People and their love.

People tend to take extra care doing what they love, it just shows. If you have two people on the same endeavour, with the same relative skills & experience, you can tell who loves it. It just comes through, it might not be immediately obvious but if you examine closely it shows. There is that extra labour of love in what we like. People that enjoy what they do tend to stick it out longer than those that don’t as well. So ask yourself? Do you really enjoy what you’re doing? If not, will you ever enjoy it?

It may be you don’t like the stage you’re in but the stage is required to get to your favourite part. So stick it out. If not, how fast can you can get out? If you can’t get out for the time being, what can you do to alleviate the situation? It is not all endeavours we dislike we can easily get out of, for example your day job. So what can you do to make it more interesting? It could be something as simple as listening to your favourite music while you work. We know that music can change ones mood. 

If for whatever reason it is hopeless can I recommend setting a part of your day to do what you love, it can be therapeutic in my opinion. It could be done after work. You could take up a personal project that you are passionate about. Overtime you’ll find out that you start to look forward to it and it invariably brightens your day. Thus having a positive impact on your mundane daily routine. So give it a try, what else is there to lose? Hope it helps.

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That is a really nice photograph.

“That’s a really nice photograph. You must have a great camera.”

⁃ A well-meaning friend

I love this quote, mainly because people ask this question all the time. Forgetting or not knowing that it’s really the ability to “see” that matters. This is what counts particularly in photography. What do you see ? What is the concept? What are the colours, is it a location shoot or studio shoot? How does the model come across in the image? 

It’s not just the camera, not by a long shot. The camera is just a tool at the end of the day. To help you achieve your artistic vision. Anyone can get a good camera but it takes years of practice & lots of experience to develop the skills you need to be good. It’s more important to spend time experimenting and learning what is relevant to your art than getting a new gear. At the end of the day you’ll just get the same results but at a higher expense. 

There is always something to learn and room to grow. This is a more valuable way to spend your time. I recommend you spend your money on relevant courses, on studying other artists than on new gear in this day and age where your gadget is outdated every 6 months. I mean we all know that artist who makes great art with the most mundane tools. It sure is the way to go. 

What is your take on this? Please like and comment below.

Time in your cave

The conundrum, the number of post versus the quality of posts in your social media feed. I don’t know if other artists have this problem but I do. As an artist you need time in your “cave”. It’s a time and place to learn, experiment and push your limits. 

Your audience ultimately gets to see mostly your best work. Yes, these days it’s normal for people to see how you work but I feel invariably most of them are doctored. People generally prepare a lot beforehand and they mainly just execute what was pre-planned. In truth I don’t think the audience really gets to see the amount of work done and the amount of hours put in behind the scenes. They don’t get to see the artist’s frustrations, the amount of abandoned projects, the amount of re-starts and so on. These tend to be done when one is in his/her  “cave”. 

Your time in your “cave” is important, for you to grow. Your time in your “cave” is needed for you to discover. Your time in your “cave” is important for you to learn. 

So regularly go to your “cave” and work. Yes your social media algorithm may not work in your favour because you have to get away for a while. However it is more important to produce your best work for your audience. So do that instead. It is more important. 

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Price Less Art Exhibition

So over the weekend I attended Yusuf Durodola’s art exhibition titled “Price Less” at the Lagos Nike Art Gallery, a very prominent art gallery in Lagos Nigeria. If you happen to be in Lagos, Nigeria. I highly recommend that you visit the Nike Art Gallery. It is amazing, so for Yusuf Durodola to be exhibiting his art work you know he must be good.  In my previous blog post, which you can read here. I talked about the importance of visiting art museums especially for inspiration.

As expected, I got inspired on what to do for my next set of photo shoot and art work. Gosh, I love his use of colors in each of his paintings, he also has a thing for children, especially channeling their innocence in the way he captures them, as far as I can tell. Below are my some of my favourites from his art exhibition. If you want to know more about him you can take a look at his Instagram profile, which is @yusufdurodola.

Doniford Holiday Park….

So I went on holiday to the Doniford  Bay Holiday Park at Somerset in the Uk recently and of course I had to take pictures. It was fun, I would recommend it, if  you are looking for a place to really chill out for a while . You can see some of my favourite pictures in the travels section of the website. Enjoy. 

Keep it simple…

Sometimes it pays to keep your image simple. You don’t always have to use all you lights, your strobes, your gels etc the model doesn’t need heavy make up and yes I know you like that dress, but sometimes it pays to just put it all aside and work with the least amount as possible. I like the fact that it forces you to get rid of so many stuff you are used to and go back to the basics of what makes an image memorable. Is it the model herself ?, the colors?, the light & shadow ? or the scene depending on what you’re shooting. It can be liberating in some ways. It reminds you of where it all started from before complexity became the order of the day. I recommend you go back to the basics from time to time you might learn something new. I mean look at Apple products they epitomize simplicity in all their products and that is key in their sales. 

It can be hard to do, especially because it is easier to add than to take away, but I encourage all to do this once in a while & see where this leads them. 

They are all interconnected.

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Try not to work in isolation, I believe everything is interlinked when it comes to art. If you are a photographer or aspiring to be one, you have to study a lot of different subjects. Yes you need to understand your photography stuff like your gear and lights, and so on, but that is just the beginning of your journey. You then have to make what you are shooting interesting, it depends on you, it can be very simple it can be very dramatic. So what other things do you have to consider?

