MARTIN ‘KINGSTON’ MUIRURI: AN ENCOUNTER WITH PHOTOGRAPHY

I first considered going into photography last year at a bonfire in the serene setting of Njabini, Nyandarua County. It was one of those cold nights in the foothills of the Aberdares, and as the fire crackled and emitted warmth and shreds of spark, my uncle and I were having a discussion about life.

Photographer Martin Muiruri

Martin “Kingston Muiruri” pauses for a portrait at Versatile Photographers’.

The beginning of photography

Back in Nairobi where we lived, the tides had become rough of late. My schooling had stalled due to lack of school fees. I’d been forced to go into informal business, juggling from one to another in order to make ends meet. And here I was in this peaceful escape from the city with someone saying I should try my luck in photography. Perhaps it could work? I remember thinking aloud.

Enterprising spirit

Just a few years back in 2015, fresh and green from high school; I’d joined the Technical University of Kenya to study Business and Information Technology (BBIT). Money was the reason. Yes. I have always been an ambitious person, and therefore, I wanted to pursue something that would bring in some good cash. My determination started early. Back in the days as I grew up partly upcountry and in Nairobi. I was admitted to a provincial high school in Pokot that I couldn’t attend because of the post-election-violence scare. Later, as fate would have it, I was to attend two schools, both in Kiambu County, which played a pivotal role in shaping and preparing me for the future. It is here that I developed a spirit of enterprise.

Photography by Martin Muiruri

A beautiful studio portrait by Martin “Kingston” Muiruri.

Going into business

I didn’t make the cut to be admitted to the university. Unfortunately, I missed by a whisker. Of course, I was very disheartened, but my spirit of enterprise kept me going. I joined arms with a friend who’d also cleared high school and we set up a business on the streets of Zimmerman estate. We grilled chicken parts like gizzards and necks. A second friend soon joined us and our venture expanded to include samosas, boiled eggs, and smokies. Fast food is a magnet in the estates. Therefore business, for us, was booming.

First job

However, I deserved better. Education was still an active vessel in my enterprising bloodstream. This time though, another opportunity came knocking. One of my friends had a job connection at a local supermarket. The only qualification needed being a high school education. It was obvious the proposal was better compared to my current job, so I did not hesitate. I grabbed the chance. At the supermarket, I was assigned the task of monitoring the CCTV. This entailed sitting tight in a room for hours looking at the security screens. It was a demanding task. I had to stay alert all through because if anything got lost from the supermarket, my team and I had to pay for it.

 

Photography by Martin Muiruri

Innocence and beauty captivate the heart. Martin Muiruri’s portrait of an infant speaks volumes.

Opportunity knocks

Anyone would have wanted to move on. Therefore, when a chance to join university came, just a few months later, I gladly left. At the Technical University of Kenya, I continued with my enterprising spirit. Alongside my studies, I sold second-hand clothes and shoes. Fashion had always been my passion, so I was dressing others and myself. I took orders and made sure I satisfied customer demands. Over time I established a strong network and grew a successful brand.

Marto, the man of the people, was known in all quarters at the campus.

Love for fashion and events

Other than dressing people, I loved attending events, and since I was always sharply dressed, I easily caught the eye of photographers who’d ask me to pause for photos. This encounter with photography—coupled with my love for the beauty of life ignited by fashion—conceived in me a desire to be behind the camera as well. I wanted to record fashion through the lens. Since I did not have a DSLR, my phone became the camera, and I took some great photos. It became a new, burning passion that I wanted to pursue to the end.

Beautiful portrait

“Passion for fashion still flows in my bloodstream. I enjoy capturing moments, freezing smiles, and seeing clients pausing in their best attire.” – Martin “Kingston” Muiruri.

Twist of fate

Meanwhile, I started losing taste in what I was pursuing at TUK. Gradually, Business Information Technology became disinteresting. With time I realized that BBIT was not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Fate felt likewise I guess because just when I was in my last year, I lacked school fees and had to defer my studies owing to unpaid arrears.

This takes us back to where the story began. At the fireside, tens of miles away from the bustling city.

Destiny comes knocking

Only a few months had passed since I dropped out of university. Life had only become harder. I was in search of something purposeful to do with my life. Selling clothes and doing marketing jobs were my only sources of livelihood. This, like walking on a tight rope, was a gamble. So here we are seated by the fireside and my uncle, Sam Kamau, a make-up artist at Versatile Photographers and one of the founders of Versatile Etiquette,  mentions that his new phone takes great pictures. I ask for the phone and take a picture of the fire. He looks at it, smiles and says it looks great. “By the way, since you love taking photos a lot, you should think of pursuing photography.” He adds.

Photography by Martin Muiruri

Low key photography was always Martin’s passion. He learned the basics of lighting from watching the main photographer.

First experience

A few weeks later, he introduced me to David Macharia, the CEO of Versatile Photographers. I was asked to help out at the exhibition desk during the Halloween event at the Village Market in 2018. After receiving my payment, I was very excited. On the streets, it was not easy to make that kind of money in a day. This further encouraged me to consider photography as a career, and I began interacting with Versatile Photographers.

