Smile

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Beautiful smiles of the children.
These guys appear to have no worries, they enjoy everything about their lives, they smile at every situation regardless of their background, environment, standard of living, not because they have it all but because they have chosen to be happy at all that they have.
I remember Tupac Amaru Shakur’s song, Smile.
“There’s gon’ be some stuff you gon’ see
that’s gon’ make it hard to smile in the future.
But through whatever you see,
through all the rain and the pain,
you gotta keep your sense of humor.
You gotta be able to smile through all this, remember that. Keep ya head up”
And in Mother Teresa’s words,
“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

So, my action of love and beautiful gift to you this week- It doesn’t matter what life brings at you, always remember that South Korean multinational electronics company, LG (Life’s Good). Hence, smile.
A Smile is more than just a physical activity, it is emotional that is why we notice during phone calls if the caller or receiver is happy or sad. Also, there are lots of health benefits from smiling.

These few quotes would help:

“When I look out at the people and they look at me and they’re smiling, then I know that I’m loved. That is the time when I have no worries, no problems” – Etta James

“I was smiling yesterday,I am smiling today and I will smile tomorrow. Simply because life is too short to cry for anything.” ― Santosh Kalwar

“After every storm the sun will smile; for every problem there is a solution, and the soul’s indefeasible duty is to be of good cheer”. – William R. Alger

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness”. – William Arthur

“Smile, it’s the key that fits the lock on everyone’s hearts”

And finally, the popular saying that “Smile and the world will smile with you”

GACAB 2014, Using Art To Touch Hearts

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Photographers and Volunteers before the Photowalk

Photographers and Volunteers before the Photowalk

We are GACAB- Give A Child A Book! Our passion is to build the nation through Photography, making impact in the lives of the children close to us. Helping them to Discover, Develop and Deploy their Potentials. 28th August , 2014 was an awesome time on the streets of Ado-Ekiti, we gave them gifts, we Celebrated them Photographically and we gathered the Out-Of-School Children for follow-up on their basic education. You can also join us!

For enquiries and Support.
Follow on Twitter: @iamgacab
Become a fan on fb.com/iamgacab
Email us: iamgacab@gmail.com
Call us: +2348034965884, +2348135629087

Excited kids on the street of Igbeyin.

Excited kids on the street of Igbeyin.

Kids raising up their GACAB Drawing books in excitement

Kids raising up their GACAB Drawing books in excitement

He has flair for art, let's help him discover, develop and deploy his Potentials

He has flair for art, let’s help him discover, develop and deploy his Potentials

Our top priority is to look out for Out-Of-School Children

Our top priority is to look out for Out-Of-School Children

Happy kids showing their drawing books for photograph

Happy kids showing their drawing books for photograph

One of our Volunteers registering the children

One of our Volunteers registering the children

Our Passionate Volunteers and Supporters

Our Passionate Volunteers and Supporters

Is Photography a Lagosian?

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In my little time as a Photographer, I have few guys that ask me photography questions regularly, one of them is a final year student of Nasarawa State University, he presently run a Photography business on Campus and I guess he’s not doing badly. One day he told me specifically his intention to influence his NYSC to Lagos State so as for him to be a better Photographer.
I smiled and asked him if Photography was born at Idumota, Lekki, Ikeja or Mushin? Sure he didn’t have an answer-
I gave him the answer, I asked him if he knows that his present location is the best place for him to become better in his profession and business of Photography? If becoming a better Photographer is determined by locations then Photographers in Lagos and other major cities in Nigeria should also relocate to New York city, Paris and London so as to become better.

I believe your understanding of the technicality and creativity of Photography, coupled with excellent customer service plus good use of the internet (which you don’t have to live in Lagos to access) would distinguish you and give you the edge.
How do you achieve these? Books! Reading Photography books, will help your understanding of the technicalities and Creativity . Looking at other peoples work will also help broaden your creative perspective . There are lots of business books that will help you manage the business part of your Photography.
Internet! There are lots of free tutorials, Photography websites, blogs, Newsletters, YouTube Videos and forums to help develop your skills and knowledge. Use what is already out there and easily accessible. You don’t have to be in Lagos to get those. Make Google your best friend!
Haven heard all these, he realised he still had a lot to do in the area of Personal Development.
I’m not saying it’ll be a bad move to go to Lagos for Workshops, Seminars, Training and Possibly if the need arises for projects Shoot, after all, we had Photographers from Kano, Makurdi, Ilorin, Akure and other parts of the country that attended NiPHEC 2014. You can also start making plans to attend the next biggest photography event in West Africa that will be holding in Lagos between 27th April and 2nd May 2015. Visit http://www.niphec.com for details and follow niphec on social media for updates.
And I must also say I know a photographer who has be been in Lagos doing great photography business for 10years and just relocated to Ondo State and another Photographer colleague told me of his plan to relocate out of Lagos to Osun State.
I know many successful Photographers who live and work outside Lagos and their works speak volume and lots of Lagos Photographers who are not working on themselves always almost intimidate people like my gentle Nasarawa photographer with the title of Lagos Photographer. You know some doctors will say they are ‘Lagos Doctors’ and others, ‘Lagos Lawyers’, even when people drive rough in other states they claim they are ‘Lagos Drivers’

So,Photography is not a Lagosian, it’s in You!

