A Tribute To YOU


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I remember waking you up that Monday morning to share with you the dream I just had about you passing on. I remember being upset with you that we did not pray long enough to reject the dream from becoming a reality. I remember you telling me it’s not the length of a prayer that determines whether our FATHER will answer. I remember your calmness amidst my worry.

I remember getting the call few hours later that morning. I remember sitting by your side around 11am with oxygen tank and drips attached to you. I remember you telling me that you came back momentarily to tell me to let you go because your time was up. I remember being too shocked to cry and I am yet to cry the way the world expects. I remember that Monday morning was not the most prophetic and exciting way to start the week. I remember the criticisms, feedbacks, rebukes and advice I received all because I didn’t cry or react the way normal people react when things like this happen. I remember the counsels of psychanalysts, the admonitions of psychologists, the analysis of psychiatrists, and the gossips & gists of every other unqualified ‘gists’. But all the talk was said either because they didn’t know you the way I did or they didn’t understand this perspective of the God we serve.

You’ve been gone 996 days (not that I’ve been counting). You passed the torch to me with 3 angels to care for. Your departure gave me enough reasons to ask HIM why HE took you so soon yet I’ve refused to ask HIM those dreaded-but-well-deserved questions that start with WHY… You’ve been gone but yet I’ve been comforted knowing very well you’re in HEAVEN.

Since you’ve been gone, my relationship with the FATHER has gotten to another level for good. Since you’ve been gone, my understanding of your unconditional LOVE has been clearer. Since you’ve been gone, my definition of WORSHIP has been redefined. Since you’ve been gone, the revelation of what Mary felt when her firstborn was being crucified…. Forgive me, let me get a tissue, I’m getting a little emotional here. Since you’ve been gone, my LOVE for you has grown exponentially.

Sometimes your youngest son, Murewa, asks after his dad and I don’t know what to tell him. Sometimes your firstborn, Fiiresayemi, says he can’t remember your voice anymore and I try to play our wedding video for him. Sometimes your only daughter, Foyinsayemi, just wants to go for a walk down the street to buy groceries with her father but I’m left to be your representative.

Though it’s been 2 years, 8 months, and 10 days (really, I’m not counting) you’ve been on your vacation, I remember today – November 29, 2017 – as the day you would have turned 40 years old. I had planned this day years ago and never envisaged I would witness it in your absence, but then again you’re still present. I would have almost given up, had God not sent an enigmatic photographer my way to celebrate our family in pictures. The ONE that told me He had a hand in all that happened also told me your LIFE WAS A SEED that needed to die so that many will come to the consciousness of HEAVEN.

My prayer is that many will be encouraged to remain in the KINGDOM of this FATHER that makes all things work together for the good of them that love and seek him. My prayer is that many who have lost loved ones will find unexplainable comfort and undeniable peace like I found in the arms of the one I call OLUTUNU. My prayer is that many that see these HEAVENLY pictures that we took together will be reminded of the FACT that there is a place of peace, rest, and joy where those that pass on (I still don’t believe you’re DEAD) abide if they had a relationship with JESUS on this side of eternity.

As you celebrate your 40th birthday in HEAVEN and as we remember today the time you spent with us in years past, may God use these pictures and the blessed memory of you to heal the millions of hearts that see this. Like the unremovable birthmark we all have on our bodies, the memory of YOU & the God we serve will forever be engraved on our hearts. With TEARS in my eyes and joy in my heart, knowing very well that you’re reading this, I want you to know from the depths of my being that I LOVE YOU…. I ALWAYS HAVE AND ALWAYS WILL

Happy Birthday SWEETHEART. Keep resting in the bosom of your LORD.

Eternally Yours,
Your Beautiful Wife,
Funmi Afolarin

#feelfreetoshare

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Creativity Has Its Own Language


The previous week, for me, was an avalanche of many learning opportunities. However, by far the most remarkable event that stood out in my mind was the “creation” of the editing room tables.  I used the word CREATION because that is precisely what described the making of the tables currently adorning eloPhotos’ editing room.

Ordinarily, when people want to make tables, in fact any furniture at all, they call a carpenter,then tell the carpenter exactly whatthey want and leave the work to him; after all that is the carpenters job?  But then, as I have come to appreciate, in eloPhotos you are not bound to follow such restrictive “rules”. If you need a table nothing stops you from creating one yourself. In fact, a table does not have to be made with wood or the usual materials that the unyielding mind has arrogantly come to associate with furniture. What says furniture must be made of only wood, metal or plastic? What law prohibits a table from being made with paper?

Well, you can make your own furniture, you do not always need a carpenter to make one, and you can make one with paper. I saw it all happen at eloPhotos.

As it so happens, eloPhotos is currently renovating, and everyone is aware that there is plan to redesign the studio and bring in new furniture. But what most people, including I, never considered, was the manner some of those furniture will be acquired.

So when the amiable owner, and the creative engine behind eloPhotos – Seun Akisanmi, fondly called Mr. Seun by all, observed quite a number ofhard cylindrical paper rollers, which were be disposed by the printing outfit that occupies the second floor. He imagined that these rollers could be used for something and voiced his thoughts to the rest of us – “What if we use these to make the legs of our tables?”

Well, I was skeptical and doubted how a few about-to-be disposed pieces of cylindrical paper could possibly be used for tables? What if someone spilled water? What if these tables collapsed under the weight of the equipment’s that will be set on them?

But then, Mr. Seun not only insisted it could be done, he practically demonstrated what he meant by constructing one.  Whoa! We have an office table with wooden top and paper legs! Not only is the table sturdy, it looks neatly crafted. After the initial one, two more tables have now been constructed by members of the team using same approach and material – wooden top and paper legs.

 

This experience was a huge learning point for me, as it reinforced in my mind what is possible when creativity is buoyed by imagination. Not only was Mr. Seun able to see what was possible with supposedly worthless paper rollers, he was also creative enough to put what he had imagined together.

In my mind, albeit unconsciously, I had narrowly delimited being creative within a photography studio environment to what could be achieved with images only. Aren’t images what one “logically” wants to be creative about in a photography studio? But creativity has its own language and logic is not necessarily part of its vocabulary. It does not matter its application –whether in photography or making furniture; creativity has a common language. When allowed to blossom, creativity does the same thing over and over – connecting things that logically seem unrelated to provide unique, valuable solutions. I saw that demonstrated and it was a gratifying experience.

Segun Ishola

In Prayers & Business


Starting the week with God in prayer and singing was not uncommon, Red 19 was on ground to head the session, Mr Seun Akisanmi had ended the prayers with his poetic-like lines. The first and the only regular meeting of the week had begun, everyone with one or two words; one two three the ball was passed and in few minutes to the hour the meeting was over.

Our usual training session had started with Sal Cincotta, a video session of about 29hrs, the thing was to break it down and take the dose of photography and business bit after bit. The Basic business principle was explained; either in photography or any other it’s all same: pricing, marketing, target market and the face of the brand. During the period one could easily behold himself as in a mirror. The description of a man who enjoys creative and passionate of his craft, he set out on a business venture to make earning, in no time he soon becomes aware of the enormity of the task he has embarked on and that business is business. His emotion and sentiment had brought him nowhere. The business is riddled with the passion of the craft, family and friend factor, and the face of undesired and undeserved clients. He is faced with mounting bills and cost, and the craft had brought him no farther than he thought.

Video classes are not uncommon with the foreign artist, and so much for download on youtube and some other video platforms. Majority are centered on camera techniques and skills, posing techniques and its likes, and just a little on doing the business of photography, getting to see the video was just it, and no much fun can be than to listen to the artist with much of the understanding of the business.

Sal Cincotta is very successful business owner and the owner of the Salvatour Cincotta photography. He turned pro back in 2007/2008, and made successes in the business of photography. His business had a time declared 1 million dollars in the year 2014 as revenue.

Snapshot was a part of the week of business of photography. We had hosted him to facilitate a class on the Tuesday. We suspended our video lecture and justify his presence with the attention of our team to his knowledge and experience. His local perspective was best right on time, no better time to share his over five year’s journey. One of the high point was to him making money and improving his art without a sense of direction and vision. At a point he made up his mind to take up the full-time role of an artist after a period of about four years and his journey had been much adventurous.

One or two things to pick, sometimes we tend not to agree their perspective of life, but they have a message and the result is evident. Mr Seun had made arrangement for us to be part of the seminar down on the island; Sottu was on ground to discuss business. The talk had ended with just little on the business and more on his techniques and portfolio. His openness to show his pricing and his packages was it for me. The bottom line is Sottu has just decided to join the league of the few who are committed and passionate about helping the upcoming.

IT IS SCRAP


“Do not blame the rich, they do not know how it feels to be poor.” That is the interpretation I gave to the outburst of a speaker at the summit I attended recently, saying cameras that are not high ends are scraps. But he failed to teach us how to get there. As much as I agree that a very good and very expensive gears kill the job for you as a photographer, you do not get to access such gears at startup except you have a rich family background. So how do you save up to acquire the “high ends” if not by using the “scraps,” which makes great images as well; after all, the camera only makes the image your eyes already saw.

I suppose he is one of the rich dudes that started out as a big boy. I sincerely did not get his point because not even he will lend out his “high-end” gear to a newbie photographer, so how does a “not privileged” newbie pull through? Really, I am grateful for the foundational education in eloPhotos, very balanced I must say.

Analysing Bayo Omoboriowo and his philanthropic photography was a high point in the week for me. Yes I call a philanthropist; His foresight is deep, his interest and commitment to things and people is impressively genuine. So many of us photographers pursue money, but he personifies the saying; “Pursue your passion and success/money will follow you pants down.” The whole event of “The Coversation”/Book launch held at the Presidency showcased his high level of wisdom,value-adding attribute, forward thinking, humility, human relations… I can go on and on, the guy
captured my heart. And all these attributes did not just jump on him as the presidential photographer, he has upheld these values and the philanthropic nature since when he was a street photographer, had a personal experience with him back in the years. Something cuts at me, who does that? Giving all the proceeds from his book launch to IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons).

All the efforts, all the calibre of people who attended the event and their supposed depth of donations! Who does not like money, not even in this recession. It reiterated the truth that; “Joy is not defined by wealth, it is contentment that has its key,” and “wealth is not in money, but how many lives you affected positively.”

October 1st won’t leave my mind in a haste, not just because it was Nigeria’s Independence, but this contentment thing that brings joy confronted me again. Took out time with some younger friends to go visiting some families unannounced, just to show some love. Touched quite a number of places but one stood out. More than meeting a full house (the whole family members were present), much more than meeting them eating, the aura in the home lighted my heart. Even though we were getting tired by then because of moving from one place to the other, we were energized by the so much love in the family. They were not the “rich” that had varieties to munch, they did not have beautifully painted walls, well tiled floors or beautiful sofas, but they had joy.

We actually met all of them; Dad, mum and four well-built young men eating “garri (cassava flakes) and beans” from the same plates, gisting and laughing over the meal. Wow! I felt that was awesome and will be more tasteful than eating “fried rice and chicken” crampy. They were all very friendly and funny, I sincerely loved what I saw. Contentment is sure a virtue to be valued in life.

I am not sure going to stop taking life lessons as I, Mosopefoluwa Onanusi, savor my photography skill learning.

Attached are pictures taken last week. Do let me know what you think of them

evening-sky-ait-rd-6 evening-sky-ait-rd-10 macror-1 rainbow-after-rain-ait-rd

The N100k I LOST


As happy and motivated as I was, I dashed my dreams and disappointed myself. I had a hundred
thousand naira within my grasp and on a platter, all I needed to do was complete a simple task of
negotiating for a particular commodity for a particular price and redeem the N100K prize but
unfortunately I was unable to complete the said task. The situation was and is so disheartening that I
can’t even explain the details without shedding a tear. The fact that I lost the money is not as hurting as
not being able to complete the task.

The week brought a lot of lessons along while coming; having not to cover an event for a cousin was a
big deal for me and became a platform to learn something new. I kind of had a soft spot for her and
didn’t even charge her a reasonable amount because she’s family, unfortunately she wanted a free job. I
really don’t understand why because I also used to have that mindset before that if my family member
ran a business I should pay less or nothing to get their services or goods, now it seems difficult for me to
charge a family member but this issue is something that is needed to be really dealt with if not, one will
soon run out business.

We have been watching a video on Sal Cincotta’s lecture on the business of photography and among all
that I’ve been learning, he said we shouldn’t feel bad for charging what we charge as photographers and
as business persons generally but should be confident to charge what we as well as our service is worth.
He also gave us tips on how to transform our business from the ordinary to an outstanding business
outfit. As much as it sounded harsh and not nice the Business tips from Sal Cincotta plus admonitions
from my boss came in handy for the negotiation with my cousin during the week because I probably
would have done the job for free on her own terms not mine.

We also had a guest lecturer over during the course of the week in the person of Adesanmi Oguntade of
Snaptures Photography. He shared his experiences with us regarding how he ventured into photography
to escape a certain academic frustration but it turned out not bad, he shared how he had failed and
excelled thus far in his photography career. I also learnt the principle of low-end customers and how
they can proportionate to great business transactions. Often times we neglect marketing to a set of
people thinking that the other set cannot afford to hire us, of course not everyone is your client, but we
can even make transform people into marketing for us without directly rendering a substantial service
to them.

My name is Enor Izomor and I’m proud to be female photographer interning at eloPhotos Academy.

