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Photography: The heart and mind are the lenses of the camera

A 2-day photography workshop cum roundtable which held in Benin City has challenged professional and upcoming photographers in Nigeria to be patient, creative, purposeful and always see life from the positive side, no matter how bad things may be, as well as do things differently from the normal, if they would want to make it in the photography business.

Tagged “Tell that story” the highly interactive workshop was a call born out of a passion to build a movement of focused and productive photographers in Nigeria.

Participants at the Tell that Story Workshop

According to the event initiator and team leader, Mr. Babawale O. Obayanju, the proposed bi-annual event was inspired to create a space for photographers to meet, learn, relearn and unlearn and to connect and network and share ideas and grow together in the photography art. Babawale advised participants that “photography – the art of drawing with light – is a subjective art.

Everyone has their own vision and expectations. Likewise, telling stories are not just about the end but the processes that lead to the end and the end.

“The mission of the initiative is to build a movement of focused and productive photographers who would tell the good stories of Nigeria beginning from Benin City, Edo State, to the world.

“How we portray the world determines how people perceive the world. It’s beyond taking pictures. We create pictures, and not ‘taking’ pictures. Ensure that whatever you put online is the real you. What do you want people to see about you?” Wale asked rhetorically.

“If you don’t do things differently, you will never stand out; you’ll remain in the crowd”, averred Bernard Kalu, Lagos-based documentary photographer and main resource person for the event.  “How you perceive life is how life is.

Photography is about how you perceive things. It is interpreting your perception of your world. Shoot your truth – only shoot who you are.  It’s easy to shoot beautiful images but it’s hard to shoot meaningful images if the real you is not involved.”

Asked by participants what inspires him to take the kind of photos he takes, the computer engineer turned photographer averred that the key to creative thinking is to “notice everything. Cultivate curiosity; question your assumptions. Ask “What if…”and “Why do we…”

“Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns to make connections”.


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