Tunbosun & Dieko’s Pre-Wedding Session


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

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

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

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

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

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


View Bolanle & Femi’s wedding album and let us know what you think. Feel free to contact us to book us for your wedding photography coverage.
EMAIL: info@elophotos.com
BB: 271E3BC8

The Adventurous Couple: Bunmi & Tope


Fresh from the hectic schedule of NiPHEC 2013, the pre-wedding shoot of Bunmi & Temitope beckoned. Their love for black & white pictures is my energizer for the shoot and meeting the to be couple with their loads of costumes ranging from new school into the oldies I realized it’s going to be a long day out and I was ready to capture moments of Bunmi & Tope.

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Register for a photography course at our ACADEMY today. A new session begins May 25, 2013.
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I immediately introduced myself (Samueul Ijiyokunola) and my partner Micheal Agwunobi and confirmed with them again what the schedule for the day will look like. We were to kick off with the studio shots before we head out to the rail station at Ebutte Metta and onward to Oniru beach, our final destination. I think they love the result of our efforts.

Enjoy the adventurous pre-wedding moments of Bunmi & Tope that was captured as we eagerly await the joy of their wedding day in June. Hopefully the pictures that ensue will give you one more reason to count on us to capture your precious moments.

Enjoy!
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A Photography Internship Without Regret


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photographically yours,
Tosin Bakre

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Discover 5 reasons why you should learn photography at eloPhotos ACADEMY. A new weekend session begins January 12, 2013.
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Titi & Dami’s Wedding


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


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Register for a photography course before December 28, 2012 and get 50% OFF. CLICK HERE for more information
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Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
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Grace & Obadiah’s Wedding Album


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

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

5 Reasons to Learn Photography at eloPhotos Academy


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Leke & Seyi’s Wedding in Pictures


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

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


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


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

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

 

The Gathering of 201 Nigerian Photographers


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

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

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

 

FINALLY OUT: PICTURE THIS Magazine


REGISTER FOR A PHOTOGRAPHY MODULE AT eloPhotos Academy TODAY. CLICK HERE for more information
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The long-awaited foremost photography magazine for hobbyists & professionals is out: PICTURE THIS.

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

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

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UNILAG, Akoka. Dolapo 08029494655 bbpin 238388A3

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

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

ABEOKUTA: Damilola 07066490511, 08027636933
bbpin 28B60E72

APAPA/AJEGUNLE: Maximus 08095001309
bbpin 271DF530

EGBEDA: Segun 08137544841 bbpin 294747E1

OGBA: Olusegun 08055591040 bbpin 227D6448

LEKKI/AJAH: Furz 08133215368 bbpin 229DF347

SHANGISHA: Dmayo 08080806882 bbpin 29F26582

BARIGA: Lekan 08035649655 bbpin 2775FEC1

FESTAC/AGO/OKOTA: Shade 08121110627 bbpin 28C98C5C

BERGER: Olamide 08024583984 bbpin 231798AC

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

AKUTE/LAMBE: Favour 08024494106

AKOWONJO/IYANA IPAJA/ EGBEDA: Yemi 08023255066

IKEJA: Godson 08022313820

OGBA: Tosin 08022935383 bbpin 21F62AA8

WARRI,DELTA STATE: Michael 08025378879 bbpin 235A85A1

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happiness alli
Airport hotel, awolowo way, IKEJA
08187665743

Oge
17 kodesho street, opp KFC, IKEJA
07035707027

Orji
44 awolowo way, IKEJA
08038184672

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

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

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

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

The Hub Media Store
Palms Shopping Mall
Lekki, Lagos

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Photography Courses at eloPhotos Academy


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

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

Duration: 2 days
Course Fee: N40,000
DATES:
Weekday SETS: December 3 & 4, 2012 OR January 7 & 8, 2013
Weekend SETS: September 1 & 8, 2012 OR January 12 & 19, 2013.
Registration closes when a class of 20 students has been reached

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

Duration: 1 day
Course Fee: N20,000
DATES:
Weekday SETS: December 5, 2012 OR January 9, 2013
Weekend SETS: September 15, 2012 OR January 26, 2013
Registration closes when a class of 20 students has been reached

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

Duration: 2 days
Course Fee: N40,000
DATES:
Weekday SETS: December 6 & 7, 2012 OR January 10 & 11, 2013
Weekend SETS: September 22 & 29, 2012 OR February 2 & 9, 2013.
Registration closes when a class of 20 students has been reached

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

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

Duration: 3 days
Course Fee:
N50,000
DATES:
Weekday SETS: December 10-12, 2012 OR January 14-16, 2013
Weekend SETS: October 6, 13 & 20, 2012 OR February 16, 23 & March 2, 2013.
Registration closes when a class of 20 students has been reached

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

Duration: 1 day
Course Fee:
N20,000
DATES:
Weekday SETS: December 13, 2012 OR January 17, 2013
Weekend SETS: October 27, 2012 OR March 9, 2013.
Registration closes when a class of 20 students has been reached

REGISTER FOR ALL 5 MODULES & SAVE N20k. REGISTRATION CLOSES WHEN A CLASS OF 20 STUDENTS HAS BEEN REACHED.