The journey begins

In January this year, I was lucky to receive sponsorship by Versatile Photographers through their CSR program to study photography at Versatile School of Photography. This remains the best thing that ever happened in my life and I truly appreciate it. At Versatile School, my encounter with photography grew into a passion. I learned how to take perfect photos with a digital camera. How to combine creativity with the skills I learned and package myself as a professional photographer. The learning experience was smooth and interesting.  The field day was as exciting, a very enlightening experience. I was glad to test my skills outdoors and to be guided by a team of some of the best photographers in the country.

Photography by Martin Muiruri

Freezing a stylish moment.

The learning experience at Versatile School of Photography

Learning how to start a successful photography business was the best lesson I ever learned at Versatile School of Photography. The personal branding class by Regina Re was also a turning point for me. I learned the importance of confidence and packaging myself as a businessman. By the time I finished the course, I was equipped with enough knowledge to become a professional photographer. And lady luck smiled at me again, this time with a three-month internship as an assistant photographer at Versatile Photographers, which I began in February this year.

Gaining skills

The first months were challenging for me since I was still learning the art of photography. Talking to clients was difficult. Taking photos in the studio was an uphill task. I’d freeze every time I had to serve a client alone. But I was lucky because I was working under Kamau, a very supportive photographer who polished my skills, encouraged and instilled courage in me. I learned techniques of lighting from watching him work. He taught me how to take great pictures. To date, I still learn a lot because learning is a continuous, endless process.

Photography Gorgeous child

A creative shot of a baby by Martin “Kingston” Muiruri. Creativity is the future of any art, including photography.

Lady luck

After the internship period ended, I was employed at Versatile Photographers. For me, working here has been an experience of growth and discovery. I’ve garnered not just skills, but also experience in dealing with clients. I’ve learned how to be responsible, ethical and realistic both at work and in life. If I was to turn back the hands of time, I would go into photography much earlier, for this is my life, my career, and I love every bit of it. I enjoy capturing moments, freezing smiles, and seeing clients pausing in their best attire. Passion for fashion still flows in my bloodstream, and I consider going into this in the future. I’m not sure whether I’ll be behind or in front of the camera, but either way, fashion will always be a part of me.

Future prospects

I’m planning to buy my first camera sometime next year. After that, I will be in a position to handle photography projects like birthdays and so forth, thus I will register and grow my brand. I see my stint at Versatile Photographers as a stepping stone to the bright future ahead. Perhaps, granted a chance, I will complete my BBIT course. The spirit of enterprise still keeps me going. Photography is now my main gig but I still sell second-hand clothes and shoes. On my off days, you will find me socializing, catching up with friends, shopping for attire, or watching movies.

Meanwhile, the memory of that bonfire on a cold night in the foothills of the Aberdares is still fresh. For me, it symbolizes the beginning of my beautiful encounter with photography, the genesis of a rich career as a professional photographer. That fire burns within me now. Each and every day I kindle it with skills and experience. And in return, it keeps me warm with the promise of a better tomorrow.

STORY BY: Martin “Kingston” Muiruri, Professional Photographer, Versatile Photographers

EDITED BY: Tim Njugi, Writer, Blogger and Photographer

GRACE WAWERU: How I balance Accounting and Photography

 

Photographer Grace Waweru

Grace Waweru the photographer and accountant.

Where my love for photography began

I fell in love with photography first, there’s no doubt about that. At the tender age of 14, my father—who had one of those prized, film cameras—began lending it to me occasionally. I’d take family photos and smile, feeling so good about it. Back in the days when we had to wait weeks before the photos were printed. You can imagine the thrill of seeing my first, reproduced photo. Photography entered my bloodstream there and then, and it has never left.

It’s an art I value so much, photography. Even after dad’s camera became outdated and decrepit I continued taking photos. This was my way of passing time, enjoying and capturing the beauties of life. Years passed. Technology evolved. Smartphones emerged and that presented a better, easier opportunity of taking photos. It was simply exciting that you could now take a photo and see it immediately, right that minute! Wow, this was a wonderful prospect for me.

At campus, we used to go for events. I automatically became the designated photographer. I’d take wonderful photos and take delight in that, feeling completely fulfilled, even though I was never paid. This is how my passion for photography grew and blossomed into what it is today. If your passion for something is the flame and not the moth, it will persist to the end and lead you to your destiny.  Even when it is dulled by the winds and currents of life, somehow, the flame will glow back to life.

This is exactly how it happened to me.

Baby photography

A strikingly gorgeous portrait of a baby girl by Grace Waweru.

Date with destiny

Fate saw to it that I studied something entirely different—accounting. I gave it my best. Today, I’m a qualified accountant by profession, but photography is still my heart and soul. The flame still burns. It was never snuffed out, and it led me to my destiny—Versatile School of Photography.

One day my husband was listening to the radio and the host was interviewing Mr. David Macharia. Later he narrated to me the inspiring story of David and Versatile School. I told him I was interested and would definitely go check. Six months down the line I went to Versatile School of Photography in Hazina Towers, Nairobi. Once there, I was so fascinated by the photos displayed on the wall that I immediately decided to enroll, which is one of the best decisions I ever made.

“During my spare time I travel and watch movies. But, if I’m needed to do photography even on a weekday, I’d rather take a day off. That’s how much I love this art.”

