse it and complain over trivial things while these children who have less opportunities value the little they have and go the extra mile to get the most out of it; the irony of life.

The engineer in turn told the Baale of his plans and how he intended executing his plans, the Baale who seemed to be more interested in a Medical centre set-up was still glad about this proposition although he stated clearly that funding was going to be a major hindrance due to the fact that most of the villagers live off their farm produce which isn’t worth much. The meeting ended on the note that the Baale would convey the message to the villagers and get back to the engineer via a middleman.

As soon as the engineer left, the journey began for us – eloPhotos team; the team comprised of Seun Akisanmi, Busayo Alabi, Temitope Adeniyan, Mosope Onanusi and I. First of all, we had an intensive meeting concerning eloPhotos’ now and future (I’m certain Mr. Seun can hold a meeting in the desert if need be) then we had a quick lunch before we moved to the farm. En route the farm Mr. Seun asked that we take as much macro pictures as we can to build our portfolios, thanks to this advice the journey to and fro the farm was not as tiring as it should be.

The trip slated for one night got extended to 2 nights and save for the annoying insects that kept stinging me and the discomfort (wasn’t expecting it to very comfortable anyway), the trip was worth it for me and wasn’t as bad as I envisaged. Thanks to the unadulterated air, fresh vegetables and fruits, it made our stay quite refreshing.
The trip opened my mind to a few things; the people in this village seemed very carefree and happy despite the state they were in. Of course they had worries and it was obvious that they should be worried but the case was in opposition to this fact, in my opinion they lived in a manner that was optimistic, expecting nothing but good. I caught immediately that happiness is not based entirely on your status or the wealth you have, but on the state of your mind; what’s going on in your mind and what are you feeding it with? Positive or negative? God help us all to worry not and be happy.

Enor Izomor is my name and I’m proud to be a photographer.

Here are a few pictures I took in the course of last week
flower macro

praymantis in akonko

spider

Under The SUN or In The Rain


Preparing for the week ahead and knowing well that the week should with the submission of my weekly internship report (a on or before 8:00am Monday morning stuff), I settled to fix this. But I had not gotten the inspiration to write through the weekend. Usually, I start writing Sunday morning and end by afternoon, but alas! Nothing has come to mind, this is serious gbege (trouble) o.

Then, at about 09:00pm, while pondering on what the past week was all about, two lines in the NYSC anthem;”…Under the sun or in the rain, with dedication and selflessness…” dropped on my mind. What could have brought the song to my mind that moment, NYSC anthem! I sang it about ten years ago, and here we are, having the lyrics cropping up fresh at a time like this…. I marveled. The words of the anthem are definitely pointers to Passion, Love and Commitment, this struck me absolutely. I then remembered what transpired in the past week established that these three (Passion, Love and Commitment) majors for Photography as well, even the week ahead poses to be tougher because of the lined up to-do list, something in me feels like a super human.

It was still post-NiPHEC, hands still on deck to make some deliverables; our Zambian speaker was still in town and still has an affiliation, as he hand-picked me as his Personal Assistant, so I had to fix personal things for him, not neglecting my office work which is primary. All these took me to some places, both pleasant and otherwise. Example was Aroloya in Lagos Island where I framed the certificates of Recognition for NiPHEC speakers. Very messy and disgusting, the previous day rain had worsened the situation. There are areas where I had to jump like a squirrel, tiptoe or even close my eyes because of some black water and stuffs around. And guess what, the best selling sector there is the Food market. I suddenly realized innumerable small-scale food canteens all round the place; there is virtually no corner you turn to that you don’t find at least five, and guess what, they had customers even taking turns to be attended to. Very alarming, cooked food in this kind of place! I was just seeing typhoid, dysentery… all around. Their air was not a good one as well, as the whole atmosphere was also full of smoke from Igbo (weed), I was almost holding my breath throughout my walk through the area, until I got to where i carried out my purpose of going to this amazing place (that was my first time).Where I did my framing job, show cased another story entirely. It established the reason why the rich will always be different from the poor; Excellence in Service Delivery and Customer Relations.

Truth be told, it is obvious the rich understands the concept of multiplying wealth, so their service delivery is outstandingly incomparable with that of some low class people. And they see whoever that complains as ‘’customers from hell”. Here is the response I got for ensuring I got a near neat and perfect job; “You are the only troublesome customer we have had in one year”, and I wondered what is wrong with the eyes and brains of other customers they had if the job I turned out from there was ‘trouble’ as one of the attendants voiced out.  I agree that some low class people deliver excellent service, those are the wise finding their way greatness. I wish seminars could be organized for the guys in that market to achieve excellent jobs and more satisfied customers.

”…Under the sun or in the rain, with dedication and selflessness…”, as it resonates, is gradually playing out because I don’t think I can or anyone else can pull through, especially absolutely dependent starters in this photography business, without upholding these lines.

However, despite the present staring challenges, I chose to see the positive and greatness because this is where Mosope belongs.

What is life?


Life is beautiful but not always easy. It has problems too; and the challenge lies in facing them with courage, letting the beauty of life act like a balm, which makes the pain bearable during trying times, by providing hope. Happiness and sorrow, victory and defeat, day and night are the
two sides of a coin. Similarly, life is full of moments of joy, pleasure, success and comfort punctuated by misery, defeat, failures and problems. There is no human being on earth; strong, powerful, wise or rich, who has not experienced struggle, suffering or failure.

No doubt, life is beautiful and every moment is a celebration of being alive, but one should be always ready to face adversity and challenges. A person who has not encountered difficulties in life can never achieve success. Difficulties test the courage, patience, perseverance and true character of a human being. Adversity and hardships make a person strong and ready to face the challenges of life with equanimity. There is no doubt that there can be no gain without pain. It is only when one toils and sweats it out that success is nourished and sustained. This reminds me of what Uche James Iroha said, “Money is a graduation of sweat”. Thus, life is not and should not be just a bed of roses; (anyways I really need to sleep on that bed of roses though). Thorns are also a part of it and should be accepted by us just as we accept the beautiful side of life. I came to learn many things from last week activities at the highly esteemed eloPhotos Academy, from discussions, classes and task assigned to me. The thorns remind one of how success and happiness can be evasive and thus not to feel disappointed and disheartened rather remember that the pain of thorns is short-lived, and the beauty of life would soon overcome the prick of thorns. This is the joy I have in heart, that as an intern I will be faced with challenges even from fellow students and the world at large but the ability to endure and conquer it is what makes the best in me glow. Those who are under the impression that life is a bed of roses are disillusioned and soon will become victims of depression and frustration.

One who faces difficulties with courage and accepts success without letting it go to its head is the one who experience real happiness, contentment and peace in life. Those who think that good times last forever easily succumb to pressure during difficulties. They do not put in required hard work and efforts because they break down easily. You can take the example of a student, who burns the mid night oil, makes sacrifices and resists temptations so that he can perform well. Similarly, a successful executive has to face the ups and downs of life, not forgetting that life is a mix of success and failure, joy and sorrow, if he loses hope during difficult times, he would not achieve success and would be replaced by others. Even the strongest Kings and Emperors have had their cup of woes. Life has not been a bed of roses for them.

The adage “Uneasy lays the head that wears the crown” has been rightly used for people, who are successful and are enjoying power and authority. To sum up, life is beautiful just as roses but it has challenges which are like thorns and have to be faced and overcome by all. Those who accept these challenges and succeed are the ones, who know how to live life in its true sense. Thus, enjoy life but also be prepared to bear the pricks of pain before getting to the top. One of the most captivating moment of my life last week was the insight I got from a book I read on photography titled THE SECRET OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY.

To end with, I would use the words of my mentor which goes thus, “how much money do you want to make in photography in the next five years?” Some of the answers from my classmates amuses me because when I think to myself

“Does this person have what it takes to rack in this amount of money in the next five years?”

Sad enough, the answer is NO!

So I say this word, NOTHING WORKS ACCORDING TO PLAN IF THERE’S NO PLAN.

I am King Lemuel and I am a photographer.

ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET GO – My first day at school


SUNDAY, 5TH JULY 2015. 9:37 pm

I had just finished a chaper of Don Soderquist’s The Walmart way – The inspiring story of one of the world’s biggest (or biggest if I’m not mistaken) retail store and more than ever I felt so inspired to be a part of the eloPhotos experience (My internship programme) and give whatever it takes to be at the top of my game at school which had been scheduled to kick off the next day!

Still sunk in memories of the book, I began to pen a few things in my jotter which would form the basis of what I planned to achieve during my stay at eloPhotos! As much as I was eagerly passionate about it, I was worried! Well, not until I remembered God’s word for me in 1 Peter 5:7 encouraging me to cast all my cares on Him.

I concluded to myself that I was going to take things as they come and give my best at everything I would lay my hands upon. I tried reading… couldn’t just concentrate as many images and ideas bugged me real hard… The last time I had this experience was probably when I was to resume senior secondary school which was my first boarding school experience. No doubt, the next day was gonna be the beginning of a life changing encounter. I just couldn’t wait for it!

MONDAY, 4TH JULY 2015. 4:20 AM

Waking up very early in the morning wasn’t quite of an issue; having to hand over everything to God simply does the trick for me. With my mind set on the goal – not getting to school late, I did every single thing with respect to time. Don’t ask me why I didn’t want to get to school late. If you’ve done your assignment well, *Lol you’d know by now that Mr. Seun hates late coming with a passion. Sometimes I wonder whether he had once had a terrible experience with late coming. I had waited for this moment all my life and here it was. In no time, I was ready to go to school and for me, I was beginning to “smell” fulfilment even though for me it was still miles away.

Anyone who had seen me going to the park would have thought I was almost late for a flight. All that occupied my mind was the experience that was about to begin.

Fast forward to when I alighted at First gate bus stop (The bus stop just few meters away from eloPhotos). Walking, jogging, running, sincerely I don’t know what I was doing. At that moment, I felt like Paul in Philippians 3:14 “pressing on towards the goal”.

“Akin!!!” (My surname is Akindele, hence the use of Akin as the call in this story) My heart skipped a beat. I would recognize Mr. Seun’s voice even in the deepest of oceans. I had heard that voice over and over again even in my dreams. Come to think of it, I think I had a dream the night before about Mr. Seun. Now I can’t even properly recollect. I took a walk back to meet him and his first daughter (the famous Anuoluwapo). The details of our conversation, I won’t reveal. Now before you think anything, it was just one of the normal teacher – student instructions oh and nothing more!

Monday, 4th JULY 2015. 8:00 am

I heard voices singing and for a second I thought of the angels singing Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord. In a few minutes I knew it was the morning devotion I had read about for so many months now. I joined them in worshipping and it reminded me of the quiet time I had some hours earlier in the day. It’s quite funny how my brain works; how that virtually everything reminds me of something else. I believe I’m weird; quite strange and unusual. I enjoyed every single moment of the worship. It was led by a colleague I later got to know is named Tunde. Then, the moment of truth was here when we had to sit and hear our boss of life (Mr. Seun Akisanmi) talk to us. Just before you think of another thing it reminded me of, just let me continue my story. My mind went places again. As we laughed and laughed, I almost imagined how interesting it would have been for the 12 disciples listening to Jesus sitting in rounds. He wasn’t Jesus but for real, we were and still are his disciples! Over time, I have discovered that I never get bored listening to Mr. Seun. I always love looking into his eyes as he talks. It has formed a great inspiration for me personally. I was almost thinking of just remaining in eloPhotos for a life time. I felt quite strange in the midst of these guys; it was my first time and I was unfamiliar with anyone except of course the one and only Mr. Seun. Mr. Seun had to introduce me to the whole class as the newest intern and I had to join everyone in narrating how the previous week had gone. This for me, helped my accountability life. I now knew that apart from God, there still is someone I need to report myself to every week.

Oh no, don’t tell me I forgot to tell you this, just during the introduction, Mr. Seun dropped the shocker; Anuoluwapo, his first daughter had told him that I looked like a secondary school student! Strange right, well I guess that was a pointer to the fact that I needed to… no. I’d just be myself. I wished I had given her the little gift in my bag though.

After the disciple experience, we had quite a short time to “flex” just before our class began. The class was taken by Mr. Toye Peters and we had a great time, I must confess. I wished this experience would just continue – for us to listen to photography gist on and on and on. Oh…did I tell you I saw the spectacular Miss kike. She was also around for our devotion even though she wasn’t FULLY with us. Every day I get an opportunity to take a close look at her, I’m always awed ‘cuz to me, nothing is special about her o – just small, light complexioned and all but she has such a big brain, big heart and tack sharp images *Lol (I learnt that also from http://www.elophotos.com). Of a truth, as a lady, she inspires me. She makes me just want to go the extra mile in photography. By the way, her full name is Kikelomo Koleosho and the name of her outfit is Red 19 photography (I bet that rings a bell).

So, back to 12b Fagba crescent Agidingbi, (That was just a proverbial way of mentioning eloPhotos studios); I had a real time familiarizing myself with the environment and of course with the interns learning photography. We had a bit of practicing with the camera and all. It’s really funny how time just flies when you’re at eloPhotos especially when you have to talk business with Mr. Seun; you just get inspired all the way. I felt like spending some more time but then, I had to go home.

I was tired, weak and hungry but at the same time joyful, inspired and fired up! My first day at school sorry eloPhotos was an experience to be written in one’s diary. I got home a bit late – You know how traffic can be in Lasgidi nah but I was really happy to have made such a great decision. I couldn’t wait for the next day to come

I am Boluwatife Akindele and more than ever, I’m proud to be a photographer and to be associated with eloPhotos academy!