Caught In A WEB


He just stood there still as a rock. He should fight for his life, struggle his way out of that unfavorable situation; I expect that he’d at least give it a try. Still he was still; I stopped to ponder for a minute, he didn’t seem to be worried about the situation he was in.

Why wasn’t he worried? Why wasn’t he devastated? Why wasn’t he struggling his way out? Why? Why? Why?

I had been in this place called Akonko, somewhere in south-western Nigeria, since the day before and seeing the lifestyle of the people in this village I was marveled; nothing like I’d ever seen before. They were so carefree and not tensed unlike the city I live in where even the oxygen we breathe in is tensed. I’ve said it times and again that if there’s a reason to worry, then these people had more than enough reasons. Where there is no electricity, no good drinking water, no health care facility, no internet or mobile network source, school fees worth less than N1k seems unaffordable, schools are equal to a dead end and a lot more that can’t be written; I think there’s no better definition for misery than these but ironically these people didn’t see it as that but were even more carefree than people that had all that and more.

This butterfly was caught in a web and when I expected it to be worried and struggle its way out of the web, it just stood there and watched in patience. I’m guessing it had earlier been struggling and fighting to get out of the web and that didn’t seem to be working so he opted to try a calmer and stress-less method, it’s just a guess but I suppose the worry-free spirit was abundant in the village called Akonko where I captured this butterfly.

Relating this to our lives, as long as man lives there will always be reasons to worry and when you try worrying does it work? I can say 99% of the time it doesn’t work except you’re banking on the negligible 1%; so I was thinking why not emulate the Akonko approach and try the calmer method. It’ll cost you nothing to try anyway; let’s reduce the hypertension in the world and loosen the web easily, it all begins with you.

Just so you know I released the butterfly afterwards.

butterfly caught in a web in akonko

butterfly caught in a web in akonko

“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

YES It Is POSSIBLE


It is not only with God that all things are possible. With Seun Akisanmi, all you need ask is “Is it possible?” and the default answer you get is a big “Yes” irrespective of the request intended. I guess he is just exhibiting his father’s trait, he doesn’t believe anything is impossible, don’t bother dare him with it. This was our new discovery as we walk off to fixing some jobs this past week. While my colleague talked about how it was wisdom to ask to join me in the task and how taking the “is it possible?” route helps enhance the kind of favorable response, something popped up in my head, I smiled and muttered “wow, report caption.” You can imagine where my mind went to! This report thing, no be small thing o, you will just get creative by all means.

It is easy to believe the realness of something especially when it is repeated severally or more than one person is saying or doing it, it is pretty difficult to stand alone, you even have to doubt your sanity at some of those times. What saves you at those times is your confidence in the information you have of the subject matter and that is why true and sound knowledge is required to excel. I cannot imagine what would have happened if I didn’t have a fore sound knowledge of picture editing from eloPhotos or I was not confident of this, I would have been so tossed here and there by these incompetent photo labs who apparently need to fix/service their printing machines. Imagine what the problem is when an image with originally color green coming out as color blue, what! What could have happened, I sensed it was their ink, but was told they use chemicals instead of ink when I approached them. This is definitely the printer’s error, but this print guy won’t accept, he kept hammering on “I only brightened the image.” How on earth does exposure affect color!? The guy unrepentantly kept ranting foolishly, would not even allow me make my point even when the business owners came to intervene. It doesn’t seem customers’ satisfaction mean so much to them too as they were just concerned about the recent cost of print papers. Of what benefit is wasting time there, we are obviously not on the same level of knowledge. I left everything furious; my money (they were obviously not going to refund that) and their horrible papers, I am a Professional Photographer, and I can never deliver that to my client, No way! I made them understand that before I left.

The next day, I went to another lab only to get the same issue. Now, this almost got me confused, but for my sound training, I would have believed what the other print lab guy pointed was the issue- my editing. I complained, they adjusted their machine and got a “near the color” print. I accepted the result (I was tired of the whole process), only for me to be called by the first print lab that their engineer has rectify the problem in the machine and they have printed another. Of a truth when I saw it, it was the real color even better than the latter print.

So I learnt, never follow the crowd or be intimidated by them, they possibly are not right. Get sound knowledge and confidently take it on, you can be the only right person amidst multitude on a matter.

This is Mosopefoluwa Onanusi taking life lessons.

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

​THE CONFIDENT THIEF Vs. THE CAREFREE ME


I was shocked. I couldn’t even shout or say a single word when I caught him; all I did was hold my pocket and look at him sternly. Guess what he said. “kilo n se e” meaning “what’s wrong with you” in a tone that sounded like I’m even trying to help you.

We (Mosope and I) were on our way from Ikeja, computer village precisely, when we stopped to buy plantain chips from a petty trader on the road. I was still complaining about the size of the commodity when I felt something move slightly in the pocket of the cardigan I was wearing. Apparently a skinny dark complexioned suspicious-looking young man was trying to pick my pocket for the phone that was borrowed me. Yes, I lent the phone from my boss. I’m aware of street theft but I had never experienced it personally before, so I’m still a bit carefree with my things on the road; this was an eye-opener for me. It would have been a horrible experience if he had succeeded but thanks to God that was not the case.

I’m beginning to understand why Elophotos scrutinizes it’s applicants before accepting them on board; let me quickly share my experience.

I’ve met Mr. Seun Akisanmi severally in Daystar skill acquisition program (D-SAP) and I perceived he’s one very strict young man – well, he is. It took time, encouragement and a lot of boldness for me to decide to speak to him about furthering my photography training in his photography school (Elophotos academy). Finally, I meet him and after narrating my photography dream to him, I thought I was even speaking gibberish that day because I was really tensed. After my speech he asked, “On a scale of 1-10 what was your level of determination like, here in D-SAP?” Guess what my answer was? 4! Even I was dissatisfied with my answer. And I felt worse when he said he’s looking for people with an 8.

The questioning continued that day and even led to an assignment which further led to a meeting leading to another assessment and assignment before registration and payment was even considered. Notwithstanding I got the admission and like any young person that had been applying to a University I was elated.

Working with Elophotos for the past 3 weeks has given me better understanding as to why they go the extra mile to run the scrutiny and give you the rules and regulations before registration.

This week was more of what the hurdles of being a photographer looks like, we covered a wedding during the course of the week. Although it was quite an enlightening experience, it was also stressful and in fact even more stressful than I imagined. 

We were privileged to attend training on the importance and use of digital/social media. The training exposed me to several uses of the social media and the improvements that have been made over the years.

To wrap up the week, we had a spontaneous job on Sunday afternoon that kept us waiting for our client’s model. Unfortunately we were unable to do the shoot due to the unavailability of the model. Gladly the wait was not much of a waste of time because I learnt quite a number of things during this waiting period. I’ve come to understand now that no time should be wasted; you can actually get the best of any situation. It all depends on you and how you perceive the situation and circumstance you find yourself in.

I’m Enor Izomor and though it’s getting tougher, I’m still glad I’m a photography intern.

My 11th COMMANDMENT


What gut do I have to be ungrateful to God or to complain?

This resurfaced several times in the week ended; I had another episode of experience and learning. A visit to Akonko, a village in the outskirt of Ogun state, almost linking Ibadan in Oyo state was a big one.

I loaded my bag with leggings-socks as we have been told that mosquitoes there are weight lifting and we possibly may be coming back with mosquito bikes like boil. For me, that is the scariest part.  Other expectations were that there is no electricity nor telecommunication network and we are going to be there for about three (3) days documenting the village and its residents. Hmmm, God help us.

We set out early and kept going and going like we were travelling to the east, but we eventually got there and wow! It’s for real.  I have been part of village outreaches, so the village setting; the mud houses and bushes were really not concerns for me (though doesn’t sound like where I would naturally want to be).

Then the lessons began. After resting some few minutes, we visited the farm. I noticed on our way to the farm, everyone we met gave us a well composed greeting with a Big Bold Smile, children and adults alike. For real! or are we riding on the goodwill of our host? I thought. My mind flashed back to what transpires in Lagos and I was quick to conclude this People are indeed courteous and hospitable. There are some places you live in Lagos that you just automatically lose your morals, everyone rides their own horse. These people are obviously tagged the poor, but they’ve got what money cannot buy.

My presumption was confirmed as I further interact with the residents of the village.  They were much more open than I thought, they seem not to have a choice, they just wanted a better life and feel our presence and mission could enhance this.

Looking at the people, they were not different from us, just that they don’t have the opportunity and hope we have. No good water (We didn’t take our baths for three days, only necessary areas with sachet water), no electricity, no good roads, and most pathetic, no single good healthcare centre and no good school. The sight of the school breaks my heart, a dilapidated building that has just three teachers taking from Nursery to Primary. Those attending a better school trek one hour to school and back every day as transportation is another huge issue there. Wow! How can people be subjected to such life, I see a great level of neglect on the part of Government especially when I heard they had voters’ cards. Now that is hell crazy if you understand what I mean.

Reminiscing on where I am coming from, where I am, my high hopes of the future, I sighed and said to myself;

“Thou shall never be ungrateful. By any form of complain or unseemly countenance.”

That sounded like a commandment. Yea, for me, it is my 11th, as being ungrateful or allowing situation affect one’s countenance seem now like a sin. A colleague buttressed, “if God would not further do anything else in our lives, I think He has tried.”

I thought to myself, “We and these people cannot definitely have the same prayer points”. We have hopes alive, cannot explain what their state of mind is (definitely not what you would wish). But if the people in Akonko can live happy, there is then no excuse for someone like me.

Wait a minute, sorry I forgot to mention they made very sumptuous meal with little or no ingredients. The village called Akonko is one I’ll definitely not forget.

THE PHOTOGRAPHY DRIVE


The horrible noise of the alarm my chinko phone woke me up at exactly 5 AM on Monday morning, as I jumped off my bed to prepare for the new week. In less than 30 minutes I was ready and that means, am headed for eloPhotos Academy where am being groomed into becoming a world class photographer. Walking close to the bustop, I could hear the voices of the different bus conductors screaming at the top of their voices, “iyanoworo oshodi enter with your hundred naira change, I no want shout this early morning ooo”.  In no time, the bus moved and as I would usually do on Mondays, I started building expectations and things I wanted to achieve in the new week, and set up action plans in executing them.
8 AM on Mondays at ELOPHOTOS ACADEMY, is that time where we commune with our creator. When I say our creator you would easily know am talking about God,  yea am actually referring to him as creator because he made us creative and we assemble ourselves to thank and praise him for the gift of live and creativity.
10 AM and it was lecture time. The topic we discusses that day was POINT OF VIEW. There are mainly three types of point of view.
Before I name these three let me define POINT OF VIEW, this refers to the angle of which an image is captured from which comprises,
1. BIRD VIEW
2. EYE VIEW
3. LOW ANGLE SHOT.
The week continued to be a fun filled one learning. The high note of the week for me, started on Thursday when we were on an excursion to the PHOTO GARAGE. It was a beauty to behold at the garage, an average man would say nothing meaningful is being discussed in a garage, I bet you to it not in a PHOTO GARAGE with the conductor UCHE JAMES IROHA conducting the passengers. A lot was discussed at the garage on Thursday; issues of upcoming photographers, sharing from life experiences, introduction of passengers in the garage, refreshments and taking of pictures with the conductor UCHE JAMES IROHA.
In his closing words he said somethings that pricked me in the heart to concentrate and focus with stern attention to the gospel of photography of which am an ambassador. He said, work hard, and you will succeed because this is the hour, projected for darkness to operate, you either choose to make it fast or make it slowly or even die a failure! I became cold on hearing this words, I wondered is he (UCHE JAME IROHA) a prophet? Out of curiosity, I asked what can I do to achieve fast in this dark hour? He replied with three words of inspiration                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. MONEY IS A GRADUATION OF SWEAT                                                                                                                                                                                       2. IF YOU GET AN INSPIRATION DO IT IMMEDIATELY                                                                                                                                               3. FAITH DON’T DENY REALITY, WE ONLY PUT OUR FAITH TO REALITY.
He also shared with us 6 steps of creating a photograph.
1.look with your eyes and examine the subject.
2.see what you want to shoot.
3.observe the subject you want to shoot.
4.study the environment.
5.confirm that what you see make sense.
6.SHOOT
IT WAS WONDERFUL BEEN AT THE PHOTO GARAGE; THANKS TO UCHE JAMES IROHA FOR HAVING US AND OUR HIGHLY ESTEEMED DIRECTOR, MR SEUN AKISANMI.

King Lemuel

One long week at eloPhotos


Another adventure as a new intern at the ELOPHOTOS ACADEMY began on Monday 13th, July 2015. As usual, Mondays are always a busy day here in Lagos, nevertheless as I dress up to go work ,there is this big picture in my heart, and the consciousness that  I’m a  new intern at the prestigious ELOPHOTOS ACADEMY, makes  me feel like there’s nothing I can’t achieve. This first just concluded week has been such an adventurous one for me. I arrived ELOPHOTOS ACADEMY at about 7am on
Monday; thoughts of how things were being done at the academy flooded my heart, and thoughts of getting acquainted to my new classmates. Before long, virtually all the students were come together for the morning devotion, it was a once in a life time devotional prayer and praise session, as one of the interns named BOLUWATIFE AKINDELE filled the room with worship, as we all praises to the lord, before TUNDE TALABI; another intern lead us in an Holy Ghost filled prayer session. One would mistake the academy for a prayer meeting this particular Monday.

