Happy World Photography Day!
So we have never really shared our story- our photography journey –it’s not that easy when the team consists of a couple of introverts. It’s about time though that we share abit more about who we are and our story. So surprise, surprise we are a husband and wife team(we also work with a bigger team when needed). We have worked together since our campus days, lol! We definitely enjoy working together and yes couples can work together.
It’s been 5 years since we bought our first camera! Here’s how it went down.
2015 -The beginning
We bought our first camera in 2015 – a Nikon D5200. I had always wanted a camera. So on a random Sunday we decided we should get one. We went to town, I think it was Sky mall. We got a guy and agreed with him that he can deliver the camera to my place of work the next day. He brought it, I paid and the rest is history. We were so excited!!
We were both still working at our former jobs at the time. For me, photography was a hobby and I didn’t want to elevate it beyond that in case I started to hate it. Meanwhile we started shooting here and there and took horrid photos. Eric left his job in 2015 to start Alama Creative. He also explored product photography and portrait photography and started getting really good at it. In fact, he was runner up at the 2016 Masterpiece photography awards by PAK in the product photography category.
2016 -Growing wings
In 2016, I decided I wanted to take photography more seriously. We shot a project that showcased the pain some women go through because of different conditions like endometriosis. Eric was the one behind the camera, I directed the vision that I had for the shoot and brought the different resources together. I was still searching for what I wanted to shoot then it hit me, I love food! So it was decided and I started working on personal projects from around August.
Let me backtrack a bit, I used to assist Eric with his portrait sessions. So one day as we were shooting some of our friends – we were just getting to know each other at the time. I discovered that one of the ladies we were shooting had a love for food! We agreed we can collabo together and so we started! It was great, we would shoot over the weekend as I was still working and she would do the styling. She was really good at it and she would do stuff I wasn’t thinking about! She is Ciru Matathia, you can check her out. We did quite a number of shoots together, it was a great learning experience for us. Eventually though we both got so busy at our respective jobs that coordinating shoots became quite hard.
Eric at this time was already watching loads of Karl Taylor tutorial and practicing quite a bit. Remember, this is the year he was runner up in the photography awards. The jobs started trickling in, especially portrait jobs.
2017 – Confidence boost
A few jobs continued coming in, more of portrait sessions. I could only assist over the weekends as I was still working. This is also the year Eric did his first product job, it was intense, there were a lot of lessons to be learnt because weuh! Eric loved portrait work but not the kind he was getting, he wanted more creative shots. Portraiture became a bit frustrating so he focused all his effort on product photography.
BTW, all the photography jobs were being done under Alama Creative. Eric was running this while he was still doing branding and web design work. At this time, he was hotter than a lava stone in matters concerning beverage photography (alikuwa ameiva mbaya!)
I was still doing personal food photography shoots. This was also the year we got our first food photography gig at Brown’s Cheese! It was a full day shoot and so tiring but it was sooo awesome! Plus we got to eat a lot of cheese! Their cheese is just the best!
2017 is also the year that Kapu Digital started. Kapu Digital is a collective of various businesses with different focus points. Alama Creative joined the collective.
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2018 – Somewhat a blur
I was still working. At the beginning of the year, we decided I could leave work by December as we prepared for it. The plan was that I could get into photography full time. That year, work became so crazy for me, I was constantly tired and could hardly shoot. It reached a point over the weekends I could only recover my strength to continue working the following week.
Still, I managed a few shoots here and there. We collabo-d with a creative from my office to do a photography/ stop motion shoot that I totally loved and learned a lot from. I loved the fact that photography gave me the ability to express myself artistically in a way I hadn’t been able to do so before.
2019 – Taking Off
Shot by Alama was born! We had already decided the photography business should run independently from the design side. We worked on our portfolio and Eric built our website which we launched at the end of January. I loved my new life! I became the lead for our photography business while Eric is the lead for the design business.
Work was slow in the first few months but eventually the jobs started coming in and it was so wonderful! I didn’t mind the work even when it was really tiring. Eric was really instrumental as he had already “experienced” business for 4 years.
Also, at this time, I knew I had to improve my product photography skills since I was running a product photography business. So I practiced and polished so I could find my confidence in product photography. I’m still improving my skills till today and I’m proud of how far I’ve come.
At the same time, I was feeling a bit lost regarding food photography. I was searching for myself and trying different things. 2018 had really thrown me off balance and I thought since I had more time, I would continue shooting as I had done before. Things just didn’t feel right. Eventually, I started getting in the groove but that was much later in the year.
2020 – Brutal
The year started very slow for us then corona hit. It’s been a difficult year for us but we are trusting we will pull through. We are learning that a business requires grit to get through those tough times. We are continuing to learn, that won’t stop. Hoping this cloud will clear and that we will continue great work. We are also hoping we will be able to share our new skills real soon with you guys.
Eric has continued to work on Alama and worked on some really cool branding jobs. He’s also been upping his game and now also does UI/UX and prototyping! So we are a team that is working with other team members in development and design. We are grateful for the far we have come and looking forward to our next 5, Majaliwa.