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

After making payment into our company account, send an email to info@elophotos.com to get a copy of the application form. Download the form, print, fill and bring it on the first day of class to the venue with two passport photographs along with the teller of the bank deposit. For further inquiries, contact us on 234-8079243366, 234-7038244433, 234-8120129149, 234-8101590358 or info@elophotos.com

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

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

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

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

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TESTIMONIALS

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

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

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

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

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…raising world-class photographers
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Get your copy of Nigeria’s 1st Photography Magazine PICTURE THIS
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The Photography Gadget Criminal


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photographically Yours,

Oluwaseun Akisanmi
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The Wedding Kelechi Amadi-Obi offered to cover for $600


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So while discussing with a photographer colleague the other day, I asked him how much he enjoyed covering Celebrity X’s wedding. He laughed it off and went ahead to give a break down of the deal. Now before you proceed, please note that this is not fiction: it happened to people I (and perhaps U) know very well. We’ll call the photographer C & the celebrity X.

Photographer C first met Celebrity X earlier this year when he came seeking for the services of a professional photographer. C came highly recommended and the meeting was arranged. Upon arriving at the studio of C, X was shocked when he was given a bill of $500 for the session. “But it’s just a few soft copies I need” X exclaimed. “I know this one photographer J that can give me this same session for $80″, he continued. C explained that that was the worth of the value he was bringing to the table and that photographer J was probably also charging what he felt he was worth”.

After much discussion and pleading, photographer C decided to do the session for Celebrity X without charging a dime. Knowing that Celebrity X was very popular, perhaps it will go a long way in establishing a rapour that will bring more business in the future, he thought. The session came, the session went and over 30 soft copies later, Celebrity X was convinced that there are PHOTOGRAPHERS & there are photographers. He loved the pictures. I loved the pictures. The resulting pictures were so beautiful that I even considered going for a training session with Photographer C on how to use “studio” lights.

Fast forward to a few months later, Celebrity X came back for some more. This time he was getting married and required the world class services of photographer C for the wedding day. But first, Celebrity X needed a pre-wedding session so the pictures could be used to “advertise” to the world that “Lagbaja & Tamedo” are getting married.

Once again, Celebrity X was shocked at the bill that was presented him for the pre-wedding session. “Haba, don’t forget that you’re the one covering the main wedding”, he kidded. “Do you want to scare me away now?” After much pleading and nagging, photographer C gave a discount for the session. He figured that since he’ll be covering the wedding, he has little to loose.

Once again, the pictures that ensued proved to Celebrity X that photography was indeed the Divine calling of photographer C. The pictures were (according to the choice of words used by one of my clients) “tastefully finished”.

Alas, the wedding day drew nigh. It was time to finalize the photography details of the main day. Once again, Celebrity X shouted when he got a bill of over $2000. Now at this point, the gentleman in photographer C was already getting angry. “What does this man take me for?” he asked himself. What made matters worse was when Celebrity X blurted out that “even Kelechi Amadi-Obi has offered to collect $800 for covering the wedding”.

The indirect question being posed to my colleague was thus: “Who are you to charge me more than what Kelechi has offered to take?” To say that photographer C was furious will be an understatement of the year. He nicely told Celebrity X to proceed with using the services of Kelechi Amadi-Obi since his (i.e. Photographer C) bill is not favorable.

Now at this point you need to understand that Celebrity X is the type of client that although I would have turned down since the first meeting, many photographers would have considered it a privilege to be his official wedding photographer. He was well known. He’s still very well known.

Although I knew (just like photographer C) that Celebrity X was lying through his teeth, I decided to call and confirm if indeed Kelechi covered the wedding. I called Kelechi Amadi-Obi’s studios 3 days ago (June 25, 2012) and discussed the issue with them. I wanted to confirm if it was indeed true. His project Manager laughed me off and said “that is a BIG LIE”. He told me that the minimum Kelechi takes for a wedding coverage and delivery of soft copies on a cd is $6000. (WoW. When I grow up, I definitely want to be like Kelechi.)

So what lessons are to be learnt here? You be the judge. But whatever it is you’ve learnt from this, please make sure it includes not being ridiculed or tossed to & fro by a potential client that might look or talk like Celebrity X. I eventually met a photographer that saw the wedding pictures of X (let’s no longer call him a Celebrity): the pictures were “nothing to write home about” for a person of his class.

Buttom line is this: know your worth, price accordingly and don’t take sh** from anyone that seeks to ridicule your great work (assuming ofcourse it’s great) by comparing you to another photographer.

By the way, if you were Photographer C, what would you have done in each scenario of meeting X. (This is definitely an interesting simultaneous equation in which it isn’t necessary to Find X).