After benediction, a roster with portions of chores was read out and everyone got busy putting things in other. After we finished the chore assigned to us all, it was time for the business of the day which of course was learning photography. .After the class ended, it was practical time. Myself and a few of my colleagues went shooting images at the road side just to help us attain perfection in the area of photography that our teacher; MR TOYE PETERS had earlier taught us in the class.

As the night drew near, I thought to myself how could I be better at what I do, the answer came the next day when our highly esteemed director; SIR SEUN AKISANMI, called us for a meeting with him. For me, it was not just a meeting but a turning point in my life and my chosen career. He spoke about some basic imperfections, and gave advice to us all. There were many instructions and guidelines he gave
us in his words which sent chills to our spines. One of such questions which struck me was when he asked, “WHAT QUALITY IN YOU WILL MAKE A CLIENT HIRE YOU ABOVE ANOTHER PHOTOGRAPHER?”

The room was filled with dead faces and minds trying to fathom what answer to give to this question. The answers from other interns weren’t really convincing to me as I couldn’t think of what would make a client hire me above another photographer. As the meeting was coming to an end he gave us an assignment to take 10 different head shots of people in our vicinity. After thinking of where to get 10 headshots, an idea of going to the mall at Alausa Ikeja came and I was happy that some of my colleagues liked the idea, followed me and it was a great time at the mall. Talking to people I’ve never met to allow me
take a head shot of them proved to be herculean task, but we got a few nice shots and went back to the academy.

In less than a week, I’m now used to everyone at the eloPhotos Academy. Thursday was a very busy day for everyone at the academy as some were busy completing the frames that were to be used at a 70th birthday of a client, the preceding day which was a Friday, some were charging batteries to be used, others running errands so as to make the Fridays event on point, if I end without expressing my gratitude to an exceptional intern whose character towards me was nice, then I’m just like that basket that can’t hold
water, it was past the hour of 4 when YEWANDE an intern  came to me and said,

“I noticed that since you came to this academy, have not seen you eating before, are you fasting?”

I reluctantly smiled and replied I wasn’t fasting but I might have been overwhelmed by the purpose for which I was here than watching over what to eat. She left and when she returned few minutes later, and she asked me to accompany her to get food, only to find out she was actually buying the food for me. I was left humbled by her kind heartedness and I want her to know I sincerely appreciated the food. Friday came and it was the anticipated birthday of our client. I was be privileged to be a backup photographer at the event which started at the church before we moved down to the reception at the Muson centre Onikan, for the reception of the ceremony. It was a big birthday party as many dignitaries were present, too much to mention after taking shots over shots the birthday came to an end we headed back to the academy. It was a wonderful outing for me and I knew it was the same for my colleagues too. I
really want to say a big thank you to SIR SEUN AKISANMI; CERTIFIED OLUYA for giving me the opportunity to be a part of what I love to do best; freezing time through photographs …..

I am King Lemuel and I am a photographer.

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.

The Day I Shot Jesus: Chapter 1


10 MINUTES TO OUR FINAL DESTINATION.” The Captain’s voice made me a little nervous. I had boarded the underground oceanic train that ran across the New Atlantic Ocean. The sight was unbelievable. Who would have thought that an underground train from New York to Israel via the ocean will be feasible. The year was 2137 and I had been commissioned to provide portraits of His Royal Majesty, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.

He had seen a portrait I did for prophet Jeremiah & Adam in the year 2136 and had been intrigued. He decided he was due for another session. The last time He had a photo shoot was in 2092 in Israel. I would be the 3rd human being (1st African) to give His Royal Majesty a session. How would I go about it. I wondered what specifically intrigued him about Jeremiah and Adam’s pictures. What a honor indeed it would be to carve a portrait for the one that created my being. Almost as if he could hear my thoughts, he interrupted: PEACE. Suddenly I had this overwhelming peace and confidence that this was indeed one of the reasons he had created me…..for such a session. It would be a session after which the world would see another side of Jesus that they had not seen. More importantly, this would be the first portrait that would be taken by a man and exhibited in the Lord’s Temple in Heaven. What a privilege.

We passed Jerusalem Institute of Technology and I realized I had just 2 more minutes to the underground train’s final destination. I took a last glance at the last portrait that Jesus took. Though blind & crippled in his pre-rapture life, Sou was able to get a portrait of Jesus laughing his heart out. You could see from the picture that the photographer had really said or done something that made the King of Earth burst out in laughter while simultaneously using his hands to cover his eyes. I looked at the scar on His hand. He didn’t have to go to the Cross but I’m glad he did. The picture had gone viral and was still considered the most downloaded “real” picture of Jesus in Human history. Who would have thought Jesus could laugh like that.

I turned to my assistant, Folu, and asked if all was good to go. He replied in the affirmative. He confirmed that the makeup artist had arrived at the New Gate Hotel in Jerusalem. Considered the headquarters of the world, Jerusalem had blossomed (in all spheres) in the last few decades as a result of the physical presence of Jesus.

I took another glimpse of my camera before getting off the train. I had just purchased the new SILT K5 which came with a whopping 2.16 zettapixels image sensor. A picture taken with this baby will result in over 2 billion trillion pixels if I take time to count. That should be enough to document the session. I felt fulfilled knowing that the camera’s first assignment would be to snap the creator of the universe. I smiled.

“Phone call for you sir,” Folu interrupted. It was the makeup artist. She was wondering why we are yet to get to the hotel. “Don’t worry Ofure, we’ll be there in 6 minutes.” I dropped the call and hurriedly boarded the…..

To be continued….

Dear Kaduna Photographers….


Dear Kaduna Photographers,

Today’s scheduled workshop had to be cancelled  because we had an issue with the leadership of the photographers’ association over there.

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Apparently they want us to settle them before we can hold a workshop there and are upset that we didn’t consult them before deciding to advertise the workshop. Although their argument that we’re committing a crime by planning to defraud photographers of their hard-earned N2k is borne out of ignorance of what we’re trying to achieve in the photography industry.

Consequently they’ve threatened to do whatever it will take to disrupt the workshop & I personally don’t have the energy at this point to face them knowing that I’ll be travelling by road to reach Kaduna (from Jos). If you’re a member of such an association that fights back at a good thing coming their way, please reconsider your reasons for joining as this will inadvertently result in the dwarfing of your photography career.

For those that are ignorant of the law, you’re only mandated to join an association if your photography business is NOT registered with the government (via Corporate Affairs Commission). And even if that is the only association that exists, you have the government’s permission to start another association that will be beneficial to the group of photographers that want to move forward in their careers. I wish you the best in your photography endeavours & pray that mindsets of people that think that my presence in Kaduna (or any other city) is a threat to their “territory” will eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you happen to change your mind before the forthcoming Nigeria Photography Expo and Conference 2015 (which holds from June 13 to 15 in Abuja), I will personally make sure you get a a few complimentary tickets to attend some of the classes. Visit www.niphec.com/seminars for registration details.

To the leadership of the photography association, thanks for saving me the stress,  time &  money of getting to Kaduna. The rewarder of man will bless all our efforts. Let me go back to my comfortable bed and rest awhile, for there are 6 more photography territories to be conquered.

Port Harcourt, here I come.

Photographically yours,
Seun Akisanmi, for #NiPHEC2015

The 9-cities Photography Workshop Tour Begins…


We’re gearing up for the 9-city workshop tour teaching on

“OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES OF RUNNING A PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS”.

The photography industry in Nigeria is on the verge of a BOOM. Positioning your photography business rightly (irregardless of your current challenges) will help you maximize the benefits that are ahead. Join us in any of the cities listed below and be part of the photography brands that will remain relevant come 2025 & beyond. We’re excitedly looking forward to meeting you. Workshop time for all locations: 9am – 1pm.

April 22: Abuja
IHVN Training Room, 1st Floor, Millennium Builders Plaza(Old Nitel Building). Plot 251 Herbert Macauly Way, Almost opposite NNPC Towers. CBD Abuja

April 24: Jos
To be announced

April 27: Kaduna
Mediatrix
NNPC 1st Gate

April 29: Port Harcourt
Photostation Studio, No 60 Old Refinery Road Elelenwo

May 1: Lagos
eloPhotos Studio, 12b fagba crescent, off acme rd, agidingbi Ikeja

May 4: Ibadan
No 20, Awolowo Avenue, Old Bodija, Ibadan

May 6: Illorin
Yemi Ajala Studios, No 26, Eastern Reservoir Road, Tanke, Ilorin

May 8: Warri
STUDIOREFOCUS, shop G8 CK Value Plaza, Opposite Permanent Camp, by Police Post Orhuworun-Dsc, Warri.

May 11: Enugu
To be announced

Once payment of N2,000 has been made into Diamond Bank account number 0060967085 (Nigeria Photography Expo & Conference Enterprises), send an email with your full name & teller number or transaction id.

For further inquiries, send a mail to register@elophotos.com or call Jide (0808 839 8029) or  Femi (0703 334 3250)

Kindly share/retweet/rebroadcast

NiPHEC 2015……… 69% Loading….


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

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Preaching the Gospel of Photography


It is official. We’ll be going on air beginning March 10, 2015 by 12 noon. The Gospel of Photography is a program where we discuss & address issues in the photography industry with the goal of making you not just a better photographer but also someone that appreciates the profession. Kindly subscribe to the YouTube channel so that you’ll be among the first to be updated once a new episode is uploaded (on YouTube) every Tuesdays. The program will first be airing on Dove TV (available on Startimes, Consat, MyTV & ROKU) every Tuesdays from 12pm – 12:30pm. For questions & suggestions, send us a mail at gospelofphotography@elophotos.com

#gospelofphotography

An Undeniable APPLICATION


Dear Sir,

APPLICATION FOR THE POSITION OF APPRENTICE

I humbly apply for a position as an apprentice in your photography school.
I am ALABI Oluwabusayo, a God fearing young man with a passion to touch lives and spread happiness. I chose photography mainly because I want to be able to experience and store the memories of the subject in the view finder of my camera. Also photography, as I found, is a visual way of capturing that illusive phenomenon called TIME. Our memories, be they sweet, pleasant, beautiful, dreadful, lovely or bitter all have they abode in TIME. Photography makes me (as a child of God, a Christian) truly appreciate the people I meet and get to know daily, because in a photograph our lost loved ones remain alive. And being the one with the eye behind the view finder, you remember every nanosecond before and after the shot.

I came across elophotos in September 2011, online before my NYSC. I visited elophotos academy in August 2013, where I met Mr Akisanmi and saw firsthand life in the academy. Haven spoken with some of the interns, I was hooked. One look at the interns rules of engagement, I realized this is serious business. Elophotos seeks to arm young creative minds with the arsenal to tackle problems they may face in the photography world and life as a whole, armed with weapons such as integrity, creativity, timeliness, professionalism and excellence.

I am young and intelligent, versatile, hardworking and ready to learn. I tackle problems with a possibility mind set and undaunted zeal. I hate to fail as well as disappoint, hence I face challenges head on. If in a team I can never be the weakest link, but a support for it in order to achieve our team goals. I have no doubt that I would be of immense benefit to this dynamic organization even as an apprentice if given this opportunity.

Yours faithfully,

ALABI Oluwabusayo

The NUMBER That Changed My LIFE: 12


One would the unprecedented emancipation of the enigmatic lacuna that juxtaposes the essence of the dozen in the seasonal variation in a calendar period. Wow! This could have been another one from Honourable Patrick Obahiagbon. In fact, this sentence requires a 2075 Edition of Cambridge Dictionary to understand. Well, it could simply mean that something unique happened in the month of December.

I could have concluded that I was at the Cinema or the number of movies I watched in recent times has really affected my mindset but this appears to be me as one of the cast. Are these truly the men of old? The twelve disciples gathered together and it seems they were waiting for someone. Apparently, there would have been a schedule for a meeting on that particular day. Suddenly, one of them supposedly to be Apostle Peter just called me…“Bro! Diplomat! Could you please come and quickly take our portrait as well as our group picture”. You mean me, I asked.

As if we had known each other from Adams. Who told him I am a photographer, I pondered within. Without much ado, I quickly jumped to the offer and brought out my camera, calling them one after the other. I didn’t identify them at first, until Peter was calling out their names to be in order. This was the first time in my life I photographed white aged men. Within me, I was wondering these men would have been resurrected several times.

Camera setting… Action…Smile… All these were my words. In fact, I was overwhelmed by how aged but agile these men were. I photographed them on and on but I could not but paused when I heard John called out Judas Iscariot. It was as if a documentary of him quickly ran through my mind. All his acts written in The Book ran through my memory. It took few seconds for me to bring back my camera to focus. While taking his portrait, in my mind as if my camera should just turn to a gun and shoot him. *winks* I can’t avenge for God but the Jackie Chan in me wanted to fight “Shoki” that moment. *laughs*

Consequently, the session went smooth though stressful because most of them did not bring out their best smiles despite my efforts. Eventually, they noticed the master they have been expecting was around the corner. They just quickly asked me to excuse them. “O my God!”, that could have been one of my best moments to photograph Jesus. That would have given me a Life time Award as a Photographer. Well, if they did not allow me see him, may be another time; I said. I immediately stepped aside to view all the pictures I took. Brrr…! What is this, I shouted. I didn’t put a memory card inside the camera I used.*sighs* this is a terrible mistake, I lamented.