I joined the school in May of 2018. One month after starting my classes I bought my first photography gear with the help of my husband. A camera—Nikon D5200, two speed-lights and a stand. I didn’t know much about cameras because before this, other that the phone, I used to borrow a point and shoot camera from a friend whenever I went traveling or hiking. Otherwise, this was my first real experience with a professional camera.

Children Photography

Grace, who says she loves family and fashion photography, enjoys taking photos of kids.

Lessons and Skills

First, it was exciting and then challenging because I was just shooting, not knowing exactly what to do. Apart from clicking, I didn’t know how to operate the camera. But at the Versatile School field day I gained the technical know-how, confidence, and finally began using my Nikon. Fieldwork was my best experience at Versatile School of Photography because of the practical skills I gained and the assessment of photos in the evening. It felt so good being told I had taken a good photo.

Learning how to use a camera and take good photos was an electrifying experience. I had to attend the weekend classes alone because I was doing my accounting job over the week. The classes were wonderful, especially my last one with Mr. Muturi Kanini when I joined other students of Versatile School for a very interactive session. I was able to understand pricing in photography which was an eye-opener. My favorite lesson was the business class with Mr. David Macharia. He was very encouraging. One thing he said that remains with me to date is that if you want to learn, you must humble yourself. He really encouraged me. Even after finishing the photography course at Versatile School, I have found Mr. David Macharia to be very helpful, a great mentor.

Baby photography

A gorgeous baby portrait courtesy of Grace Waweru.

Jobs

I got my first photography job through a friend on WhatsApp after consistently marketing myself as a photographer.  After talking to the client on the phone, I accepted the offer which entailed real estate. I was a bit tensed. Luckily, because of my training at Versatile School, I delivered. The client was happy. Despite this, I was paid less than half the amount we had agreed on. Nevertheless, this first shoot helped me gain experience, content, and exposure, especially because I was requested to use my watermark on the photos.

Real Estate Photography

“I got my first photography job through a friend on WhatsApp after consistently marketing myself as a photographer. After talking with the client on the phone, I accepted the offer which entailed real estate. I was a bit tensed but I delivered. – Grace Waweru”

Later, I became reluctant for two months but picked it up from there and I’ve not lulled since. I’ve done other projects, among them a corporate party and a wedding. Versatile School has also given me the opportunity to work as an assistant in a fashion and a family shoot. So far I don’t have a particular area of interest in photography but I like family and fashion and any other half-day shoots.

The journey has not been a bed of roses. It has demanded the utmost hard work and dedication. The gear is expensive. But I believe in order to achieve something; all you need is to put your entire heart to it. I don’t have an Instagram page presently but I intend to set up one soon, hoping I’ll get permission to post the photos I take. Perhaps I may have to procure models to simplify this equation. I intend to pump in the best effort to build my brand—Zawai Photography. The flame of passion leads me, and when I hold a camera I feel on top of the world and believe that if you capture a unique moment, you will make all the difference.

Nairobi Photography

A nice shot with the reflection of Nairobi from Uhuru Park by Grace Waweru.

Balance

In spite of the fact that I’m an accountant, I call photography my other job (not part-time) and take it very seriously, the same way I take accounting. Balancing the two is easy since I’m an accountant on weekdays and a photographer during weekends. During my spare time, I travel and watch movies. But, if I’m needed to do photography even on a weekday, I’d rather take a day off. That’s how much I love this art.

Photography reflection

“The flame of passion leads me, when I hold a camera I feel on top of the world, and I believe that if you capture a unique moment, you will make all the difference.” – Grace Waweru

I must not forget to mention the convenient interdependence between my two professions. Accounting helps me raise money to buy gear; photography helps me get jobs. Since the people I work with know I’m a professional photographer, they consult and engage me anytime they need photography services. This is how the two marry, balance, and make my life worthwhile.

Photography design

A creative design from one of Grace Waweru’s photos.

STORY BY: Grace Waweru, Accountant and Photographer

EDITED BY: Tim Njugi, Writer, Blogger and Photographer

Saville Victor

Saville the Photographer: My one year journey of Photography

Who am I?

My name is Saville Victor. I’m an alumnus of Versatile School of Photography and a budding photographer from Nairobi, Kenya. I discovered photography over a year ago in early 2018 after seeing my aunt’s Nikon camera. The gadget captivated me so much that it evoked in me a deep interest. I now wanted to know more, and therefore, I asked my aunt about it. She gave a brief explanation of how the camera worked. Afterward, I began to do some thinking. And this was the beginning of my wonderful journey of photography.

Versatile school

Captured in Umoja, Nairobi. Photo Credits: Saville Victor

Turning Point

I started cultivating my interest in photography. With time zeal and interest grew. My turning point happened in the month of April 2018 when my aunt gave me her camera to take photos at an event. It was a retirement celebration. Since I had already cleared school and was still juggling looking for something to do, I did not hesitate. I took the opportunity, gave it my best. Eventually, I did a very good job because, after the event, family and friends were applauding me saying, “Wow, the photos are so nice.”

Versatile School alumi

“Photography is now my worthwhile career, and with time, I hope to expand in terms of knowledge, skills, and gear.”Photo Credits: Saville Victor.

The decisive moment

Interesting to note is the fact that by then, I did not have any considerable knowledge of key terms in photography like ISO, Shutter speed and so on. But I still managed to impress people who were well exposed. This motivated me. My confidence increased. I realized that photography was something I needed to pursue. Therefore, I decided to go to school. I wanted to know everything about photography and use the knowledge to improve my skills.

