Please play your part


Who says the only thing we do at Elophotos academy is work, work and work? Of course not! If it were, we would all be dull by now because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. One of those ways we chill off is seeing movies and not just for the fun of it but also for the learning part of it.
Last week was movie time again and we all agreed to watch the new movie Dry; written, produced and directed by Stephanie Linus. Yeah, like you too am not a fan of those crappy Nollywood films, but I must let you know producers like Stephanie, Kunle Afolayan and a couple of others are changing the game and I think we need to encourage and support our own. For someone like me who is not a fan of Hollywood’s film tricks, animation and high end video effects; whenever I have the opportunity of seeing good stuff from Nigeria I grab it. I believe movies are (and should be used as) a tool for social change. Films are to entertain, educate, correct and shape the mind of the populace in the right frame.
With veteran actors and actresses like Liz Benson, Olu Jacobs, Hauwa Maina, Rekiya Attan, Hakeem Hassan, Tijani Faraga, Raham Hassan and an hilarious comic role played by ‘klint the drunk’, DRY addressed and brought to the surface various issues daring us to the face as a nation which we swept under the carpet as if nothing is wrong. It beckons on the government to wake up from this sleep of corruption to its responsibilities, to equip our primary health centres, and save our teenage girls from early marriage. The movie also challenged some mundane cultural beliefs passed across to us and upheld by some due to selfish motives and ignorance.
After watching the movie, I suddenly realized how urgent it is to start playing our parts in making sure that our country changes. My eyes were widely opened to the fact that delaying a little longer could cost a life; and maybe a life of someone very close which might cause a lifetime pain knowing that it was a death you could have averted.
Stephanie has done well to play her own part through her film, what is yours? Please start playing it because I might be the next victim to need it.

Toye Peters

Plan to take a photography course at eloPhotos Academy.
Visit eloPhotos Academy for a detailed list of options of classes to take. It would be the best investment you’ll make in your journey to photography greatness.
Twitter: @elophotos @eloacademy
Instagram: @elohotos.studios @elophotosacademy
Facebook: Elophotos Studios

Pointing fingers


One of the easiest things to do is pointing. You will agree with me that pointing at anything, whatsoever it is, is so easy that it almost require little or no muscles. Ladies find it so cool to do when taken on a “don’t worry about the bill” kind of shopping. For guys, pointing fingers is mostly in a game of hunting; that moment when some exact choices need to be made. Whether in the pepper soup joint, at the point and kill spot, at the suya spot, or where there is a handful of ‘chicks’ (if you know what I mean). It’s just part our everyday life. 
In the last two weeks, myself and my class of about nine students had been engrossed in this fun filled activity of finger pointing. Ok, stop! Before you start fantasizing about us going on a shopping spree (though I can be generous) I am not Dangote’s son. All we did was pointing fingers at each other’s’ work.
Let me at this point clarify pointing fingers or finger pointing in the context of this writing. It’s simply criticism.  It’s been two weeks I had been teaching on creative writing in photography, and I had given them several assignments from putting themselves into a particular picture and write from that perspective to writing from the photographers’ perspective. Each student came back with his/her side of the story and I must admit they have been creative. They took turns to present their story and we (myself and other students) give our criticisms. It’s quite easy to point fingers you know.
As I carefully gave my criticism (largely constructive), I couldn’t but reckon with the fact that it was a challenging moment for me. I was challenged about how creative some of them came across, and sometimes wondered if I could have been that creative if I was to do the assignment myself. This is a hard truth many will fail to admit when pointing fingers at others especially their subordinates but if we put this into consideration maybe we wouldn’t always be that harsh in our criticisms.  
And to those who enjoys the destructive kind of criticism, well, all I have to tell you is; when you point one finger at someone four fingers is pointing back at you.
Selah!
Toye Peters

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.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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

How Much Are Your Pictures Worth?


“Hi friend, check out this job link”. This was a chat message I got from my good friend of mine (Temilade). I told her to forward the link to my mailbox and she did almost immediately. It was a job advert by one of the top online retail company in Nigeria. They were in search of freelance photographers.

After reading the job details I forwarded a mail showing my interest and I got a reply to report at their office in Lekki two days later for an interview. Days rolled by and Wednesday (January 22) arrived swiftly. I was so confident I would get the job.
Since I stay on the mainland and have stayed in Lagos too well to know the condition of the roads, I started out for Lekki very early in the morning. Thanks to my neighbour who gave me a free ride in his car, we agreed to meet at a spot by 4 a.m.