A day in my life in 2020: Jide Jokodola


What a great day, I shouted from my bed around 6:30am in room 202 of the world’s only 7 star hotel; Burj Al Arab, Dubai United Arab Emirate. I wonder how all my nights on earth could have been if I have to the opportunity to sleep in this luxurious apartment. May be that was why I woke up late…smiles. I am so excited and I see it as a great privilege not to only lodge here, but to meet and network with the who’s who of the world. It’s Friday 6th March 2020, I thank God for bringing me thus far, and all in my mind is my presentation today at the Gulf Photo Plus Conference for the next two days. I am also eager to meet my mentor; Mr Seun Akisanmi, who is a Guest Speaker and would be speaking on “The Business of Photography”

As I prayed, my phone rings; picking my phone during prayers isn’t an option so I waited patiently till my prayers ended only to check after to see that my wife was the caller! Apparently, she thought I had forgotten my duty of calling her every morning – I never can! The view from this magnificent building overwhelmed me that I forgot to call her early. Although, she does not like it when I travel for long especially for my documentary projects, she supports and loves my works. I quickly pick my phone to call her back; with great enthusiasm, she calls me by my pet name and I smile, calling hers too.

My wife reports about how our twins passed excellently in their last examination and I cannot but congratulate her for her motherly supervision. My project tour has taken me away from home for 2 months now. In fact, she describes how proud she was when Taiwo won the award category of the Overall Best student in Science and Kenny; the Most Creative Art student in their school’s annual award day. It gladdened me to hear that. Without hesitation, I told her about the referral I got. It was the portrait I took Magaret Chan, the former Director General of the World Health Organization at the World Economic Forum annual meeting some years back that attracted and made their Executive Board to invite to cover this 2020 annual meeting. It took quite a while for my wife to remember the experience I had during the shoot because she knows I have quite a huge portfolio of dignitaries.

Interestingly, I had a research on the nature and weather of the whole continent of Asia that had to be submitted to the National Geographic Magazine by the end of April. Although, I had traveled to about seven countries in Asia sometimes last year, I could not continue because of the cold temperature at the mountainous far North of Burma, South East Asia that really affected my health. Therefore, I had to finish up my conference here and quickly travel to Cambodia and Cyprus, which I didn’t forget to tell my wife. I had also been granted by the Prime Minister of Lebanon to take the pictures of the hills and people they want to put in their new 500 Lebanese pound currency, marking their 77th year of Independence from France.

I had been so engrossed in talking to my wife till I noticed the time was 8:14 am. Wow! I had to end the call in the midst of the conversation in order to prepare for my presentation which was scheduled for 11:00am. It was time to check my mail. I get loads and loads of mails on a minute basis that it gives me quite an ache having to check these mails one to another. The moment I opened the mail, my attention was drawn to a particular mail. I had received a mail by the largest photography and imaging show; PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo in North America, if not the world. I’ve been asked to be one of the Keynote Speakers in that year’s October conference. Apparently, they’ve would have seen my works on Al Jazeera recently about “The Beautiful Drug Addict”, the documentary about the Columbian women. I took the portraits of teenagers and women into drugs and their involvement in drugs and crime, in the view to attract humanitarian intervention.

Consequently, another mail that got my attention was the one from the World Health Organization which was inviting me to become one of their Ambassadors in Africa. Wow! This to me was a great opportunity indeed. In fact, this to me is a dream come true; to be a Diplomat of internationally recognized organization. Actually, this may have been as a result of the documentary I did in the remote areas of Ogun state, Nigeria and Mindanao village in Mozambique about “Combating Child Hunger” in 2007.

At 10:30am, dressed up and ready for the D-day and at my door step is one of the organizers of GPP, Dubai conference. Opening the door, I found out that there are also about four protocols to guard me through the elevator. I never know I am this so influential in Dubai too. Sir, we have a limousine ready for you downstairs and it’s going to be a 5 minutes drive to the event centre, the organizer said. 5-minutes limousine drive! In my mind, I thought this would have been an over-pampering technique for not paying my Speech fee. Arriving at centre, seeing the welcoming team gives me another perspective about my life. This is an ovation I never received in my entirely life thus far. My presence attracting the press around the world, with flash lights on me here and there, I stepped to the red carpet for a couple of interviews. I try to imagine the numbers of cameras with burst mode towards me. Looking ahead to seeing my most humble mentor, Mr. Seun Akisanmi, with his customized designer jacket coming down from his BMW 9 Series, I marveled at such the huge crowd that rushed at him despite the Guards, Police Officers and Security Experts around him. I quickly rounded up my interview to meet him. Very elated meeting me as a Guest Speaker too, he cracked a joke and we laughed together as we walked inside together.

The peak of it all was that the award category as “The Photographer of the Year”. As the nominees were called, I panic and as eventually my name was called, I stood up in enthusiasm to receive my award. After the whole event, I was taken back to my luxurious room. I stood at the mirror to magnify my creator for such a great privilege of this achievement. Thanks to the people that helped me thus far; Pastor Sam Adeyemi, Pastor Bola Odutola, Rev’d Folajimi Sadiq, Mr. Seun Akisanmi, my family and most beautiful wife.

YES!! THAT’S THE KIND OF PHOTOGRAPHY I’M TALKING ABOUT


I reminisced over the past 9 months of my journey in photography, and I can’t but marvel at the level of progress I’ve made, and give thanks to God for His Mercy.
Between September and March, what I knew about photography and was doing, for me was very unsatisfactory. I had a lot of curiosities in me, many questions yearning for answers, and aspirations begging to be fulfilled. I remember a day I suggested to my former boss, Mr. Paul, that we do a documentary project for “Alakuko” – a town in Lagos; that we take pictures of major places in the area, and compile them together. He rightly agreed to my suggestion, that it is possible but also gave me reasons why it won’t be possible. The reasons were that we need better cameras and zoom lenses; we only had Nikon D40 cameras and 55mm lenses, we will be molested and so on. But the real reason I think is that he does not understand how such an endeavor will fetch him money and increase his artistry.
I also remember a day, he came back from a print lab called 5d in Ikeja – it was from him I first knew 5d and Fotoart print labs, he patronizes them for his photobook prints – and he said to me “Sodeeq, photography has gone far o, just imagine someone, going to the forests, taking pictures of trees, and selling them to foreign clients”. I was as amazed as he was. Photography? That’s cool then, that’s the kind of unusual things I’ll like to do, but I had no clue how it can be achieved. My dilemma then, made me appreciated more the nature-nurture theory in the psychology of education. The theory opines that human behavior is influenced by what has been deposited in him from birth (nature) and how his environment develop those traits (nurture). The theory is of the belief, that all knowledge has been in existence in the heart of a child, and it is the environment – teachers, parents, peers, social beliefs and values – around him that will ultimately determine if such knowledge will occupy his conscious mind.
In relation to me, what was in my heart then, and the reality around me, was at variance. I usually have flashes of thoughts of top photographers, great photography projects, and a better understanding of what photography really should be. But the environment couldn’t nurture my thoughts. It lacked the ingredients to bring to full consciousness those inner desires. I remember one of Sam Adeyemi’s teachings. Sam said, if you really will go far, what you have in the inside of you, should be bigger than what you have on the outside of you. For instance, if your current apartment is 3-bedroom flat in Ojodu, Lagos, your ‘inside’ should already be thinking of owning bigger properties in Dubai, Los Angeles, Abuja, and the likes. He revealed that anything that happens is only a physical manifestation of what has already existed in the realm of thoughts. He further revealed that, whatever he has achieved today, or the level he has attained, he has been there long before now, in the realm of thoughts, and it’ll be so injurious to him, if what currently exists in his thoughts, is not far beyond his current realities. Between the months of March and June, I’ve been privileged to be part of one of the best photography schools in Nigeria, eloPhotos academy, and the experience for me, is like that of a football player who after scoring a goal, says “I saw that goal” or a photographer that says “I saw that shot”. The experience has been “yes, that’s the king of photography I’m talking about”.
At eloPhotos academy, I’ve learnt a lot about the business of photography. It’s actually beyond pressing the shutter – a fact many photographers have not come to terms with. Photographers like Seun Akisanmi, Leke Adenuga, have proved this, and we shouldn’t be surprised, if these people, will be getting more financial rewards years to come, for their brilliant efforts, than the always-pressing-the shutter photographers, who have not understood the big business in photography. I must explore this medium to appreciate the management of eloPhotos academy especially Seun Akisanmi for being such a blessing to me and many upcoming photographers. Last year, I only had thoughts and hope, I never knew I would get here soon. I never knew Uche James Iroha can just be inches away, that I can always gist with Kikelomo Koleosho of red19 photography, or be in a NIPHEC planning meeting, I just believed anyway, that good things will come my way. I truly did not see whole proverbial staircase, I just took the first step, uncertain of what the future holds. And the day the step was taken was in March, when I didn’t tell Mr. Paul I wouldn’t come to work, and I didn’t tell my parents too. I just left home like I was going to work but instead visited elo photos academy to answer my curiosities, and all the way, I can proudly say, “yes, this is the kind of photography I’m talking about”.
I am Akorede Sodeeq and I am a photographer!

COURAGE UNDER FIRE


“Courage under fire”, hmm you might be wondering what a title.

Let me ask you a question please!

Q:  You are a photojournalist covering a riot for a top notch newspaper. Your pictures are to tell the story of what transpired at your location of assignment; suddenly one of your colleagues is attacked. What will you do?

  • Help your colleague
  • Continue capturing images with you camera
  • Take to your heels

What will you do?

Meet Mr. Femi Akintobi, legendary photographer, veteran and award winning Nigerian photographer. He being in the above situation continued shooting, capturing those once in while stages of humans degradation back to his base tendencies. He not only captured the riot scenes, but also images of his colleague who was being handled roughly and injured by the rioters. This act of bravery; for it was bravery indeed, resulted in him being given an award for bravery by the management of the Punch then.

I first met Mr. Akintobi a few months back when I was delegated by my boss to give him a portrait session. It can be defined as that moment when an amateur meets a veteran, better still when “old” meets “new”. This was my first be-prepared-always-elophotos-baptism of fire. But to the glory of God, the result was in flying colors. This week’s “eloPhotos-baptism of fire”, came when I was told that I would be giving him a video interview. In eloPhotos you take the bull by the horn; I was giving a brief tutorial on video recording with a Dslr and I went off. The result was really more than I had imagined.

“A picture they say is worth more than a thousand words”, this is very true. In the course of going through many photographs taken by this veteran photographer, all I needed to do was take a photograph and ask him a simple question, ‘what happened here’ and he would recall decades in a split second and give a vivid detail of what happened. I was amazed when he linked photographs together at the same time telling the story behind each one and in the end giving you the entire story the photographs are telling.

The sad part of the interview was when I got to know that the day he had portrait shoot , while the shoot was going on his beloved wife passed on to glory. A place where we will all one day mark a register and give account of what we did with our time. Come to think of it supposing when we stand before the ALMIGHTY ready to give account of our life, what if our entire life is summed up into photographs and you’re giving the photographs one at a time with a simple question asked “what happened here”. Before the LORD of all the heavens and the earth in whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning, my fellow photog’s

Q: what will you do?

 

I am Oluwabusayo Alabi and I am a photographer!

Attached below are pictures of images I shot last week titled Project 40 – lizards.project 40 lizards busayo

The week I met Youssuf Karsh


It’s Sunday! And it’s really funny how time flies!

The wedding I had assisted in shooting a day before really got a great hold of me. I didn’t feel like getting out my bed, but I still had to; I didn’t have an option anyways. I obviously couldn’t miss church service because of sleep.

With my eyes open and meditating on a few things, I felt like I had been hit so hard with a baton as my whole body ached. Who says photography is small business? I bet such needs a surgery. Amidst all the pains, I managed to get up to prepare myself for church service and in some time I was ready to go and fellowship with the brethren.

Service went well; not as usual but with a new experience. Every new service day opens me up another dimension. If you claim not to go to a church because of hypocrisy, I bet you’re just killing yourself. I moved on to a relative’s house and spent some time there; blood they say is thicker than water. As much as I wanted to enjoy the Sunday with my relatives, I knew I had to prepare for Monday. Having to think of Monday always tickles me. There’s no place like eloPhotos! That’s where you work with fulfillment in mind.

Monday came and seemed like one that had lots of potentials in it for me. Getting late to work wasn’t an option; I had learnt that from Mr.Seun, so I had to do everything in time in order to get to work early in time for the devotion.

Introduction to Digital Photography was the course Mr. Toye started with us on Monday, 29th June 2015.For me, I was so curious to know how Photography had evolved or transformed into what it is now making me pay precise attention to the class. I truly enjoyed the class.

Bingo! An idea dropped in my heart! I reached for a physics textbook which talked more on the idea of light and understanding it in order to fully grasp its potentials in my photographs even though I wasn’t a science student back at school.

During the class with Mr Toye few of my colleagues complained of boredom, I guess everyone has what interests them ‘cuz for me it was great fun.