Nairobi City

Nairobi city from Uhuru Park. Photo Credits: Saville Victor

The learning

I discovered Versatile School of Photography on the internet after my mother told me to look for a place to learn. The institution was the first on the list of best photography schools in Kenya. I wanted to get the best training. Naturally, I enrolled to join Versatile School back in February 2019. At Versatile I learned so many things. I was taken through the basic terms and everything needed to improve my photography skills. Learning how to focus on a subject and how to work out different lighting options based on the time of day and setting was one of the most exciting lessons I learned.

Versatile School lessons

Freezing the moment. Photo Credit: Saville Victor.

Growth

The experience at Versatile School of Photography was very helpful in developing my skills as well as my personality. Teachers were brilliant, engaging and enlightening, making the lessons fun and informative. At Versatile School of Photography, I learned how to start and run a successful photography business. I’m happy to say that I now run my own business known as Saville Photography. The lesson on personal branding taught at Versatile School has helped me create an interesting personal brand, know how to dress up for the job and talk to clients in a good way.

KICC

The Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo Credits: Saville Victor.

Achievement

Thanks to the training I got at Versatile School I’ve been able to position myself in the market as a professional photographer and get clients. My business is doing well so far because I’ve handled many projects including a wedding back in July. I now do photography on a full-time basis, mostly covering events like birthdays, graduations, etc. Portraiture is my area of specialization. The greatest challenge I’ve faced has been working with clients who refuse to pay. I’ve also been affected negatively by the restrictions of photography in some areas especially here in Nairobi. The government should ease these limitations and promote photography business so that Kenyans can have faith in their photographers.

Saville Victor

Saville Victor is an alumnus of Versatile School of Photography. He now runs a successful photography business.

Worthwhile career

Otherwise, I really enjoy my work and I’m very thankful to Versatile School for the training and opportunities. Photography is now my worthwhile career, and with time, I hope to expand in terms of knowledge, skills, and gear. Five years from now I want to be the best-known photographer in Kenya. I believe the passion that drives me every day will get me there. Meanwhile, check me out on Instagram @savillethephotographer.

 

STORY BY: Saville Victor, @savillethephotographer

EDITED BY: Tim Njugi, Writer, Blogger, Photographer

FIELD DAY AT EVERGREEN GARDENS.

The day started in exhilaration at 6.00 AM where our students gathered in Uhuru Park’s viewpoint to capture the beautiful sunrise over Nairobi. As soon as everyone arrived, one of our tutors Gibson Maina familiarized himself with the students so as to allow more engagement. He then took them through camera basics before they got a chance to document the amazing emerging of the sun across Nairobi
city. Once they were done, breakfast was organized for them as transportation was prepared for the
next venue.

By mid morning, we were all at the lush Evergreen Gardens which we have a partnership with for our outdoor practical sessions. The incredulous joy of the students was obvious from the look of their faces. Gibson Maina went ahead to use practical scenarios such as wedding where the bride and her parents are walking into the church so as to teach about focus. The students got to practice as the school also provides cameras for them to have firsthand experience as they learn theory.


They were also taught how to track movement through a concept called ‘panning’ which is basically being able to freeze a subject’s movement while they are moving. One of the students was asked to run and the rest took photos in an attempt to ‘pan’ her movement. Next, they got to practice shooting each other after being taught how to modify lighting when shooting outdoors through use of a speed light, reflector and scrim.


Lastly, David Macharia introduced himself to the students before teaching them about posing. He had one of the students pose on a seat and he took photos for them to see how various traditional posing rules are effective when working as a photographer. The students also took turns to photograph their friend and get feedback from Macharia. It was an engaging session where students were being corrected on set and they were able to keep trying until they get the best shot.

Most of the afternoon was used to practice what they had learnt. They were instructed to go around Evergreen Gardens and take photos of each other using the tips they had learnt from the two tutors. They spread out and some even took photos with the horses around as some got next to the water and the boats. After one or so hours of a practical session, they were allowed to have their lunch.


The evening session were more of a review of what they were done. They were asked to submit their best photos taken that day. These were then projected on a TV Screen and Gibson Maina went through
them while correcting their mistakes and advising them on how to improve the craft. To say the least, it was a fun day well spent. These students will make some of the best photographers in the world thanks to the unique approach that the school uses for their eight-weeks’ course.

For more information on how you can join, kindly visit https://schoolofphotography.co.ke/enroll/

Versatile Photographers

Evolution Of Photography In Africa

Evolution Of photography In Africa

Photography is a way of describing things, a way to express yourself and to show people how you feel. It is one of the most revolutionary additions to the advancement of human artistic expression since the days of black and white photos and today colored photos. In Africa we have the opportunity to tell our own stories in a unique way. Photography has been made easy with the use of smart phones, everyone is now a photographer. Its high time we learn how to capture images that create emotions and tell a story.

Versatile Photographers journey started during the film cameras. With the little resources we had, such as internet we adapted to the new technology. Digital cameras has made us to learn more about information technology to be able to use software that make our work stand out in commercial, portraits, Fashion, wildlife, events, conceptual and architectural photography.

Recently, we have invested in cameras that have wifi to enable us share our images in real time.