At this junction, I think I have to give kudos to all of you that work on the Island while living on the mainland. I don’t envy you guys a bit (maybe until am paid the kind of salary you guys earn). I clearly understand the reasons why a complaining friend would have to be at the bus stop by 3:30am to catch the staff bus everyday.

Anyways back to my story, by 6:18am we were already in Lekki. It was like a dream: myself in lekki by 6:18am! My neighbor assured me at that time that no office would have been opened, but the inflow of vehicles and people I saw made me to doubt that. I wondered where they were all rushing to. We drove to his obviously-not-opened school and entered with other arriving staffs.

In his office as a PHE teacher are two beds. He laid on one, offered me the second one where his colleague who had arrived earlier rose and fast went asleep.

I waited patiently for time. By 8:10 am I thanked my neighbor and took my leave for the interview slated for 9 am. I got to the venue ahead of time unaware of the fact that I was about to receive a great shock. We waited for the person meant to interview us only for him to show up several minutes late. The interview of two by two was just few minutes of chatting, no serious questions or requests for resume. Just questions like; Can you work hard? Do you have a smart phone or camera? I nodded my head along at the fast coming questions of my french-accent interviewer.

I began to sense something fishy was happening in this “great” organization”. To increase my fishy feelings, the “white” man showed up after the last set of two people were interviewed to announce that we all passed the interviews and will be trained for the job by 11am. Partly happy, partly skeptical, I waited till 11am and then the big blow hit me.

At 11am the man appeared, led us to the roof top and the meeting started. He introduced the company that has other chains of online retail businesses, what they do, and where we are to come in as “photographers”. According to him, we didn’t have to come to Lekki everyday; we just needed to work in the area we lived, and we’ll get paid. We were to look for houses in our areas tagged TO LET, call the agents in charge, “pretend” like a potential buyer/tenant to gain entrance and take 10 pictures of the building. I thought that was all until I heard we have to do that for ten different buildings in a day.

Yes, photograph 10 building with 10 pictures of each building(100 pictures) per day, upload them to the company’s site in the evening with a report and get a large sum of N3000 for the day. I quickly divided 3000 by 100; your answer is as correct as mine. I was dumbfounded and sat with my palms beneath my lower jaw probably to preventing it from falling off. The meeting ended and I stood up without altering one word. I was angry not just at the offer but also the gross time, energy and money I had wasted for that day. If not that I got a free ride that morning, I could have demanded a refund of my transport fare.

I collected one of his business cards as he distributed to his supposedly “new” recruits, under his name is the position “BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE”. What a developer!

Through it all, the question that kept ringing in my head was “How much are your pictures worth?”

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

A Photographer’s PSALM


Composing a song is much difficult than I thought. David would have done a very tough work composing those Psalms. Kudos to all song writers who are taking the time to write the good songs we listen to. It started on Monday when Mr. Seun at the weekly devotion challenged us to write a new song for God; something I had never thought of doing. He challenged us that if the Psalmist as a person could write those songs, so can we.

So I began ruminating on a new song I would sing for my God. This was a psalm I came up with:

There is none like you o Lord; you are great

Numerous are your works; uncountable are your deeds

You created the heavens and the earth; in your hands they are laid bare

Our ways are unto you comical; your ways are unto us mystical

You are empirical: revealing your way to the feeble

Only the child at heart can comprehend

Therefore From the depth of my heart

I confess that you are great.

I believe I have done a good job. I am not a songwriter but singing a new song is what I encourage everyone to put into practice. It is also a way to task your creative mind.

Fast forward to Thursday, my best day of the week. I took the kind of pictures I had always admired. I had my first studio session with a model. It was a wonderful experience for me; the session was scheduled for 1 pm but started about 50 minutes behind schedule due to the normal “African time”. We have to get that mentality out of our system fast.

I was a bit nervous but thanks to Tayo Babalola who assisted me on the shoot, it was a huge success.  Maria (the model) and her makeup artist Esther did a great job; they were both satisfied at the service I rendered. The shoot ended at about 8:30 pm after four rounds of costume change. I was amazed at the quality of pictures I got.

