A young graduate of Quantity Surveying from Kaduna State University, an advocate of good governance, Girl child and SDGs valunteer , Abubakar Mohammed Yayanko writes on his experience during a Photo Camp held Kano recently sponsored by National Geographic and Equal Access International..

I am passionate about volunteering and solving my community problems using pictures, which tells a story easily even in the absence of captions, a friend of mine persuaded me to apply for the PhotoCamp.

After the application , few days ago I received a call from Mansur Umar Kurugu a Staff of Equal Access stating that I was selected to participate in Kano Photocamp, I stood up with so much curiousty wondering how the workshop is going to be, different stories of encouragements and discouragements were pumping from different angles.

On Sunday, November 3 2019, 20 youths including my humble self from 19 Northern States selected to attend Photo Camp arrived our accomodation at Tahir Guest Palace situated at No. 4 Ibrahim Natsugunne Road, off Ahmadu Bello Way, Nasarawa G.R.A, Kano.

The Photo Camp , first of its kind in Kano – Nigeria targeted on youths to give an enabling environment in photography, digital media and storytelling skills to address complex social issues, amplify underrepresented voices and enable positive alternative narratives capable of shifting attitudes, behaviour and social norms through campaigns, photo essays, digital stories and peace promotion activities.

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The activities kick started with a meet and greet dinner at Bristol Palace Hotel situated at 53 – 54 Guda Abdullahi Street, Nassarawa, Kano, I was sitting with pure admiration of the new people I saw and was so curious to learn something new about photojournalism. We were introduced to our facilitators from National Geographic and staff of Equal Access International.

All campers, facilitators, TA’s and volunteers were given tags to write their preferable names they will like to be called at the workshop, we proceeded with an energizer that keeps us focus about the main reason why we were there.

On Monday 4th November, 2019 in the morning around 8:00am myself and other participants engaged in indoor activities in one of the conference room at the Guest Palace. It was my first time of experiencing yoga and afterwards we were asked to introduce ourselves individually telling the audience what our names meant and the social changes we are passionate about advocating.

There and then, I was given an Olympus camera to shoot the picture of myself as the initial shot, then I proceeded to shoot some pictures around the Hotel and then we embarked on a tour to Dutsen Dala to take shots of things, taking into cognisance the creativity, emotion, framing, light, colour, composition, balance, perspective, action, detail, landscape, portrait, purpose, imagination etc. of the object you want to shoot.

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Myself and other participants were meant to understand that photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that employs images in order to tell a new story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images, but in some cases the term also refers to video used in broadcast journalism.

Photojournalism is distinguished from other close branches of photography (e.g., documentary photography, social documentary photography, street photography or celebrity photography) by complying with a rigid ethical framework which demands that the work be both honest and impartial with telling the story in strictly journalistic terms.

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Photojournalists create pictures that contribute to the news media, and help communities connect with one another. Photojournalists must be well informed and knowledgeable about events happening right outside their door.

They deliver news in a creative format that is not only informative, but also entertaining.

My mentality and the way I think and see things differently began to change as we were corrected each time we go for a tour, we were engaged in both indoor and outdoor activities, the indoor activities were basically yoga, tea break, critics of what we need to consider each time we want to take a shot, slide presentation, assignments all went simultaneously.

The outdoor activity was quite engaging where we visited a lot of places like Tsangaya School, Emir’s Palace, Central Mosque and Kurmi Market respectively.
It was a wrap up where every camper did 60 seconds elevator speech and did a slide presentation where we were asked to tell a story about it.

We were all presented with an award and a surprise of a smart phone to keep us as potential storytellers when we go back to our various communities, afterwards the session became so emotional where pictures of all the campers were displayed (behind the scene) as a slide for us to view the activities covered from inception of the photo camp to the last day.

Lastly, we visited Arewa 24 and had an amazing time with some of their staff.
I must confess, words cannot express how excited for being part of this amazing life time experience, connecting with different inspiring minds that impacted positively in my life.

I want to use this medium to thank the developmental partners that initiated this workshop with respect to National Geographic, Equal Access International, Farar Tantabara, Arewa 24 and also my fellow campers for their tireless support and for seeing that the Photo Camp was a successful one.

Abubakar Mohammed Yayanko writes from Kaduna State. @m_yayanko

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