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PHOTOGRAPHER INTERVIEW- AMOS ONYANGO

Today we are joined by Amos Onyango, a photographer, an artist and a big part of the Picha team. 

Describe yourself in one word? 

Optimistic 

When you think of photography what comes to mind? 

Freedom of expression through art, photography is a means of me communicating my vision to the world. 

How did your journey into photography begin? 

 In 2017 a friend of mine had a camera, I was curious about it and luckily got the chance to try it out, from that moment on I was hooked. In early 2018 I met a photographer who was kind enough to lend me his camera and teach me the basics of photography from there I went on YouTube and began trying out different techniques. 

What genre of photography do you enjoy shooting and why

I enjoy shooting street photography, events and lifestyle, I am most drawn to these genres because I love shooting people while they are in their most natural state, especially when they aren’t aware of the photographer, people tend to be self-conscious once they notice a camera but when they are relaxed, I get the best images ever. 

When embarking on a shoot which gear do you use and why? 

I use both the Nikon d5200 and the canon Rebel t6 paired with a 70-200mm zoom lens. I personally prefer a zoom lens since it enables me to shoot subjects without intruding their space and mostly without them noticing my presence as a photographer which is perfect when capturing candid shots. 

As a creative how do you balance business and the art of creating images and how has PICHA Images helped you grow your craft? 

The photography workshops offered at Picha have enabled me to expand my creativity by learning how to shoot different genres which has pushed me out of my comfort zone this has been vital especially in pursuing personal projects. Through Picha I have grown a better understanding of the business aspect of photography and how to handle it better even though it has proven to be challenging most of the time. 

If your given a once in a lifetime chance to shoot with any photographer in the world. Who would you pick and why?   

Pete Souza, he is the White House photographer behind Barack Obama’s memorable photographs. His works of Obama evoke emotions and shows people a side of Obama that we often don’t get to see, his composition simple but speaks volumes 

Tell us the story behind your favorite picture?

I shot this in Kawangware, some children were out on the street dancing and having an absolute blast, I really couldn’t help myself so I quickly took out my camera and got a few shots, it was such a pure moment that has stuck with me up to date.  

How would you describe your photography style?  

Simple and real 

Which is the craziest destination in the world you would want to do a shoot and who or what would be your muse? 

Owing to my love for street photography I would love shoot night cityscapes in Hong Kong, the lights are so bright and vibrant the architecture so different from what we have in Kenya. 

What is (one of) the most eye-opening photo projects you’ve covered

I recently got the chance to shoot some product photography for Bata, which is something I haven’t done before, I learnt the importance of having a sharp eye for details since product photography is very specific.  

How do you deal with demanding clients or in cases where your vision and the client’s vision don’t marry? 

I think it’s important to listen to the client’s concern and try to offer a solution that favors both of us.  

Photography is quite the intimate art, and many people can get intimidated and exposed during a shoot. How do you ensure your subjects feel safe with you?

By striking a conversation and getting to know them more, this makes the subject feel at ease. I try and let the subject suggest their ideas and have them involved as much as possible during the planning of a shoot and during the shoot so that we are both able to get the best possible results. 

What advice would you give to someone starting out in photography?  

Equipment doesn’t matter, start with what you have and do it for the love of doing it not for money. Practice as much as you can and you will get there. 

If you were not a photographer what would you be? 

I’d probably be trying my luck in electrical engineering 

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