Immediately, I saw myself by the bedside. What could have gone wrong? It is dark. I struggled to find my smart phone to check the time. It is 12 at mid night. I started wondering about everything. I tried to go back to sleep but I could not sleep till the dawn of the day. Ah! Today is the 12th day in the 12th month of the year. Is this a coincidence? I managed to sleep a little until I woke around 12 at noon. Wait! There is something fishing, I said. I remembered that I searched for a photography training institute on the internet some days back. I jumped off my bed. Getting out under a very scorching sun, I grabbed my wallet to check the address. Number 12b! Come! The number of the place is 12b! Definitely, there is a direction with this number. In fact, this is an insight towards my pathway of success in life. The place is eloPhotos. I’m into my second month of training and I’m glad for this awesome privilege. My name is Jide Jokodola & I’m not only going to be a world-class photographer but one with remarkable positive influence across this generation and the ones to come. Watch out for me.

My Journey To A Village called AKONKO


I recently came back from a documentary trip I took to a remote village in Ogun state called AKONKO. I was a little taken aback to discover a civilization that survived without electricity and mobile phones. The town survives mainly on the two products its residents produce: Garri & palm oil. My documentary isn’t concluded yet but here are a few pictures that depict life in a village of 300+ residents. Hopefully you’ll recognize me in some of the pictures. More to come. Enjoy.

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A Day In My Life In 2020: Busayo Alabi


(Alarm), (yawning and stretching), I can’t believe it’s already 5 am. It’s a big day today the 12th of April, gosh- it still seems like a dream. Today marks the official opening of yemi ROTIMI BOLD photography. The first of its kind in the jaw dropping Four Bridges district of the EKO ATLANTIC megacity, a stunning combination of commercial and residential buildings with superbly designed water ways and road networks. This achievement has been in response to requests from my numerous clienteles, living on this five million square meter fantastic man-made island.

Its 6:08 am, kneeling beside my bed I reflect on everything my Father in heaven has done for me in the past five years. Looking back if I was told that I would be a photographer, I’ll have laughed so hard that my stomach muscles would experience spasms. In the scriptures it’s written “the lord works in mysterious ways”. HE even makes me understand how grand his thoughts are for me. His ways also are beyond searching, as the Yoruba man would say ‘Olorun Awamaridi’, meaning the unsearchable God. You might say, hmm preacher. The truth is I owe HIM everything, who gave up everything for me, Jesus Christ my lord and savior.

8: 08am, Time to hit the road, picking up my transparent iPhone 12 I head down stairs and into the car. As usual as we ride to the office, Gbenga briefs me of the important emails I received this morning, stating that a lot of them are congratulatory in nature and of the fact that on the 15th of May, I would have to be at the Buckingham palace for the arrival of William and Kate’s fourth child, as Kate’s expected delivery date should fall on the 17th of May. Kate also sends her congratulations for the opening today.  Gbenga Olorunsola has been my personal assistant for two years now and has been a blessing to me in many ways than one.

On getting to the Office, Gbenga reviews the list of guest invited for the opening ceremony. I need to go through the price list of the photos to be exhibited in the gallery today. The program will run from 6:00 to 9:00pm, and the guest would be arriving any time from 5:00pm. I’m looking forward to a splendid evening for me and the guest.

The chairman of  the occasion and special guest of honor was Seun Akisanmi, CEO of Seun Akisanmi Studios, one of Nigeria’s foremost photography ambassadors, the owner elophotos photography academy a global brand and also the convener of Nigeria Photography Expo and Conference (NiPHEC). After the opening speech by Seun Akisanmi and words from a select few of my colleagues, the gallery is opened for the exhibition and sale of some seventy creative photographs I had shot the past four years. To my greatest surprise the photograph titled ‘peace’ is the first to be sold… wow. I had encouraged the guest earlier to dip their hand very deep into their bank accounts for the exhibition, because sixty percent of each work sold tonight goes to the Jacob Adejare Babatunde Foundation which caters for the welfare of orphans and widows  and the less privileged.

9:23pm. Just a few of the guest remain enjoying the live smooth jazz by Norman Brown and discussing business. So I say my good byes to the last few, Gbenga signals me that the car is ready whenever I am.

It is 10:15 pm time for bed, but not without thanking my father in heaven for such a beautiful and rewarding day. For he who is grateful for yesterday’s and today’s blessing will receive many more bountiful blessing from the father in heaven for the days to come.

I am Oluwabusayo Alabi, Chief Executive officer Yemi ROTIMI BOLD photography, a humble photographer.

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 worlds 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.

Its 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 as a Guest Speaker, is speaking on The Business of Photography.

As I pray, my phone rings. And only to check after my prayers to see that my wife has been the one calling. Apparently she thought I had forgotten my duty of calling her every morning. The view from this magnificent building overwhelms me that I forgot to call her early. Although she does not like 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 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 in Science and Kenny, The Most Creative Art in their schools annual award day. It gladdens me to hear that. Without hesitation, I told her 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 me to cover this 2020 annual meeting. It took some time 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 have a research on the nature and weather of the whole continent of Asia that has 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 have to finish up my conference here and quickly travel to Cambodia and Cyprus, I told my wife.

I have 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’ve been so engrossed in talking to my wife and I notice the time is 8:14am. Wow! I have to end the call to prepare for my presentation by 11:00am. Checking my mail, I received a mail from the largest photography and imaging show; PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo in North America. I’ve been asked to be one of the Keynote Speakers in this years October conference. Apparently, they’ve 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, the mail that got my attention is the one from the World Health Organization inviting me to become one of their Ambassadors in Africa. Wow! This is a great opportunity indeed. In fact, this is one of my dreams come through; to be a Diplomat of an 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 knew I am this influential in Dubai too. Sir, we have a limousine ready for you downstairs and its 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 Speakers’ fee.

Arriving at the centre, seeing the welcoming team gave 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 number 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 marvel at such a 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 is the award category as The Photographer of the Year. As the nominees were called, I panicked. Eventually my name was called & I stood up with 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, Revd Folajimi Sadiq, Mr. Seun Akisanmi, my family and most beautiful wife……

To be continued….

A Day in my Life in 2025: Seun Akisanmi


The following happened on September 16, 2025.

The day began a little late for me. It was quite unusual for me to wake up this late. The time was 7:36am. I was lodged in Sheraton Hotels, Cape Town, South Africa. My body was still getting used to the rigorous trip it had endured in the past 11 days. My flight in the Virgin Galactica had just returned from space the previous night. The past few days will go down in history as one of the most interesting experience a Nigerian could ever have.
I had just returned from a 10 day visit to the International Space Station. I was the first African photographer to have been privileged to make such a trip. Samsung International commissioned me to take pictures with their latest digital SLR technology. They wanted their product – the Samsung Q Ultima – to be the first 142 Megapixel Dslr Camera to take pictures of planet earth from space. Till today, I’m still not sure why they chose me to represent them on this project. Perhaps it’s because I’m the present President of the International Professional Photographers Association. Perhaps it was because I was recently awarded the Leadership Award for Change by the United Nations (first time an African Artist would be given that). Perhaps it was because the partnership we began over 10 years ago had resulted in sales of over 7,250,000 units of their Dslr models.

For whatever reason on earth, I was chosen to be a Samsung Ambassador for this monumental event. I was ecstatic. I checked my 30 TB mobile flash disk to be sure the pictures I took were still intact. It was then I remembered that I didn’t need to stress myself; a backup had already been made on Samsung’s Servers immediately the pictures were being taken from space. You should have seen how Africa looked like in space. The beauty I witnessed while taking pictures from that unique perspective was so overwhelming that I couldn’t hold back the tears. As the tears floated in my cubicle in the 5 seater Virgin Galactica jet, I had quickly repositioned my camera to photograph my first set of tear droplets in space. Looking at the view, I concluded that this is all the atheist needs to see to be convinced that there is a God.

How time flies. It was 9:25am and I was still on my bed viewing the pictures I had taken. It was almost as if I stood beside God to capture the beauty of the planet. And then I remembered I had not chatted with the one person that gave me this platform to be a blessing through my profession. I sat at the edge of my bed and communed with my creator for about 23 minutes.

At 10am I decided to put a call through to my best friend of 19 years & 1 month. Sometimes I wonder why she hadn’t run away all these while when I was attempting to bring to fruition all the dreams I had within. I sure had put her through some hell with the weirdness I manifested. Thank God she stood by me. She was glad I called especially since it was while I was in Space I spoke to her last. “How were the pictures?” “How did you feel when taking the pictures?” Those were usually the first set of questions she hurls at me after every trip. I promised her that my next trip to space will be with her by my side. She told me about my daughter’s (Anuoluwapo) forthcoming graduation at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, (SIUE) Illinois, USA.

Anuoluwapo had grown up to be a lady that wanted to be almost everything her dad was. That was the reason she had chosen SIUE to be her only choice of University. She wanted to have a feel of what it must have been like for me attending an American University away from my family. She had applied to study Architectural Entrepreneuring and was graduating at the top of her class with a Bsc degree just barely 3 years after being granted full-scholarship admission. She was doing fine and I was proud of….. I think I’ve drifted off for a while there.

Twas about 11:20am. My flight back to Nigeria was still 7 hours away. My workspace today was going to be in my hotel room on the 43rd floor. I had to put a call through to Samsung Town in Seoul (South Korea) to speak with the new Chairman of Samsung International (previously called Samsung Electronics). The grand-nephew of Samsung founder, Lee Byung-chul, Susan Waters was excited to hear my voice. She mentioned a 2 of the pictures I took of Nigeria from space and told me that the pictures had gone viral. The new definition of viral was having over 50,000 views per minute; the pictures had been viewed on Samsung’s site over 3.89 billion times. For a period of 3 days, the picture of Nigeria became the spotlight of the world.

Around noon, I checked my email only to discover that I had over 3552 new mails waiting for me. WOW. I had only been gone from earth for less than 2 weeks and I’m getting this much mail. I spent the next 30 minutes sifting through the mails to see the key ones I would reply immediately. My personal assistant will help read the rest.

Two of the mails that stood out caught my attention. One was from the British Government and the other was from the office of the Sultan of Brunei. The British Government was inviting me for the 5 years celebration of the new King on the throne. I would be coming on board as one of the 3 official photographers of the event (a privilege that was being extended to a non-british citizen for the first time). The Sultan of Brunei wanted a portrait session for the 4 ministers he just appointed. He insisted on working with me because he had seen some of the works I did for his friend, the Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

It is such a privilege to have worked with leaders in different parts of the globe. And to think that this same photography was what my parents discouraged me from embarking on. Now the same parents are my number 1 fans. Talk of parents, its been 2 weeks I called them. At about 1:03pm, I called to say hello and mum couldn’t help but ask her usual questions: “Hope you’re eating well”, “Hope you’re using your multi-vitamins?” Dad always seemed to talk for just about 2 minutes on the phone. Perhaps he reckoned that I should have other matters to attend to than to be talking to him. But what other matters will matter when I’m unable to spend time chatting or being with my immediate family.

At about 2pm, I remembered that I had forgotten to eat breakfast. I always hate having to spend time to eat. I walsys thought it was a waste of time. Perhaps one day, there will be a pill I can take daily to replace having to spend at least 1 hour daily eating. It was the headache that reminded me. Whenever I had head aches, it was usually because I had not eaten or I had not slept for 2 days. I ordered for plantain and eggs and decided to take my Centrum multivitamins.

While eating my “break-lunch”, I remembered that it was one of my closest friend and fan’s birthday. Tcrown. I have been privileged to work with so many people over the years but Tcrown was one person I’m glad our paths crossed. She worked with me for a few years before deciding to head the media department in a new TV station that had just opened in Lagos.

In collaboration with her husband, I had planned the gift I would give her on this faithful day months ahead. I put a call through to her mobile line, one of the 9 numbers I had grown accustomed to having in my memory. She was at work and was about going for her lunch break. I wished her Happy Birthday and told her to open the envelope that a DHL delivery man was holding at the doorstep of her office. I wish I was there in person. Her scream almost deafened my ears. I had put in a small envelope the keys to the new solar-powered 2024 BMW 340i. I told her the keys would open and kick-start the “gift” that was packed outside her office. Solar powered cars were in vogue and I had gotten the BMW 540i model earlier in the year for my wife. I don’t know what’s with me and the giving of cars as gifts. Anyway, I’m sure her phone scream really meant she appreciated it. I thanked her for her years of supporting my NiPHEC (Nigeria Photography Expo & Conference) dream and wished her many more years to come.

Twas 3:15pm. I spent the next 40 minutes quickly sending emails to my inner circle friends: Shola Animashaun, Femi Adewuyi, Dare Tanimomo, Emmanuel Effiong-Bright, Ronke Alao, Tunde Ojikutu, Theophilus Emmanuel, Joe McNally, Aisha Augie-Kuta, Ebenezer Akisanmi & my 4 supportive Tee siblings. Keeping in touch had been a weakness I was working on and spending 10-20 minutes every week emailing them was a way to let them know I appreciate them and still haven’t forgotten them.

About 4pm, I put a call through to Steven Spielberg. He had been instrumental in shaping my entry in the world of cinematography. We chatted for about 15 minutes and we tried to iron out some of the details of my 3rd film that he was Executively Producing. It would be the screenplay for the New York Times best seller “From Prison to Photography”: a book I published about 10 years earlier chronicling my journey from an American prison to a world-class photographer. We still had not come up with the title for the movie but he promised to get back to me the following week with any latest development. Before I ended the call, I asked if he’ll be chanced to be one of our keynote speakers at NiPHEC 2026. I mentioned that he’ll be talking extensively on the relationship between Photography & Cinematography and where technology is heading for individuals in both industries. He said he’ll check his schedule and get back to me by the next day.