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Photographer of the week: Dipo Odetoyinbo


Transcript of the interview session with renowned Photographer, Dipo Odetoyinbo (Black Child Photography)

When did you KNOW you wanted to become a Photographer?
My journey into photography has been a love affair. I have always been artistically inclined. I’ve been into fashion, I’ve done a bit of drama and I sang for a long time. It was when I went to serve in Kano state, on the way from the orientation camp to the village where we were posted, there was this beautiful scenery. The journey lasted about an hour and was over in the blink of the eye. It was the beauty of the scenery that struck me and I felt I had to capture that beauty. I guess that was where that ‘knowing’ first started because I knew I wanted to share this beauty with the whole world.

Tell us more about your career in photography and the challenges you experienced.
I studied Microbiology in the University of Ibadan, but from my second year I knew it wasn’t it for me. I needed to do more with what came to me naturally. I needed to do a little more self discovery. I had good grades and all that, but I knew art is where I am really very good at. That very point, I decided to make it a career. I started out as a hobbyist taking pictures of landscape and nature and a few portraits. I started posting my pictures and it seemed people liked it and wanted more. A lot of people asked me to come and take their picture and I said no, no.
I was so strong and I had to do something about it because even as an amateur a lot of people felt I could take it professionally. I decided I could, but I didn’t know what the business side of it will take. Although I had been into business before I knew running a business wasn’t simple. I knew I could do whatever it takes and that I could imagine myself still doing this at age seventy.

The challenges I had are the same that faces most of us artists. The case of doing something you love so passionately, but when it comes to the end of the month it’s not like someone is going to pay you. The real challenges were the business side: how do I create this beautiful work of art and get someone to pay me for it? I also came to the point where I knew I had to do something that was relevant to as many people as possible. Art is a medium of self-expression but I found after a bit of research that I had to be more relevant.

Who were your mentors when you were starting out?
It’s funny people can inspire you but you haven’t met them personally. I have largely been self taught. But I read the works of so many great people for inspiration. I read a lot of Bryan Peterson’s books and Scott Kelby. I knew more of what was going on the international scene for a year of so. But since I was to be based here in Nigeria, I needed to know what people around here were doing. I met Mr Leke Adenuga of QF and he showed me quite a bit of how to go about the business side of it. Also through HO9 I met Kelechi Amadi-Obi, I met Barret Akpokabayen, and a few others & they have been very instrumental in helping me out.

Getting into wedding photography, I remember meeting Mr Seun Akisanmi who really showed me the ropes of the business side (before that I had made many blunders!) and it was like a corrective measure. I also had a few assists from Michael Adebiyi, who went with me to some weddings and would help cover some and he was really instrumental.

Which Photographer on earth do you admire the most?
Strictly speaking Work and personality wise, one of the people I admire most is Kelechi Amadi-Obi. Just looking at his works alone has been so inspirational. It’s because of the aesthetics and the fine-art. Meeting him one-on-one has also inspired me and because he makes me feel like I can do it too.

Tell us your worst photography experience so far?
I think I have had so many experiences that have made me re-consider this business. I remember a few years back I was called for a series of jobs by the same client, a party, portrait session, two events and so on. After we spoke he deposited some money into my account, promising that he will pay the balance later. So I focussed on delivery and I did all that I could, including getting a make-up artist for all the coverage. So when I delivered everything and it was time to get my balance, he started dragging.

The mistake I made was that I did not sign a contract with him and delivering all without collecting much. I had invested my own money for a lot of the work and it [must have] seemed like I had a lot of money and I had made my profit and that was why I still had so much balance to collect.
That has been the nastiest experience so far and till date I have not collected that money.

What is that one WOW “client” experience that you wish could be repeated with all your clients?
I won’t site one client in particular. I have several clients who have become big-time marketers for me. That just really excites me; when you work for somebody and they go out of their way to ensure that every one they know hires you, if they can afford it.

How far are you willing to go with this “Photography”?
Like I said , it was a love affair for me initially, and I didn’t stumble into photography just like that, but I made up my mind that whatever it takes I am going to make it work. I believe it’s finding out your own niche and doing what makes you stand out and not doing what everybody else does. So many people are coming into the industry, (that’s good because it gives it a prestigious look) but having so many more graduates who are leaving their degree and coming into the business, shows that it is such a fantastic industry and it requires differentiation and stating in your area of strength for it stand out.

Why should a client hire you amidst the sea of photographers in Nigeria?
For me I like to ask a lot of questions and find out a lot about the client to be able to fashion out what works for them to bring out the best. A lot of people want to look exactly the way some of my works appear and I have to explain to them why I took the pictures they’re looking at in a certain way. I think my attention to detail stands me out. For my pre-wedding shoots, I usually want to go all out.