I am OBASOLA, I speak Photography… And I am #LisencedToSHOOT

Osun Grove

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I realised recently I love some types
of photography but yet to try them out: Nature,
Landscape, Historical and war photography. Yes!
War photography, I love the actions, my favourite
TV channels are: Aljazeera, CNN and CCTV. I enjoy
the international news with emphasis on war nations,
the bombings and the shootings interest me alot. I
also appreciate CCTV for their documentaries on
historical places and beautiful natures in China.
So, I decided to try out with the historical Osun
Grove in Oshogbo, the capital of the State Of Osun. Located on 75 acres of landOsun Grove-Adunni Statue
Osun Grove-Entrance Court yard Osun Grove-Entrance Osun Grove-First Palace Osun Grove-Gada 'mi ti-ti Osun Grove-Historical Osun Grove-Historical1 Osun Grove-Igbo Ifa Osun Grove-Iya'beji-Historical Osun Grove-Monkeys-Historical Osun Grove-Ojubo Osun Grove-Oloke Osun Grove-Olomoyoyo Osun Grove-Palace Osun Grove-Palace1 Osun Grove-Pillars Osun Grove-Tree Osun Grove-Yemoo

GACAB 2014- The Lenses and Blessings of Art

The inclement weather that greeted dawn at Ado-Ekiti gave way for the scorching sun which rested patiently in the sky and sent sweats down the faces of men & women with a sole task at heart. With bulky camera’s and a large heart the photographers embarked on the march for freedom, the march to impact. Our contribution to ensuring a great future for out-of-school children was all our minds were set upon. The 28th day of august ushered in GACAB 2014(Give A Child A Book; charity photowalk).

Photographers, representatives of charity organizations and volunteers of GACAB with camera’s and a heart filled with love gathered at the Ewi’s palace in Ado-ekiti, the GACAB banner was raised, camera’s switched on and the walk around the target communities of Atikarinkan, Igbeyin, Irona and Leke-Leke started at about 10:30am. Cameras pointed at various subject, taking shots of the children, their abode, their trade, and the happy faces amidst the debris of dump sites.

The walk finally led to Leke-Leke where a sea of faces with hands already stretched for books and school paraphernalia rushed at the GACAB crew happily and posed for the photographers who took shots of the happy children. Screams of “awon oni photo yen tun ti de oo” meaning the photographers are here again filled the air and more children rushed to the venue. The programme started with a welcome note from Olakunle Sanni, a representative of CARE trust. He thanked the children and their parents for their patience and cleared the podium for me and started my talk in Yoruba Language. Spoke earnestly about laying a foundation of educated minds to eradicate suffering and poverty from the community with emphasis on the essence and importance of education, and that the GACAB crew would do their best to ensure the children get the elementary education to prepare them for the future.

Having spoken for long, I entertained questions from the parents and children with quizzical expression on their faces pointing out the aims of GACAB to everyone present. I introduced the registration forms targeted at documenting the bio data of the children, handed over the forms to the crew who sprang to action immediately. The children, eager to get the GACAB packs answered questions posed to them and walked to the collection points where they were given books, pencils, crayons, sharpeners and erasers before a photo shot of them were taken.Their joy knew no bounds and their smiles brightened the cloudy sky as they sang songs and danced. A jamboree of excited children would best describe the event.

As the crew prepared to leave the venue, the parents thanked the GACAB crew whispering prayers and gratitude in the native Ekiti dialect. The children however, scampered around for extra books and pencils in a rowdy manner but were instructed to be calm.

The walk drew to a close at around 2pm. The crew although left the community of Leke-Leke and the jubilant children but they could said to have left words of motivation, love, our contribution to the children’s education and an indelible mark on the hearts of the people. The out at elbow residents of the community were not left out of love as GACAB 2014 recorded a huge success and acceptance. The impact will be continued as the out-of-school children will be registered in schools across Ado-Ekiti on resumption and their progress succinctly monitored.” They might not see the elephant but they saw our lenses,our efforts and saw hope” Give a child a book! Give a child hope, Give a child a happy tomorrow.