Part of the things I learnt from the shoot is professionalism. The model insisted on drafting a signed agreement which challenged me a lot. In this business, a detailed agreement can never be overemphasized even when the services are rendered at no cost. This will help both parties (the client and the photographer) understand the terms and conditions of the contract as well as keep one in check from defaulting.

Toye Peters

Your Photographer Psalmist

Time to Say GoOdByE


hOuSe Of CrEaTiViTy!
hOuSe Of CrEaTiViTy!!
hOuSe Of CrEaTiViTy!!!

Starring: seun AKISANMI, ronke ALAO, Samuel IJIYOKUNOLA, emmanuel AWOSANMI, toye PETERS, tayo BABALOLA, damilola OPAWALE and onodje OSHEVWIYORE

Produced & Directed By: seun AKISANMI
Marketed and distributed by:
eloPhotos STUDIOs,
12b, Fagba Crescent,
Off Acme Road, Ikeja

GRAB YOUR COPY NOW !!!!!!!

Ok, enough of me being silly, and down to business. I am thinking by now, you should know I like to ask questions a lot through some of my articles you’ve read. Given that fact, I want to crave your indulgence this one time to ask some more. (I am very sure I am lying about ‘one time’ thou, lol)…..

Who invented the concept of goodbyes?
How come we have to say goodbyes?
And why do goodbyes have to be so damn hard?

I have said countless "goodbyes" in my life and with that, one will think it comes easy with time; it never does. If you doubt me, try saying goodbye. You probably wondering what’s so intriguing about Goodbyes that this guy had to dedicate a whole write-up for it. To answer that, it’s actually my last week at eloPhotos as an intern but before I take a bow, I want you to meet all the weird guys I have worked with for the past six months.

Seun Akisanmi
There is this Guinness advert punch line ‘my friend Udeme is a Great man’. For the guy to have said his friend was a great man, I am so sure he has not met Mr Seun. He is a very good example of who a leader should be; he not only tells you what to do, he shows you how to do it. He is never proud to admit his mistakes and let you learn from it and he is always ready to listen.

* He is possessed with a spirit of "creativity"
* He works round the clock
* His humility still amazes me till date
* He is a mentor I won’t have to learn to fire/sack and
* He is the only person I know and I have seen eat yam and plantain together since I was born.

Ronke Alao
Meeting her for the first time, you probably think she is a member of CCC (cool, calm and collected) but believe me when I say she is as weird as the rest of us. Beneath the bizarre and beauty, she is intelligent and inspiring. Whatever she is assigned to do, you can be certain she is giving a hundred percent.

Samuel Ijiyokunola
My second boss of life. He is always willing to share what he knows, very innovative and hard working and before I forget sir, no thanks for all those punches to my stomach.

Emmanuel Awosanmi
The first time I met this my man, I was like who is this pastor but to put it rightly, he is a Weird Pastor. He loves God a lot, no doubt but whatever question you ask him not relating to photography ends up with a chemical answer (e.g: methane). He loves walking and won’t mind you walking with him even if it means telling you ‘the place no far’. Despite all this he is an amazing friend and brother.

Toye Peters
What can I say about this guy besides the fact that he comes to the office most days by road and water. Now don’t think he is an ‘ilaje boy’ (tribes of people born on water); he is just fortunate to live in an area where Government has promised them no roads. You can deduce from the statement above that he is tenacious and creative too.

Onodje Oshevwiyore Eric
Our in-house comedian and coincidentally, he is from Warri. (Can we then say all Warri citizens are funny?) They say; the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but for Eric, the way to his heart is to look beautiful and you can get him to do just about anything for you. He is intelligent and he is ‘Mr. do it well and calmly’ kind of guy.

Damilola Opawale
I have only met this lady a few weeks but I keep wondering where she gets her drive from. She is a 500-level medical student, learning to play the piano and also a photographer. (This is the part where I get to say WOW!!!). Whenever she is determined to learn something, pray you are not the available teacher because there is no escape route except you teach her.

With all this people starring in this movie, who wouldn’t watch it for 6 months and still want to continue watching….. Seriously from the depth of my heart I want to say a very BIG thank you to you guys for inspiring me and for being the colleagues I will always miss. I LOVE YOU ALL (can I get tissue and group hugs please)

As I take the much deserved bow, just be assured that wherever you see the MOB (Michael Omotayo Babalola) logo, that is my way of saying I came, I saw and I am conquering new grounds and by the special grace of God the ministry is moving to camp. (abi, every church now has a camp ground)