The Front Interior of our New studio at village Market 2nd Floor.

The Vintage Night presents the Evolution of photography hosted by Versatile Photographers at Village Market. Versatile photographers is celebrating a big milestone, a lifetime achievement as you get an opportunity to Network, Interact, share your business ideas, learn professional skills from corporates, existing businesses, and be introduced to the New Photography World.

Versatile Photographers

Versatile Photographers won the Most Innovative Photographer 2018 award in Kenya during the 2018 Business Excellence Awards. We have several innovations since we started and we look forward to partner with more professionals, governments, private sector and NGOs. Following are some of the ongoing projects.

Trophy awarded to Versatile Photographers for being the most innovative

Versatile school of photography

Versatile school of photography, which won the Best Photography school during the Kenya Wedding Industry Awards has produced creative whom lives has been transformed. We believe that everyone should be fully equipped and capable of exploring their world to find what is good in it, capture it and use it to tell a story that inspires others.

The major part of our course is practical assignments and photography projects to ensure you have refined and portfolio-worthy photographic skills by the time you complete the course.

The Versatile School of Photography won the Best school of photography award during the Kenya Wedding Industry Awards

Versatile Adventures

Versatile Adventures creates awareness of the fast depletion of wildlife and positively mobilizes people to join the conservation revolution through content generation using photography, videography and articles based on wildlife and their natural environment

There is an event which happens every month at Nairobi National Park, dubbed #PhotographyInTheWild a partnership between Versatile School Of Photography, Kenya Wildlife Service, Bigfoot Adventures, Camera Kenya, Hafla Events, Negesa Trails and Shish Events Kenya. David Macharia offers training on photography skills. During the Vintage Night there will be tickets to be won for #PhotographyInTheWild and you will get to have an experience of the wild animals, learn their behavior and wildlife ethics.

A team of Photographers, hobbyists, conservationists and tour guides during the #PhotographyInTheWild

 Versatile Art Gallery

Versatile Art Gallery is a collective of exclusive images captured in Kenya. The art gallery was established from the Worth More Alive campaign 2016 of the ivory burning which was participated by world leaders who are against poaching. Images are captured by local photographers and the sales made from the images sponsors a needy student at Versatile School Of Photography. You can support the project by buying a piece of art.

The Versatile Art Gallery at Hazina Towers branch in Nairobi CBD

Africa Stock Images

Africa Stock Images is a stock photo company aimed at enabling photographers and designers around the continent to showcase, tell stories and sell their creativity about Africa through our platform. Africa Stock Images is not only a company but a market platform that gives the world the taste of the African way of life. We are focused on delivering to our customers the best content available from our premium quality images.

One of our authentic African image with african people for sale for commercial purpose.


Versatile TV

 Versatile TV is a platform that engages different clusters of people in different niches in life by telling their story through photography and video. We focus on three areas that is; Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Mentorship programs. Many iconic businessmen in Africa have made it despite various hardships and the challenges never crumbled their vision and persistence in what they believed in. Lets transform lives through mentorship.

Eric Muriithi, CEO Blaze consulting offers business etiquette and soft skills.


Versatile Etiquette

Versatile Etiquette is a team of photographers and make up artists who teamed up their artistry to produce priceless images.  Make up artist apply and teach how to apply professional make-up to individuals. They also offer masterclass to upcoming make up artist who want to venture into weddings, glamour, special effects and Tv production. We also offer soft skills training in entrepreneurship, personal branding and business etiquette.

Sammy Kamau, our lead make up artist applying make-up in our state of art studio during a photo shoot.

 

Versatile Creative Hub

Finally, creative meet corporate. Versatile Creative Hub is a platform where creative minds come together to solve a problem in this trendy time of new technology. For so many years, corporate has operated with complex structures and due to technology like social media, they have no choice but to adapt the changing times.

This is where most young people fall in where they bring their creative skills to solve a problem. The Hub hosts photographers, designers, creative directors, film makers, make-up artists, event planners and any other creative category. With the new business trends, technology has created new jobs that are not yet in our formal school curriculum, Versatile Creative Hub creates a platform to learn these skills.

We have partnered with professionals such as Pepp Talk, LifeLine International, CateChris Limited to offer training in soft skills, personal branding, financial literacy, entrepreneurship among others. Membership fee is Ksh3,000 which include membership card, collective bargaining, mentorship, workshop and listing of your business in our website portal.

 

David Macharia, one of the main mentors of entrepreneurship to upcoming creatives

Asili Yetu (Coffee Table book)

David Macharia is a Creative lead Photographer at Versatile Photographers. His passion to wildlife photography started as soon as he learnt photography skills. His work has been nominated for several awards. Don’t miss this event as he launches his first book Asili Yetu and share his photography journey how to capture images that tells a story.

Here is the link to details about the Coffee Book.

The Asili Yetu Afrika coffee book entails the life, behavior and ethics of the wild animals in Kenya which is available on order.

Exhibition

David will host an exhibition of his exclusive Images for auction during the event. The images are printed in high quality canvas and Frames. All proceeds go towards raising funds for the #PhotographyInTheWild and Versatile School of Photography projects. The project is a teamwork of photographers, bloggers, designers, event planers and tour guides.

David’s Macharia exclusive images exhibited at Nairobits Go-down centre. 