Twas about 4:20pm. I started packing my stuff to head for the airport. I was so eager to return home. No place like Lagos, Nigeria. It had grown to be the 2nd largest city in the world and the largest in Africa. And I was right at the centre of it all. I got to the airport in time to rest at the airport lounge and read 2 of the books I had purchased 3 weeks earlier: Jide Alakija’sThe Chronicles” and Nike Adeyemi’s “Once upon a Mother“.

My flight eventually boarded around 6:30pm and I was a little surprised by the reception I was given. Apparently almost everyone at the airport and airline knew me to be the photographer that shot the picture of Nigeria from space that was currently going “viral”. I try many times to make sure all those admiration and greetings don’t enter my head. My head was already big enough and I didn’t want to be having more headaches as a result of a swollen ego because I was now a considered a “super celebrity”. Who comes up with these words anyways.

I was sitted by my favorite spot in the plane: the first class window seat A2. Looking out of the window, I couldn’t help but think back over the last 17 years of living on this great planet. The flight attendant went over her usual takeoff protocol and all I could do was stared out the window until my eyes got teary and I couldn’t help but say it from the depths of my heart: THANK GOD (OLUWASEUN)

At 7:30pm, the Virgin Atlantic flight took off heading for Nigeria. Apparently I was wrong to think that my body had adjusted and rested enough. Within minutes, I was fast asleep…..only to wake up in Lagos Nigeria.

The time is 2:44am, September 17, 2025 and I’m waiting for my colleague, Oyebola Famuyiwa, to pick me up at the Lekki International Airport. My name is Seun Akisanmi and more than ever before I’m proud to be a PHOTOGRAPHER.
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Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness.

10 Years a Photographer


Fantastic,
wonderful,
this is beautiful,
lovely,
wow,
Seun, you’re too much…

These were some of the words being hurled at me by my 72 year-old grand-aunt when I delivered an album to her last week. The album was for the 80-year-old celebration of her husband. We delivered along with the album a type of frame she had never seen in her life: a 3D frame.

As she embarrassed me with the comments she hurled at me, I couldn’t help but express my shyness. I felt like a 2-year-old being admired as a beautiful princess by her dad. I felt happy, I felt shy. I felt speechless. Or what words could I have used to reply her?

It was then I remembered. I remembered sitting right in front of the same woman sometime in 2004. This time she was giving me the counsel of life. It was in 2004 I had told my dad that I neither wanted to pursue my accounting career nor did I want to do my NYSC. It was a blasphemous declaration and my father reported me to a few respectable family members to “talk sense” into my BIG head. So in 2004, I found myself in front of my grand-aunt receiving admonitions on why Accounting is a better career to pursue than Photography.

At the memory of the 2004 meeting, the words came out of my mouth without much thought: “And to think that this was the same profession you were advising me to give up in 2004”. She replied in a repentant way that she didn’t know this was the type of photography I meant.

Its been a while I felt that much fulfillment. Knowing that I pursued my heart’s passion instead of the career that would please my parents… Knowing that the same parents that were against the “photography career” have been my number 1 referrers… Knowing that the same grand-aunt that discouraged me from pursing photography is the same one of whom I’ve made over N500k from…. Knowing that I probably would not have made that much money from her alone if I were an Accountant. I felt fulfilled knowing that I had been photographing for over 10 years without any regrets whatsoever. My only regret might be the fact that I didn’t study photography in the University. But then all things work together for good.

The next day, I headed to the cinemas to watch what would later turn out to be one of the best movies I’ve ever seen in my 35 years on earth: 12 years a Slave. To think that was once the history of man. I was ashamed of the way I cried at the cinema. Watching the roll of credit of the 310+ people who made the film a reality, I found myself having a prayer meeting in the cinema hall, crying and wailing (as if a loved one had died in a fatal accident) and pleading wholeheartedly to God to use me to be an instrument of change in this generation with emphasis on the photography industry. My heart was overwhelmed. My heart was encouraged.

More than ever before, I knew that I was placed in the photography industry for such a time as this. And its only a matter of time before people realize that God can use anyone, regardless of their background or past, to impact a generation, a country or an industry.

Its been over 10 years that I’ve been a photographer and if I had to go back in time to start all over again, I’ll still choose photography as a profession. Ultimately, I’m confident that one day I’ll be the official photographer in heaven when the ultimate Wedding of all Ages will be happening. Till then, let’s start with the raising of 10,000 world-class photographers one day at a time. Till then, let’s start with the Nigeria Photography Expo & Conference.

Till then, I remain Seun Akisanmi…..and I’m proud to be a photographer.
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Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It will be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness

….And then She KISSED me


Earlier this month, I was invited by the leadership of Daystar Christian Centre to render one of my poems at their forthcoming Excellence in Leadership Conference. It was a privilege to be given the opportunity to bless thousands of people with a 5-minute rendition that was composed almost a decade earlier in my time of pain.

November 6 arrived and I found myself on the “pulpit” at approximately 10:58am. After reciting a poem that was appropriate for the theme of the conference (Corruption-Free Leadership), the applause and “congratulatory” messages I got was overwhelming. All of a sudden, it SEEMED I had become a celebrity overnight. One of my colleagues at work later told me that he got up at the end of the recitation and shouted (to the “pretty” lady beside him) “THAT IS MY BOSS RIGHT THERE”.

seun akisanmi excellence in leadership conference

With Pastor Sam Adeyemi giving me a handshake, Pastor Nike Adeyemi giving me a thumbs up, Fela Durotoye asking for my contact details…..I wondered what was it really that I did that touched their hearts. Whatever it was, it was titled “Corruption: Not an Option” and it resonated a determination within the hearts of the audience that it was possible to live a life void of corruption in a corruption-congested society.

And so it happened that as I attended Day 2 of the conference, I met one of my photography protégé at the entrance of the church building. Before I could say “Hi”, she hugged me and gave me a kiss on my right cheek. I was shy, I felt nervous, I was awe-struck. “That was the first time I’ll see you recite a poem on stage and I just want you to know that I’m proud of you and I’ve missed you”. Those were her words.

If you were eavesdropping on the 40 seconds encounter we had together, you would have thought that Seun Akisanmi was having an affair with someone who couldn’t make it a secret anymore. It all happened so fast that I didn’t see it coming. “Thank God” was all I could say to her. Perhaps it felt more awkward because I was carrying my 235-days-old daughter and she was staring at this aunty that just gave her dad a kiss. I could have sworn that my daughter thought she was my girlfriend.

In a way I could sense the state of her heart….the lady’s heart, that is. She was proud to be associated with someone she would consider a success & role-model by her definition. I knew she had no “corrupt” motives. But then it got me thinking. With this level of fame, it would be easy for me to get into an extra-marital affair with a lady that holds me in such high esteem. Afterall, some of our leaders in church & society seem to be doing it. Instead of saving her real name on my phone, I’ll probably just save it as “Akeem Battery-Charger” or “Gas Cooker Messenger” so that my wife will not be suspicious. Infact, with a church of this size I could easily have 7 girlfriends that will be servicing me for each different day of the week. It will be so easy.

And then it occurred to me that “whatsoever is hidden shall be brought to light” and that it will only take a matter of time for the thing I do in the “secret places” to be made manifest to the world. Just like the poetry recitation was able to reach over 10,000 people within a 5minute time frame (though no one saw me when I was composing it in October 2004), my act of “corruption” would reach a greater number at a faster rate. I made a decision that in my marriage, corruption will not be an option.

Subsequently I realized the burden & pressure that is being placed unconsciously on people that are regarded as stars, role-models or celebrities. People expect a higher standard of living from their role-models. Consequently, I now have to think twice (& sometimes thrice) before doing things like beating the traffic light, urinating in public places or “fighting” with a driver that just collided with my 2012 BMW 540i ActiveHybrid car. That really got me thinking.

Consequently, I made a resolution that no KISS or LADY or JOB or PERSON or SITUATION will be given the authority to mar the great destiny that awaits me. I know it won’t be easy and that’s why I’ll deliberately surround myself with people and resources that will help me to declare BOLDLY without any compromise that CORRUPTION WILL NOT BE AN OPTION.

 

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

“PUNISHMENTS” We Endured While Growing Up in NIGERIA


I recently embarked on a project to document the exercises (punishments) some of us endured while growing up. Thanks to the parents, teachers, uncles & cousins that gave us such as punishments, some of us can never be FAT in our lives. The “poses” depicted in these pictures might seem normal to you. However, you’ll realize they’re sweat-provoking once you replicate it for 10 minutes or more. Even our model Emmanuel Omole was almost giving up on us. Please kindly mention the EXERCISE you were given the most while growing up. Mine was number 8, 9 and 12. Kindly help with the names also.
Nigerian punishments (1)

Nigerian punishments (2)

Nigerian punishments (3)

The Year I MARRIED 2 WIVES


The year was 2006. The day was August 19. The time was 12:05pm. I had just uttered the words “I Do” after a Reverend in a church in Benin City asked me if I was serious about taking to wife a princess/damsel/friend/sweetheart called ELOHIAGHE. A few minutes later we were introduced to the world as Husband & Wife.

I had met my wife at a mutual friend’s place at 6:30pm on February 26, 2005. In May 2005, I was sure she was the person I wanted to spend my life with. Our courtship started immediately and the climax of the relationship would be the exchange of vows on August 19, 2006.

Little did I know that I would fall in love with another entity that would eventually rock the foundations of my marriage. I wasn’t conscious of it until my wife uttered the words 3 years ago: “You’re married to this your PHOTOGRAPHY more than you’re married to me.” I was quick to deny that blasphemous statement. I would eventually check the dictionary definition of MARRY and surprisingly stumbled on an interesting definition: TO COMMIT YOURSELF TO SOMEBODY.

Although I usually hate admitting it when my wife was right, I silently swallowed within me the realization that I was not only committed to somebody called ELOHIAGHE; I was also committed to “somebody” called PHOTOGRAPHY. Infact, it would seem that I had paid more attention to the latter wife (of whom I had courted since I was 10 years old) than to the former wife.

How else would you explain my hunger & thirst to buy more books for “Photography” than for “ELO”. I would eventually buy over 200 books on photography and less than 20 books on marriage. Come to think of it, its this same love I have for both entities that made me think of a way of combining both parties’ names to form a business name. The first three letters from my human wife combined with the words “photos” from my mental wife forms the word eloPhotos. It was borne out of an understanding within me that I was being poetic.

8 years has “waka” gone and I would realize that the resources I’ve committed to my Photography wife has made me to be a better photographer than a better husband. Infact, I realized that most of the people (over 80%) I considered as mentors usually have more marital problems than “photography” problems. Some even go the extra mile of divorcing their wives just so they could focus more on their “secondary” wives: PHOTOGRAPHY.

A lot was going through my head a few days ago when I was invited by Yemi Royal to speak at World Photography Day celebration at Freedom Park, Lagos. I found myself asking within myself a lot of questions.

Could it be coincidental that my wedding anniversary also happened to be the day photography was invented?
Could it be destiny that my calling is to be committed to both my wife and to photography? Why are many of my proteges not at this gathering to learn?
What is the future of Photography in Nigeria & the World?

Although I knew in my heart the answers to many of the questions, I felt a huge responsibility upon my shoulders. Will I be able to effectively LEAD a family of 3 ladies & 1 guy (wherein I’m a minority) while simultaneously helping to shape the foundations of an industry. Will I be considered a success by my wife and daughters on the same scale as I’m being admired & adored by my photography “children”.

Its more of a burden than I envisaged. Especially when I find myself having visions of my photography escapades in 142 years from now…. Especially when I find myself having portrait sessions for 3 of my favourite great men of the bible: Jeremiah, John the baptist & Joseph…. Especially when I find myself thinking of the type of conversations I’ll be having with them to bring out their serious side and their jovial side.

Getting back home from the World Photography Day Celebration, I found myself ruminating on the wise counsel of speakers like Seyi Body-Lawson, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Don Barber, Ade Plumptre & Olusola Akeredolu & Mr Adeboye. It was as if I had returned from one of those sermons that Jesus preached and half of his followers stopped following Him. Was I ready to take this photography to the next level? Can I simultaneously succeed in photography and in family.

I would eventually find myself in my office at an hour wherein I ought to be cuddling my real wife. Am I really ready to do WHATEVERITTAKES to standout? On this and many more questions I meditated on until I woke up the next morning in my office. The time was 5am, August 20.

A new day has dawn in my life, marriage and photography. Never before have I been clearer about my purpose. I’ve made many mistakes….I’m still learning…. But at the end of it all, I pray for grace to fulfill destiny in my photography & in my marriage.

My name is Seun Akisanmi and I’m not even sure if the title of this posts correlates with what has been written thus far. Just airing my heart. All will be well.

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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 September 1, 2014
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The AKARA Experience


I remember when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I decided I was old enough to cook. I can still PICTURE our kitchen at Ilaka street, Ilupeju, Lagos. It was going to be my first memorable experience at cooking AKARA. I figured out that I had eaten and seen enough akara to know to prepare one. For my non-Nigerian fans who are unfamiliar with Akara, it is blended beans that ends up being fried in cake balls (I hope I explained that well).

Anyway, I put what I figured to be the right amount of oil in the frying pan and excitedly prepared for frying experience I would never forget. I poured in a few scoops of the blended beans and started stirring. Yes, believe it or not, I was stirring the AKARA in the frying pan. As I continued with the stirring experience, I wondered to myself why the AKARA was not turning out to be the solid small balls I was used to being served by my wonderful mum. I had seen her many atimes stir ogi (blended corn) and had assumed that it was the same formula for the akara that was. Served side by side with the ogi.