Tuesday 30th, started on a good note too; continuation of Introduction to Digital photography , Mr Toye told us how the pin hole camera was the first camera, what really struck me was the fact that a man named George Eastman the inventor of Kodak lost relevance when digital Photography came into being.. He didn’t move with the flow of digital Photography and so most people don’t even use the “film” for pictures anymore, it is now the era of Memory cards as storage. He must have really lost ooo! It was another experience for me when I and a colleague was sent to picture works to print Toyin and Joe’s pictures. I had always known that most people in Nigeria don’t have a good customer relationship, but I have not stopped thinking and often times asking why mostly printers give people attitude, is it that they don’t enjoy what they do?  Well! Things will change soon- I believe.

Our program in church started on Wednesday and there was no point missing it. (Day 1 of the 7 days of glory).

We started our class on the discussion of our different researches given to us as an assignment  about Youssuf Karsh on Wednesday, 1st July, 2015. The terrible experience Youssuf Karsh had in his childhood days reminded me of mine ..hmmmmm! Even though his own wasn’t deliberate, mine was. That’s another issue for another day though. We were taught about image quality and the different file formats which exist. We discussed about types of photography and I learnt that there is a difference between forms and types of Photography. We had another assignment still about Youssuf Karsh and Ansel Adams. If you’re gonna make it in Mr. Toye’s class, then you must be a good assignment doer. He never gets tired of giving assignments

On Thursday, it was a privilege for me to minute Mr Seun’s meeting with Mr Kolawole, initially I thought it wasn’t so good an idea to involve a 3rd person in their discussion but it dawned on me that I was getting opportunities faster than I could imagine to handle people’s confidentiality which will help me in training my own members of staff in future. It was something I learnt from COZA though I practised this first when I worked as an admin officer for a little while in my former place of work (Fairview School). After the meeting, I joined my colleagues and we were divided into groups to share our views about Ansel Adams and Youssuf Karsh’s works respectively. We ended the lessons after airing our views about the ancient photographers and we called it a day after which I left for our Day 2 of the 7 days of Glory at COZA.

“Thank God it’s Friday” is what almost everyone says in Nigeria. I spent most part of that day outside the studio, I went to Mr clever’s office accompanied by Francisca for the collection of the photobook which wasn’t ready and I headed to computer village and spent something not planned for to fix my laptop’s sreen sensitivity.

We had a weekend class with Mr.Toye at Elophotos with a new Student and the week ended well.Hmmm! What a productive week! I never really got to meet Youssuf Karsh but his legacy lives on. I got to read so much about him that I now feel I’ve met him in reality

I am YewandeOladipo, a Photographer and I’ve met Youssuf Karsh.

At the top of the building


It has become a common cliche today among some photographers to say that the industry is flooded and there are now too many people pressing the shutter, which shrinks the  individual photographer’s market share, turnover, and profit. This mindset is as untrue as believing that all phones are thesame. Everybody knows that a Tecno H5 is not same as a Samsung Galaxy.

Understandably, running a business in this age, can be very challenging especially in a great country like Nigeria, where it requires a lot of doggedness, tenacity, perseverance as personal attributes, and flexibility to change, prompt innovation, foresight,
as business features, to succeed and edge competitors but, one of the business lessons the 21st century has taught us is that there is always a unique place for every business willing to pay the price, a vacuum which usually is even too large for it alone to fill.

As much as I am also not totally immune from this ‘incorrect thinking’, it was an experience that taught me once again to think the right way.
I was part of the team that shot the Episode 12 of the
First Nigeria Photography TV show, the Gospel of Photography, and it was shot at the top of a 4-storey building not far from eloPhotos Academy at Ikeja. The location was a change from the usual, which mostly is the studio, and it was also a reflection of dynamism, which is a core culture of eloPhotos.

At the top of the building, during the shoot, I felt different. I was
seeing the environment I’ve always seen, in a different way. It was a beauty to behold. To the east, I  could see the busy Lateef Jakande road, tops of different buildings, as well as planted tress. Other sides too seemed similar especially to the north, where the palm tress at the end of Acme Road, formed a pattern, beautiful for the photographic eye. It was from this beauty I saw around, I started drawing similes to being at the top in work and most importantly in life.

Firstly, I realized there was large expanse of space, which made it easy to see far and wide, down and top, all at the same time. It was quite different from the ground where it seems as if there are houses everywhere and everybody is struggling for survival. I correlated this with the need for a photographer or any other person regardless of profession or field of interest to nurture the desire to be at the top.

Up there, there are only unique competitors, because at that level, only unique and valuable companies thrive, like Google, Apple e.t.c and this can only be achieved by building a formidable brand over the years. Businesses at this level can see and connect with the industry leaders, explore the abundance and opportunities around, erode the lack mentality. This is true for
everything and anything; if we must get the best out of our lives, be it our jobs, marriage, or any other thing, its always best to be at the top.

Secondly, I had the freedom to choose where to look, yet not losing sight of the other sides. I could choose to focus on looking at a place,
an an swiftly shift my attention to other sides if circumstance
demands. I liken this to opportunity of diversification which being at the top offers. When starting out in any venture, its normal to choose a specialization or to focus wholly on one’s profession while ignoring other things. But the privilege being at the top offers is that you can spread your tentacles to explore and exploit other business opportunities around you, to diversify investments, and capitalize on new ventures as they appear, to identify industry loopholes, and far emerging opportunities.

Thirdly, I realized one of the major things that make LandscapePhotography a wonderful aspect of photography. And it is the art of revealing the beauty of any place in the world no matter how rough or clean it might seem. The view of a city, a town, a village or even a small locality from the top is just phenomenal. No wonder one will see a picture of  the ‘brown roofs’ in Ibadan, and will exclaim ‘WOW’. The environment may look like an old-ghetto down below, but when at the top, we see the same place differently.

In lieu of this, I strongly suggest that once in a while, we go to the top of a tall building, preferably in an environment we are used to. It might seem simple but I think the experience can affect all aspects of our lives positively. At the top there are no worries, not that those worries have suddenly died, but they’ve actually gone on exile in the face of the beauty your eye beholds up there. And this is not only true for Lagos, it can be practiced anywhere.

The experience reinforced the conviction in my heart it is a fallacy
of reasoning that one can’t  make a headway in photography or any other profession because the industry is flooded. This is very untrue. Being at the top in business requires uniqueness and value, and whenwe say the industry is flooded, we are actually revealing our own inadequacies, and saying that we can’t pay the price to be there, because in reality, everywhere and anywhere, people are plenty down below, but at the top, there are only few people who make things happen. You can be one of them.

GO TO THE TOP OF A TALL BUILDING TODAY AND TRANSLATE THE EXPERIENCE.
Wondering who effectively translated the building top experience? My name is Akorede Sodeeq and I’m a Top Photographer.

The Day I Was ARRESTED in Ekiti for…


It was indeed an August occasion. One that I would never forget. I had been invited by Obasola Bamigbola to teach on the Business of Photography to a class hungry photographers in Ado-Ekiti. He had proposed we charge a fee of N2k and limit attendance to 10 students and I suggested we reduce the fee so as to reduce the excuse of the average potential participant for not making it because it was “too expensive”.

The workshop was to hold on August 28 by 7:30am and I eventually got to the city around 1am. My sleep was short, my excitement was high, my expectation was optimistic. After a short meeting at 7am with one of Ekiti’s finest photographers, Femi Adagunodo, I headed to the location where the workshop was to be held (Glintz Multimedia).

The time was almost 8am and my nervous quotient was raised by a factor of 100. Just 5 more minutes and the workshop would start officially. Suddenly, I heard the voice of someone that sounded like a thug. He was asking for confirmation of where the photography workshop was to hold. After Obasola answered him in the affirmative, he insisted that no one should leave the room that we were all under arrest. Truth be told, I honestly thought it was a joke.

After summoning his fellow thug compatriots, I realized that we were being treated like criminals whose crime was murder. At that moment, I knew that the police really isn’t your friend. Or are they? I was about to find out.

After arriving at the police station, we were directed to the office of the person that was supposedly the “oga at the top”. I was appalled at the level of treatment a police official hurled at a citizen before hearing their side of the story of whatever they were charged with. Apparently, the unwritten rule is that you’re “guilty until proven innocent”. The Oga would eventually ask the other 8-10 photographers that were arrested with us to step outside while Seun Akisanmi (that’s me) and Obasola Bamigbola remain in the room.

Present in the same room were three individuals that had apparently filed the petition that warranted our arrests. The OgaATtheTOP flipped though a few pages of stapled petition papers and with a disfigured face (as if he just drank bitter leaf juice), demanded to know who I was and what I was doing in their terrain. After a 60-second brief reply to his interrogative question, I started glancing through the pages of my internal memory book to see who I might have offended enough to petition the police for my arrest. Could it be the 23 NiPHEC vendors I still owe one outstanding or the other? Could it be my mother-in-law that I’m yet to deliver her 60th birthday album? Could it be my friend whose daughter’s birthday album was still in my archives? I was blank.

The charges against me was three-fold and had been initiated by the leadership of the Ekiti State Association of PROFESSIONAL Photographers. The first charge against me was that I had advertised a training program that was part of an embezzlement scheme to defraud participants of their hard-earned N1000 and present certificates to them that will make them go into the photography world and “spoil” their market. It sounds funny right? You should have seen how I was smiling when I heard that. The words “preposterous” and “ludicrous” began to play table tennis in my medula oblongata (sorry, I’m a distant relative of Senator Patrick Too Much Grammar).

The second charge was that we claimed to be PROFESSIONAL Photographers without associating ourselves with the “alpha & omega” association of professional photographers in the industry. At this point I was looking at the faces of the 3 accusers of the brethren, two of whom were older than my father. Suddenly, I felt sorry for them after reading what seemed to be deep bitterness in their eyes. They were really cross with me that we didn’t liaise with their association before advertising such a workshop. Honestly, I felt compassion for them in my soul.

At that very moment, I had a mini-trance that gave me an understanding of what people like Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr went through. I was encouraged knowing instinctively what such an incidence will do to the proliferation of the gospel of photography. I smiled. I frowned. The thought of such “association” members loosing their “market” share of clients to the advent of digital technology made me feel sorry for a set of people that were unwilling to acclimatized to the wind of “positive” change blowing in the industry.

The third charge against me was read: that Seun Akisanmi & Obasola Bamgbola have done a similar workshop in the last one year and embezzled participants’ N1000 without offering them value for their money. At that moment, the two words that were playing table-tennis in my head had a tie: this was both preposterous and ludicrous.

I honestly don’t feel it necessary to even start explaining the speech I gave in my defense. The summary of what I later “educated” the clueless Oga of police was that IT IS NOT COMPULSORY to join an association of skilled workers (barbing, photography, hair styling, makeup artistry, etc) before you can practice what you’re passionate about. Ofcourse if what you do for a living involves risking someone’s life one way or the order (e.g. Medicine, law, etc) you’ll need a license from a governing authority. But photography hasn’t gotten to that level yet (anywhere in the world) that you’ll need a license for practicing.

We were at the station for almost 3 hours and were eventually dismissed after lawyers from the Justice Department came to our aid to educate the association executives and Police on our right to willfully join an association. According to Section 40 of the Constitution of Nigeria, we have the right to “peaceful” assembly and association. If photography associations feel threatened by the new generation of photographers rising up now, the foundation of their tenets of association needs to be re-visited. Especially when I’m being accused of training people that will get into the industry and start charging N50 per picture instead of N100. If only they know we’re out to raise world-class photographers and not just Ekiti-based local champions.

I left the police station with a sorry heart for the system of Policing we have in this country. The same Oga of Police (along with his assistant) that had disrespected us when we showed up at the station were now asking us to “give them something”. I gave him something quite alright. I looked into my wallet and handed him the last copy of a small rectangular paper I had on me: my NiPHEC complimentary card. If he was surprised, it didn’t show on his face.

The workshop was eventually rescheduled to 2pm and we had a fulfilling time in the presence of the Lord, sorry, participating Photographers. Getting back to Lagos, I sensed within me that the industry is on the right track of transformation. Incidences like this one will only help promote the impact photography is having (and will continue to have) in our society. I also made a resolution not to be forced to join an association whose mentality borders on the belief that the sky is too SMALL for all us to fly.

So after being arrested in Ekiti for being an associationless photography preacher & practitioner, my passion for what I do has been renewed. Dear WORLD, get ready for the revolution that is coming…

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Contact us on 08120129149, 08023008873 or info@elophotos.com for a detailed list of options of classes to take at eloPhotos Academy. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness. A new session begins November 3, 2014
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Participants of the Ado-Ekiti Photography Workshop

YOU’RE AN ANIMAL


It was sometime in 1990. Twas either a Tuesday or a Thursday…can’t remember the specific day. It happened during lunch break in my secondary school. I was in JSS 1.

While growing up in the Akisanmi household, we were mandated to follow ardently the food timetable that had been meticulously crafted out by my mum. Tuesday and Thursdays were the days we had beans for lunch or dinner. On Tuesday & Thursday school days, our lunch packs were packed with beans & plantain (or garri). Unlike the other richer kids in International School (UNILAG), I wasn’t privileged to have been given an exorbitant amount to spend on food during lunch break; sometimes I took lunch packs, other times I was given “enough” money.

On that faithful day, beans was my portion for lunch. After covering the beans in a “planta butter” container for over 4 hours (we usually left the house by 6:30am), I proudly opened the cover to descend on the contents within. Upon opening the white cover, a sour aroma filled the 45-pupil-capacity classroom. My then-bestfriend Dipo frowned and covered his nose at the scent of the aroma.