 

To be part of the event, Book your ticket by Wednesday 4th July, 2018.

Contact Person:
Kerren Irungu

Cell: +254722220978
Office: +254 721330767
Email: village@versatilephotographers.com

Designation: Key Account Manager

VERSATILE PHOTOGRAPHERS

Paybill 525676

Account No. -Your Name

Bank: Branch: Account Number: Barclays, Moi Avenue, 0751454287

Note: Sponsorship & Booking deadline dates are 30th June, 2018- The earlier your sponsorship the more the chances of visibility before the show. Get in touch with us for more informa on.

To be part of the event, book your ticket before Wednesday and support Versatile Photographers.

Note;Every ticket purchased, will help a student in need at Versatile School of Photography.

Orientation Day Class of 2018

Versatile school of photography is all about changing lives through photography and this year we do it again. Yesterday marked the beginning of a journey for versatile students who enrolled for the January intake for both videography and photography.

During this first day the students received some orientation as they were taken through what they are expected of them at the end of the two months course. David Macharia the CEO and Founder of versatile school of photography spent the better part of the afternoon motivating the students and sharing his personal journey and how he got into photography business.

Among the students they are lawyers, students, accountants, bakers among other professionals who have found interest in photography and videography. For sure versatile school of photography is the best place to learn, explore as well as getting inspiration on matters photography.

The course will be take 2 months with both day and evening classes and students are expected to engage with the teachers by asking questions as well as being innovative at the field work. At the end of the course they are expected to create their own portfolio and a project as a sign of showing the experience gained.

After the entire course the students will graduate and they will receive a certificate to prove their enrollment in the course. If you are looking for a school to study photography or even videography, versatile school of photography is the place to be and intake is still ongoing hurry to book your space today.

Story by:
Tyson kiiru

Photography Haven

Photography Haven

Looking for a photography class? Well, Versatile School Of Photography has a well outlined   photography course  that embraces a wide range of abilities and interest levels among the students. For  a beginner  someday  hoping to go pro, Versatile School Of Photography is the place to be. With passion for the art and the knack for teaching, Versatile School Of Photography has  succeeded in putting  together a well thought out curriculum that instructs budding photographers how to think and not just do,.While at the same time, offering practical advice and opportunities for their students in a holistic learning environment.

Versatile School Of Photography is truly an open and welcoming community where you get to bond with the staff and course mates as well.Topics on the basics of photography  are presented in a fun, interesting and engaging way.

Everyone comes to Versatile School Of Photography for a different reason: To learn using different cameras, to become a family photographer, to chart a new career, to pick up a weekend hobby or even for their appreciation and passion for art. Whatever the goal, we all share a common denominator; to take better pictures.

Versatile School Of Photography is committed to taking its students on a journey in which with time you will find your own vision and voice as a photographer.If you enjoy photography and you want to get better at it , put the right foot forward by joining Versatile School Of Photography.

I believe this course is a good starting point not only for people who need to utilize photography in a job but also for people with genuine interest in their progress.

Induction to Photography

The Versatile School of Photography & Videography’s reception conveys success and professionalism. At least that is how I felt as I stepped into the entryway of the school on the 9th floor of Hazina Towers. The pictures on the walls, the screens displaying even more pictures, the well-organized display area that had among other neatly placed documents, albums/ picture books showcasing even more pictures…I was especially dazed by this particular one, a magnificent picture of a section of our Capital City that hang beautifully on a wall right opposite the reception desk. The smiles & warm welcome by the beautiful ladies at the front desk added vigor to the well-lit and decorated reception area. They answered a few of my queries and asked Brenda, an alumni of the school to have a chat with me. The ex-teacher was full of praise for this school that had transformed her life for the better, literally. She assured me that I would enjoy the experience too.I had been advised that class would begin at 6pm but I was there slightly earlier – quite frankly, to decide whether or not I should take the class. The warm welcome coupled with the great testimonial by Brenda was reassuring. I got into class and found sitting space at the very back of the room. Naturally, I would have settled for a front seat, but I chose to sit there so as to gain easy exit if I needed to sneak out. As fate would have it, I together with a gentleman seated beside me were asked to fill the front seats. I now knew that I had no choice but to stay put to the very end. A nice cup of tea and a generous piece cake was served (oh, so heavenly after a hard day’s work) and the instructor of the day promptly took to the front

 

 

Students at Versatile School Of Photography checking out some of the equipments

 

 

Being a small neat class, we began by introducing ourselves and then shared each one’s motivation to study photography plus the preferred categories of photography that we intended to pursue. Here is where I learnt of interesting categories like food and product photography – sema ushamba, lol! David Macharia then shared his captivating journey in the photography world – elaborately, from his humble beginnings to the level of successful growth that he now enjoyed. Inspiration galore!Macharia oozes passion when he speaks of cameras and everything they do. I had met him only a day before, at an event organized by the school dubbed ‘Photography in the Wild’. A friend had shared a whatsapp ad of the event. This is where I met a team of excited & passionate photographers most of whom were alumni of versatile. I happened to seat beside Macharia during one of the game drives and it is then that he invited me to attend class that was beginning the next day (like kesho!). It wasn’t so much of his convincing that did it for me but the seemed sincerity with which he spelt the value I would gain from attending class. I got so much help from everyone (I had a brand new camera with almost zero knowledge of its use), made new friends and I knew that I could never miss the next Photography in the Wild event, but this time in attendance as a photographer (FOMO was real).

