Cameraman clicking his way to the bank
Joe Kiragu was always passionate about photography but it wasn’t until two years ago that he took it seriously.
He uses photography to preach peace and engage in thought provoking projects. That is how he puts food on the table.
His company, Shutterville Studios in Lavington deals in photography, ranging from abstract to fashion, nature, nude, portraiture and advertising.
He started his business with a capital of Sh1.2 million mainly from his savings and a little help from parents. When he is not busy, you will find him shooting commercials for companies aside from attending to individual clients.
During busy days he can hire up to 12 people among them make-up artists, fashion stylists and assistants to lend a hand.
The self-taught photographer created the “Kidero Unchained” portrait that went viral after last year’s General Election.
His other works include the “Ballerina in Kibera” photo series in which he aims to show how slum dwellers have benefited from foreign aid.
“If in 30 years the lives of the people in the slums will not have changed, then that is an indication that they have not benefited from the billions of shillings sent for aid work, that is what ‘Ballerina in Kibera’ aims to portray,” he said.
The thought provoking work has earned him friends and foes in equal measure.
His greatest challenge is marketing. According to him, Kenyans prefer foreign artwork.
To market his works and boost sales, the winner of the Creative Photography Category of the Kenya Photography Awards 2013 plans to host bi-monthly exhibitions.
To begin with, he will host an exhibition featuring the “Ballerina in Kibera” series among others.
“I want to make Kenyans appreciate local artists and so the most expensive artwork will go for Sh15,000, which is affordable,” he said.