Are you affordable?
I think I am quite affordable. That is relative, because I have a lot of very good work out there that I am sure of. So I have created different packages for weddings. On the average it starts at $900 (N150k) and goes up depending on the options that go into the package based on what the client needs. It all depends on what the client needs although we have a whole gamut of packages that cover what clients usually expect.

What is your advice for newbies coming into the industry?
I would say spend time learning and training. It’s not every one that holds a camera that is a photographer. Learn how to take pictures, learn the art and very importantly learn the business side of it. The business aspect of it is very important to whatever it is you are doing.

Assume you wake up on Feb 20, 2020 what will your dream day look like?
I have always loved travelling. I guess it would be the day I get a call from South Africa to come do a shoot there. I said South Africa because a lot of photographers are trained there and peoole still come from all over the world to get their training there. By then , I would [want to] have an outfit that has really grown and I would have a lot of people under the same umbrella and I would have branched out into a few other fields I won’t mention now. Photography is the good foundation for the other things that come with it.

Any plans for a training platform for apprentists?
I keep getting phonecalls from people saying they want to come learn photography, but I have learnt that talk is cheap! Then I remember approaching one of my mentors once for that kind of request and I had to do a re-think when I realised I wouldn’t have the kind of time it was going to require. I had to look for another way around it. So as much as I love to create a platform for others, not everyone fits in and even though you have just a few rules, they take it for granted. I love to share knowledge so I have an internship program right now but that can’t accommodate many people, but as time goes on I intend to take on more people.
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Black Child Photography is a Visual Communication Outfit geared at providing our esteemed clients with high quality images that speak to the viewer and passes across pre-planned specific messages to targeted audiences.

www.blackchildphotography.com
Email: blackchild247@gmail.com
Telephone: +234 80-2360-1026, +234 80-9056-9305

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PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE WEEK 5: Kelechi Amadi-Obi (TRANSCRIPT)


We met with Kelechi on Valentine Day’s eve and had a heart-to-heart talk. He just concluded a photo session with Jay Martins and was eager to share with us about his journey so far in photography. The following is the transcript of the 45-minute interview that ensued

Tell us who you are & how you got into photography?
My Name is Kelechi Amadi-Obi. I went to secondary school in Government college Umuahia, after my primary school (Library Avenue primary school, Umuahia again) so I pretty much grew up in my city. Right from childhood , I had always been fascinated with visual arts, usually the best artist of the class in primary school. My primary school was next to the library (hence it’s name), in fact my mum was the headmistress of the school.

My house was next to the school. I had developed the habit of research early and going to the art shelf in the library. Whatever craft I needed to learn I knew early on that I could learn it on my own. I discovered great wisdom hidden in all the books. I became obsessed with trying to master the wisdom of any book I was reading.

By the time I finished secondary school it was obvious I could communicate through the art of the visual though I never thought about how to make a living from it. I didn’t see any gallery or museum or art school in my area. I’d never met a real artist and only read about them in books. So I thought it was something only done in Europe. So back then, when I would make a drawing, I would tell my little sister then that ‘This is a masterpiece!’ I tried to visualise myself [being] like Rembrandt, Van Gogh or Picasso, but it all seemed like a fantasy world.

But when it came to choosing my career, this was story: My family is a family of lawyers. My father was a high court judge and only two professions were recognised in my house; you were either a medical doctor or a lawyer. So I chose law after passing my JAMB examination and gained admission into University of Nigeria (Nnsuka) [UNN]. It was there, [UNN] that my eyes were opened and In fact, I attended ACCA exhibition in Bonna gallery in Enugu then. I was in the midst of real artists. I thought ‘this is it! People actually live this kind of life!’ I immediately grew comfortable with that, and while I was studying law, I was practising my art, and became popular for it. I chose a brand name De’ Zulu (from a movie Chaka De Zulu, who I thought really kicked ass) for business name.

It was in my third year I made the decision I would become a full time artist after I finished law school. But I was not going to be a drop-out because people would misunderstand me. I also found out that in law, there were some things that would benefit me.
After finishing law school, I settled in Lagos with my aunt (Aunty Nnena) and by then my father was late. The only thing I could afford then was a cardboard paper and pencil. So I said, “Great, let’s start making art!”
Freshly out of law school, that was a stubborn and ridiculous thing to do.

It was atop my aunt’s balcony I started making art-works. The first time I went to shop for frames for the artworks the owner of the frame shop asked, ‘’Are these works for sale?’’ I answered, ‘oh, they are N10,000 each” and he bought all five of them! I thought, wow! From nothing to N50,000…. I blew N25,000 immediately on art materials.
I went back to continue with painting. I was amazed at how easy it was to sell those artworks. A friend of mine who was also a fellow artist, came around and found what I was doing interesting. So he said he knew a few people who are collectors. He packed all the works I had that morning and in the evening he came back with N100,000 cash after collecting his commission. Incredible! It became clear I could make a living in Lagos as an artist.
Eventually I had an exhibition, followed by another, and the rest is history. I became popular and was absorbed into the art world of Lagos.