It was at that moment that my classmate, Lanre, made the statement that will lead to the name I was popularly known by in school.

“I HOPE YOU’RE NOT GOING TO EAT THAT”, he screamed. I assured him that I was going to do justice to the beans regardless of the aromatic stench that filled the atmosphere.
After putting a full spoon of the beans in my mouth, he said something I might never forget: YOU’RE AN ANIMAL. He shouted at the top of his voice to the hearing of everyone in class. A few of his friends started shouting ANIMAL repetitively as if it was rap sentence in MC Hammer’s album. That was how I was eventually tagged “ANIMAL”. I was the guy that eats “expired” beans. For the next 5 years, I would be known more as ANIMAL than Seun Akisanmi.

If you had visited my class during my secondary school days, you might have had a difficult time locating me if you were asking who Seun Akisanmi was. But if you had mentioned that you were looking for ANIMAL, your search would have led you straight to JSS 1 Gold.

It wasn’t until recently when I visited memory lane that I realize how derogatory that nickname was. Because I didn’t have the characteristics of a “G” (the term that was used to describe someone who had money, girls and every thing that would make them invitable to all the parties in town), I would eventually discover that people like me did not deserve to flow with the big boys in school.

I would eventually become a messenger to some of my classmates in an attempt to be considered cool. If Olumide or Damilola needed to buy donuts & AfriCola at the kiosk, I would gladly offer to go because these were to coolest guys in school then. Ofcourse they bought food for me also and I was happy to be called ANIMAL by most of them.

Fast forward to 2014. I’ve backslided 12+ times, managed over 5 companies, been depressed countless times, attempted suicide twice, been to prison once….in short, I’ve been and done many things I’m not necessarily proud of. One thing I’m grateful for however is the fact that I’m still alive. It is memories like the ANIMAL season that makes me determined to make an impact in the lives of people that might have been considered ANIMALS, stupid, incompetent, ugly, idiots, dullards, lousy or mad.

I’ve learnt so much about history to know that most of the people that have made positive impacts in history have been given one or more of the aforementioned nicknames (and in most cases, they were rightly called so). That is why I enjoy teaching the class of 8 & 9 year olds in my church. That is why I encourage many parents that their “troublesome” child is a great person in the making….if only they can see.

Its been an adventurous journey on this planet thus far and I’m wholeheartedly grateful for the many challenges & blessings that have come my way. If you’re one of those that have been given nicknames that isn’t befitting of the person whose image you were created in, know that a great destiny awaits you if you faint not. At the end of the day, you’ll realize that truly ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR YOUR GOOD.

I’m not perfect. I still have issues (just ask my wife and my first daughter). But I know that if I stay focused on being a blessing to my generation (and generations to come) through my photography, poetry & teaching gifts, people will say my name from the depths of their hearts each time they think of me: OLUWASEUN (Thank God)….
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Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness

A Day in My Life in 2020: Onodje Oshevwiyore


It was some minutes past 6:00a.m when I finally woke up from my standard family Italian sized bed. Just beside me standing was my lovely wife holding a tray containing already prepared toasted bread, fried eggs with a cup of lipton tea. Honestly in my mind I wondered when she had got the time to have prepared this delicious meal for me, must be pretty early she woke up, I thought to myself. With a delightful smile on my face I said to her “Good morning My Page”. Really sweet and thoughtful of you to have made me breakfast, thank you. Do you know most times I wonder what in this world I will be doing without you. I love you so much my dearest. I then gave her a kiss and we both asked how our night went.
   
Words might not just be enough for me to best describe the lady that shares my life with me. Anyway she is this cute average height lady with slender figure and well shaped curves at the right places. It is the combination of her physical attributes, her ability to wear cloth well and her inherent good taste of fashion that constantly gives her an elegance of appearance that is quite unique. Her smile is one of the amazing things I have ever seen. Truly captivating indeed I must say. No doubt you would want to say that I am lucky but I rather consider myself so blessed. She is the one that constantly fills my thoughts, the closest to my heart and someone I fondly would call “My Page”, “My Love and “Best Friend”. Her name is Cindy and she is twenty nine years old. 
   
After taking my breakfast, I undressed and went straight into the bathroom where I took a steaming hot shower, stretching and flexing my arms above my head and twisting my shoulders from side to side in a bid to exercise a little bit. Ten minutes later, I came out of the bathroom. I immediately started dressing up. I wore a pair of black trousers on a customized black suit with a white long sleeve inside and a brown Italian shoe to go with it. After dressing up, I glanced for a few minutes, the previous day’s vanguard newspaper where I read an article on “Repositioning the Nigerian Entertainment Industry”. It was now 7:20am and I am fully set to go out for the busy business day schedule ahead. 
   
I quickly stepped out into the bedroom corridor, pushed open the door exactly opposite mine and went inside my kid’s bedroom. I just wanted to say hello before leaving and also check how far they have gone in preparing for school. Am so blessed with two amazing and lovely kids; Richard and Mary. Richard, now 5years old is the elder while Mary will be 3years old by March next year. The presence of these two beautiful kids in my family brings my wife and I so much joy and happiness that words can’t possibly express.
     
My presence alone in their room elated so much joy and excitement as they both rushed towards me and hugged me. “Good morning Daddy” they greeted me. Morning kids, I replied. I hope you guys are now set for school? “Almost dad” as they replied in an angelic tone. Am sorry I wouldn’t be able to take you guys to school this morning as promised yesterday. Daddy has to rush off to the office as soon as possible for an unplanned meeting scheduled by 8:45am. But never worry kids, Mummy will drop you two in school today. I promise to take you guys to school tomorrow. I have to go now, hope to see you two when I get back in the evening. Always remember that daddy loves you both so dearly. Love you too dad, as they both replied with smiles on their faces. Ok, bye!
   
After a brief chat with my wife, I eventually stepped out of the house at new layout Jakpa road Effurun Delta State. At about 7:35am, I drove off from my apartment in my range rover 2018 model. My apartment is a newly built four bedrooms bungalow that has a big sitting and a dining room, a well sized kitchen with a store room, four standard sized rooms with their individual toilet, a separate visitors’ toilet and finally a car parking garage. The apartment has a well spacious surrounding as it was built on a 100 by 100 feet plot of land. One lovely thing about this edifice is the fact that it has a simple architectural design. The surrounding also has lots of beautiful flowers worth admiring.
     
On my way to the office I thought about how well my various businesses are doing. I thought of how my photography outfit “Oshez360 studios” which started some six years ago has now become a well known brand name for event coverage, portraits, product and food, advertisement, training and consultancy. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate my outfit 8. Not a bad rating you would want to say. The secret of our success story lies in the fact that we do whatever it takes to satisfy our esteemed clients by delivering quality services. We are bent on creating lasting memories.
     
Before getting to the premises of Oshez360 studios, I thought of the welding inspection company that was established more than a year ago where I am an active partner. I thought of how the company is about to make a major breakthrough of winning the contract bid for the welding inspection of a 52km pipeline project worth over 100 million naira. “Wow! We are not doing badly at all” I said to myself.
     
I also thought of my one acre plot of land farm investment located at my home town in Agbarha Otor, Ughelli. The farm land currently has a livestock, fishery and crop section. And it is being administrated by a capable manager. I finally thought of the real estate project I intend to embark on in a couple of months from now. It will be a storey building containing four (4) two bedroom bungalows that will be built on the recently 100 by 100 plot of land I acquired at Osubi, Delta State. From my projection it is going to be a worthwhile investment.
     
After about 35 minutes of leaving my apartment at new layout, I arrived at my office. Oshez360 studios is a four bedroom bungalow rented as office space and it was strategically redesigned to accommodate a studio, an editing room, reception and my own personal office. At the reception I met my secretary, Mrs. Rebecca who gave me a quick briefing of my schedule for the day. Good Morning Sir, “here is your schedule for today; you have a meeting shortly with Miss Rose at 8:45am, thereafter a meeting by 1:00pm in Ikeja Lagos with the regional marketing and brand manager of PZ Industries plc as regards some of their products shoot. Your flight to Lagos has been scheduled for 11:00am and a return flight by 3:15pm. Finally Sir, you planned on visiting your farm land at Agbarha Otor by 5pm”. “Thanks so much for the briefing” I said her and then worked straight to my office.
     
The meeting with Miss Rose went well as anticipated and it only lasted for less than an hour. She agreed to our terms of the contract and has decided on hiring our services. My outfit will be covering the photography aspect of her wedding ceremony to be held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. It is going to be a two days event with Friday and Saturday which is the 23rd and 24th of October 2020 as the traditional and white wedding ceremony respectively. That is roughly a month and two weeks from now. We billed her half a million for the two days event. The amount will exclude flight reservation and bookings for the three photographers covering the event as well as their hotel accommodation and feeding that will also be taken care of by the client. It was a pretty good deal for us I must say.
     
It was a quick trip to Lagos. The Arik airline I boarded from Osubi airport in Warri to Ikeja in Lagos only lasted for 45 minutes. Straight from the airport, I took a taxi to PZ main office at Ikeja. At about 12:30pm I successful gained entrance into the company premises after I have undergone the compulsory security check at the gate. My meeting with the regional brand manager didn’t go as expected as we couldn’t reach an agreement on major issues as regards pricing differences and the products right that I wasn’t too comfortable with. A rescheduled date for the meeting will be arranged soonest for us to be able to finalize on the terms and conditions of the contract.
     
Some minutes to 4pm, my returned flight landed at the Osubi airport. At that moment I felt so tired but still needed to visit my farm land at Agbarha Otor since it has been a while I went there. I quickly put a call through to my admin manager to inform him that I was on my way coming. At about 4:55pm, I got to my farm and walked straight to the office of the admin manager. He briefed me on the activities of the farm most especially as regards production and sales progress. I later went round the farm accompanied by him to see things for myself.
   
At about 6pm I drove off from the farm and headed straight to Warri. On my way, all I could think of was my lovely wife and our two beautiful kids back home. They are no doubt the ones I so much treasured in my life. I feel so blessed to have them around me. I just can’t wait to be home to see them once again. With a smile on my face, I said to myself loudly, “Home sweet home, here I come”.

A Farewell Tribute to a Great Writer, Photographer & Friend


Twas just 7 months ago that our paths crossed. She came to our office 40 minutess late on an appointment to see Seun Akisanmi. She was considering the 6 month internship program we offer at eloPhotos Academy. Apparently she had done her research and concluded that eloPhotos was the type of place to give her the foundation she needed for her photography business. With her seemingly innocent outlook, I concluded after almost 1 hour of chatting that she was intern-material. The journey into photography destiny was about to begin for Ronke Alao.

6.5 months down the line, she has proven to be someone I learnt more from than she did from me. I almost feel bad for collecting school fees from her. Almost. With over 9,500 people following (or liking) me on social media, she has grown to be someone I’ll consider one of the 6 people I have as real friends. From her writing skills, to her interpersonal relationship gifts, I cannot quantify the impact she has made on her colleagues at eloPhotos.

This is just to express my profound gratitude for the contributions she’s brought to the eloPhotos table. No she isn’t dead. She just stepped up to another level. She graduated from eloPhotos yesterday (November 15) and if I were to be presenting an award for the best student eloPhotos Academy has ever produced since 2008, she’ll win hands down. If not for the fact that the tears in my eyes have been on ASUU strike for 5 months, our office will be flooded by now.

Thank you for being an inspiration with your writeups, photography skills & marital advice. eloPhotos will not be the same. Indeed you’re a photographer in whom I’m well pleased. Go in this strength as you conquer the world of photography with Ronke Alao Photography.

For those that might be wondering who this great writer is, here’s a summary of some of the writeups she’s put up on this site. Enjoy

How To Become The Star Of A Reality Show: A Script by Ronke Alao

A Day in My Life in 2020: Ronke Alao

Challenges Of Being A Female Photographer

A Poem Called HONESTY

The Day I Had A Dead FLY Served For Dinner

My Unforgettable Learning Experience at WHATEVERITTAKES Lagos

How I Almost Became A Blind Photographer

LAGOS: Why I LOVE & HATE This City

Photography Studio Rental in Lagos: Kiki Melissa Studios

A Photographer’s Guide To Covering FAMILY EVENTS Without Going BROKE

Training @ eloPhotos: The Weird Journey So Far

How BEANS Can Make or Mar Your Photography Career

WARNING: READ BEFORE YOU TRAIN AT eloPhotos

The FUN, The WEIRD & The RIDICULOUS

604800 Seconds In The Life Of A FEMALE Photographer

Rantings of a Weird Photographer

AFTER EARTH: A Photographer’s Perspective

Welcoming The New Intern: OLAJIDE Sotunde


It all started when I found myself at the Lagos edition of WHATEVERITTAKES.

When he told us that the workshop would end at around 5pm, I didn’t feel bothered because I thought, ‘what kind of a workshop would start around 9am and end at 5pm?’ I figured it wasn’t “possible” – a word I have, within the very short period I have known this man, come to realise does not exist in reality.

I’m sure by now, anyone reading this would be wondering who I’m talking about. Well, I’ll just in a few seconds introduce you to my new boss. I’m sure some of you have met him, some have read about him or his article and some have had the privilege of working with him directly. He is ‘The Weird’ Seun Akisanmi (‘weird’ as he is fondly described by other members of the house).