Ever wondered why you love some images and you just can’t tell exactly what it is about the photograph that makes the image tick? Yes it can be beautiful, yes the colors may pop, yes the location may or may not be exotic or grimy or grungy depending on the type of photograph. I believe it’s the subtle stuff that goes unnoticed that make the difference e.g. things like the model’s pose that you never actively noticed, give the image grace, make the image regal, movement, subtle facial expressions like squinting of the eyes, the time of day the shot was taken e.g. the golden hour and so on. Trust me as an artist/photographer you have to be aware of these subtle details, I don’t think you can ever actually master them, but noticing them is alone is the beginning of getting better in the long run.

So going forward learn as much as you can on an ongoing basis, be it posing, styling, makeup, be it communicating better with your subject during the shoot to get “that” expression. e.t.c learn as much as you can because for a fantastic shot all these things come together to make it what it is, so learn as much as you can to be able to tap into them and make your images stand out.

Something to Consider In Photography.

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Are you familiar with the quote “spray and pray” in photography? I think we’ve all done it, at least when we first started out. You take pictures, lots of pictures hoping that by magic you get that good shot through luck. It happens make no mistake, but rarely. Let me recommend an alternative………..

Do it with purpose. Before your next shoot and during your shoot keep asking yourself the following questions.

Why are my shooting?

What are my shooting?

What makes it unique?

What am I trying to say?

What is the concept?

What is the setting?

What angles will I shoot from?

What kind of light will I be using?

What type of light diffusers will be ideal?

e.t.c

By doing so we give the whole experience a sense of purpose, a direction. Thereby controlling the whole experience. Brooke Shaden (check her on instagram) gave us a template to start with, she recommends we consider the following when coming up with a concept for a shoot. They are:

  • Color
  • Prop
  • Wardrobe
  • Setting
  • Theme

I think that they are a great starting point for any shoot and we should consider them when next we are shooting. So for your next photography session you may want to consider or incorporate these suggestions. So get out there and start shooting.

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The Importance of Museums & Exhibitions

Gallery Image

Still on the topic of inspiration, I cannot stress enough the importance of visiting museums and galleries, especially art galleries. You can find links (October Rain 2017 and Art X Lagos) of the last two exhibitions I attended which may or may not be a source of inspiration. There is nothing as inspiring to an artist as seeing the work of others, galleries and exhibitions have an uncanny ability to bombard your sense of creativity that I feel you can’t get anywhere else.
If you can’t, for whatever reason physically visit a museum or attend relevant exhibition you can always do so online. I however I recommend you  get out of your comfort zone and physically go to one. I think there is a certain feeling you get when you attend galleries as opposed to just checking out art in the comfort of your chair or sofa. Such as interacting with others, speaking to the artists themselves who can actually give you insights into what was going on in their mind while creating that particular piece of art, and so on. You just can’t get that online, yes you can communicate via messages depending on the online exhibition, but I feel it is fairly limited.
So find out about upcoming exhibitions  and visit galleries in your area and whatever you do constantly bombard your senses with inspirational images/art/sculpture and so on to get your creative juices flowing.
Side note:
If you are ever in Lagos, Nigeria; I highly recommend you visit the Nike Art Gallery, you won’t regret you did. Their instagram handle is nikeartgallery. So check them out.
Below are  some of my favorite artists works on-line, check out their work. Spoiler alert, they are amazing.
Brooke Shaden –https://brookeshaden.com/
Stanley Lau (Artgerm)  – http://artgerm.com/
Justin Dingwall – http://www.justindingwall.com/
Aleksei Vinogradov – https://avvart.deviantart.com/
Sergey Muzlov – http://muzlov.com/
Now tell me after checking out out these artist that you are not inspired to create. So get out there, be inspired and go create!!
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Inspiration

You can get it from anywhere at any time. Try to keep a log, a note, a drawing, anything to help you remember for the future, especially when you are void of it. Like I mentioned in the past I use Evernote for so many things especially to help me remember things. I keep inspirational images for the future, be it something I clipped on-line that can inspire me to creating something new. I noticed that if you don’t keep a record you forget and invariably it is gone forever. So keep notes, keep images, keep ideas, keep concepts and you will have stock pile of inspirational stuff for when you lack any sense of creative ideas which you are guaranteed to get from time to time..
So what do I do when I lack inspiration? I keep busy? Huh you ask? Let me explain. You see by keeping busy it takes my mind to other things that are important say, improvements to my website, writing my blog, e.t.c. You see I noticed that when I keep busy I find that my subconscious mind goes to work for me, and at odd times I get something. If I don’t get anything from my subconscious mind, at least I have been productive in a different aspect. So either way I don’t lose. Try to keep, busy doing productive work and you never know what may come your way. What is however critical is you have a means of recording your ideas when you come across them, for if you don’t record it you lose it. Heck if you are driving find a safe place to park and record it. You’ll be glad you did.
Keep moving, persist, and never stay still. Who knows when you’ll get that million dollar idea, concept, or work that you’ll be proud of.

Below is one of my artistic portraits from a raw photograph I wasn’t a fan of.

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