Couldn’t wait for classes to begin

 

Back to class – Macharia took as through the course outline, explaining what would be discussed in each of the classes. If he was not an Ace photographer, I bet this down to earth CEO would be a story teller as he is a great one. He easily supported each stated session with real life incidents. His own experience or that of his colleagues in the field. When he got to elaborate the more complicated topics like exposure, rule of thirds and composition (now I know what they are J), he encouraged the lost like me – giving assurance that we would understand everything so well in just a few days (true!).From the get go, I knew that I would leave the school with more knowledge and experience than bargained for. Topics like Relationship Management (covering issues such as understanding the client’s brief, presentation, swiftness in response and follow up e.t.c.) and leadership (training one’s team to be leaders, to be able to handle situations independently) to lessons on how to create a business out of photography are great bonuses. I look forward to them all. And did I mention there would be field work?!

 

More detailed equipments!

Macharia also guided us on the basic equipment required for class: camera (of course), lens, memory cards e.t.c. and laid out what would be expected of each student. The importance of attending class was emphasized and I now know why. The teachers give the very best of themselves, leaving no man or woman behind. Missing a session means missing out on crucial information. We were welcomed to the school and assured of all the support from himself and his awesome staff who were then introduced to us.The induction class set a great pace for me and I am sure, for my fellow classmates. By the time this class was over, I was totally sold out! I have since looked forward to subsequent classes and have not been disappointed. I would vouch for Versatile School of Photography & Videography anytime. What they promise is understated, they deliver much more…you have my word.

Already having fun

 

Gladys Juma

The Travelling Accountant

www.thetravellingaccountant.co.ke

The Introduction Class

The induction class had certainly set high standards. I couldn’t wait for the introduction class and I must say that I wasn’t disappointed. I got to class 15 minutes ahead of time and shock on me, teacher Gibson and a couple of my classmates were already there. Notes had been circulated way in advance and a team whatsapp chatroom created to ease communication. We had already been advised to bring along our cameras for class. Enjoying the refreshments, we chatted away as we waited for class to begin.

I had already met Gibson at the ‘Photography in the Wild’ event organized by the school 3 days before. At the event, the photographers (most alumni of Versatile) freely interacted with him. He was at hand providing guidance to the photographers and constantly inviting questions as we went on with the game drives. Thankfully, I sat next to him on two occasions during the game drive sessions and I kid you not, he knows a lot about photography! I listened to him critic ‘perfect’ pictures (according to me) taken by the participants – gently pointing out areas of improvement. I could only pity myself for the little I knew, ha-ha! I was honored to sit by him as I learnt firsthand the basics of handling my camera.

Tutor showing the basic camera buttons

 

The class kicked off on time. Gibson taught effortlessly, leaving nothing to chance – treating pros and amateurs alike. He explained what each and every function or button on the body of the camera did. The diopter, control dial, view finder, the exposure compensation button (yay, I still remember!) and a score of other buttons and functions were mentioned, defined – shown on projected camera images and the best part, learning practically using our own cameras. Every little bit of detail, bottom, top and sides of the camera were explained. We then moved to accessories where the topic was covered comprehensively – named and defined, and function properly explained. Accessories are added to the camera not only for flare as is expected, but also for protection.

 

We then tackled the topic of protection and cleaning of the camera and this teacher, Gibson Maina, is a real freak in this area. It would be great injustice to not follow his lead after listening to him explain how one should take care of the body, sensor, rechargeable batteries, the memory card and the lenses. Things that could easily be taken lightly like the danger of storing the body of the camera with the lens attached were strongly discouraged. He went on – “…covers should always be used for protection of the lens. The camera strap should be well fastened around the wrist or should hang around one’s neck. The lenses should be cleaned gently with the right media…” Taking care of the camera to prevent theft and also ensuring that the cameras were insured was also emphasized.

 

Class in session

 

As we got into the meat of the matter, I confirmed that Versatile School of Photography and Videography was not just any other photography school but more. The sessions are very interactive. The instructors not only lecture, students learn, watch and do. The lessons being so practical; one can’t help it but enjoy the class. The teachers are very professional. They have mustered their craft and in class, they share what they know best giving illustrations based on their day to day experiences. Though the school has enough cameras for use by its trainees, use of own camera was encouraged for the obvious reason of getting accustomed to own equipment. In closing, we were encouraged to set aside a little time each day for photography following which, all the technicalities would become second to nature.

Walking out of the class that evening, I felt more confident using my camera. Just being able to understand the functions of the various buttons made me feel like a pro. When I got home that evening, I kept clicking away. I took pictures of the kids, their dad, daughter dancing, son eating, they together, then individually – so many, till the battery went low & I couldn’t take more pictures. I even taught them how to hold a camera correctly and to take pictures on auto mode (ha ha!).

 

Tutor showing various parts of a camera and their uses

I am grateful for that great foundation. I learnt so much, it certainly was no usual introduction class. Asante Gibson for sharing information so effectively and to the Versatile School of Photography and Videography for the opportunity to study this great art of photography. I am a happy student. A very happy one!