The workshop tagged ‘WHATEVERITTAKES’ the Lagos edition, was held at eloPhotos office in Ikeja and that was the first time I met Mr. Seun Akisanmi, a poet, writer as you all know, a photographer which need not be mentioned, a teacher and so on.

Well, don’t think I’m just singing praises of him, you’d do more if you were in my shoes. I never thought I could sit and listen to a talk that’ll last up to 3 hours. It had never happened, (without boredom) and until that day, I never thought it could happen but Mr Seun made it happen. I didn’t realise I had sat for that long, not until the workshop was brought to an end at around 6pm, Whao!!. Only one thing could make that happen though, an interesting talk coupled with contributions from interesting people among the attendees whom I felt very honored to have met. They included the one and only Ronke Alao herself, Dr. Femi Adewuyi, yes, a medical doctor who is also a professional photographer just in case you are wondering.

In attendance were some other members of the house; Damilola, also a female medical student; Emmanuel, Toye, Onos and the rest. These are real photographers with a lot of passion for the business of photography.

At first, I thought, what would make a medical doctor take photography as another profession, or a hobby as the case may be. It didn’t take me much time to figure it out; do what you enjoy doing most and in no time, you’ll find yourself doing it well without any regret or boredom.

Photography could be done for pleasure and/or for business. To me, there is one thing about doing things, and the thing is ‘doing what you like/enjoy doing’, especially when you are going to be getting paid for doing it. That is what photography is to me and so why won’t I give it ‘whatever it takes?’ When the workshop came to an end, I felt like, ‘yes, now I can go and conquer the world of photography.’ That was how much confidence and ideas the opportunity of attending the workshop imparted in me as a person.

With this kind of opportunity at eloPhotos, I thought it would be wise if I enrolled and tap into more of such opportunities, and here I am, one of the newest interns at eloPhotos. As I said earlier, one of our watch words at eloPhotos is ‘nothing is impossible’. There is no limitation in the world of photography, just like art which I love so much, and intend to express through photography. I Love PHOTOGRAPHY, I love ART, I love PHOTOART.

I am Olajide Sotunde

 

A Day in My Life in 2020: Sotunde Olajide


I think I can remember some of those times in class when our teachers would ask us, ‘What would you like to be when you grow up?’. Our responses were usually like, ‘I would like to be a lawyer, I would like to be a medical doctor, pilot, nurse, engineer, police’ and so on. Very few ones would choose a less attractive profession. In few cases would you hear professions like ‘teacher, civil servant’ etc, and the reason would be that, the parents of those that would choose such professions were actually in the profession. Well, some of us did become what we wished to become and some, a twisted fate, which was either as a result of our actions, or unforeseen circumstances.

I’m sure you are wondering what my own wish then was, or used to be. Well, I used to consider the Law profession, in actual fact that was what I wanted but deep inside me, being an artist was more of it. I was allocated a specific time for personal studies in the evening but while my guardians would think I was studying to become a lawyer, I would actually be making a lot of sketches from comic books, and every other attractive picture I could lay my hands on. With that, I was deriving pleasure and satisfaction in being young and reckless. I never thought I needed to give it a lot more to realize this dream. Well, all that is in the past now, I am a photographer in the present and we are looking at the future which brings us to the main discussion; where I see myself in the year 2020.

Well, its always good when you have these kind of discussions, in the sense that it ‘gingers’ you or wakes you up from your slumber. The first time I saw a documentary on Kelechi Amadi-Obi whom till present is a renown photographer and an artist, I found yet another  reason to rekindle my love for art and a better reason to be whom I have always loved to be; an artist or to be more precise, a ‘photo artist’.

In the nearest future, say in 2014, I see myself having my own photography studio somewhere in Lagos. I would employ people whom together, we would be working to actualize our dreams. Also, I would be striving harder, exploring all there is in the world of photography and art in the pursuit of actualizing my dream of being a renown ‘photo artist.’ In two to four years or so, I should have been well established in business and so, move to the next plan which is having my own gallery.

By 2016 or 2017, I think I would have prepared a good ground for having a world class/standard gallery, especially when I probably would have got all the support I could from my boss Seun Akisanmi, and the bosses I am yet to have, (Kelechi Amadi-Obi and the rest. Don’t get it twisted, I mean support in terms of ‘how to’), I think I wouldn’t have any problem in that area. By then also, I should have had connections with a lot of world class models whom I would have met everywhere in and outside the country. Oh! I forgot to mention that I would have traveled abroad in a quest to gain more knowledge on how to be a good ‘photo artist’ so don’t worry; if you are a model or are planning to be, we might work together soon.

Then by 2018, I would be thinking of how to expand my coast. I would have had photo studios located in Lagos, Abuja, Calabar, Kano and Jos too. By this time I should be in UK or USA trying to see how I can establish businesses in those places also or may be would have. Let me also mention that my investments will also cover sales and rentage of photography equipment such as professional cameras, lenses, lights, photo papers and ribbons etc. By 2020, I should be participating in photo exhibitions alongside the Kelechi Amadi-Obis and Seun Akisanmis, and by then also, you all would be having my piece hanging on the walls of your homes and offices, so help me God.

 

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.

A MEDICAL DOCTOR’s Photographic Perspective: wHaTeVeRiTtAkEs


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

My Unforgettable Learning Experience at WHATEVERITTAKES Lagos


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

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

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

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

by Ronke Alao

 

WHATEVERITTAKES: The elo Experience in WARRI


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The FASTEST Way To Destroy Your Photography Business


I got a call about 3 weeks ago from a disgruntled client of a colleague of mine. Apparently since my colleague (whom at this point I’m not pleased to be associated with) has covered their wedding in August, no album or DVD has been delivered. I eventually called the photographer in question hoping that the story the client told me had some holes. He eventually admitted that everything the client said was true and that he will unfailingly deliver the album on October 24, 2013 (2 weeks after the call). I insisted that he should put a call through to the client and stop avoiding the clients call; something I consider to be the highest level of disrespect towards a client.

October 24 came and went and I eventually called the client in question to ask if anything had been delivered. To my surprise (and I must admit, I was very surprised), the photographer had neither delivered the job nor called the client to give a cogent reason for not meeting the deadline (of which there no longer seems to be a reason that will be cogent enough). The following was the mail that the client eventually sent to the photographer.

Hello Lagbaja,
24th of october has elasped which is the EXTENDED DEAD LINE for our Wedding Video/Photo book to be ready. You have taken I and my Wife for granted again & again and I have always reasoned with you and spoken to you calmly cos we are CITIZEN’S of BLW NATION. I had to call up your Coach to talk to him about your actions, which resulted to the 14 days extra which elapsed yesterday 24th October 2013, and By that action We have exhausted all our options. Am giving you a 7 days period of GRACE from today 25th October-1 November 2013. From 2nd November, 2013 ACTIONS will be taken against you, If We don’t get our wedding materials.
Regards,
Your Disgruntled Client

What makes this situation personal for me was the fact that the client contacted me because he found out that the photographer did a course in our photography academy. As much as I was not happy about the misdeeds of the photographer in question, I’ve noticed some service providers engage in such unethical behavior (something I’ve been also guilty of). However, I’ve discovered that this is the worst type of marketing you can provide for your business as a dissatisfied client is likely to market his dissatisfaction to 30 or more people while a satisfied client might market to just 5 or more people. Either way you do the maths, you’re on the pathway to looking for a new job in another industry (hoping someone will even hire you) if this is not stopped. And sometimes, all it takes is for one client to be disgruntled; you’ll need to build about 2-5 years worth of goodwill to cover the heart-break you’ve caused. I’ve been there and can tell you that as a fact.

This is an attempt to appeal to the photographer in question and to all service providers (especially in Nigeria) to desist from such unscrupulous behavior as it only ends in the pathway of destruction. We all have issues we deal with, but I’ve since realized that the average client/person is usually understanding when you keep them in the loop of what is happening instead of avoiding their calls or calling them back. The least we can do is to keep in touch and call or email the client. They deserve that. Either do that or refund the clients’ money (something most client might not even prefer especially since they only plan to do the ceremony once in a lifetime). It’s another way of robbing them of their money at gun point. Enough said. Let’s strive to be business people with Integrity.

 

The Day I Shot Some Soldiers


I have stayed long enough in medical school to understand that almost everything has a technical term by which they are called, especially in the world of phobias. Phobia for almost everything has a name:
Claustrophobiafear of enclosure
Sitiophobia – fear of food
Anemophobia – fear of air
Coprophobia – fear of faecal matter
Anthrophobia – fear of flower
Phobophobia – fear of fear itself.

But fear of soldiers or guns, what do we call that? Or you think such phobias don’t exist? Trust me, they do. It was the worse thing that could happen to a harmless female photographer while behind the camera attempting to shoot some soldiers. Its interesting writing about it now, but at the very time it happened I wasn’t laughing.

The last two working days of the week was fun. Doing a funeral photography for the first, in the ancient city of Ibadan (I had only been there twice) was for me a fantastic experience. With that excitement, I jumped up and down, and from point to point, trying to capture interesting moments of the event. The service of song went well the day before the incidence am about to describe happened. So with that excitement, I went the next day, with my other female photographer colleague (the GREAT Ronke Alao),  to cover the lying in-state at the home of the deceased. Distinguished dignitaries were present at the event, so were their soldier entourages.

Just before the lying in state started, I decided to take photographs of other side events like the food session, the condolence register, a side view of the beautiful house etc. It was while I was doing this I noticed the soldiers standing with their guns and I thought that would also make some nice shots, thinking about it now, I realize how silly that decision was. Well thank God I did, at least, it gave me something to write about.

I didn’t even know what gave me the effrontery to move close to them in an attempt to take the shots. They stood in two groups, three soldiers in each group. I had taken a shot of the first group, and still feeling cool with myself, I started focusing my lens to shoot the second group. As I looked into the camera, I saw to my surprise the soldiers pointing their guns at me!!! Was that a pose or what I asked myself. Just then, one of them ordered me to come close.

At that point, all my excitement turned into cold flushes of fear and it traveled with turbulence through my blood vessels. I wished for rigor mortis (stiffening of my joint and muscles, the type seen in dead bodies; pardon my medical jargon) but my feet moved in the direction of the pointed guns. It all happened in a split of seconds, but that was long enough for my heart to travel down to my mouth. Thank God my boss had taught me about the importance of always having the camera strap on the neck, it saved my camera that day because I would have dropped it on the floor while shivering with fear, had the strapp not been on my neck.

“Why you dey snap us photo? Who you be? Who send you message? You no know say dem no dey snap soldier?”
– the soldiers asked me, All I could say was “Am sorry sir”, with a shivering voice. Another soldier ordered me to show them the picture of them I took. I quickly reached for the camera which was hanging on my neck and showed them the picture. They ordered me to delete it. “Yes sir” I replied and I reached for the delete key at once. “You sure say e no remain there”? one of them asked me wanting to know if I still had any other picture of them on the camera. “e don finish”, I replied, bending my knees with each response as a show of submission, respect and humility. They threatened that they would deal with me if they ever saw me point the camera at them again. Well, they really didn’t have to tell me that, I had learnt my lessons.

Just while I thought the discussion had ended and I turned my back to leave, one of the soldiers ordered me to come back, I obeyed at once. I was surprised when I  looked up & saw a pitiful look on his face, as if pitying me for all I just went through (I wondered what the look was about). “I for deal with you today, but na this your innocent look save you”. Was that supposed to make me happy or trying to put himself in my good books, or was he just trying to sound the last warning, I wondered. Anyway, I said a sober thank you and stylishly moved fast to leave the vicinity of the soldiers, before they changed their mind about the mercy they had had on me.

As I reminisce the scene, I couldn’t stop being baffled at how much fear I had for the soldiers. I guess I was more afraid of the gun than of the soldiers themselves. Well may be its more of phobia for gun then. I have a feeling they did all that because I am a lady, I doubt if they would have done that much ‘shakara’ if it was a guy. Well, sounds like some form of achievement. I can boldly say now that I have been at gun point because of Photography (what a heroic feeling!). I also couldn’t stop wondering why the soldiers would not want their picture taken and at how much of mountain they made out of a molehill. Anyway, you should have seen the way I avoided the soldiers all through the rest of the event. I made sure I kept my distance from them and our paths never crossed again.

Apart from that incidence, the whole event went smoothly, I had maximum fun doing what I love to do. Other than the photography excitement, it was an opportunity for me to think again about life and its essence. As I watched the remains of the deceased lie still in the casket and being committed to mother earth, I asked myself: is this where it all ends? Whether we like it or not, one day, this body we all carry about, and we sometimes tend to give all the attention, all of our runnings about, the troubles and cares and fears of this earth, will end in that lonely chamber called GRAVE. Of course with long life, we’ll be satisfied, but there’s still an inevitable end. This earth is more like a sojourn, there’s a place we all are returning to afterall. We seem to forget that fact sometimes, or do we simply not care about what happens to our souls when the body perishes? (That is if we even believe we have souls in the first place).

” What shall it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and looses his soul, or what shall a man give in Exchange for his own soul? Mark 8:36-37. Ponder about this.

