We had the opportunity to speak to the talented Jedidiah Njenga (Jedvialens), a 19-year-old photographer, who is based in Nairobi, Kenya.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A PHOTOGRAPHER?
I have been a photographer for almost 3 years.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BE A PHOTOGRAPHER?
I have always loved pictures ever since I was a young boy. I remember how I used to take a lot of photos with my phone and the experience really made me want to pursue photography professionally. Additionally, some of my peers at school were trying out photography and it really inspired me to develop more interest in the sector. During that time, I began watching Photography Tutorials on YouTube,I think the only thing I learned out of those tutorials was on “HOW TO HOLD A CAMERA PROFESSIONALLY”.
Immediately I finished high school, Joseph Njue, the Executive Director at Figure Studios, offered me an internship at her organization. During my stay there, professionals mentored and helped me to nature my talent and passion for photography. I also got exposure and established connections with other people including, Mark Ayabei (Cinematographer), Festolang (Photographer), MarkDenver Karubiu (Timelapse Photographer), Emmanuel Clench (Cinematographer, Video Editor & VFX Artist), Jonathan Makori (Photographer), who are key players in the Film & Photography industry. These mentors have been part of my journey & growth as a photographer.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR COLLECTION?
My main inspiration is that I love to capture people`s faces, emotions, beauty and lifestyle in the best way I can.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT YOU ENCOUNTERED IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY?
I would say that the creative industry, especially photography, is Very Competitive since there are so many photographers who are achieving amazing work. Therefore photographers have no other option than to be unique.
Also, as a content creator, similar to the phrase ‘Creative Juice` isn`t flowing’, there are times that one feels like their innovation is not as per the standards that they would want to attain.
DO YOU HAVE A BACKGROUND IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
When I was in primary school, my older brother used to have a Kodak Film Camera which he used while in school. Thus, whenever he would come back home for the holidays, I could always try to take some photos with it.
HOW DO YOU SELECT YOUR MODELS?
I usually come up with a concept or an idea, research on it, and then select a model that would really execute the idea the way I have pictured it in my mind.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR BEST PIECES?
It’s a bit hard to choose some of my best pieces. However, my current favorite pieces from my recent projects include Avan Garde which I achieved in collaboration with Louie Wahiu, the model and also came up with the concept, and Samuel Kinyagia who was the MUA.
Black is Golden which I achieved in collaboration with Yuanita Rita, who was the MUA, and Natasha Buteme and Daniel Ogada who were the models.
Flower Art Project which I achieved in collaboration with Yuanita Rita, the MUA, and Yule Burlefinger and Huliana Rabya as the Models.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST PROJECTS THAT YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN?
One of the biggest projects that I have been involved in was a Commercial project for MINISO Japan Thika Road Mall Store which I partook together with my colleagues at Figure Studios.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO IS JUST STARTING OUT THEIR JOURNEY IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
First and foremost, Put God first in all that you do.
Second, Patience is key in this journey. Take your time to learn everything about photography. Do not be in a rush as good things take time.
Also, don`t try to copy someone else’s work or do what they are doing. We are all gifted in different ways and it is good to appreciate who and the way you are. “CREATE YOUR OWN NICHE/STYLE.”
Never feel intimidated, but instead, be challenged to perform better.
You can reach him on his socials: