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
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).
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?!
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.
The Travelling Accountant