I was wrong. What came out of that experimental stirring experience was what I would considered scrambled akara. If only I had swallowed my small pride and asked my mum for the right formula for creating world-class Nigerian Akara. If only I had asked, I would not have ended up with a scrambled portion of akara.

Fast forward to February 2014. During a conversation with one of the students at eloPhotos Academy, I asked him how many books he had read and digested on relationships and marriage. His response: “books don’t work for stuff like that, the Holy Spirit will guide me.” I decided it would not be a wise use of my time to argue with someone who felt it unnecessary to read books in order to get the right knowledge about an institution he was about to be contracted into for the rest of his life. Why didn’t the Holy Spirit teach the person photography, I thought. It would have been cheaper for the person not to have wasted financial resources to attend a program at eloPhotos Academy if indeed the Holy Spirit can teach us all things. Sometimes I think a lot of Christians can “overspiritualize” issues.
And herein lies my point. If you’re considering going on an adventure of which you know little or nothing about, it is only wisdom (or put another way, common sense) if you attempt to climb on the shoulders of people that have been there before. You do that when you spend time with them, read books and listen to their directions, advise and admonitions.

My emphasis is on the multitudes of people that are rushing at lightning speed to enter into the kingdom of photography. Many feel that they need no form of education and that all they need is a Nikon D4 (just like a young lad recently psyched the mum to invest N1.6 million to acquire). Its like waking up and deciding that since one needs to learn how to drive, the next step is to go to the car dealership and order a Rolls Royce.

It is on this premise that I’ve decided to focus with laser accuracy on raising world-class photographers via the platform called eloPhotos Academy & Nigeria Photography Expo & Conference (NiPHEC). It is on this premise that I’ve decided to do my best to make sure that people that care to learn from me will not repeat my AKARA experience. It is on this premise that I’ve deliberately unconsciously developed a weakness for accumulating over 150 books on photography alone….just so that I can get the right education as not to repeat my 1987 AKARA experience

Even if you decide not to use the aforementioned platforms to establish or strengthen your photography foundation, please make sure you get some form of education before acquiring photography gadgets that I can bet you won’t utilize up to 30% of its functions.

Even if you’ve already made the “wise” mistake of plunging headlong alone, swallow your pride and talk to someone that can help you be a better photographer and photopreneur (this applies to other industries also). Even with the little I know, I’m still learning everyday. I just finished talking to one of my colleagues I respect very much, Shola Animashaun, about how to handle a “copyright” issue I was having with a client. At the end of the conversation, I learnt how to better price myself for photography jobs for client like the one I was having issues with.

So before you use all that funds to buy the latest photography gadget (ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE JUST ENTERING THE INDUSTRY), get some form of education that will hopefully prevent you from an AKARA experience. Better yet, take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Your photography destiny will not be the same.

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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.

The PASSPORT Photographer


Some weeks ago a friend called me from church asking if I take passport photographs and of course my answer was “Yes”. He immediately said “ok, so how much is it for 8 copies?” I told him 5000naira. He was so surprised and he said the same thing you’re probably thinking right now: “Is it not passport, I can get 12 for N200 sef.” Of course it is just passport photographs and you can even get 20 for 200 or for free but the question is I’m I just an “ordinary” Photographer.

Sometimes in June, I did a free family portrait session for a potential client and (luckily for me) they loved it! Some days back, I got a call from them asking me to come take pictures for their anniversary and of cause they knew it wont be free, so I charged them. They were so surprised and they were like “just for pictures? It’s quite expensive we already marketed you to people and if its this expensive the won’t call you.” Of course at that point I knew they were not my client!

One reason I hate shooting for free is that the clients might actually not know the worth of what they are getting for free. And it’s sad.

You see, not everybody believed the gospel even when heard from Christ himself. They still didn’t drop their nets to follow him. In the same light, we should realize that not everybody is our client.

I hate it when I hear the question “is it not to take pictures?” But I’m glad to answer you here. Of course it’s just to take pictures but I’m not just a photographer. I’m a professional photographer. Not just because I use a professional camera, or because I trained at one of the best photography schools in Nigeria. It’s mainly because I’m different.

I’m sure you’ll doubt that until you get to see what I can do and some of what I’ve done. I am obviously not the best but I was worse. Feel free to ask for a “free” shoot (terms & conditions apply) & you should be convinced.

Attached here are photos I took last week. First, is the picture of elophotos academy most valuable gadgets: 2 books every trainee must read before the end of their 1st month. The second one is a picture of a solitary orange. During my practice session, I surprisingly saw only 1 orange on a BIG orange tree and made me imagine if it was just 1 person in the world, how lonely it will be. The third one is a picture I took practicing composition with patterns). I hope you find it creative.

Written by Temitope Adeniyan
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Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Contact us on 08120129149, 08023008873 or info@elophotos.com 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.

PEAK, It’s in YOU


When will this suffering stop?
When will this struggle end?
When will I stop trying to make ends meets?
When will my own time come?
When will I be my own boss and have a story to tell? These are the questions of every hungry man out there. These are questions that keep running in my thoughts.

I needed something, I needed to be creative, I needed to stand out, I needed to launch out, I needed to go out there and make things happen for my self because the rich seems to be getting richer and the poor is getting poorer. “It’s in me,” I said to my self… only if I could wake up and make this dream a reality.

Suddenly it all started like a dream and then my dream became a reality. My first month as an intern at eloPhotos brought so many questions running down my mind.

Questions like “will I be able to cope, can I do this, will I ever be a guru like Toye Peters, Tope Adeniyan, Gabriel Greggory? But instead, I learnt from Mr Seun that with time you can be whatever you want to be, and that the more you practice, the better you become.

One month has gone & I am still standing doing what I love doing best, getting better and better day by day, breaking new grounds, and above all serving at eloPhotos because some day I want to be the best of the best that will ever be produced. Although it has been stressful and challenging but worth it.

This reminds me of the story of Papilo, who had a dream and believed that one day he would make his mother proud. Years later he did make her an envy to nations by becoming the popular Kanu Nwankwo.

And then I said to my self as an intern photographer, I am here to stay, I am here to stand and not to fall. Although the journey might be rough at eloPhotos but I see the laurel at the end of the tunnel.
I want to also make my mom proud, be a solution to my generation through the work of my hands by enduring all the tasks given to me.

You would be asked to run errands, you would go into the rain at times just to buy fuel for the generator, you would have to do some cleaning every morning and also wash the toilet which you might not be used to at home.

You would undergo some tests at times like my “Ogba” friend, who walked down to Ogba from Agidingbi (a 5km walk round trip) thinking he was being tested by Mr Seun.

You would account for every penny you spend because at eloPhotos nothing like “I don’t care after all it is not my money.”

You would learn to respect others just the same way you want to be respected, you would learn to tolerate people and love them for who they are.

You would learn to bring out the best in you so that you can stand out. You would learn not to be appreciated by that one person you so much want to hear “You did a very wonderful job.” Instead know it inside of you that your best might not enough because you need to give more than you best.

All this I have learnt this first month as an intern at eloPhotos.

The desire to succeed is in me, the spirit to do exploits is within me and my purpose must be fulfilled. I am here to serve in order to be a leader, I am here to learn no matter what it entails, I am here to stand the test of time because what doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger, I am here because “PEAK, it’s in me.”

It only gets better and better day by day my friend because that peak in you will eventually be seen and discovered to the world.

I’m Emmanuel Obaloluwa Omole and there’s coming a time when you search me on Google, the results will make you utter that three-letter word: WOW.
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Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy. Contact us on 08120129149, 08023008873 or info@elophotos.com 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.

Photography Workshop in Abule-Egba: Doing It Better


Earlier in the month, I was privileged to teach at a photography workshop organized by G-Janth Print Lab situated in Abule-Egba, Lagos. It was particularly interesting to know that a number of the photographers in attendance were  my father’s age-mate. Interesting to know that this many photographers were really hungry to do better in their photography. The workshop was titled “Doing It Better” and we discussed issues ranging from marketing your photography to branding. Attached are some of the pictures taken.
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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

Photography Workshop in Abule-egba lagos (1) Photography Workshop in Abule-egba lagos (2) Photography Workshop in Abule-egba lagos (3) Photography Workshop in Abule-egba lagos (4) Photography Workshop in Abule-egba lagos (5) Photography Workshop in Abule-egba lagos (6)

My Half Solved Challenge


Manual mode, program mode, ISO and light is all I think about first when I pick up a camera to take a depth of field image. Over the past few weeks as an intern I have been trying to solve the task of taking either a high or low depth of field image. Some of my other colleagues seem to find this “depth of field” very easy to take using any camera at their disposal but the story is quite different for me like take Mr Olaide for instance. His pictures to me is what I can describe as “wow” most especially if he captures plants.

He is also good at editing pictures and tries out new things that wasn’t taught in class even if he ends up not getting it sometimes and I must say he is one person I admire amongst the new trainees at Elophotos. Kayode is someone within my age bracket who I envy the most, he is very cool and knows what he wants. I often complain about how much I really want to be good at this photography and he often teases me saying that I am too much of a perfectionist and not satisfied with some of the wonderful pictures to him that I have taking. Photoshop is also something I am just figuring out now without opening my note sometimes.

I remember the second class I took on Photoshop with Mr Toye wasn’t easy for me at all. I was frustrated and had to leave the class to visit the toilet twice where I cried my eyes off for reasons I don’t understand myself or if I should guess will say I was the only person in the whole class that didn’t understand what was been taught. I sometime don’t understand why I find it hard to grab all this things easily like every other trainee and it might just be that I am yet to appreciate the little I already know.

So my depth of field challenge had a new turn last week when I ‘think’ I figured it out. I took a lot of pictures but still not satisfied with it because I know I can still get something better. I once remembered complaining about this to Mr. Seun and he said it is something I should be able to get all the time and I feel my reason for still having this challenge is the hope of being one of the best female photographer whose every shot image will be well appreciated.

My name is AJAGBE BASIRAT and I will not rest until I become the best female professional photographer that I can be. Let me know what you think of the pictures I took this week.
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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

The Family Portrait Session of the Century


The year was 2007 AD. April to be precise. I was preparing for my first solo photography exhibition. The venue was Silverbird Galleria in Victoria Island. The idea of a solo exhibition had been borne out of the need to get financial resources to look for a new office space because my then landlord (for the office) had given me an eviction notice. The exhibition will eventually turn out to be one of my first series of great marketing feats as a photographer. Great unforgettable lessons would come of it too.

After the first day of exhibiting, I would eventually get an interesting call at around 9pm. It originated from one of the clients whose picture I was showcasing at the exhibition venue. It would eventually turn out to be a moment I would never forget (even if I have a brain transplant).

Let’s take a few steps back in time. Precisely 6 weeks before the exhibition. I was preparing to photograph my friend’s family in one of the most beautiful homes I had ever stepped into. Steve had been a family friend of over 15 years. When he found out I was into photography, he decided I was the best person to help document some moments in their life. We decided a session with his wife and 2 daughters at his brother’s mansion would be sufficient.

We agreed that in exchange for doing a complimentary session for his family, I would have the rights to use the pictures for marketing purposes. At least I could have sworn I made that clear. But there were no written documents to back up the verbal agreement. Afterall we were friends and what could happen.

What did happen eventually turned out to be more of a heart breaker than I had expected. I had gone ahead to use 2 of the pictures for the Silverbird exhibition and the wife had seen the framed exhibits on the first day. He expressed his dissatisfaction with her husband (Steve) about how I was revealing to the world their personal family moments. Steve had called me to ask that I remove the pictures from the exhibition. I was surprised. I was shocked.

I was surprised because I thought we had an understanding (albeit unwritten) about me using the pictures for my marketing purposes. I was surprised because the only compensation I got for the shoot was a nylon bag of snacks from Mr Biggs. I was upset because the first and best family portraits eloPhotos ever had would be considered too beautiful for the world to see. I was speechless.

For the sake of peace, I would eventually give them the framed pictures at no cost as a token of how sorry I felt for hurting the wife’s feelings. It was a painful gift. More painful now that I know that its one of the best family portrait sessions I have ever taken. The thought of the beauty of the pictures almost always brings out a tear in my eyes.

Ever since that day, I learnt the hard way not to photograph any client (even if its Michael Jackson or Tu Face) without a written documentation of the expectations of both parties: photographer & photographee :). Sometimes I’ve lost some jobs because of the fact that I put things in writing. But I have no regrets. One of the major bone of contention is the argument of who really owns the right to a picture. That’s why I try to put it in my terms & conditions the following clause before a client decides whether they really want me as their photographer:

“The fee we billed for the wedding coverage entails us having the right to use the pictures for our portfolio, samples, self-promotions, entry in photographic contests, art exhibitions, editorial or for use on any of our social media platform. We usually try to clarify this to clients before any job so as to avoid any arguments in the future. Usually what ends up happening is that we use a few of the best pictures to promote what we do. Clients that usually don’t allow this pay an extra premium for us to relinquish those rights. Please do let us know what your on that is.”

The lesson has been learnt. The deed has been done. Thanks to the family portrait session of the century & Mr Biggs, I’ll always try to remember to put things into writing before bringing out my camera to SHOOT anyone.
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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

The HARVARD Client (PART 2)


And so it happened that I would find myself doing yet another job for the client from Harvard. This time around, it would be a portrait session for his family. It happened approximately 4 weeks after the incident in PART 1.