Gradually I was using the camera to take photos for my paintings as reference materials, and as I did I realised I needed to master lighting. More of my paintings were of the human figure and I needed to photograph models for them. I liked to look at the way light falls on the body in the different shapes and forms. I got deeper and deeper into controlling the way light goes into the shutter, through the aperture to make an exposure. So I could thoroughly underexpose a picture or slightly over-expose it to get a kind of feel [I wanted].

While doing that I had mastered the little intricacies of photography. It struck me that some of the photos I was making were already finished artworks. I started hanging out with more artists. I would visit the likes of Don Barbar (even he had collected some of my paintings he found interesting) and he would take me to his dark-room to develop some prints. I was amazed that what I saw was just like my paintings. I then started using Uche James Iroha’s dark room while he was working in Dolphin Studios in Surulere to process my works which I shot in black and white. Soon after, I got my own dark-room. This made my interest in photography come up even more.

It was all just fun, and I wasn’t making a dime from photography at the time. Until a guy (also a photographer himself) came in from Germany to curate an African art exhibition, as part of the biennial, in Bamako Mali. He wanted to have eleven photographers. Someone had told him about my collection of nudes and he came around, looked at them and found them quite interesting. And since he thought they were good enough for the exhibition, I got invited to Bamako Mali. Uche James Iroha, TY Bello, Amaeze Ojekere (representing his dad) and others from diaspora, Mali and Senegal, South Africa were all participants in this exhibition. It was like an art exhibition Olympics for Black Africa!

There were curators and scouts from all over Europe. Some of the curators from Italy came over and after liking my work, they invited me to come and exhibit in Italy. They took my contact [info] and sent me tickets .
Upon returning, myself, Uche James Iroha, TY Bello and Amaeze Ojekere came together to form a group called Depth of Field – a collective of artists who wanted to spend time creating work. And soon we were exhibiting in France, Germany, England, New York and we became very popular. That even sucked me deeper into photography. While this was happening it was my work as a painter that was providing my upkeep.

Gradually people & advertising agencies came to me with briefs for an artistic advertising shoot. When they came I would say, Sure, I’ll work with you, but these are my terms…… Then they would say no, and propose things like N30,000 per scenario. My response would always be , ‘Sorry, I don’t work that way. If you want to call me, you pay for my day and that starts from N150,000 to N200,000. You want me to work for you, it means paying premium for my time. I had gotten advice from Don Barbar about the advertising agencies not having respect for photographers and how not to let myself be treated that way.

So I would walk away from big jobs, but when I did get a job [on my terms] and the brief was given to me, I wouldn’t sleep over it. Even if it was a brief on Still Life photography, I would spend the night, the next day, and so on, studying about it, test-shooting it and then do some more reading again until I mastered it… just to make sure I deliver on my promise.

So if I had been given N150,000, I will make sure I deliver a N250,000 – quality of work. The philosophy then was if I gave the client more, the extra that I was giving them was actually payment for advertising. This is because the person I was shooting for will then go round telling others, “this guy is awesome!” It worked like magic. So while I didn’t get many jobs, the ones I got took a lot of time, a lot of people banged their phones on me, saying who is this guy? Because I would not shoot at the price they were calling. I told the ad agencies, ‘the guys who were doing jobs at N20,000 0r N30,000 per scenario were shooting themselves in the foot by doing too many jobs, and having no time for research to perfect their skills or even money to purchase equipment.’ In the long run you advertisers will run out of good material to work with and you will be compelled to import photographers from the UK, costing you more than three times my bill. So I am actually saving you money!”

As if I was clairvoyant, it happened just as I said. The ad agencies got stranded when big clients came from overseas looking for a certain quality of work and very few photographers who could deliver that quality.
That was how I began and continued to grow, and since then I have not changed [my principles]. Over the years I have been researching continuously to learn new tricks to push the threshold of my craft. I want to be in the place, where the most difficult challenge is what I want to face, so that when I conquer it, it becomes normal [to do so], and then I look for another challenge, more difficult and I face it.

So as time went on, I started enjoying my own personal shoots and I make sure that even in spite of all the commercial work one is doing, I find time to express myself as an artist and that is where I am now.

Please enlighten us about how the issue on copyrights apply to photographers in the Nigerian photography industry
Under the copyright act , the rights to a work of art, resides in the person who makes the work of art. In relation to photography, it is the photographer. It does have exceptions, where such rights are limited, like if it is an image of an individual, there are circumstances where you must obtain a release from the individual. You don’t go shooting somebody’s photo and then go selling it for a corporation to do an advert with. THAT WOULD BE INFRINGEMENT and you could be sued. Somebody’s right ends at the point where another person’s begins. But if you got a model release that tells you that you can do whatever you want with the image, then there is no problem.

