UP MAGAZINE Vol 7.07 Photography Issue - Page 24

PHOTOGRAPHY profile doing for the rest of my life”. I later on realized I have to earn, so that’s why I started doing it professionally. Photography to me is a means of expression; I believe all creatives strive to express, the only difference is the medium used. I use my camera to express myself the same way an artist paints or a musician pens down thoughts and performs them. What or who are your favourite photographic subjects? I love photographing people because they’re interesting subjects, but also because I can relate more to people than other subjects. That’s why I strive to tell people’s stories. BIKO WESA Could you define what it is that motivates you to press the shutter at a certain moment in time? The urgency to tell stories. I believe I have a tool that, if used thoughtfully, can have a positive impact on society. Other times it’s because I just felt like photographing because I saw something that looked good in a frame. Please tell us a little about what kind of equipment you use and why? Is there a particular kind of lens you like to use and why? What makes it special? I mostly use a Canon 7D with a Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L-lens when documenting. I love it because I can create portraits as well as wide angle shots. Furthermore it’s relatively wide aperture allows me to photograph without the need of adding flash in low light situations. However, I do walk around a lot with my Canon 7D fitted with a 24mm f/2.8 ‘pancake’ lens because it’s less conspicuous and more portable. Documenting people’s lives is a bit hard, especially when www.upnairobi.com 24 August 2016 covering sensitive topics, so the subjects feel less intimidated if less gear is used. I own off camera flashes too but hardly use them unless I really have to, which is 7% of the time. I use my phone too, in this day and age of smartphones, documenting lives has never been easier. Do you set a series of rules that you must follow as sort of regulation for yourself? Yes I believe rules are important to achieve goals, otherwise you’ll find yourself going round and round in circles. The most important rule surrounding my photography is the impact my photography has on my subjects. We live in a world where people photograph just to gain social recognition, that’s dangerous because it goes against all ethics. Why did you choose to be a photographer and what does the photography mean to you? I chose passion, blindly, to be precise. I didn’t think of it as a profession at first, it was more about “I love taking pictures and that’s all I’ll be Who are your role models and why? I have so many people I look up to, that help me realize meaning to my work and life. As you can tell I live, breathe and sleep photography so almost all my role models are from the art space. Paul Munene is a good friend and mentor who has taught me that the technical bit of photography isn’t the most important but the reason behind taking that photograph is, he reminds me to question my motives every time I click. James Muriuki is an artist who I look up to as well, his approach of using photography as an expressive tool is something I find interesting, something I hadn’t thought about until recently. I adore Mariella Furrer’s documentary work. It’s so astounding, trying to achieve that standard in my documentary work is what I strive for. How she manages to be discreet in her photos is so fascinating. Patrick Mukabi is an artist I have much respect for because of his kind heart. He mentors anyone and everyone around him. It’s hard to find an artist ready to give his all to other young artists around him so that’s what I hope to attain, to be selfless and a mentor, even if it’s just half of what he is. How do you compare digital photography to film photography? Sadly I’ve never used film before; I was born in the digital era. However I have the utmost respect for photographers that used/use film. Most f