Location was at his mansion in Abuja. As at December 2008 when I found myself in his house, that would go down on record as the most beautiful house I had ever stepped into. It was situated in an estate in Abuja that I never knew existed. If you had taken a picture on the streets inside that estate, one would have thought you were in Dubai. It was that beautiful.

And there I was at 10pm preparing for what will also be the latest family portrait session I’ve had for a client. I was very conscious of making sure that I did not break or scratch anything. My guess was that I probably could not afford to pay for anything I accidentally damage.

The man’s 2 children had arrived from America the day before and had planned to spend just 3 days in Abuja. That night was the only time left for them to do the shoot. And so it happened that the session would start at around 11:30pm.

My first experience with the man had created an unconscious intimidating cloud over my head whenever I was with him. How else would you explain my being nervous in his presence. At one moment, he started directing the session and for some unknown reasons that created the impression within me that I was a LEARNER.

20 minutes into the session, my Harvard client would excuse himself to receive a visitor. I wondered within myself the type of visitor that would stop by one’s house at 11:50pm. Coincidentally, it would be the type that was the CEO of one of Africa’s biggest banks. Eventually, the guest CEO walked into the room we were having our session and his presence seemed to multiply my nervous quotient by 5. I was super nervous. Why? I can not say.

My nervousness increased when my client started bragging to his guest that I was the best photographer in town. If only he had seen some of the images I was taking. If only he could peep and see the blurry and dark images that I was trying to hide from him. “He’s the one that took my pictures during the event last month,” he continued. Although I knew it was a compliment, I don’t know why that gave me goose bumps.

Eventually the CEO’s visiting time was up and he would greet us all farewell. After he left, we continued the session from where we left off. 5 minutes into the session, I would eventually notice that my hands were shaking. I felt intimidated in the presence of this client. Perhaps I should have done some type of meditation before the shoot. Perhaps I should have taken some type of medication that would ease my nerves.

Matters got worse when the client’s son (who coincidentally happens to be attending Harvard also) asked me how much I was charging his father for the session. N100k was my reply. He shouted and asked me why I was so expensive. The father asked me the same question. I thought I had explained my charges to the man before agreeing to come to his house for the shoot. Perhaps the mistake I made was not to have come with a written document detailing the charges. I explained that N100k was the minimum I charge for going to a client’s house for home sessions. I assured him that I wasn’t trying to defraud him. His response? “Anyway, its for my house in America that I need the pictures for, so continue shooting.” I was more tensed.

(At this junction, its important to note that I don’t just write about my experience with some people just to narrate how terrible they are or how holy I am…the goal is that we learn one of two things from these “Super Story” encounters)

The shoot continued and a few minutes into the session, my N350k camera kit fell down. Remember that story about humpty dumpty falling down on a wall? This was worse. Eventually, that would be the last time my Olympus E3 camera functioned properly. Ultimately, I had to send the camera to Olympus in America for repairs. $500 later, the camera returned to me in pristine condition.

What hurt me more was the fact that I did not get a dime from that session. It wasn’t that the fallen camera damaged the pictures; we would eventually finish the shoot with my backup camera. The client eventually procrastinated choosing the pictures he wanted framed and I learnt key lessons that I doubt I’ll ever forget.

I learnt always to be confident no matter who I was shooting (even if the person is Jesus or Satan). I learnt always to have a backup camera for any job outside my office domain. I learnt to always ask for 80% of my fee before leaving the home of a family portrait client (especially someone I have never worked with before). I learnt to always put the strap of the camera on my neck during a shoot because if I had worn the strap, there’s a 99.999999% chance that the camera would not have gone the humpty dumpty route to destruction. I learnt to put it all in writing no matter what so that no one will accuse me of not informing them of my fees thereby resulting in unnecessary argument during a session.

That was December 2008. In 2012, I would eventually get a call from the same client requesting for a quote to do another job. I replied with a detailed email explaining to him that we still have an outstanding of N100k. He was furious. He called to explain that how can he owe me for pictures that he never did use. He explained that the presidency was after his life so he had to escape the country and seek asylum. And after 5 minutes of explanation, I found myself apologizing to him for not knowing what he went through.

But the lessons had been engraved in my heart the hard way. The Harvard Client will never be forgotten by this big-headed photographer. I am a better & wiser photopreneur because of him. So the next time you’re privileged to be one of the students in our Academy and I tell you to ALWAYS wear the strap of your camera on your neck (or shoulders), this is the reason why that rule came into being.

For one reason or the other, I have a funny feeling I might still do business with the HARVARD client one day. When that day comes, I shall by all means be READY.
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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

5 Days In THE DARKROOM


The beginning of a new week marks the beginning of a new experience at Elophotos academy. We started off with the Monday morning devotion and soon afterwards we started off a chat on the experiences of interns at the academy.

At Mr Seun Akisanmi’s arrival, our lecture started. The room Obscura was the topic for the day, the modern day darkroom. We all marched to the darkroom [editing room] where would eventually be our learning venue for the rest of the week.

I learnt a lot about the techniques of editing pictures; we were all guided to the use of digital software programs to enhance and improve the quality and story of a picture.

By the next day we were all served the introduction to advanced techniques of editing. The most informative moments for me was the realization of how these great pictures I find on the internet were produced. The classes opened my eyes to understanding how images are created and edited to tell a specific story and address an audience.

A particular morning I can not seem to forget was on Wednesday. The rain started on my way to the Academy, I prayed within my heart that the rain would stop before I alight at the last bus stop. By the time I got to the bus stop, the rain had doubled in power.

Then I remembered what Mr Seun once told us that no one would give any excuse if asked to come for his visa to America at 6am. I pushed my way through the rain just for me to discover a long queue at the next bus stop also. Ultimately, I got to the Academy in time before 8am but soaked and wet.

The last day in the week for us all was a practice day. We started a photography session within ourselves to test what we have learnt over the past few days. Like what I learnt from one my mentors; “If you want to get better with your photographs, keep shooting, shoot, shoot and shoot.” I discovered that each click on the shutter button has to be with a purpose and also keeping in mind that the camera has a shutter life cycle. So, I decided right from then on that every click on the camera for me would be for a purpose, to tell a story or address my audience.

My name is Olayiwola Olaide and my 6 months training at eloPhotos has begun.
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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

The ENLIGHTENED Makeup Artist


My journey into the world of photography was generated by passion and motivated on my quest for excellence.
As a professional makeup artist (MUA) I was tired of begging photographers at events to help me take shots  ‘before’ and ‘after’ of the bride, which most times disappoint.  I had to resolve to the use of my camera phone which could only do little and these affected my profile and credibility. I remember sharing my ordeal with my uncle who later got me a DSLR (Canon EOS 50D) in 2009 on is way from UK.
Hmmm! now I have a DSLR; problem solved someone would have thought but that only introduced me to a greater challenge of getting professional shots like Seun Akisami, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Jide Alakija, TCD, Atunbi (to mention but a few).
 I barely understood the functions of the machine I had even with the manual attached. I enquired what the problem was from pros in the industry. One said to me, you need a reflector to use this kind of camera to get this kind of shot, so I rushed to the market and got a 5 faced reflector. Another said, you need an external flash with a 50mm lens and I got one. Yet I met another photographer who told me all you need is a zoom lens for that portrait shot and I kept buying. The funniest of this was when I went shopping for strobes and beauty dish after a photographer friend had honestly told me to set up a photo studio since I already have almost all the necessary equipment to setup. I am sure you know what happened there after..lol
At this point you must have thought I was some daughter of a millionaire to be buying all of these. Not so true although I’ve had my own share in life struggles. With all of this put together, one will confuse me for a professional photographer at an event because most of these equipment were not owned by many photographers. On several occasions, I get many of them using my equipment to get better shots while I still battle with my auto mode on my DSLR.

Why not go for a training you would have said? But most professional photography academy didn’t have a flexible time table which would permit me time to do my business while I get trained.

My story changed when I met a family friend who took me through his archives and told me he had learnt photography at eloPhotos Academy during his holiday just for two days. My face was beaming with surprise because he sounded unbelievable. I had to make him use my camera to confirm he was telling the truth and truly my doubt was confirmed as invalid.  I joined the next session (July 2014) at eloPhotos Academy and not only did I learn but in 3days I was a better photographer and person. 

Now I understand the functions of each of my equipment including my beauty dish. Before I forget, you do not only learn photography at eloPhotos; you also learn how to become a successful brand. You don’t want to know the number of books I have had to read up on Business, Life and Photography as it is a watchword at eloPhotos. And I am loving every bit of it. Thanks to my coach, SEUN AKISANMI, you can call me Yetunde Bakare Adedayo the photographer with a twist.

Note to fellow MUAS: Get yourself trained at eloPhotos Academy to understand the business of photography in relation with your job; at least you will stop being a thesis for so called event photographers who only enjoy using your equipment to get great shots while they leave you with poor pictures for your profile. You should be the first beneficiary of your equipment. Attached are a few pictures I took during the 3days training. Do drop your comments and let me know what you think.
# elo photo 123.CR2 elo photo 0991

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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

The Politics of Negotiating for a Photography Ambassadorship Deal


Sometime late in 2013, I got a call from a multinational photography-gadget organization. The company was about to launch one of their latest picture-taking gadget and they needed someone to be an ambassador for the product. I asked them why they thought I was the best candidate for such a role and they told me I was number one on their list because of the mere fact that I organized a conference that brought together photography enthusiasts and professionals in Nigeria.

Although I tried not to show too much excitement over the phone, I reckoned within myself that this was the break I was looking for. This was going to go down as the singular deal that will help resolve my over-N5million NiPHEC debt. I was excited, I was elated, I was nervous.

The gentleman at the other end of the phone proceeded to explain what the organization expected of me should I accept the job. They would require that I take pictures with their latest camera equipment and do a few writeups after I’ve presented the pictures at a conference that would hold four weeks later. That meant that I had only 27 days to travel the country to take pictures that would represent each state of the federation. WoW. Talk of excitement meeting adventure.

“How much will it cost us,” the guy finally asked. Over the years, I have learnt not to be too quick to give (a client I know little about) a price over the phone. I threw the question back at him. “What is your company’s budget for this?” He stressed that the budget for marketing had been depleted and that they were stretching themselves thin on this particular project. STORY! I ‘ve heard that before. Last time I checked, they made over $1.5 billion in sales in 2012 alone. But when it comes to paying for what will be a stressful task, the marketing budget is in red. In that case my middle name is “Clinton”, I thought within myself.

I asked him to put everything in writing and send me a mail to make it official. He promised to call me within a few minutes regarding what they were willing to pay. Ok by me. I immediately went to Google to do a little study about the product that was about to be launched in Nigeria. Impressive features it had.

I subsequently did what I always do when confronted with giving a quotation for a task I have never done before: I called one of my mentors. I explained the entire scenario to her and told her how I was considering giving them a bill of about N4 million. “So they contacted you too,” my mentor kidded. Apparently they had contacted her before reaching out to me and the bill she gave them must have been beyond their budget. Hence, their need for an alternative ambassador. She would later advice me not to quote anything less than N3.5 million. She promised to get back to me with more suggestions. Eventually, I never heard from her or the company again till 2014.

Here’s what transpired. Apparently, she had put a call through to the same organization to renegotiate her deal with them. The company eventually settled for her and I would find out in the media. I put a call through to the gentleman that had called me only for him to tell me that the event was cancelled and that he had to travel urgently to South Africa to handle other matters. Yeah right, and I’m the cousin of Obama. 2 weeks later, the conference would eventually take place and the pictures taken by their Ambassador (my mentor) with the camera will be showcased. Why the guy lied to me is still a mystery to me till date.

I felt hurt. Perhaps if I had not called my mentor for advice, I could have nailed the job. But how could I have known that she was my “competitor” in the deal of the decade. I felt hurt. I felt betrayed by someone I trusted. Or perhaps, it was just business and not betrayal. Perhaps.

But then I thought about it all over again. Perhaps there’s one interesting thing to learn from this. Apparently, I must be doing something right in the eyes of a multinational photography organization to attract such attention. In the eyes of the organization, I was on the same pedestal with the one I considered a mentor. If this organization was keeping track of what I was doing, then other organizations must be “following” whatever it is that I’m doing. Consequently, I encouraged myself with the assurance that more of such deals will be coming my way.

And come my way they would eventually do. Approximately 3 months later, I would find myself in the office of yet another multinational organization. This time around, I wasn’t surprised. They gave me a breakdown of what they would require of me if I were to be signed up as one of their ambassadors. And then the “how much will it cost us?” issue came up. I told them I would get back to them within a few days.

I went online to research about the company only for me to realized that their 2012 worldwide sales figure was over $2.6 billion. WOW. This was definitely a BIGGER organization. Which mentor should I call for “advice” now. I definitely was not about to fall down in the same spot twice. I thought deeply and eventually knew in my heart who to call. I decided the best mentor to call for advice on giving a fair price (to a large-scale organization like that) should not be based in my country. I decided to call my United States renowned photographer friend and mentor, Michael Grecco.

The 25 minutes phone conversation I had with him was like attending a workshop on “How not to shoot yourself in the foot as a photography Ambassador”. Thank God I called him. As a Hassleblad Ambassador, he had (and still has) enough experience up his sleeves. I would eventually submit an 8-figures fee that would be close to what my international colleagues were being paid. Although the company never did get back to me, I believed with all my heart that I didn’t over price myself out of the deal. For whatever reason, the company is yet to secure an Ambassador for their photography-related products.