If you are taking pictures of landscape or even people in a crowd, you won’t get sued. In terms of doing commercial work it Is still applicable. Whenever you do a shoot, under the law, the rights to those images still reside with you. Photographers are advised to, in writing, give their clients license to use their images for definite time duration within a definite geographical area. That is what you are being paid for in addition to your expertise. If it is not written, the right still resides with the photographer automatically.
How do I deal with this? When I am having a client relationship, my interest is to make sure the client gets what he wants. A lot of people who are into advertising don’t even want to use the images for more than 6 months. But if they indicate that they want to use all over the world, say for twenty years, then you bill them accordingly. The usage matters and that is why I advise that you put this into consideration.

Even though it is a shoot that is for one scenario, it is the usage that determines the billing. It is based on what you have told me that it is to be used for a product [packaging]that I come up with my bill of N1.5 million. If they complain that “isn’t it just for a single scenario?” – I tell them If you have commissioned me to shoot the image for use on your product [branding] I cannot restrict your usage in terms of location (country), time duration or even format. In that case it will even be a disservice not to give them the rights, but your client should know that different types of usage attract different kinds of fees. It is as simple as that.

Once an oil company called me to do a shoot for their oil rig. After we had discussed on the fees, they were like after the shoot is done, I will sign a relinquishment of all rights to the images. I said in that case therefore the agreed bill then increases by 800%. If I am not to have any relationship with my work forever after, even to put it on my website, then I will bill you for it. I ended up not working with them and I was very glad I didn’t.

I think what we do serves a purpose beyond just taking photographs. We are people with opinions. As a photographer, you are a storyteller, a chronicler of history, and our work also promotes social engineering and influencing culture.

For me, photography is your first impression. When someone says Nigeria has a bad image, I take it very literally. What Nigeria has is bad imagery. Bad photography. We do not have enough people being patronized by the right people. So you may visit the Nigerian embassy in France and see booklets about Nigeria, full of tourists’ photos, pixellated because they were stolen off the internet, with absolutely no regard for the photographer, while at the airport in Capetown, I see uncountable numbers of coffee table books in a mad duplication of excellence. Amazing South Africa, so many [different] books [with pictures] taken by excellent photographers who have spent hours trying to duplicate (recreate) these images over and over again!

This reflects in their economy as people see the place [South Africa] and keep trooping there in spite of the violence. We haven’t even started [over here] with photographing our environment – I tell you! It’s amazing!

Could you explain your typical workflow from when a client engages you to when you deliver the images?
The first thing is you get a call. Usually it goes like, ‘’Mr K, we have this brief we want you to shoot – please can we know the price?’’(The price is the first thing they jump to…) continues ‘’It’s not a complicated concept, can you tell us how much you will charge?’’ I will respond that at this stage I don’t think we should be talking about price, but you can send me a written brief of the concept so I can go through it to see if it is what I can deliver to you adequately.

So I stall, and if they are people I have not worked with before, I try to set up a meeting to discuss their concept. Because whoever is on the other side [of the phone] is probably comparing your price with those of others he has written down on the paper in front of him. To him you are just another photographer over the phone, until they see how you are going to execute their brief and solve their problem. I believe this is more important than the price I am going to charge.

So when we meet, and I see the brief, I will itemise what is needed (costs) e.g location and let them also know the latitude of the most extreme scenarios (unforeseen) of the cost of equipment and time! At this point, they may say “it’s just three people smiling!”… I say that means three scenarios and this is what is required, the lighting needed, the method of making them smile and so on, the casting for the kind of feel needed and even for the seemingly simple smiling requires the right type of model.

So through it all I am trying to bring my own expertise into the brief and by the time we are through [discussing] I give them the bill and tell them they have to pay 75% – 80% upfront or we don’t have a deal. (Ad Agencies can make thirty days turn to sixty days and you start wondering, has their client paid them? And they could have been paid a long time ago and be telling you that they are still being owed).

So we establish with the client that they are ready and the date agreed is solid. When they come for the shoot, when it’s done, we have a little time for re-touching (most ad-agencies want to do their re-touching themselves) and then we look through the images and give them the best ones in high resolution.

And if you are shooting PR images for an individual say maybe an artiste, again it starts when they call, concept is discussed and we set up a date and they pay their cheque. On the day of the shoot, we do our work and we give them low resolution files that are watermarked ‘for view only’ for them to review in the comfort of their home and decide the specific ones (up to the number that comes with the package) that they want (I rarely go beyond 20 images), so that we can edit them.
For weddings and events those now include physical media like books and even CDs that will attract different prices.

How do you market to get your clients?
I’ve found out there is no better marketing than referrals [from satisfied clients]. Unless you want to do mass marketing and you have a factory of photographers that cater for everyone. You are the premium brand. You are not just a commodity, you are a brand. It is each person that has experienced your work that goes to tell 10 other people that you are good. So the dilemma now becomes how do you convince someone who has previously used a service similar to yours for N150,000 to pay N1.5 million? Well I could include a discount say 20%, but I never start negotiating without a rock bottom walk-away price that I will not go below in my head already.

