Those of you who walk into studios and end up slaying your photos, I salute you guys! I mean, how do you guys achieve that, effortlessly?
Honestly, I dread taking my pictures in photo studios. Reasons:
1) I’m camera shy. I find it difficult to pose for photo shots, well except I’m very cool with the person behind the camera. Its got to be someone who won’t be laughing at my awkwardness. Ehen, that’s only when I can comfortably attempt to bring out the model in me.
2) That’s what I’m about to gist you.
“Good evening, is your oga around?” I asked the Yoruba girl wearing hijab, sitting on the pavement in front of the local studio. I’d come to take studio pics.
She replied, “You wan snap pishure?”
“I said is oga around?”, I snapped.
Her oga happened to be one of the best photographers around. The man owned the only studio in the area some years back, so he was quite popular and in demand.
“No be pishure you come snap? Ehn, enter inside studio na”, she said, giving me a weird look.
“I dey come make I go start gen”
Reluctantly, i entered the poorly lit studio, there i met some other teenage girls whom i guessed were undergoing apprenticeship.
“Ef’okan bale, Ile lewa” (make yourself at home)
“See chair sidon”, They greeted and welcomed me cheerfully.
“Take powder rub”
One of the assistants offered me ‘morning rose’ powder as soon as the studio was illuminated by a fluorescent light.
By then, the older hijab girl who got the generator started, had entered the studio.
She then proceeded to set up the camera lighting system, the umbrella and other equipment.
Seeing how she instructed the other girls to position studio props and set the backdrops black curtains properly,
I could tell she was the more experienced apprentice in the pack. Yet I couldn’t trust any hand with my picture, apart from their oga.
I stepped in front of the mirror, checked out my powered face,
straightened my collar, smoothened my shirt, made cute faces. I came dressed in my new, green long sleeved shirt, baggy Snoop Dogg jeans and big trainers. The typical 2000s thuggish dress code for big boys. My outfit had me feeling like the freshest thing since Agege bread.
I’d even caught some of the teenage girls staring at me at some point, as if they were day dreaming. That fine boy effect!
“You don ready?” she asked.
From all indications, their oga was actually not around.
I had no choice other than to let the girls carry on.
The camera girl, the one in hijab, didn’t even say words like, “smile”, “cheese”, “bend a little”.
She kept flicking like she was releasing bullets on me.
With my side eye, i caught the other teenage girls who stood at a corner, giggling and covering their mouths.
I lost my confidence. My hands were just dangling awkwardly, while the snap shots were taken.
I was told to come for the copy after some days; I think 5 days or thereabout.
Gawd, within those days, I dreamt of my studio pics; days and nights.
You may not understand sha, It was my first time entering studio to snap pishure. Moreover, i couldn’t wait to see the reason why some evil friends had always encouraged me to try modelling.
The much anticipated day arrived. My photo was sealed in an envelope and handed to me by one of the apprentices.
My heart pounded as I brought it out of the envelope.
The person in that picture wasn’t me. The way i stiffened up like a monument ehn, I couldn’t understand.
One leg was at Sokoto, the other leg, at Warri. My eyeballs were upward, as if I was half-asleep while standing.
I quickly put the wack photo back inside the envelope, cursing those ‘bomboklat’ apprentices under my breath and left.
At home, i think I threw the pics where I’d never find it again. Since then, I resolved never to take photographs in studios.