I’m Damilola Opawale & you can call me the Soldier Photographer

 

An INTENSIVE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP by Dotun Ayodeji


Here’s a forthcoming workshop you should consider attending. It’s being organized by one of the photographers I admire in the industry. A worthwhile investment if you ask me. You can also check out his beautiful collection of pictures at DOTUNSBLOG.com

Topics
Day 1
– Basic discussion of gear and equipment
– How to define your style of photography based on your choice of lens and perspective
– My simple approach to shooting weddings. Shooting details, the story, portraits, formals and reception
– Realistic flash Techniques and how I use it at weddings
– How to influence the flow of your wedding day photographs with a strong timeline
– Posing and directing your clients – The simple or high fashion style
– Building a referral base of clients who love your work
– How to attract the high end client market or a client base above your current market
– how to shoot for your clients not other photographers
– Branding basics and pricing
– Blog this don’t blog that
– Portfolio review

Day 2
– Live shoot with hands on instruction
– How to find the light
– Live edit – how I process my image from capture to print.
– Ask me any question.

dotun's blog wedding workshop

LAGOS: Why I LOVE & HATE This City


As I drafted these words at 7.56pm on Friday , somewhere between Ojota and Ketu; I thought of how my week had been busy, fun, interesting and plain crazy all at the same time. It was a week that had two days declared as public holidays but I still had to show up for work on those two days. Two of my colleagues were allowed to stay home and enjoy the holiday while three  came to work. I was so jealous of those that stayed home. Sometimes I think my boss makes me work harder just because I am a woman. Giving you examples that illustrate my point is easy but I choose not to digress.

One of the most bizarre things I witnessed this week was on Ikorodu road, (you must be tired of reading my Ikorodu road stories by now but it’s too much craziness not to write about), as usual. I was in a bus heading home and the driver wanted to get on the express from the service lane but wasn’t patient. The traffic was pretty much “bumper to bumper” and the bus driver had blocked a private car. It was a big mess. The driver was asked to back up a little bit but he wouldn’t budge. Next thing we knew, the guy driving the private car got  out of the car with a horsewhip and whipped my bus driver!

I was shocked out of my mind and I don’t know where I got the guts to speak from but I started shouting almost uncontrollably. “Ha! What rubbish is this? Driver, please reverse o! This man must be an animal. Let’s get away from this spot”. I shouted amidst the driver’s cries. I was too shocked at the jungle justice being displayed by the man with the horsewhip. I was even more shocked to note that the other passengers didn’t seem to care much. ‘Why is Lagos so lawless and cold? And to think there are people leaving their villages in droves to come to this crazy city’, I thought to myself.

As we drove on, the driver talked and laughed about how the whip didn’t really hurt him and I felt like punching him in the head.

As much as I resumed at the office on the public holidays, I still had fun on Tuesday. That’s because my husband and I had a photo shoot. My colleague, Samuel, had found out that my hubby and I had not had a photo session since we got married so he asked that he take pictures of us and I couldn’t say no to such an offer. It was so much fun for me and a lot more fun for my husband  He couldn’t stop talking about it all day. For those longing to have a visual image of who the GREAT Ronke Alao is, attached are 2 clues to help you out.Ronke Alao 2 Ronke Alao

Another newsworthy development is the fact that I am no longer the only female intern at eloPhotos. Yes, I now have company in the person of  Damilola. Damilola is a 500level medical student who is making good use of her time while ASUU and the Federal government figure out a way to make up and stop bickering at each other. She is honing her photography skills and just when you think that is all this pretty, slim and attractive lady is doing; you find out she is also taking piano lessons.

You should know by now that I like her a lot. I admire her quest for knowledge and her interest in the arts. There is more to her life than bulky medical textbooks and dissecting cadavers. If you are wondering if she is single, come see me “in-camera” with your consultation fees. That’s not stuff I can discuss on a blog.

Now, for a list of things I am grateful for. I am grateful for the opportunity to be an intern at eloPhotos; for working with a boss that doesn’t mind exposing his own mistakes so you can learn not to make the same; grateful for God’s protection on the roads despite the antics of crazy bus drivers; glad I am learning how important record-keeping is in a business like this and learnt enough for my boss to call me the “Financial Controller“.

If you’ve been in the photography business for a while or you are just venturing into it and the idea of keeping a statement of income and expenses scares you, fear not. If you think promoting your business on social media simply means throwing a few pictures on your facebook page, think again. If you would like to stand out and make a name for yourself in this industry, would you be willing to do WHATEVERITTAKES? If so, register for the workshop taking place in different cities across Nigeria starting October 23rd. You owe it to your children, (born and unborn) to attend. CLICK HERE for more details.

Reporting LIVE from eloPhotos,
Ronke Alao

 

My Journey BACK into a PHOTOGRAPHY ACADEMY


…..Back at eloPhotos

“Perhaps we can talk at length on Monday. Try come to DSAP and ask for the photography section. We can meet during my break but be there by 8:30am” That was Mr Seun Akisanmi’s response after I informed him of my intention to return to eloPhotos since I was on a compulsory break from school work, no thanks to ASUU and Federal Government. I had been at elophotos for about 6 weeks, some 3 years ago during one of those long ASUU strike, it was an experience for me as I learnt the basics of photography, went with them for an exhibition at The Palms, met exciting people, the likes of Kikelomo, Michael, Lara, Samuel and Seun Akisanmi himself. It was an exciting experience as I had never met people with such creativity and passion for photography.

Spending the rest of this break to learn more photography would not be a bad idea. eloPhotos readily came to mind when I thought of where to go. I knew I was up for another exciting experience, if Seun Akisanmi agrees to having me around. So I dressed up early that Monday morning and out I went, to Daystar to meet with Seun Akisanmi as he decides how the rest of my break would be like. I got to the DSAP (Daystar Skill Acquisition Program) venue at about 8:30am, eventually meeting him during the break at about 11am.

What was meant to be a big favor turned out to be a disfavor, as it were! I had thought that after my meeting with him, he would ask me to give him some time to think about it or at most resume the next day.  With this mindset, I left home on an empty stomach. Even while I was waiting to see him, the hunger contractions were already beginning to intensify, but I held on since I would be back home soon, or so I thought. Alas, Seun Akisanmi announced to me that I would be going with him to the office once he was through with the class. At that point, I did not know whether to be excited or sad. Though I had to put up an excited countenance, but deep inside, I was sad, especially as the hunger contractions grabbed me! I wish he allowed me go home.

Apart from the hunger, I was excited to go back to eloPhotos again. “This is Dammy, she’ll be joining us, she’s been here before”, he introduced me to the other interns and they all gave a warm welcome in reply. That was how the new experience began for me.

Not much had changed at eloPhotos, except that the arrangement of the books had changed, there were two new shelves, one in the reception and the other in the studio, both filled with books, I was most excited to see the books again. Also there are also new set of interns who turned out to be one of the most amazing set of people I have ever met. The past one week with these people has been spectacular.

Ronke Alao, the lady intern who I had known so much through her interesting write ups on elophotos blog, I met finally in person. She was so kind to take me through Photoshop again. She’s simply Smart and eloquent! I love her so.

Tayo is another awesome person met at elophotos. This guy always had one thing or the other to do, and he always had this serious look, even when he’s jesting he looks serious, even his voice sounds ‘serious’. Trust me, he’s simply exceptional at what he does.

Emmanuel is an amazing guy, though i’v not spent so much time with him, but I was impressed at how supportive he was when I made the move at rearranging the studio. I also watched him run some humble errands. He is simply Humble!

Toye, this guy has made me laugh the most this past one week, even in his most serious mood, he’s jesting. If you ask me, Toye would make a successful stand up comedian.  But trust me, he’s simply proficient with Photoshop.

Onos, the tallest guy amongst us… Another comedian in the house. He’s one of the few people I have seen that make people laugh and still keep a straight face. I feel for this guy though, because other interns only need to start communicating in Yoruba and he is lost. He simply fun to be with.

My most amazing discovery about these people however is how much education they’ve got. They all have degrees in one field or the other but have decided to put them aside to pursue their passion in photography. That for me is simply WOW! And I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

My first week back at eloPhotos as a whole was adventurous and interesting, but most important, I have learnt new things and I have remembered things I used to know but forgot. Thanks to my new friends, and of course Seun Akisanmi.
I wont forget too quickly my trip to African Shrine in search of Porridge (lip sealed)!

I look forward to more exciting and learning filled stay at eloPhotos this time while trusting God for the call off of the ASUU strike.

The New Intern,
Damilola Opawale

A Hard Lesson To Learn


He finally gave his verdict on our unacceptable behavior of reporting late to work and our failure to meet  deadlines on assigned tasks. In a soft, polite and cool voice; my boss said “…with the exception of Ronke Alao, the rest of you guys are to embark on a 14 days leave just to re-assess, think things through and possibly refresh yourselves.”

The news of the unplanned leave suddenly struck me hard like a tornado and it left me totally speechless & confused. At that critical moment, all I thought of was the fact that I am going on an unwanted leave that would last this long. Honestly, just like the popular Warri slang would say “I come weak like dodo, I swear”.

On Independence Day, I woke up with disturbing thoughts that I have actually commenced my unplanned leave. Quickly, I turned on my television set to listen to Mr. President’s  nationwide,  live broadcast scheduled for 7:00am. It happened to be one of the usual sermons we hear yearly that the government is doing this and that, that Nigeria will get better. I sometimes wonder if such broadcast can for once be said without the words “fellow Nigerians” because seriously I have heard it more often than necessary. Anyway, I am one of those patriotic Nigerians that still have an iota of hope that despite our diverse cultural differences, problems and security challenges; this country can still survive, grow and become very prosperous. It all requires every one of us to have a right mindset and be actively involved in electing leaders that can represent us and uphold our mandate.

The public holiday declared by the government wasn’t going to be all rest either for me as I was meant to cover the 50th birthday ceremony of a lady to be held at Iteri Palace. Arriving at the event, I was so surprised to discover that I was the only professional photographer present for the party. The event started two hours way behind schedule due to the heavy downpour of rains that lasted for more than an hour. The whole party turned out to be very entertaining with plenty to eat, drink and lovely melodious music that thrilled every one present. I had an exciting time photographing guests of the celebrant who were mostly dressed in colorful Yoruba attires.

The rest of the week went really fast. On Thursday I and my colleague, Toye Peters went to cover the court wedding ceremony of Bisola and Olumide at the Ikoyi marriage registry. It was a special event for me as that happened to be my first time of covering a court registry wedding. It was indeed worth remembering as every moment I spent photographing the couple and guests present was worthwhile.

The traditional marriage ceremony was performed on Saturday according to Islamic rite. I had a bit of challenge photographing during the event as the bride’s uncle’s house which was the venue used was not properly lit. Also, the two sitting rooms used were so congested and the main sitting room where the couple and most of the guests were, had a brown ceiling. This made it difficult for the light from my  flash to bounce back. I had to tilt my flash head at an angle of 60 and 45 degrees while photographing.

In conclusion, it has been a great week overall as I have learnt in a hard way to be more disciplined, more time-conscious and that no matter what the situation may be, always learn to meet deadline on assigned tasks.

Photographically Yours,
Onodje Oshevwiyore

Photography Studio Rental in Lagos: Kiki Melissa Studios


It was right after the Monday weekly devotion at eloPhotos that Mr Seun Akisanmi informed me that I would have the honor of visiting Kiki Melissa at her Ikoyi studio and having a chat with her. I contacted her that very day and we both agreed to meet on Friday afternoon. She sounded young and upbeat on the phone and I wondered what she was like in person.

Friday came soon enough and I headed to 21 Biaduo street, (location of Kiki Melissa studios), accompanied by two colleagues – Tayo and Emmanuel. On getting there, we were welcomed by a smartly dressed, young man named Michael, who informed us that Kiki would join us shortly. Meanwhile, my colleagues and I admired the studio – the sheer space, the white walls, the makeup room and the photography equipment in view.

Kiki soon emerged and even though I had not tried to imagine what she would look like, she was nothing like what I would have thought. Perhaps I imagined a lady dressed in a pink shirt and blue jeans with high-heeled shoes. She was casually dressed like the girl next door and if I had met her in a mall or someplace else, I never would have guessed  she was the brain behind Lagos’ finest studio. She was just as young and upbeat as she sounded on the phone.

Kiki has this air around her that makes you want to trust her. She had gone to England for school when she was about 12 years old; coming home only about three times a year on holidays. What brought this intriguing lady back to Nigeria? Her love for photography and a desire to make it her full time career. This love for photography was the reason why she left the university after two years, abandoning her psychology degree program.

With the full support of her cool parents (only very cool parents would support that decision) and a plan to establish her business in Lagos, she returned to Nigeria some seven months ago and thereafter gave birth to Kiki Melissa Studios. The studio opened April 15, 2013. Her goal is to provide an option for photographers who can not or do not necessarily have the capital to buy expensive gear and set up a studio of their own. The studio offers a beautiful space and state of the art photography equipment all at an affordable rental rate.

When asked about challenges she’s faced as a photographer since returning to her homeland, she cited pricing and also the fact that Nigerian clientele usually don’t appreciate creativity as well as their English counterparts. She also mentioned timeliness which is lacking in our Nigerian culture. This young business woman isn’t too excited when a photographer books a time slot to use the studio and then shows up late so guys, keep to time.

