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Engaging Realities: Abuja International Photo Festival 2019

By Chioma Okehie

The old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words”, essentially means that what you can see in one image would take many words to describe the contents, the action, the emotion, what it’s about, and so on. It’s visual storytelling. One powerful picture can evoke an instant response and connection. It allows people to shape what they see, tell its story to them in their words. There is an art to capturing a photo that tells a story.

You need to know what belongs in the frame and what to leave out, what to emphasize in the photo that adds to the story, and how to use light, shape, and color all to express meaning while lending aesthetic value to the image itself Once in a while a Creative comes along who’s body of work causes anyone who sees it to stop in their tracks. “99% of the process happens before you even get the opportunity to press the button. As much as anything else, Visual Stories is about that process. It is about previsualizing, planning, cajoling, persevering and whatever else it takes to transport an image from your mind’s eye into print.

“Visual Stories blends art, meaningful technical know-how and thoughtful discussion on the role and power of photography to make an impact on society. The Convener Mr Osaze Efe urged photographers to look beyond the city centres and tell visual stories in the rural areas too. Climate change stories are also to be included.

These were some of the thoughts expressed by some panel discussions in the just concluded Abuja International photo festival held on the 14- 16 of October 2019 at Exhibition pavillion. During an interview with Mr Lucky Musanda, the head of communication UNDP in Nigeria, he said UNDP though majorly partners with Governments, Civil Societys in democratic Governance, women empowerment,and climate change also partners with individuals. He commended the organizers of Abuja photo festival for giving opportunity for photo graphers to network and exchange ideas. He also explored photography as a means of income and a means of communication of global happenings.

A Co- convener Miss Judith Edwards said that the festival and Masterclass offers opportunity for photo entuasiasts and interns to learn from professionals.

She said true stories whether bad or good should be told about our communites and our people like the disabled, our infrastructures and so on with images. She thanked the The UNDP and Swiss embassy for partnering with them.

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Written by Oriri Peter

Oriri Onu Peter is the Chief Executive Officer of Penessaj Communication, a Media Consultant, Blogger and Publisher of He is also an Entrepreneur, a Public Commentator, Social Activist and a Humanitarian.

Peter is currently a volunteer with Amnesty International (AI), Udukhotse Foundation, Global Youths Skills Acquisition and Poverty Eradication Organization (GYSAPEO) and Community Manager, Empower, Engage and Educate Initiative amongst others.

He holds the Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree in Sociology from the Benue State University, Makurdi.

Peter has been instrumental in attracting developmental projects to his state through his social media platform.

An indigene of Benue State, Peter is currently based in Abuja.

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