By

Gladys Juma
The Travelling Accountant
www.thetravellingaccountant.co.ke

For:

Versatile School of Photography

Events From My Troubled Life Made Me Want To Be a Cinematography / Movie-Maker

“So many things have happened in my past life. It’s been like a movie and if I dwelled on it, I would not be here today.”

His name is Oluwaseyi Smith Bashorun, he is from Nigeria. We are in the same intake at Versatile School of Photography, he is studying Videography while I am learning Photography. Our paths hadn’t crossed until the field day where a friendly chat ignited a sharing of life’s’ unfolding.

“What kind of background would be so dramatic as to make you want to get into film?” I challenged him.

Honestly speaking, I was not prepared for what he would then share with me. He left me feeling every emotion that one could feel; from anger, hurt, disappointment to eventually hope and an insatiable belief that indeed, the best yet to come. Each one of us has building blocks that have shaped us into who we are and our most vulnerable blocks are not pretty. For Smith, they really do read like a movie. Now follow along to see if you agree…

With a different father from the rest of his siblings, Smith tells me that growing up was hard because his mum never gave him the same love and acceptance as the rest of his siblings. She seemed to project the pain that his estranged father had caused her to him. His mum’s militant upbringing also did not help the situation, the punishment was corporal and this brewed a hardening of heart inside him. He tells that his mum would beat him so much that he would sleep outside just to get away from her. At an early age, he was forced to hawk and was traumatized by all the unkind words he would get n the streets.  Over time, a serious rift ensued between them as Smith felt as though he was all alone in the world, while his mum felt that he wouldn’t amount to much.

When he got to high school, a chance meeting with the Cinematographer of a local show in Nigeria called ‘Super Story’ saw him cast for a supporting role. He was ecstatic. During this time, he began to develop an interest in cameras and being shown in camera. One day, however, when shooting an episode that required him to be hanging around a dump site, he accidentally stepped on a sharp piece of broken glass and was badly hurt. Bleeding profusely, he was rushed to the hospital and though the production company compensated, apologized and paid all the preceding medical bills, his mum forbade him from taking part in acting ever again citing that he was only doing it for selfish reasons.

After high school, Smith tells me that he wanted to study media but, out of a blend fear of his mum and a desire to please her, he choose to study political science. Unbeknown to him, the tough, violent and corrupt higher learning environment in Nigeria would catch him right in the middle. He tells me that it was all about gangs and this would lead to violence and people killing each other. As a political science student also, he saw first-hand how older politicians fueled the riots through bribery and hiring of goons as a strategy to maintain loyalty.  The lack of opportunities for youth in his country, Smith tells me, had only escalated the already bad situation. As fate would have it, one day after a casual college drinking spree, he found himself in the middle of a gang battle and was mistakenly shot at by a certain gang. He tries to explain to me the confusion, pain, and shock of the moment and I am only left to try and imagine. Incredibly, he muscled up the strength to get away from that situation and a Good Samaritan rushed him to a hospital. Seven bullets were later removed from him and he considers it a miracle that he is healthy and well today. A miracle, he muffles, that his mom doesn’t seem to recognize.

Now, Smith up till this point had a best friend who had, in her own way, preserved him, defended him and motivated him to keep going. That was his elder sister. “She would defend me from my mum,” he tells me. She was quite dear to him. His sister had always wanted him to study media and would provide for him when the need arose. Then one weekend she came home with a bad headache, Smith had wanted to leave but something seemed to keep him from going anywhere that weekend. She went on to die that Sunday. It left him shocked and distraught. He suspects it was suicide but he is never sure.

After that incident, nothing was the same again. An angry, wounded and fed-up Smith left home and university to hustle as he figured his next move. It was then that he reconnected with a high school buddy-of-his who was from a well-to-do family and who had moved to Ghana. His friend, Sly, invited him and helped him get finances to go to Ghana as well as employment while in Ghana. Sly brought a new lease of life, and Smith grabbed the opportunity with both hands. He also tells me that he only informed his mum of his intention to leave Nigeria at the night before leaving because he had grown tired of her discouragement over the years.

While in Ghana, he first enrolled in the National Film & Television Institution- Accra Ghana. (NAFTI), but found it was very expensive compared to Accra Film School. So he transferred there. He radiates a genuine smile as he tells me of how happy he was when he got the admission to join Accra Film School where he decided to study production as a whole. Life in Ghana was relaxed and wonderful and he managed to pass all his exams.  There was a lecturer, Jeff Kuba, who inspired him a lot.   He encouraged students studying cinematography to consider further learning out of West Africa to gain more exposure. It was from him that Smith learned about Versatile School of Photography and decided to contact them.

After a back and forth and a treacherous time gathering the needed finances, Smith was here in Kenya, expanding his knowledge, experience, and exposure. He tells me that since being here, he has learned a lot and gotten access a lot of additional valuable information. He has already been offered an internship after the course to which he is grateful for. Smith has a YouTube account by the name SPATAR-TV.  He tells me that the name comes the word Spartacus, which he was nicknamed because he is very brave. He tells me that he finds Nairobi life slow compared to Lagos. He had received warnings about getting robbed when he came but he doesn’t think that it comes close to Lagos.

The accumulated time apart from his mum has allowed him to reflect and accept her for who she is. He hopes that one day they can patch up the broken pieces, for now, he is looking straight ahead and is working on going global.