When asked what kind of photography she enjoys doing, with a sparkle in her eyes, she said “Editorials and Travel Photography”. Our chat ended about forty five minutes after it started. I had finally met the lady who would rather be called ‘Kiki Melissa’ rather than reveal her full legal name. Kiki would like to be remembered as “someone who changed the game a little bit” where the photography industry is concerned._DSC7615

For more details about renting her studio, you can visit her website  by CLICKING HERE. To view her_DSC7579 lineup of equipment for rent, download this file:_DSC7587 KMSequip

Reporting for eloPhotos,
Ronke Alao

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A CALL FOR CHANGE: Day 1


This whole write-up was born out of my 14 Days Compulsory Stay Out of eloPhotos (my photography office). Monday, September 30th, 2013 is a day not to quickly forget, as it was the starting day of the unexpected yet expected happening at eloPhotos. This time around, it was not the usual creativity that most people know about us at eloPhotos.

Owing to the continued occurrence of lateness in resumption time, attending to chores and report submission by most of the team members at office, four out of five of my team members including myself, were asked to take time off to reassess our passion for photography after a brief meeting was held. This painful verdict happened just a few minutes after the closing hour of the day.

It was then I realized the meaning of, “whatever it takes to stand out”. This was the new project our boss was working on, not knowing that I was going to embark on a journey to realize my own project on; “whatever it takes to succeed at eloPhotos”. Am sure most of the people who know Mr Seun Akisanmi or follow him online can tell of what that means.

DAY 1

Pain and Disappointment
I had a sleepless night thinking about the previous day happenings and I concluded that as the day breaks, I will begin my reassessment on passion for my photography career. I started my day with a session of inner prayers as I would not want to disturb anyone. I had all pending design spreads on my system put out of the way. I then took on a journey to think, study, read, meditate, practice and discipline myself for the next 14 days.

In my study and meditation today being Tuesday, October 1, 2013), I realized how my assignment at eloPhotos has been geographical. And that made me put up a comment on my Facebook profile saying “places matter – where you are is as important as who you are” (my words). I got to understand that my success in the photography industry is linked to a place like eloPhotos, which I tagged “my present place of assignment”.

A lesson that kept coming to me was, how one person’s disobedience or mistake can create a corporate judgment. Indeed, this has turned out to be a corporate judgment which I think is fair enough. This also reminded me of a Movie (Drumline) slogan, which states “one sound, one band”. To my understanding, the mistake of one affects others is the meaning i could give. Speaking to myself that my mistakes could have added to the judgment of others, and vis-a-vis.

In my pain and disappointment, I began to see how pain can be corrected in peoples’ lives. Knowing that in pain lies a correction process for me, I separated for myself five forces that pain brings to correction. I called them , “the five L’s”:

 Pain forces one to look for answers

 Pain forces one to lean on God instead of man

 Pain forces one to learn where one has missed it

 Pain forces one to long for forgiveness, healing and restoration

 Pain forces one to listen for changes

Immediately I understood this, I got the answer for this hurting season and that is going to birth the healing process. These then gave me more reasons why I must be focused again on my assignment as my best days are just ahead. This is the first day out of the fourteen days. Please, join me as I journey for change.

Photographically Yours,
Emmanuel Awosanmi

Training @ eloPhotos: The Weird Journey So Far


One of the coolest things about being an intern at eloPhotos is that you learn, not just from Mr Seun Akisanmi, but from other well-established photographers as well. A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting Olamide Bakare of Alore Photography. He came around to teach us Lighting. I had attended classes on the subject before, but Olamide’s class took it to the next level. It was a 2 hour class that was fully packed with a tutorial on relevant concepts and practical sessions, yet concise. I had the best of time.

Later that afternoon, I was about walking out of the office when I was met by a tall, slim and good-looking guy who looked like he was trying to find his way around. “Good afternoon, how may I help you?” I asked with a smile; sounding like a well-trained, professional receptionist. After knowing he was a guest of eloPhotos, I invited him to sit at the reception. Wondering if he had an appointment with Mr Seun, I asked, “What is your name sir?”. “My name is Emeka”, he answered. In response, I told him “I am Ronke”. The moment he heard my name, he said with a smile, “Ronke Alao, right?”. I was a bit shocked that he knew me so well or at least knew my full name. Since I wasn’t some actress on TV and I had not been part of any reality show, I wondered how he knew my name. On further enquiry, I realised he was an avid reader of our blog and had read a few articles I wrote.

Emeka came around to get information on eloPhotos academy and how he could train here. It’s interesting to think I was in his shoes just some four months ago. I remember sending Mr Seun a Blackberry Message on how I could train at the academy – more like a mini, informal application to be an intern. I was beside myself when he scheduled a meeting with me just two days after my initial contact with him.

I had been following (or stalking) the eloPhotos website for several months before that time. What drew me to eloPhotos was the integrity and honesty that I thought it exuded. Funny how people can perceive your spirit just by surfing your website! It wasn’t only honesty and integrity that got me sold on working at eloPhotos; it was also the fact that I “knew” eloPhotos had a culture of timeliness and professionalism as a whole – these are qualities that you would expect to find in every business but sadly, are missing in many Nigerian businesses. I had also been a visitor to the eloPhotosYouTube channel a number of times, so I knew what he (Mr Seun) looked like.

Meeting Mr Seun in person was a different ball game. I was surprised to find the almighty Seun Akisanmi in a pair of knee-length shorts and an old T-shirt. He wore a pair of black and white tennis shoes that I’m sure had stories to tell. His iconic look was complete with mismatched socks. Oh yes, he was wearing socks that made his feet look like they belonged to different people. They say one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, right? I took a cue from that saying, so I decided to focus on my interview.

My first thirty minutes was spent answering questions such as: “Why photography and not make-up artistry?”, “Where do you see yourself in five years” and “Why did you choose eloPhotos?” Afterwards, it was my time to ask questions. I wanted to know why and how he got into photography. I needed to know if I had made the right choice in choosing this training ground. I also asked him questions about the academy and what kind of plans he had for the future. After our discussion, I felt like I knew the man beyond his old T-shirt and sneakers. I thought of him as intelligent – hey, I saw tall stacks of books at his office, both photography and non-photography related. I also came to appreciate his vision and passion for his chosen career, and who would have thought this guy was so romantic to have named his company after his wife?

His charming sense of humor made the time seem like it flew by. He gave me a complimentary copy of Picture This magazine. My mind was made up: I would be coming back in a couple of weeks to start classes.

It’s been four months of learning, running errands, meeting some cool people, amazing myself with pictures I can now take, doing some more learning, running some more errands, learning to keep the books and balance accounts, learning the importance of timeliness, getting a “PhD” in dealing with “interesting ” clients, and having the weird in me rise to the surface.

I am glad I made the choice to train at eloPhotos. Let’s just hope my weirdness doesn’t get over the top…. It could with the kind of weird, fun people I hang out with here every day!

 

Doing WHATEVERITTAKES To Standout


WHATEVERITTAKES WORKSHOPimage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get ready to do WHATEVERITTAKES to stand out.

A BORING Writeup Without A TITLE


There is no better way we start off a new week at eloPhotos than with our usual sweet Monday morning devotion. It was a refreshing time of fellowship as we sang beautiful  praise and worship songs and had a brief exhortation from God’s word which was given by Mr. Seun Akisanmi. During the course of the devotion, he threw a question to us whether it was biblically right to engrave a tattoo on one’s body. As I expected, that created mixed reactions as most of my colleagues thought it was not morally right. My boss concluded by quickly saying that personally he feels nothing was wrong with engraving a tattoo on one’s body especially when it has the caption “Jesus Loves You”. His words arose some form of laughter but at the end I thought to myself that he could be making a good point.

At the end of the devotion, I and my colleagues were told by my boss that we will be required to design individually a 30-spread album from the last wedding ceremony covered and it ought to be ready by latest September 20. Honestly, the new assignment came to me as a surprise as I felt much unprepared. For a quick moment, all I thought of was the fact that I didn’t have a sound background on the use of Photoshop and Lightroom software’s for editing images and creating an album. It became apparently obvious to me that this will be a tasking challenge I have to face and hopefully overcome within
the stipulated time frame. I said to myself “so help me God”.

The day’s job started properly on a high note as we began the viewing and selection of the pictures we took during the Tunbosun and Dieko’s wedding ceremony. I discovered that some of the pictures I took were not “Tack Sharp”. For a moment I felt a little disappointed but my colleagues were so kind and thoughtful enough to offer me words of encouragement as there was room for improvement. Pardon me if I got you a bit confused with my terms: “Tack Sharp” is a photography term that simply means the images in a picture frame are still clearly seen even after zooming in.

At about 10:30am, a meeting was held to deliberate, brain storm and plan ahead of the second edition of Nigeria Photography Expo Conference (NiPHEC) that will be coming up in April 2014. In attendance were lots of prominent and established names as far as the
photography industry in Nigeria was concerned. Also present was the much talked about wedding photographer, Akara Ogheneworo. Honestly, I considered myself very privileged to have attended such a sensitive meeting. NiPHEC 2014 will be held in two major cities in Nigeria with the first three days of the conference being staged in Abuja from the
27th to 29th April 2014. Thereafter, the last four days of the conference will be held in Lagos from the 30th to 3rd May 2014.

The rest of the working week went so fast like a “tornado” with Thursday having the major highlight. Being mandated by my boss, Mr. Seun Akisanmi, my colleagues and I were motivated to put in our entries for the British council “Through My Eyes” competition that will be involving a pair; a creative writer and a photographer. The competition is all about doing 200 maximum words of creative write up accompanied with photographs to illustrate what is working now in our immediate community. After a few hours of brain storming, we eventually came up with a creative concept which will portray a comparison of the  orderliness of passengers entering the popular Lagos commercial danfo bus and the state government BRT bus. Executing the task was a bit of challenge in itself especially when we were shooting the BRT bus with passengers entering it.

The week ended on a colorful note as I was privileged to cover (alongside with my boss and the great Ronke Alao) a baby’s naming ceremony. This happened to be my first witness of a typical Yoruba child naming ceremony; trust me, it was indeed worthwhile. I got to the event venue an hour earlier, as it was schedule to start by 12:00pm. Funny enough the event didn’t start until about 1:00pm, something personally I wasn’t too surprised because of the “African man’s time mentality”. For me, the whole event was a good experience as it turned out to be fun-loving, interesting and it offered me the
opportunity to practice more and work on getting “Tack Sharp” images.

I have to drop my pen now and stop boring you with the details of my week. Until next week kindly note that this is Onodje Oshevwiyore and I am proud to be an Associate Photographer at eloPhotos Studios.

My 1st Professional Wedding Coverage: Praise & Tosin Fowowe


WoW! It was 7 years yesterday (September 16, 2006) when I handled my first DSLR (Olympus e500 with 2 kit lenses) to shoot my very first wedding. It was the union of two of my friends Praise & Tosin. Going through my archives, I could easily see some improvements I’ve made over time in covering weddings. I decided to post the pictures unedited so everyone will know where the journey started for me photographically. I think the pictures we take now look nicer; perhaps the couple can hire us for the 10th Anniversary REUNION. Here’s to wishing Praise a Glorious Birthday and a Happy Anniversary. 🙂

 

A Photographer’s Passion For CREATIVITY


The word “Passion” means a very strong feeling about something that arouses affection towards that thing. It expresses itself in enthusiasm, overwhelming interest and a strong drawing in the direction of that thing. Passion is the tonic for ingenuity and creativity.

Most people like to talk about their passion, but how creative have they made their passion work for them? How passionate are you about your photography and what you engage yourself in daily? This brings me to focus more on creativity which has been one of the values being imbibed in us at eloPhotos Studios.

According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary, being creative involves the use of skill and imagination to produce something new especially a work of art. Creativity is the ability to make something new. The dictionary added that creativity and originality are more important than technical skill. Do you have any ideas? You are the creative one. God is a creative genius. Deuteronomy 4:32 is one place in the Bible that talks about God’s creativity.

Looking back at the way most of us grew up, I remember some of the things I created back then; match box car, broom and nylon kite, paper plane and boats, etc. One thing I know, we all grew up creative but somewhere along the line we lost that ability. What happened? You may ask! Conformity had set into the minds of most of us. Also, the way our community has changed who and what we were born with made matters worse.

We all have the ability to be creative; we were born with it and it is still in each and every one of us. Few things I have come to know about creative people is: 1) they are well informed,
2) they are out-of-the-box thinkers, and
3) they have modest intelligence.

Creative people see things in a multitude of ways, as they provide creative atmospheres. They are open to creativity even when they seem to be playful. They are inquisitive, always asking for more. They think BIG and even allow others to fail forward by giving them chances to try again. They are intentionally creative. These are some of the reasons I am in love with eloPhotos, seriously. Ask my colleagues if you think I am joking or not serious.

In addition, without creativity, you become stuck in a rut. You need a constant stream of new ideas to remain competitive in the society because your market is changing every day. You need to understand the processes of being creative; know what the problem is, research and identify the possible solutions, determine how to create new combinations and decide which alternative leads to a new idea. Create your action plan and JUST DO IT.

Remember not to just create a plan; plan to execute it. We need to produce better creative solutions if we want to attract & retain more clients. Most people have mistaken creativity for innovation. Innovation is the implementation of what is created. Creativity is the process while innovation is the act. Let your creations become innovated. Thank God I had a creative week this last 7 days at eloPhotos. Looking forward to a new one to get more knowledge and ideas to improve my Present & Future LIFE.

I am Awosanmi Emmanuel and I am photographically creative, thanks to eloPhotos.

 

How To Write A Great Profile About YOURSELF


So a few people have approached me over time to ask how to write their profiles. Each one had apparently read mine and wondered what a wonderful job I did. Truth be told, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with such a “resume” without the help of a few people. This isn’t for everyone but if you feel the need to have a profile to market your personal brand then this might help. The costlier alternative will be to hire a profile “expert” if you feel my process is too daunting a task for you to achieve.