Using Art To Touch Hearts.

PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP, A Criminal Act or Not?

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“As I stood up to usher Mr. Seun Akisanmi unto the podium for the Workshop, I turned to my right and behold HEAVILY ARMED men!”
 
So, I decided to put together a Photography Workshop in Ekiti State, after my mentor had assured me that he would come for the GACAB 2014 (GACAB- Give A Child A Book). This was going to be the first Photography workshop in the state and I began to make preparations. I did social media graphics designs, posted adverts and created as much awareness as possible on social media platforms, sent bulk SMS and called few Photographers I knew in town.
Well, I knew from the NiPHEC experience as an ambassador that organizing a Photography Workshop could be demanding, considering all my mentor went through putting together the biggest Photography event in West Africa as well as going ahead to bring in some international ‘big names’ in the industry- Joe McNally, Michael Greeco, Kelechi Amadi Obi, Uche James Iroha, Aisha Augie-Kuta etc- but I felt mine was just for few photographers in Ekiti state so, with the little one-on-one invitation, SMS, Social Media awareness we would be fine.
I received calls and messages for registration from few guys I had impacted photographically, as well as those based outside Ekiti state which was very encouraging. The encouragement had no connection with the   NGN1, 000 fee my mentor advised we charge for registration (because I intended to charge higher) but the fact that for the first time in this part of Nigeria, we were putting together something that would bring more respect to the profession.
Its 7am, Thursday 28th August, 2014 and time to move to the venue for the Workshop which was to commence at 7:30am (just a 5-minutes drive actually).
Finally we are here, registration is still ongoing and we are about to start.
Oh, I should not forget to tell you that I received a call a day before from a man requesting that I come see him so he could help me “do something” that will make people troop in for the Workshop beyond my expectations. I would have honored his call considering the fact that it was an elderly-man’s voice but I was so choked up with final preparations for the Workshop and GACAB project.
Funny some Nigerians still use a brand of Wristwatch called ‘African Time’; it is 7:45am and some early bird registrants are yet to show up, but we really needed to start immediately!
 
“As I stood up to usher Mr. Seun Akisanmi unto the podium for the Workshop, I turned to my right and behold HEAVILY ARMED men”
 
“Na the place be this, wey that man now make he come show us the guy? Ok all of you let’s go, see as una dey look at me, I said leave wetin you dey do and come outside! Be like you no dey hear me!”
 
I knew they were not Police Photographers that would want to attend the workshop because they were holding loaded guns and not Cameras. One of them said “you are all invited by the Area Commander”
As a law abiding citizen I would not resist, prevent or obstruct arrest by the law enforcement agencies but then it’s my right to know why I am being invited. They refused to state reasons for the arrest as we were loaded into the police pick-up truck. Oh my God! What a public embarrassment to me, my ladies and gentlemen photographer colleagues and mentor.
At the office of the Ado-Ekiti Area Commander’s P&G and on his table is a 7-8 pages petition against me with Seun Akisanmi’s name mentioned in it. Is it now a Criminal offense in Nigeria to organize a training/workshop? #JustAsking… I never knew!
Well, the Association of Photographers in Ekiti State wrote a petition they claimed came through their lawyer (who failed to enlighten them on Section 40 of the 1999 constitution I guess because of his bills anyway. “After all, Man must chop”). The petition stated that because Me and Seun Akisanmi are not members of their association, we have no right to hold any workshop, and for that reason they are taking us to court.
I already called my lawyers and three of them were on their way. Also, the last time I consulted one of them before registering my business name she made me understand that after the registration of my business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission, I had no obligations to join any association.
My lawyers arrived and one of them, a Citizen’s right expert, spelt it out to the Association’s Excos the fact that we were not obliged to be members of the association haven registered with C. A. C.  We finally left the police station amicably, after 2-hours of lengthy arguments and explanations.
 
My advice to fellow Photographers that might wish to break new grounds like me:
1. Ensure you register your Business name with the appropriate authorities before setting out.
2. Know your right under the laws of the nation as much as possible
3. Having a lawyer won’t be a bad idea.
4. Have an unsentimental mentor who will always counsel you in love & patience
 
I initially wanted to feel bad and embarrassed about the whole situation but I was encouraged more by my ‘oga at the top’ who was beside me during the saga. We had to hit the Streets of Ado-Ekiti for the GACAB charity Photowalk immediately, and the Workshop was rescheduled for 2pm same day and much more interesting and impactful than planned.
Now the ground is open, we trust God to have more Photography workshops and events coming up here in the fountain of Knowledge.
 
My name is OBASOLA and I am #LicensedToSHOOT.