PR and Corporate: Heirs Holdings Sail-away in Geoje, Korea

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PR and Corporate: Heirs Holdings Sail-away in Geoje, Korea


“Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, an African investment company, commissioned the sail away of Seadrill Nigeria Limited’s sixth-generation drill ship, the West Jupiter. This initiative is part of the global partnership between Heirs Holdings and Seadrill Nigeria Limited. The West Jupiter is the latest addition to the Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (Total) fleet of ultra-deep water vessels operating in Nigerian waters.

The submersible deep-water drilling rig, built by Samsung Heavy Industries for Seadrill Nigeria, has the capacity to operate in 12,000 feet of water. The $1.1 billion contract to operate the ship for an initial 5-year period, was awarded to Seadrill Nigeria by Total as part of the Egina deep-water project.

Heirs Holdings is a joint venture partner and significant equity investor in Seadrill Nigeria. The commissioning is a milestone in Nigerian business presence in the offshore sector, and aligns with the Nigerian government’s policy of deeper indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry.”

– Excerpt from Heirs Holdings’ Webpage

I was away in Turkey when a journalist friend of mine from Boston made a referral on my behalf. A Nigerian company was looking for an English-speaking PR photographer in Korea. The shoot was supposed to take place on Friday and I was contacted on Monday night. I sent my portfolio to their PR manager and the gig was confirmed on Wednesday morning. I changed my ticket, arrived in Seoul on Thursday afternoon, went home and got changed, and went straight down to Geoje on a night bus. I got less than 4 hours of sleep and shot through the entire day. So is the life of a photographer: We travel around and adopt to different settings and demands.

Tony Elumelu is a Nigerian businessman, banker, investor and philanthropist. It was a real pleasure to meet him in person and work with Bolanle, his PR manager. The event itself was rather straightforward, but lasted long. There was a morning presentation and lunch at Samsung Geoje Hotel, and afterwards the group was taken to the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard and had a tour of West Jupiter. I was requested to shoot short clips of interview and ambient video footages here and there. I work with two cameras, one for stills and one for video, and I have plenty of experience working around the clock and under a lot of pressure as a photojournalist. So, though it wasn’t easy, I pulled through and delivered what I was asked to.

When working PR and corporate gigs, I find that my photojournalism background definitely helps. I intuitively know what kind of pictures are strong and paper or front-page worthy. Later I found out that Bolanle hand-picked me over other photographers, because of my journalism background and versatility. I was flattered and grateful. I delivered the edited images within 3 days and got paid swiftly. It was a sweet job that worked out in the greatest mutual benefit despite the short notice.

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