Hello Good People,
By now you must have visited www.dejiolatunde.com/photo. To you, it may just be another photo blog but to me, it is a nine-year-old dream come true. I’ll share it with you.
My interest in photography spans as far back as I can remember. It was so strong that at the age of nine I opened up my uncle’s camera to see how the image was captured on the film. Unfortunately for me, I was caught in the act. Needless to say, I got a good beating for my inquisitiveness.
My matriculation ceremony was my first true experience with photography. My uncle provided me with a camera which I loaded with film. I went on a snapping spree and at the end of the day, I exhausted 3 rolls of film. When the pictures were developed, they were beautiful. I was greatly encouraged by this and began to nurse the desire to get my own camera.
The opportunity presented itself over a year later when my elder brother was travelling to the UK and asked what I would like him to get me. Without hesitating, I requested for a camera with automatic zoom. He got me an Olympus camera – one that used film (then digital cameras were not very common).
At first, I was excited about my new camera as anyone would about a new gadget. I spent quality time studying the manual and learning all the functions and tips contained in it. But as I began to put my learning to practice the financial burden began to weigh me down. The camera used alkaline batteries which were almost 10 times more expensive than the regular batteries. It also used film which had to be developed into negatives first before printing. All these cost money. But I kept at it until I became constantly broke. At a point, I had over 10 rolls of film which I had exposed but could not develop or printed due to lack of funds. It was at that point I realised that I had to tread slowly.
After graduation, my dad offered to develop all the rolls of films and print a copy of all the negatives for me. I was very glad but still had to hold the brakes down until I got a job or found a cheaper way of going about this very expensive hobby. While I waited for the perfect time, I always offered to help people out with their cameras during wedding ceremonies, special functions in church, office and other organisations I belonged to. When the pictures were printed, owners were pleased with the output. I knew that there had to be more waiting to be expressed.
Several years later, Sola a colleague and dear friend of mine who observed my passion for photography did something remarkable which I will always remember. A couple of days to my 29th birthday she got colleagues of mine together to contribute some money to get me a camera. This was unknown to me. On my birthday, she asked that we go out to Mega Plaza (a superstore that sold household and office appliances). When we got there she took me to the camera section and asked me to pick a camera of my choice. I was so touched.
I could not purchase the camera immediately because what I truly desired was a professional camera and they had none in stock. Also, I would need to add some more money to make up the difference to get what I really wanted. We agreed that the money is handed over to me and I would raise the balance to get what I wanted. It took about 3 weeks to get the balance after which I placed an order for the camera. It took another 3 weeks for the camera to arrive. It was like waiting forever but it eventually came.
Sometime at the end of last year, I attended an entrepreneurial course in church. In my class was Chaz, a young photographer probably in his mid-twenties. We got acquainted in class then he had to leave. He was selected to compete in the creative academy as one of the contestants in the photography category.
Sometime in January, he reappeared on the scene. This time, we really got talking. I expressed my desire to take up photography and he encouraged me. He educated m on the difference between professional and amateur photography. He recommended good equipment I could purchase and an online store I could get them for very cheap prices. All these he did for free. He has since been a coach to me in photography. On occasions when we met in the field I have either learnt a new significant skill or his work has challenged me and left me with a clear idea of the things I need to do to get to the next level in photography. I believe God sent this individual into my life.
Kemi is another God sent. We have been colleagues long before I got my camera. It was only a couple of months before now that I knew she also had a strong interest in photography. She is actively pursuing her passion and has been very supportive to me. She pumps me with relevant materials on photography. The last material she sent me was a 16 chapter e-document on The Zeltsman Approach to Traditional Classic Portraiture. I haven’t finished going through it but so far it has helped me realise that photography, just like any other science can produce the desired output if only one knows the right formulas. These formulas I have set my heart to learn.
Putting everything in together, I now realise what a great mind meant when he said the best way to accomplish your God-given dream is to do nothing about it. Doing nothing about it means avoid trying to work things out thinking it will come to pass by the things you possess or through the people you know, or getting anxious about it and getting yourself involved in many unnecessary time and money wasting activities in attempt to accomplish it. All we are required to do is to keep the desire alive in our hearts by thanking and worshipping God for its fulfilment in our closets and doing that which our hands find to do cheerfully and diligently.
It is at this place of cheerful and diligent service that we will encounter destiny. Our heart (burning with a strong desire) will create the opportunity in our environment. It is our heart that will attract Sola who would jump start the process of acquiring the camera; Chaz who will help us enter into the field with ease and with little or no mistakes/wastage; and Kemi who would provide us with relevant knowledge to do what we are doing professionally and correctly. These are the three people I know for now. Only God knows the others that are still coming into my life.
As for you friend, whose dream seems beyond your reach, do not be discouraged or frustrated. Just hang in there and do diligently and cheerfully the things your hands find to do and the desired results are sure to follow. God will definitely let things fall in place. He will do it in such a way that only He can take the glory for the outcome.
As for me, while I wait to get to my Promised Land I will keep studying and developing myself in the area of photography while trying to be the best paparazzi I can. Who knows, before the year runs out, I might be officially photographing heads of government and other great leaders.
Have a blessed week.