I’m 101% convinced that greater opportunities and ambassadorship deals still lay ahead of my destiny regardless of what has happened. Till then, I’ll keep doing what I think I do best to keep attracting such attention from photography multinational companies. One day, something will click.

Although what my mentor did hurt me, I decided to add it to my repertoire of experience. Infact, I even sent a gift to my mentor so I could tap into that grace of being considered worthy to represent an international photography organization.

If it was you that a mentor hurt in such a manner, what do you think you’ll do? Be honest now.
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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

When Parents Are WRONG For The RIGHT Reasons


Recently I met with a parent who wanted to send his daughter to eloPhotos Academy. She had recently finished her WAEC exams and was waiting to do another exam next year. In the words of the parent, “we want her to while away time doing photography”.

I explained to the man that the training we offer is not for people who want to while away time. The training program offered at eloPhotos Academy is for those who have made a deliberate and conscious decision to follow diligently the pathway of photography till they discover the beauty of the light at the end of the tunnel. I told the parent that his investment in the training will be worthwhile if photography was what the daughter wanted as compared to forcing her to go and learn photography just to pass away time.

I would eventually ask the potential student why she was considering coming for a training in photography. Her response was surprisingly short: “that’s what they want me to do”. Something about the tone and mannerism that was expressed by her gave me the indication that eloPhotos Academy won’t enjoy training such a person.

Gone are the days when parents will instill their career of choice upon their children under the guise of “obey your parents in the Lord”. Gone are the days when most parents dreams & prayer is for their children to grow up to become doctors, lawyers, architects and bankers. If a child in 1980 were to declare to his parents that he wanted to be a comedian when he was grown, the parents might either give him “igbati”, cast out the demon in the child, or declare that their child was JOKING. We all know that now the comedy industry isn’t a joke.

Getting an education is good and I’m sure most parents mean well. What isn’t good is to ignore the innate abilities of a child and instill into their hearts the career we UNCONSCIOUSLY SELFISHLY want. The boy that seems to be prone to “destroying” gadgets as a small boy might be showing traits of an engineer. Such a child would most likely be unfulfilled if he ends up in the banking industry regardless of the money he makes.

This is the reason why I don’t shout on my daughter when it seems as if she’s talking “too much” or asking too much questions. Who knows, she might end up being a lawyer instead of the photographer that her dad is or the makeup artist that the mum is.

For this reason, we’ve added a pre-requisite assignment that must be done before we can consider admitting anyone to the 6 months program we run. One must write a 500-words minimum article on what a day in one’s life will be in 2020. There’s a probability that if you can’t see yourself in the 2020 photography industry, then perhaps spending 6 months in a photography school might not be a worthwhile use of your time especially if you just finished accumulating over 20 years of education.

I have a funny feeling we might not be admitting the daughter whose parents are forcing her to come study photography. As much as we need the money they’ll be paying, we’ll be saving the parents N150k of their money to use for other things. I’ll prefer if the desire to learn photography is coming from the daughter’s heart as compared to coming from the parents’ heart. But then again, what do I know: I’m just an accounting graduate who happens to find fulfillment in walking in his dream career: PHOTOGRAPHY
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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

2 Debtors & 1 Security Man Later


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MELTED, MOLDED & MADE BY eloPhotos Academy


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The UNAFFORDABLE Photographer


So this photographer that I respect so much was covering an event where governors and dignitaries were present. One of the governors summoned him and asked how much his photography charges were for covering a wedding. The governor’s daughter was getting married in a few months and he wanted to hire the best hand in the industry.

“You can’t afford me sir” was the response the governor got. The governor was shocked “what do you mean I can’t afford you…I said how much do charge?” The photographer replied, “My services are too expensive for you.”

“Will you at least give me an idea before you conclude that I can’t afford you,” the frustrated governor demanded.

“Depending on what you’re looking at, my bill starts from $60,000”

By now the governor and angry and demanded that the photographer give him his complimentary card. And so contact details were exchanged. Talk about the negotiation of the century.

As much as I admire the photographer and would one day love to charge that amount, I must realize that the guy has been in the industry for over 15 years and had paid his dues. At this stage in his career, he knew what he was worth and people were PROUDLY paying him his fees.

Knowing that photographers like that exist, it gives me hope that one day, I’ll be like the unaffordable photographer. And no, it isn’t because I’m greedy but because I’ll attract people that will gladly pay for what I feel I’m worth. Till then, let me continue diligently building the foundations of what it takes to be an “unaffordable” BRAND.
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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

2 Reasons Why I Don’t Like Doing Jobs for FREE


In the past few years, I’ve had a few challenges relating to photography jobs that I have taken on. Here are two reasons why I don’t enjoy freebies.

A few years ago, I decided that the best wedding gift I could give someone was my photography. I volunteered to donate my services and deliver an album. I visited the person’s house a few months after the wedding and decided to ask after the album I had given them.

To my surprise, 90% of the pages of the album had been raptured. Either he had creatively made the pages invisible or something was wrong with my pair of eyes. The only page left was the last page of the album that had my company’s logo and contact details.

“What happened,” I asked him. He referred me to his wife for the best answer to my billion dollar question. I would eventually discover that after an argument session with his wife, he had gotten angry and decided to fight back by destroying what was precious to his wife: the wedding album.

I was shocked, I was furious, I was surprised. I pleaded with them to be conscious of telling their guests that that wasn’t how we deliver our albums: with invisible pages. If he had paid for my services, perhaps he wouldn’t have destroyed the album. Talk of anger raised to the power 3. That was when I decided that no one was worth doing a free job for.

The second reason is more psychological. You see, the way my accounting mind works is that it doesn’t seem to place priority on working on jobs that I had shot for free. Even if I was the one that offered to do it for free (as the case was for 2 church members, my mum’s 60th birthday and my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday), it’s just hard to discipline myself to churning out the final product on time. Perhaps if they had paid even a token of just 5k or 10k, I would have convinced my Igbo mind that they paid something.

That is why I feel so guilty whenever I meet any of the 5 clients that I did a free job for but haven’t delivered the album. Call it a weakness but I’m just tired of not having a clear conscience regarding owing clients deliverables.

So I thought to myself that if I could announce to the world and confess my sins it will not only force me to work on the outstanding jobs quickly (hopefully before the end of July); it will also make anyone reading this not to ask for a freeby from me no matter what. Even if I say yes with my mouth, its just difficult for my heart to sync with that decision.

So those are the reasons why I don’t like doing jobs for free (or even at a discount). Please help me be a better person by understanding whenever I refuse or offer to do a job for free. May God help me. May the God of heavens help me.
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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

Befriending the N200 million Photographer


So I found out recently that one of my photography mentors (of over 5years) has made an income of about N200 million from photography in the past 7 years. Even without knowing how much he earns, I had been fascinated with his achievements over the years.

I’ve learnt so much from him that would have costed me catastrophically if I had to make the mistakes myself without his guidance. More importantly, I’ve learnt that he has more weaknesses that aren’t palatable to me. Infact, despite my knowledge of his weaknesses, I made sure that there was an open channel of communication between us wherein he could still help out when I needed him.

Many people fail to realize that the mentor or person they admire has emotional and physical needs. A lot of people would rather be quick to get as much as they can from a mentor without giving something of value in exchange. I learnt this principle from my pastor years ago and decided to go with peace offerings on my first meeting with him: 5 high value photography books most of which were authored by his foreign mentors.

Apparently no one had ever given him books like that as a gift. I realized his time and knowledge were valuable and didn’t want to come across as ungrateful. The next time I called him, he had stored my name on his phone and just blurted out “Seun, how you dey?”. I was surprised but then again I wasn’t surprised. I had touched his heart and he was unconsciously bent on making sure he attends to my case whenever it showed up in his court of law. I recently updated my “account” with him by blessing him with a N100k photography printer.

Its a spiritual principle that many are not conscious of. Although, I can’t boast of having earned that much income in my years of photography, I was honored to have been considered a potential ambassadorial candidate by an international photography equipment company last year. Guess who my competitor was: my mentor. I would eventually not get the multi-million naira deal but I was appreciative of the fact that a world-class brand would consider me for such a deal. It gave me more courage to know that though my bank statement could not boast of N3 million, my N300 million retirement income was more feasible than I thought; as long as I have mentors like the N200 million photographer.

Some photographers miss it when they compare only the pictures that are being taken by other photographers. What they fail to analyze is how some photographers relate better with people to the extent that clients will pay premium price for their services.

The lesson to get from this is for us to be conscious of deliberating choosing the right mentors that will challenge us (and perhaps also quicken our steps) on our journey in life. Show me your mentors, and I’ll have an idea how you’ll turn out in 5-10 years time. I have over 20 mentors in photography because I’m conscious of where I’m going in the industry. But perhaps the bigger lesson to learn is to be conscious of being a blessing to the life of whoever you consider to be a mentor, coach or friend. That way, you’re likely to stand out in their mind whenever you contact them for help.

There are presently a number of protégés that I have that I’ll go the extra mile to help them out because of the simultaneous investment they’ve made in my life. One gave me an apple (the fruit not the computer/phone) gift yesterday and it touched my heart to know she was concerned about my health (since an apple a day keeps the doctor away…or something like that). Another got me a small book. One recently took me to the movies to watch the latest Transformers at Silverbird Cinemas. Its not until you buy me that 2014 BMW 540i that’s in your heart before you touch my heart….the 2012 model will do just fine. 🙂

This is one of those writeups that I’m not sure how to end. However, whatever you do, be deliberate about the types of photography friends and mentors you surround yourself with. They’ll either make or mar your destiny. As for me, I’m grateful to God for bringing across my way the N200 million photographer as a mentor. Enough said.
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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

The SIKIRA Syndrome


Meet SIKIRA. She’s a lady in her late twenties who sells food beside our office. She used to sell only drinks and biscuits until many people in the neighborhood convinced her to open a canteen and start selling cooked food. I was one of those that told her she could make money selling food after she provided lunch for some of our elophotos academy students 3 years ago.

Apart from the fact that her food was outstanding, her personality was even more attractive. She was kind, courteous, and extremely friendly. And those traits seemed like the right ingredients that will go with someone selling food. Considering the fact that her “food” competitors lacked customer service, she was destined to stand out if she ventured in the business. Or so I thought.

Few weeks into the food business, I realized that a spirit had possessed Sikira. All of a sudden, she started insulting customers that came to buy food from her and her customer-service oriented nature went on a looooooooong vacation. She would frown at customers, shout at them, and with the support of her mother in the business, she’ll even tell some customers to carry their business elsewhere.

The interesting thing I discovered was that the more she insulted people – some of whom are her father’s age mate – the more customers kept coming to buy food from her. They kept coming for ONE reason: her food was delicious. So tasty was her delicacies that the thought of having her as my personal cook crossed my mind. I was surprised that people kept coming to buy from her despite the fact that she didn’t treat them with the utmost respect. But then again, I realized that a lot of us in this part of the world are “used” to being insulted and abused. Just look at the multitude of organizations in Nigeria with terrible customer service and you’ll wonder why they remain in business. MTN and Aero contractors will top my list of companies that fall in that category. Guaranty Trust Bank might eventually join the list if they don’t return my N20k that was swallowed by an ATM machine over 6 months ago.

It occurred to me that this was a BIG business opportunity. If someone that could provide the same service or product and simultaneously treat customers right, the sky is just the starting point of the profit potential.

Bringing the scenario back into the photography business. There are many photographers that have been in business only because the people that patronize them like the “products” that have been served them. The customer service however is another story. Our ultimate goal as photographers & business men (& women) who want to remain relevant in the industry for years to come – regardless of the introduction of new technology – is to build systems that are devoid of the SIKIRA SYNDROME. If we can achieve that, we might eventually not have to spend as much money in trying to advertise our products & services: our clients will become our BIGGEST & most effective marketers.

Until we get new companies that can provide the same quality of products and services that are offered by Sikira & MTN, we might just be stuck with them in the meantime. Eventually when a new food vendor with great customer service and delicious food (a combination that I’m confident is a possibility) arrives in our neighborhood, my colleagues and I have little or no option but to keep patronizing her.

Until then, I will do my best to make sure that the SIKIRA SYNDROME does not possess us at eloPhotos.
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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

Discovering the Customer-Service at DiscoveryAir


A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine recommended that I try out an airline that opened for business in June. He was so impressed with the customer-service that was extended to him during his trip to Abuja that he demanded that I give them a try.

I eventually flew with them and discovered that although they were not flying with BRAND NEW planes, the customer service I got made me feel BRAND NEW. No, this isn’t a paid advert by the company. I just thought that people out there – especially those that fly with companies like Aero-contractors who have repeatedly proven that they can treat customers anyhow – should know that they have a new option when it comes to traveling by air.

I wasn’t surprised when I checked to see that the flight was almost filled. And it wasn’t filled with people that were traveling by air for the very first time. I’m guessing that customers of other airlines decided to try DiscoverAir and see if they will get a better experience from what they were used to.

A better experience I eventually got. I even had to take a picture of the food pack just so that I can have enough evidence against them the day they decide to “reduce” the contents of the meal they give customers on board.

The last time I got such customer service was when I visited Transcorp Hilton Hotel (Abuja) in 2007. If they keep it up, I sense that one or two airlines that we’re all familiar with will eventually close business. I think you should try it out and feel free to drop you comments here if you were treated well or not. Just check them out at discoverair.com.ng and do let me know what your experience was like.


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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