Baptism of Fire – the full story!

Ok – so first I must apologise that it has taken me so long to get this post out but as the saying goes: “Better late than never”, right? 🙂
So, when Jide Alakija (Photographer Extradonaire) asked if I would be interested in assisting him on an engagement wedding assignment – I instantly jumped at the chance to shoot a real event with a pro. I mean you really can’t beat working with and learning from someone whose work inspires you to become a better photographer. I won’t lie – it pretty much made my week, maybe even my month 🙂
The night before the event, having learned my lesson from my cousin’s wedding the previous weekend – I checked my flash, charged my batteries and formatted my memory cards – I was ready to roll. The morning of said event, I woke up early – far earlier than any other Saturday in memory – went over my checklist several times and then headed out – a giant bundle of nerves and excitement.
At this point, I should probably mention that the event was the engagement / traditional ceremony of Bella Adenuga and Jameel Disu. For those of you that don’t know (and I admit that I didn’t), Bella Adenuga is the daughter of Mike Adenuga – global media powerhouse in Nigeria – so I knew that this was going to be a high profile event, just for a little added pressure.
The first sight that greets me when I arrive at the venue (British International School in Oniru) are 6 rottweilers lined up along the entrance. One of them is looking at me like I am her favourite meaty treat, so I keep a safe distance and scurry past to find Jide who is waiting at the gate to give me my security pass.
(FYI: It turns out that there are different levels of media passes – Common Access, VIP access, VVIP access and All Access – and I had the entry level pass, which meant I was only allowed in the main areas of the marquee but luckily still had access to the bride and groom. Phew!)
At this point, I should also mention my fellow assistant photographers Kayode , the talent behind the very popular Xsightn and his colleague Tunde. I’ve had a chance to view their work online since the event and I do have to say that they are both very talented artists who I think are definitely contributing towards raising the bar for professional photography in Nigeria. On this day, they were pretty much my lifesavers, giving me lots of very helpful advice in relation to the day and wedding photography in general. 
Easy going fellas – Tunde and Kayode
  
  
Anyway back to the story, Jide gives us our first assignment: “Go shoot the space, get a feel for it, shoot details. Just go for it”, he says encouragingly. Sure I say – sounds simple enough – I can do this in my sleep and so I walk around and take a couple of shots but nothing seems to be working. Jide comes over asking how I’m doing and I’m forced to confess that it isn’t going so well. He tells me not to worry and shows me the type of shots he’s looking for. Not a problem – it all seems straightforward enough. 
So Jide leaves me and I try again but am still feeling uninspired and at this point wondering if I made a mistake thinking I could do this and more importantly wondering if Jide is thinking he made a mistake asking me to assist him, I take a walk outside to clear my head and shake off the nerves. I go see the hungry rottweilers to get a few shots and then I come back into the marquee, change from my beloved 70-200mm to my more familiar 50mm and start shooting. The 5 minute time-out seems to have worked and I get into a groove and start shooting venue, people, details and anything else that catches my eyes. And 9 hours later, I emerge from the marquee exhausted but no longer a wedding photography virgin! Oh yeah!!! 🙂   
I won’t bore you with the details of the day – my images will tell the story instead. However, I do want to leave you with what I learnt from my first wedding photography gig:
1. Wedding photography is much tougher than it looks (I worked a 9 hour day and was standing & kneeling for about 8 of those hours. Needless to say, I was begging for mercy by the end of the day).
2. Shooting a wedding isn’t just about the bride and groom and the main wedding party – it’s important to cover the whole event from the decor to the cake to the guests to the entertainment. 
3. The only way to improve is to shoot, shoot, shoot.  
The most important lesson of the day for me though was that I learned more about what draws me to shooting weddings. For me, it’s all about capturing the emotions of the day. At the end of the day, I want to create a wedding album of beautiful images that tell the story of the love, joy and overwhelming happiness of the day(s). If my images make my clients laugh and get emotional all at the same time, then I have achieved my goal.
Once agan, a big thank you to Jide for inviting me to assist him, to Kayode and Tunde for all their advice and to all of you who continue to support me and my work in so many ways.
Bisous
Wani
xxx

  

 

  

I love this lady – I think she was the groom’s grandmother and she was totally “bad-to-the-bone”

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

  

  
  

 

One of the guest of honours – Deputy Governor of Lagos

 

  

 

 

 

King Sunny Ade

Sugar Band – pretty fab music

 

  

16 comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

  • Demola O.

    Girl, U ROCK!!!!!! Impressive, you can only get better.ReplyCancel

  • Oja A.

    Lovely, well done. Love your account of the day – it can only get better!ReplyCancel

  • Mametja M.

    I’m so proud of you for following your passion and doing extremely well! Congratulations my friend! Now I know who to call when I need pics 4 my wedding 😉ReplyCancel

  • Admin

    Awesome content Wani, you already r an amazing talent – KayodeReplyCancel

  • Wani

    Thanks Kayode – that means a lot coming from you 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Hawt

    Wow!!! i love your work. someone referred me to your blog and i must say i’m very impressed. keep it up 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Wani

    Hey Hawt

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and I’m really happy to hear that you were referred 🙂

    Don’t worry, now that I have started, there is no stopping me – you can subscribe to the blog or become a “follower”, so you can receive my posts directly.

    Thanks again.

    Wani
    🙂ReplyCancel

  • Chic Therapy

    gorgeous pictures!I love that you captured the wad of money tucked in the Alaga’s wrapper !That was my best pictureReplyCancel

    • Soon to be bride

      Wani pictures tell an entertaining story.. the alaga on the floor … Chief Mike Adenuga spraying in bundle … To the 1k bundle tucked in her wrapper… #mindblownReplyCancel

      • Wani Olatunde

        Oh wow – a real flashback. Thank you. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Wani

    Thanks Chic therapy – the Alagas were in 7th heaven at that event 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Duola

    The photos are fantastic. Awesome job!!!ReplyCancel

  • Wani

    Thanks Duola – I see you are a photog as well. You’ve got some really nice pics on ur blog 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Seyi

    Hi Wani. I love the pictures you have taken. They are very very impressive, engaging, entertaining and professional. keep it up. SeyiReplyCancel

  • Darephtotgraphy

    This is a serious work.

    References :
    http://www.nigerianweddingphotographers.com/ReplyCancel

  • Top 5 Things I’ve Learned From Jide Alakija aka My Oga At The Top | Nigeria Wedding Photographer | Lagos Wedding Photographer

    […] and he was kind enough to get me started on my wedding photography journey as previously discussed here and here. Jide recently invited me to shoot a wedding with him as part of a 5 man crew and I must […]ReplyCancel

new on the blog

FEATURED

READ MORE

Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Covers UK & Europe

(+44) 01908 973190

wani@waniolatunde.com

LONDON - PARISOLIVIAwani olatunde photography logoWani Olatunde Photography logo

FOLLOW @WANIOLATUNDEPHOTOG

%d bloggers like this: