MUSINGS, NOTES, PERSONAL NOTES

JARED GICHOHI MAINA INTERVIEW

jared
Photographer JARED GICHOHI MAINA

1.You were nominated in 2 entries in the 2015 Canon Photography Awards.The Most Promising Young Photographer and Creative Category.You went ahead to take the First Runners Up position in both the 2015 and  2016 edition of the Awards.What did it mean to you?

Correction: I was the second runner up (Honorable Mention) for the two categories in 2015. In the 2016 awards, I was nominated only in the Creative category and got first runners up

It was a remarkable achievement for me quite early in my photography journey. I was, and still am, grateful to God for enabling me get this recognition. I was happy

2.You were also nominated for the 2016 Kenya Photography Awards 2016 Creative Category.The continued recognition of your craft by way of nominations for awards must really boost your profile from a business perspective.Right?

I could say yes. I have managed to strengthen my networks and this has helped me grow in skill. This in some way translates to more opportunities for work. But since I was in school then, my chances of business weren’t as huge.

3.You have a heavy cyberspace presence for your photography work both on social media and the internet.Your work is on Facebook,Twitter, Instagram,aphy.com,vospine.com,wordpress.com,behance.net,500px.com,pinterest.com,gallery.wacom.com and also on guest blogs.Why the heavy presence and what is your strategy?

The internet is such an incredible tool. As people increasingly get into social platforms, the internet provides and effective yet affordable means of showcasing my work. The wider I cast my nets the greater the chances of catching an opportunity to reach more people. Furthermore you just never know who’s watching.

4.Did you always want to be a photographer?Was it a childhood ambition?

No. My childhood dream was to be a doctor – a dream I held on till I joined college. However I have always been intrigued by photography. My dad who was a photographer in his earlier days heavily influenced this.

5.2017 is an election year.The political and electoral processes as we head to the August 8 polls will be documented.Any chances you will pick up projects on this?

I pray that this year’s elections will be peaceful and that there won’t be anything beyond the normal to cover. I will however try to document the proceedings from my hometown as a personal project.

6.Which photographers,locally and internationally do you look upto or whose craft awes you?

Locally I admire work by many excellent photographers including but not limited to Osborne Macaharia, ThandiweMuriu, MutuaMatheka, Paul Obuna and MwangiKirubi. Internationally, I am inspired by work by Joey Lawrence, David Lloyd, Pete Souza and Jeremy Cowart.

7.Burk Uzzle,an American documentary photographer suggests that photography represents the present.Past works according to him,need not be revisited.Do you ever use some of your past (present?) work or go through some of your past work?

I intend to do so. I feel I haven’t yet done so much yet to warrant a revisit but I already have ideas of how I can redo at least one previous work.

8.When you are not Jared the Photographer,what do you do?How do you unwind?What are you favorite pastimes?

I am still a photographer even as I unwind. Photography, especially that of nature, helps me relax. I watch movies and play football in my free time too.

9.What measures do you take to improve on your photography skills?

I am constantly trying to learn new skills while finessing the few I already know. This involves watching online tutorials, reading books on photography, shadowing experienced photographers and shooting as much as I can.

10.We all admire the art of photojournalist  PeterL.Souza  who has been President Obama’s official White House photographer.His photographic technique has illuminated the Obamas in more ways that we can imagine.What are your thoughts?Can we see the same in the Kenyan First Family?

His work is world-class. I cannot describe it adequately in words. He captures moments that would have gone undocumented and conveys volumes through his pictures. A great deal of Obama’s legacy will forever be etched on our minds due to his work. The same could be seen in Kenya only if the president hires a fulltime photographer who gets to work with the first family closely. Remember Pete Souza started working with Obama even before his presidency. It takes a great deal of trust to achieve what Pete has managed.

11.Freelance Photography has encroached the trade.Smart devices with equally good quality cameras are also at the disposal of everyone.Is it now tougher for veteran and  professional photographers and photojournalists to thrive?

Yes and No. Yes in that, everyone with a camera is competition. If you aren’t near a location of an event, someone else with a smart device will be ahead of you no matter how sophisticated a tool you use. However, for veteran photographers this shouldn’t be a problem. Years of experience in the field cannot go down the drain just because of smart devices. Also, it’s not the device that takes the photo. A good photographer is good no matter what.

12.What is that piece of technology in photography that you find most interesting?

Cameras themselves. These machines keep getting better every year in terms of light sensitivity, smart features and image quality among other factors.

13.What would you tell aspiring photographers?

You can do anything through Christ who gives you strength. If you want to pursue photography, set your mind to it and work hard at whatever lever you are. Keep practicing and keep learning.

14.Your parting shot?

‘’Blessed is the man who has come to know that, our muted thoughts, are our sweetest thoughts.’’ Stuart Austin Wier

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