The way to become a brand that attracts premium fees is as simple as this: be a promise-keeper over and over again. Let everyone that uses your services always come back when they see that you have over-delivered beyond their expectation. And it’s not just coming back alone but telling others with passion about how they think they underpaid you the worth of your work. So my best advertisers are my clients who I have paid for their advertising by giving them more than they came expecting to get. I will not charge N5, but if I charge N2 million I will make sure he [the client] gets quality work that he cannot bring Nick Knight from New York for N10 million to do! That will leave him wondering, did I underpay this guy?

Even if it is a free job, forgetting about the money, make sure you convert that client to a moving billboard. Whatever you do, make the client happy and satisfied. Also some clients may not be happy with their job, and I may even offer them a refund until I find a way to give them the satisfaction needed. It is all about integrity and client satisfaction and once people know that is what your brand is you can charge whatever you want.

What do you want to tell newbies in the photography industry?
Passion is required! But passion is not enough. You must understand that this is not a lazy man’s job. So it is passion that makes you do all the [grunt] work happily and gives you advantage over the person who lacks passion.

Some just want to photograph beautiful ladies without understanding the details of how the camera works and all that.. the physics, the mathematics and f-stops and all that doesn’t make it so seem so glamorous. So fiddle with the camera and learn how it works and if you are sure that this is what yo want to do, do not sleep – shoot!

With every squeeze of the shutter release, you must strive to take a better shot than the last. Put in your all. If it was easy , everybody will be good at it. If you have passion for it, you will succeed.

What where you attempting to achieve with the introduction of MANIA magazine?
It is one of my projects that developed out of frustration. I love shooting fashion, though the local fashion industry is not as lucrative as the other advanced economies that have understood the economies of scale. They can design a shirt and Prêt-à-porter & 2 million units of it are sold in one week. Crazy amount of money! The Dolce & Gabbanas are dressing the world in jeans, selling belts and perfumes. So on the catwalk they are merely having fun, the big money is in the factories in China churning out their products. So when it comes to paying a photographer they don’t bat an eyelid paying you N200 million!

Over here the industry has just started and it’s lacking that kind of energy and money. But I love fashion. A lot of the magazines cannot afford the work I would love and that made me feel limited. So I created that magazine to open that creative box to show what is possible so I could break the glass ceiling above my head. So far it’s been beautiful, tough but beautiful. We were publishing bi-monthly before but now we are going monthly.

What final words do you have for fans & clients that are watching/reading this?
Do what you love, work at it! But don’t ask me for pocket money!

To view more of Kelechi Amadi-Obi’s works, visit his website at www.kelechiamadiobi.com

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For tips on growing your photography business, like our fecebook page (www.facebook.com/elophotos) or add us on ur bb: 271E3BC8

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Olalekan Emmanuel Okeowo
MADE Photography, http://www.madefotos.com
BB Pin: 258C6A4A

Sample Contract for Event/Wedding Photography


I’ve had a few photographers ask me for a copy of the contract/agreement we give couples to sign before we cover their celebration. I decided to put it up here knowing it might help to “enlighten” potential clients also. You’re free to use and adapt to your specific needs. It will help reduce the conflicts between photographers & clients after the pictures have been taken.

Agreement for Wedding & Event Photography

eloPhotos Studio Enterprises hereby agrees to photograph the wedding of

On December 30, 2008 & January 3, 2009.

Bride’s Name:Groom’s Name:
Date of Birth: _____________________Date of Birth: _____________________
Venue of Engagement: __________________________________________________________Time:
Venue of Church Wedding: ________________________________Time:
Venue of Reception: __________________________________________________________
Couple’s Future Address ________________________________________________________________________
Bride’s GSM:                                         Groom’s GSM:

Description of Photographic Services to be Provided
20 hours/2days of photography coverage, 1 60-page magazine-style album, 2 13” by 19” framed pictures, and uploading of pictures to http://www.eloclients.com

Charges: The package fee is based on the Photographer’s Standard Price List and includes the photographs described therein. If the fee is not based on a package but is a session fee, all photographs shall be billed in addition to the fee and in accordance with the Standard Price List. In addition to either the package fee or the session fee, the extra charges set forth below shall be billed if and when incurred.

[ * ] Package Fee (1 60-page album, 2 13”by 19” frames) ………………N220,000

Extra Charges (when incurred)
8” by 10” glass frames ……………………………………………………………………….. N5,000
Extra Album………………………………………………………………….N70,000
Special retouching (per extra picture ordered)…………………………………………… N1,500
Overtime (per hour)………………………………………………………………………………. N3,000
13” by 19” canvas frame N15,000
SubtotalN220,000
Less depositN100,000
Balance DueN120,000

Balance Due Date: December 16, 2008N80,000
February 2, 2009N40,000

Package Delivery Date: Album pictures shall be uploaded to http://www.eloclients.com on February 2, 2009 by 12noon. The album shall be printed and delivered not later than one week after the pictures have been approved by the bride & groom.