First, get at least 6 people to help out on this journey to “profiling” destiny. It helps if half of the people don’t know you as much as the other half. Now ask them (in a kind manner ofcourse considering the fact that you’re not paying them any currency) to write down 6 sentences they consider to be true about you. Note that at this junction, some of what they might write down are considered “prophecies”; they’re realities that have not fully manifested in you yet. For example, you might be considered to be “kind” by your acquaintances and “too generous” by your close friends. It depends on who you’re asking.

Collate all the sentences about you and review and edit for accurate information. Note that you want the profile structured in such a way that it promotes you as a human being (not an angel) that people will love to meet and work with. If you’ve gotten to this point, you should get enough data to work around creating a profile like the one my team did for me (appearing below this article). Once you’ve collected their “answer sheets”, make sure you get them LUNCH to replenish the energy they dispensed during the tedious task of exercising their brain in order to help your personal brand.

Once you’ve done all these, give your final review copy to someone you consider to be a creative writer to review for you. It helps of course if the person is your friend so that you don’t get charged much for this “review” session. I don’t mind reviewing it for you if you can send it to info@elophotos.com along with a BlackBerry Q10 or a Samsung Galaxy S4 phone (to my physical address ofcourse…before some clown “emails” me a phone).

There you have it. You’ve created a profile that should represents a mini-resume of your life. With this you can update your “About Me” section on your social media platform. Let me know if this FREE profiling seminar helped.

Here’s what my team of 6 came up with about one Seun Akisanmi. Enjoy.

Seun Akisanmi is a talented, creative, God-fearing, teacher and educator with an unusual business mindset. His passion for photography was ignited after his mum got him a Christmas present in 1998: a Samsung camera. After many years as a hobbyist, he ventured fully in a career of professional photography in 2006 when he founded ELOPHOTOS STUDIOS (www.elophotos.com), an outfit that delivers world-class photography services. Since then he has covered numerous events and projects, one of which included the photography coverage of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja for their 2009 calender.
His unique selling point is his gentle and calm personality and the ability to add a touch of creativity while capturing every moment of an occasion.
In 2007, he began attracting a number of people some of which included photographers that had been in the industry for a while. They wanted to get the same results that he was getting in the management of his photography business. Subsequently, he began quarterly seminars where photographers gathered to discuss their challenges and were educated on the art & business of photography.
A photography facilitator in Daystar Skill Acquisition Project {Dsap}, he received his Bsc in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Illinois, U.S.A.
In February 2010, he established ELOPHOTOS ACADEMY (EA), an institute with a vision of raising world–class photographers. EA offers basic and advance photography courses for intending photographers and hobbyists. The results have been mind–blowing.
Over the years, he has been able to build a photography team while he runs his busy schedule, usually between Abuja and Lagos.
He left his position at eloPhotos Studios in December 2012 to start Seun Akisanmi Studios, a premium imaging brand providing creative & stunning documentation of life, people & places.
He is happily married to Ofure who also shares in his passion for photography. Together they reside in Lagos with their 2 beautiful princesses, Ebenezer & Anuoluwapo

 

WARNING: READ BEFORE YOU TRAIN AT eloPhotos


Believe it or not but God has a tattoo! It’s not of a skull, snake or even a scorpion. No, it’s something more beautiful: MY NAME. This was revealed at Monday’s weekly devotion and who else could have talked about such a radical idea but Mr Seun Akisanmi. He was sharing from Isaiah 49:16 where the Bible states “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” I had never seen that verse from that perspective but I am not one of those who think tattoos are a one-way ticket to hell. I would get a ‘Jesus’ tattoo myself if my husband approved and if tattoos weren’t painful.

Back to the Isaiah passage. Can you imagine your name engraved on God’s hand? Every time he stretches his hand, (and it must be a MIGHTY BIG hand to have all of God’s children’s name on it), he sees your name. That means you are always on his mind even when it seems he’s forgotten you. To think I came to eloPhotos to learn photography and I end up discovering there’s so much more to learn.

If you are a fun-loving person like me, you are probably just enjoying this write-up but if you have an analytical mind, chances are you are still trying to connect the title with the content. For your sake, I’ll get straight to the point. If you plan to train as a photographer at eloPhotos, let me warn you of a few things you are probably not aware of. Aren’t you glad you can get inside information from a trusted, outspoken and kind intern like me? Okay, here are 3 hot scoops to start with (you can get the other tips once you hire me for my photography services 1st).

CHORES
If you think you are all grown up and don’t do household chores anymore, don’t even sign up at eloPhotos. Here, it doesn’t matter whether you are the first son of your father and next in line to be crowned king of your village; you will sweep, wash plate(s) and run errands. You will learn patience as you interact with the rude and saucy Mama Laratu (our official restaurant Chef,huh, I mean Mama PUT).

PUBLIC ENEMY
If you are the type of person that would risk paying a little more for an item because you don’t want a vendor to insult you, don’t worry. You will learn some negotiating skills here that will turn you to a lean, mean negotiating machine – in a good way of course. Every kobo counts here, so if you pay a bus fare of N50 from Agidingbi bus-stop to say Testing ground bus-stop, you would probably have to listen to Mr Seun ask you why you didn’t negotiate to pay N30. I am not kidding. What better way to become Public Enemy Number 1 when bus conductors and market sellers lash out at you for daring to price their service/goods.

CAN’T WHAT?
If your favorite thing to say is “I can’t do such and such” or “It is impossible”, you will learn to change your vocabulary here. We don’t use such words here. Now, if you are a die-hard fan of those words and will want to insist something can’t be done, Mr Seun could ask you to go do it and do it you will. There is a zero-tolerance for excuses.

Well, you might wonder, “If eloPhotos is such a tough place to be, why has Ronke stayed this long?” especially when you consider the fact that I am the only female intern currently. Perhaps it’s because of the great people I get to work with or maybe it’s the little ways in which my life has changed. I think spending time with creative photographers brings out the “weird” in you. How would you explain the fact that I now sleep late and wake up early, I started writing again after one year of abandoning the craft, I am more futuristic in my thinking and I think really BIG. Thinking outside the box is something I now do effortlessly. I am beginning to set high standards for the goals I set for myself and recently started thinking of writing my first book.

Another important aspect of photography that I know I may not have been able to learn just anywhere but I learn quite well here is the “Business of Photography”. Yes, training at eloPhotos is no job for a lazy person but it ultimately brings out the best in you.

Photographically Yours,
Ronke Alao

 

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.

 

Knowing When to FIRE Your MENTOR


It’s a dicy issue to talk about. But there comes a time when you have to move on with whatever mentoring relationship you have with someone you respect and admire. Knowing that “right” timing is very key to your growth as an artist or individual.

When I got back from America and decided to venture professionally into photography, I met a few potential mentors. One will still remain a mentor till this day: Kelechi Amadi-Obi. Though known by a few to have his own issues or “weaknesses”, Kelechi is someone who has built a brand you will consider successful. Though some will argue that he has been “over-celebrated”, one thing that stands him out from some other top photographers is his desire to share his knowledge wholeheartedly with any hungry soul. Coupled with the fact that he has a track record very few Nigerian photographers can compete with, this has made him a photographer many enthusiasts and young professionals will love to be like “when they grow up”.

That being said, I’ve known a few people who believe that he’s not all that. One apprentice even confessed to me that the last day she worked with Kelechi was the day she witnessed him take pictures of NAKED women. “How can he engage in such an ungodly act”, she exclaimed. That was something the apprentice could not comprehend as “right” in her christian mindset. Truth is it isn’t something my christian mind can comprehend either. As a minority in my family, I have the privilege of being surrounded by 3 beautiful female beings; I do not need to see any more naked textures of a lady outside my family. My mind is just too creative to remain stable after my eyes have feasted on………..

That being said (or should it be “that being written”), relating with a mentor like Kelechi for me can be likened to eating shark fish; you need to sort out the bones and eat the delicious flesh. Very few people I know are picky enough to consider it too much trouble to eat most fishes or meat because of too much bones. In some cases, the bones are even digested after the main meal.

Relating with a lot of my mentors has been a continuous & deliberate act of focusing on their strengths instead of digesting their weaknesses. However, you can choose to be like my cousin who does not like eating chicken at all because of the stress of going through the bones. You can choose to dislike a mentor once you discover he/she has a weakness that your stomach can’t seem to digest. When such a reality dawns on you, it is expedient for you to quietly “FIRE” the mentor rather than have the weakness torment your relationship.

By “FIRE”, I’m referring to a way by which you will quietly close the door on the relationship instead of “SLAMMING” the door. You never can tell when you might need to go back through that same door. Besides, relating with mentors should also bring to your reality that they’re also as human as you are and sometimes with more flaws than people know. It is better to quietly end the relationship than to be an agent that specializes in marketing the weaknesses of others. What you sow, you will reap.

Sometimes I wonder what it’s like for those that look up to me afar off and when they finally join eloPhotos as interns, they realize that I have serious issues I still struggle with. They know my weaknesses and still decide to stay their full tenure. Can’t they see that I can be a workaholic who sometimes forgets that he’s married with 3 ladies to cater for. Can’t they see that I have a weakness of spending my last N1k to watch a movie called ELYSIUM even though I’ve watched it twice already. Can’t they see that although I studied Accounting in an American University, I still can’t make my balance sheets balance. They see all these and still choose to stay.

If the knowledge of your mentors’ weakness becomes too much for your soul to bear, its time to make a decision that might help save your soul. It’s time to become a distant fan and not a close protegee. I’ve had to become an admirer to at least 5 of the people I once considered mentors. For me the deal breaker is when the weakness is a major character flaw that I consider inexcusable (e.g. lying, cheating, adultery, etc). It’s just hard to see that person as someone I’ll like to be like when I grow up.

Severing the relationship can be painful but slamming the door on the relationship can cause more harm than good. When you get to the crossroad where all you see constantly is that person’s weakness, perhaps you should consider prayerfully FIRING the person. Its way better than bad-mouthing the person in front of others.

Perhaps I might be wrong on my stance. Perhaps I might be right. It’s your call to decide if this mentor of yours will FOREVER be your “role-model”. Or what would you do if you discover that your mentor of integrity confessed to embezzling bank funds entrusted to his care? What will you do?

Yours faithfully,
Your Photography Mentor in need of a BlackBerry Q10,
Seun Akisanmi

 

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
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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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…raising world-class photographers

Coming Soon 2 a Photography Conference Near U: A BLIND Photographer


Meet Taiwo, Africa’s 1st blind photographer. Born blind, her love for the artistic has driven her to eventually join the community of photographers. Her reason: to challenge those who can see. Think we’re joking? Meet her at the forthcoming Nigeria Photography Expo & Conference where she’ll be exhibiting a few of her pictures. Meanwhile, here’s a “glimpse” of what she looks like

NiPHEC 2013: miss it, miss out

 

Titi & Dami’s Wedding


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


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Register for a photography course before December 28, 2012 and get 50% OFF. CLICK HERE for more information
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Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
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For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos), add us on your bb: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

Grace & Obadiah’s Wedding Album


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

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Discover 5 reasons why you should learn photography at eloPhotos ACADEMY. A new weekend session begins January 12, 2013.
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Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
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For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos), add us on your bb: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

A Picture Slide Show You’ll Love


Here’s an upload of a video slide show I just finished working on. Let me know what you think.

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Discover 5 reasons why you should learn photography at eloPhotos ACADEMY. A new weekend session begins January 12, 2013.
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Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
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For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos), add us on your bb: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

The 60-year-old photography student


“Can I have a chat with the gentleman that was interviewed on radio a few months back?”
That was the question asked by the old gentleman as he stepped into our reception. I was quick to respond that he was already speaking to the man: ME.

Apparently he had been fascinated by the interview we had on radio with Titi a few months back where I mentioned that I studied accounting in a U.S. based university but now I was practicing photography. Although at 60, he wanted to pursue his photography dream.

Since he had studied in the United States, he felt we had some things in common and that our photography academy will be the right place for him. I felt a little nervous knowing I’ll be teaching our oldest student yet.

He reassured me that he knows the basics already (aperture, iso, shutter speed) and only wants a refresher course. Either way I look forward to having our oldest student yet along with our first BLIND student. It is well.

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REGISTER FOR A PHOTOGRAPHY MODULE AT eloPhotos Academy TODAY. CLICK HERE for more information
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Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
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For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos), add us on your bb: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

Leke & Seyi’s Wedding in Pictures


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

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REGISTER FOR A PHOTOGRAPHY MODULE BEFORE December 28, 2012 and get 50% OFF. CLICK HERE for more information
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Daystar Skill Acquisition Project SET 9: A New Class of Photographers


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


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

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Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
************************************************
REGISTER FOR A PHOTOGRAPHY MODULE BEFORE December 28, 2012 and get 50% OFF. CLICK HERE for more information
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For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos), add us on your bb: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

 

The Multi-Million Naira Photography Brand: A Photography Workshop


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

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

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

Date: Sunday November 4, 2012

Time: 2pm – 7pm

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

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

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Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
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Plan to take a course at our ACADEMY
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For tips on growing your photography business, “like” our facebook page (facebook.com/elophotos), add us on your bb: 271E3BC8 or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/eloPhotos

The Gathering of 201 Nigerian Photographers


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