Tell positive stories about our nation, Photography Round-table charges Practitioners
By Francis Odupute
A 2-day photography workshop cum round-table 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 to do things differently from the normal, if they wanted 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…”
According to the event initiator/team leader, Mr. Babawale O.Obayanju, the proposed biannual 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.
Wale, as he is commonly called by friends and fans, 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 are 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”. How you perceive life is how life is. Your mind has to work more than your body. Photography is about how you perceive things. It is interpreting your perception of your world. Focus on ‘being’, not on ‘having’. What you are you always have. We put so much responsibility on upon other people for our success apart from ourselves.
“I love to see things beautiful. Always see life from the positive side, no matter how bad things may be; beauty in the midst of chaos. We are storytellers. Let’s tell positive stories about our nation. Good people make good photographers. The heart and mind are the lenses of the camera. Your mind moves before your body. Be more intentional. The depth of your heart determines the depth of your art (work). Every true artist works from a deep place. Your depth as a person always shows. Shoot your truth”, Kalu lectured.