The parties have read the conditions of this Agreement, agree to all its terms, and acknowledge receipt of a complete copy of the Agreement signed by both parties. Each person signing as Client below shall be fully responsible for ensuring that full payment is made pursuant to the terms of this Agreement.

Bride’s Signature__________________________ Groom’s Signature _____________________________

Photographer ________________________________________ Date _____________________

This Agreement is subject to all the terms and conditions on the following page (please read carefully):

1. Exclusive Photographer. The Photographer shall be the exclusive photographer retained by the Client for the purpose of photographing the wedding. Family and friends of the Client shall be permitted to photograph the wedding as long as they shall not interfere with the Photographer’s duties and do not photograph poses arranged by the Photographer.

2. Deposit and Payment. The Client shall make a deposit of N50,000 to retain the Photographer to perform the services specified herein. The balance shall be due 3-4 weeks before the date of the event. Refusal to pay the balance before the date of event will result in delays in the date of delivery of the album (s). No part of any order will be delivered or uploaded to the internet until payment is made in full. If the Client refuses to pay the necessary deposit within thirty (30) days after the event, Client shall be in default hereunder and shall pay 5% monthly interest on the unpaid balance until payment is made in full. Payments shall be made either in person or cheque/cash deposit into our Guaranty Trust Bank account 211-744703110 under eloPhotos Studio Enterprises.

3. Order Changes. Once a service is chosen or an order is placed and all necessary payments made, the sale is final and nonrefundable. No verbal changes will be accepted. Any schedule or order changes must be documented, submitted, and signed by both the contracting party/parties and the eloPhotos for confirmation and mutual authorization.

4. Cancellation. If the Client shall cancel this Agreement sixty (60) or more calendar days before the wedding date, any deposit paid to the Photographer shall be refunded in full. If Client shall cancel within sixty days of the wedding date and if the Photographer does not obtain another assignment for that date, liquidated damages shall be charged in a reasonable amount not to exceed the deposit.

5. Photographic Materials. All photographic materials, including but not limited to negatives, transparencies, proofs, and previews, shall be the exclusive property of the Photographer. The Photographer shall make proofs and previews available to the Client for the purpose of selecting photographs. The Photographer may, with the Client’s permission, make the proofs available on a Web site or CD-ROM.

6. Copyright and Reproductions. The Photographer shall own the copyright in all images created and shall have the exclusive right to make reproductions. The Photographer shall only make reproductions for the Client or for the Photographer’s portfolio, samples, self-promotions, entry in photographic contests or art exhibitions, editorial use, or for display within or on the outside of the Photographer’s studio. If the Photographer desires to make other uses, the Photographer shall not do so without first obtaining the written permission of the Client.

7. Client’s Usage. The Client is obtaining prints for personal use only, and shall not sell said prints or authorize any reproductions thereof by parties other than the Photographer. If Client is obtaining a print for newspaper announcement of the wedding, Photographer authorizes Client to reproduce the print in this manner. In such event, Client shall request that the newspaper run a credit for the Photographer adjacent to the photograph, but shall have no liability if the newspaper refuses or omits to do so.

8. Failure to Perform. If the Photographer cannot perform this Agreement due to a fire or other casualty, strike, act of God, or other cause beyond the control of the parties, or due to Photographer’s illness, then the Photographer shall return the deposit to the Client but shall have no further liability with respect to the Agreement. This limitation on liability shall also apply in the event that photographic materials are damaged in processing, lost through camera malfunction, lost in the mail, or otherwise lost or damaged without fault on the part of the Photographer. In the event the Photographer fails to perform for any other reason, the Photographer shall not be liable for any amount in excess of the retail value of the Client’s order.

9. Photographer. The Photographer may substitute another photographer to take the photographs in the event of Photographer’s illness or of scheduling conflicts. In the event of such substitution, Photographer warrants that the photographer taking the photographs shall be a competent professional.

10. Inherent Qualities. Client is aware that color dyes in photography may fade or discolor over time (usually after 20yrs) due to the inherent qualities of dyes, and Client releases Photographer from any liability for any claims whatsoever based upon fading or discoloration due to such inherent qualities.

11. Photographer’s Standard Price List. The charges in this Agreement are based on the Photographer’s Standard Price List and are only guaranteed once deposit is made. This price list is adjusted periodically and future orders shall be charged at the prices in effect at that time.

12. Client’s Originals. If the Client is providing original prints, negatives, or transparencies owned by the Client to the Photographer for duplication, framing, reference, or any other purpose, in the event of loss or damage the Photographer shall not be liable for an amount in excess of N2000 per image.

13. Miscellany. This Agreement incorporates the entire understanding of the parties. Any modifications of this Agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. Any waiver of a breach or default hereunder shall not be deemed a waiver of a subsequent breach or default of either the same provision or any other provision of this Agreement. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria