Photographers are our eyes to the world. They inspire, inform, amaze and draw attention to things we tend to miss in our everyday walk through life. To quote Jonathan Jones, a columnist for The Guardian, photography is the artistic medium of our time. I mean sure, there’s music, painting, drawing, writing, dance and what not. But none captures our lives quite as accurately as photography.
It is for these reason that we as Eldoret Leo saw it fit to celebrate 8 emerging photographers. These 8 contribute a whole lot to Eldoret’s thriving photographic community. They may not be seasoned photographers. Nevertheless, they are out in the streets, carving up names for themselves and creating amazing content.
No. 1, Stephen Githinji (Kreate_Photography_Kenya)
First on the list is Stephen Githinji the fine face and brains behind @kreate_photography_kenya. He began his camera work back in high school where he was part of the journalism club and was tasked with handling their small camera. A couple years down the line, he’s proven himself undeniable having worked with huge personalities like Amina Abdi Rabar, and big brands like Hankey Bannister, Bacardi, City Walk and Persia.
Seeing how many photographers there are nowadays, many would steer off starting a career solely dependent on the art. Not Steve though. According to him, while there are many photographers, the market is also wide and has different levels of clientele so the saturation isn’t really a problem. Additionally, he argues the quality of work also sets people with cameras apart from legit photographers like himself. He should know, because his pictures are out of this world. Not to mention within months of moving to Eldoret, he has managed to become the official photographer for Panvilla and Zaika Lounge.
Steve does all sorts of photography from portrait to event, product and people. Being an avid admirer of art, he draws his inspiration by visiting sites such as pixabay, pinterest and gurushots. He is also a big fan of Stevenchy photography.
No. 2, Kenneth Korir (Kenneth Korir)
Of all the photographers I interviewed, Kenneth was the most interesting simply because of his choice of tools. Take a look at this picture.
Looks so professional and stunning right? Guess what? It was taken by a phone. Yes, you heard that right, Kenneth Korir, who contributes a whole lot to Eldoret Leo’s stock photos, has no fancy cameras and lighting equipment. Claims they are too bulky and a tad inconvenient since you can’t carry them everywhere. Instead, he practices phone photography.
His creative process is simple. He just takes out his phone and snaps whenever his eye catches something inspiring and the result is magical. This 34 year old whose love affair with photography started in 2011/ 2012, is bringing the heat in a completely different and fresh way which is something we have to appreciate.
Kenneth who is a Hotelier by profession says while the quality of the camera’s lens does matter, his pics are amazing because he has mastered very important elements of photography. These are lighting, being able to capture something in the spur of the moment, angles, and timing.
As for a photographer who inspires his work, Kenneth mentioned the iconic Truth Slinger.Like him, he would one day like to have customized printed merchandise such as t-shirts that feature his work. Kenneth prefers shooting nature and buildings over portraits and he is damn good at it.
No. 3, Benson Boen ( Boen Photography)
The story of 27 year old Benson Boen is as inspiring as the fairy tales we grew up reading. Instead of complaining about Kenya’s state of unemployment, this lad took it upon himself to use his talent and passion to employ himself 4 years ago. That was when he started Boen Photography.
Back then, it was just him, a dream and a nikon D3200. Right now, he owns a broad base of professional cameras and has a studio to his name at Tarita Centre. He also has 5 people working with him and has gone ahead to be nominated for awards including The Wedding Photographers Awards.
His icons in the industry include Ben Kiruthe and Willy Muturi. Boen photography is a brand that prides itself in delivering quality photos within the agreed time. Something most photographers fail at. If you want to find them on social media simply type ‘boen photography_kenya’.
No. 4, Trisher Chemnjor ( Chemjie Pictures)
Trisher’s love for photography began in her teen years. She would find herself taking her mum’s Samsung phone to take photos of sunsets, flowers and people she interacted with. It slowly grew into a full on obsession and after realizing she was really good at it and how happy it made her.
Being a lady in a male dominated and saturated industry doesn’t intimidate her at all. It once did. But now she understands no two photographers have the same perspective so the difference creates room for everybody out there. Her motivation is her desire to show the world from her perspective which she says is very different.
Lexonart to her is one of the most amazing photographers she has come across so far and one’s footsteps she’d like to follow. Trisher is great at product, concept, and portrait shoots but is trying to venture into travel photography as well. Just incase you are christmas shopping for her, she’d very much appreciate a Sony A7r III or Hasselblad?.
You can find more of her work on Instagram by following her handle @chemjie_
No. 5, Matthew Meli (Nimepoz Nation)
Matthew Meli, the man behind Nimepoz Nation has been causing quite a stir in E_town offlate. Not that we are surprised considering how unique his concepts are and how far he goes for the perfect shot. If you’ve watched his BTS videos on YouTube, then you know what I’m talking about.
The 26 year old’s undeniable skills, quality of work, and creativity have helped him attract a lot of clients. Seeing that he earns his living through photography. He has a studio at Annex and enjoys portraiture as well as fashion and wedding photography most.
His motivation since he started taking photos professionally in 2017 is his desire to create art and freeze memories that will last for a lifetime. As for his icons in the industry, his picked 2. The late Allan Nyima who taught him a lot about lighting and grading. And Osborne Macharia.
Matthew’s biggest dream would be to shoot for America’s Next Top Model. Seeing how good he actually is, we can only hope that his dreams do come to pass. You can find him on Instagram @nimepoz_nation or Facebook @Nimepoz Nation.
No. 6, Hashtag Photography
Hashtag Photography is a household name to Eldoret millenials especially those in campus. It is solely owned by 25 year old Jacob Wayasa. And although he has risen through the ranks to work with brands like Vivo Woman, he discovered photography by accident. He was a co-founder of a magazine by the name Hashtag Magazine where he would hire photographers. Once they proved unreliable and costly he decided to buy a second hand D3200 coz you know, if you want something done right, do it yourself. The rest as they say is history.
He is so into photography that not a single day passes without him shooting. And although he prefers Fashion and event photography, he can take all types of photos excellently. His photos are unique, trendy and attention grabbing. An impressive fact considering all he knows about photography he has learnt from YouTube. Jack is a big fan of Lexonart as well and would one day want to be as great or even greater than him.
No. 7, (Urban Media)
Sidney Kemboi at the mere age of 20 has managed to earn a sit at the big dawg table courtesy of his phenomenal brand Urban Media Kenya. His journey is quite something. His interest in photography was triggered when he was about to join form four.
During December holidays, he helped a friend take BTS videos during a shoot and fell in love with the art. From there he started saving and got his first camera and lighting equipment after High-school. He started officially shooting on May 19th 2018 and hit the ground running since.
To Sidney, all the saturation in the industry is only something that challenges him to up his game. His art is inspired by his love of capturing priceless moments. It’s also influenced by Peter McKinnon, a photographer he looks upto. He is yet to identify with a specific niche. Currently he shoots people and events and would love the opportunity to work with Winnie Harlow someday.
No. 8, Douglas Ogendo (Lets Take Pics)
Douglas Ogendo, the man behind Lets Take Pics started photography immediately after campus. That was when he bought his first camera. Only then, it was intended for personal use. Somewhere along the journey though, that changed and he started doing it professionally. And boy are we glad because the images this 26 year old Eldoret based photographer produces are on a whole other level.
Weddings and portraits are the heart of Douglas’s art. He admires Antonytrivet photography from Nairobi and is very committed to improving his work on the daily. Something that gets him more clients of course and sets his work apart from the rest.
Follow his page on the gram @lets.take.pics
It’s really amazing to see all this raw talent in Eldoret. The photography industry in E Town has really evolved. Although there are challenges common with all 8 such as payment issues and people asking for free photoshoots, they continue to wow us with their work. The quality and the concepts are something else. Seems like seasoned photographers like the legendary Kwame , Brian Kigen and StarChase paved a way to great things.