BRINGING LIFE TO A CLICK OF A PICTURE

Paul Mua, founder, MUA photography.
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By Brenda Wambui

Simply put, the role of a photographer is to adjust the aperture, shutter speeds and camera focus based on a combination of factors such lightening. Photography is complimented by the talent of a photographer in acknowledging the beauty in the field of photography. It portrays valuable pictures and mode of different colors being added to the talent of photography. When Paul started shooting he found his way around the camera, once he got to understand how a camera works and that’s what he enjoys most. Paul Mua went to Potter House Schools where he attained his International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGSE) system and later joined the United States International University-Africa (USIU). The 22-year-old studied journalism for the past four years although he took some breaks in between. He is in his final year and is set to graduate in September. Mr. Mua has however been involved in photography for a couple of years. He started doing it professionally when he was in his third year. Just like many photographers he started with taking family pictures. His career breakthrough was when he was assigned to work for the Embassy of Costa Rica. “I was excited and nervous at the same time but all went well, the standards expected were very high.” he recalls.

Mua had only one photography class in an entire program and that’s what helped him understand how a camera works. At first, he would post pictures with a caption on social networking instagram. However, most of his followers complained that the posts were too long. At this moment, he decided to start his own blog. “Whenever I have an experience and photos to share, i post and tell the story in my blog.” Mua explains.

His blog started doing well as he used to get feedback from people which encouraged him. “When you are running a blog, feedback is the most encouraging thing you need to keep you going” Mua points out. He shares his life experiences in the blog which is like his diary. “It’s like an autobiography but one that can help people go through experiences and that’s why I decided to use my life stories and other people as well” he adds though he has not commercialized it.

Photography is what puts food on his table. The name of the company is Mua Photography. He also shot photos for companies to market their product.

Journey

Back in high school it was compulsory to have a club and Mua found photography to be interesting as he loved the art since way back in high school. So when he decided to do t professionally, it became a struggle since he needed to trace some of his past work and make a portfolio. That was a challenge as by that time, he didn’t own a camera.

“I ended buying a memory card. I hire a camera, shoot and return the camera without my memory card and then go work on them.” Mua says. He now has one camera but since its basic, he plans to advance to a more complex one.

Camerawork

The role of a photographer is to create something out of nothing and in the process bringing life to a click of a picture.

As for Mua, he likes to tell stories using pictures which help him share his personal perspective to what he has experienced and learn from life. According to Mua, he is a staunch Christian and that drives him a lot in regards to his work and the events he covers. “Serving in church is one of the most fulfilling things because there you will find all kind of stories to tell. Whenever I am not working I play music instruments, something that i was taught by a church mate. 80% of the photos in my gallery are my projects.” He says.

Other photographers

With the digital age ushering in a greater need for visual content, photography has become a competitive and thriving business. Whether you are an aspiring photographer just starting out or a professional photographer looking to build your business, you need to keep pace with the rapidly changing trends and new technologies that keep evolving.

Thankfully, there are a ton of photography blogs out there which regularly publish resource articles, reviews and photo stories designed to do just that – to keep you informed and inspired with the latest in photography. The digital age has come with an advantage and disadvantage and cameras are creating better content. The problem however is they are creating better content for people who don’t understand what they are doing and they are able to do it.

“Personally even down to things not only photography I feel like a lot of industries have been attacked including the music industry, online platform people just post anything as long as they get an audience on it then they will do whatever it takes.” Laments Mua.

Trends in the industry

People have their own ways of editing and the way of seeing and sharing things. Some of the greatest photographers have different styles of taking photos and editing. This is partly because of the kind of equipment that they have and also the kind of perspective that the audience will have towards it once the final product is out.

Every photographer has their unique sense of style. A lot of Kenyans have gone into portraits. For instance according to Mua, 70% of his online work is portraits and a bit of landscape photos and that is a trend.

Apart from that the quality of the photos is getting better because the cameras keep getting updated and more complex.

Advice to aspiring photographers

Just because you can hold a camera does not mean you are a photographer but if it something you are passionate about, get to understand what goes into it. As a matter of fact, before Paul Mua got into a photography class, he thought taking photos was all about pointing and shooting.

However, he didn’t understand the theory part of it like the rule of thirds, depth of field and how to manipulate light and that’s what photography is all about. At the same time, editing is also important in terms of what exactly do you want the photo to communicate.

Taking two photos that might look the same but are communicating different messages really helps and gives you an edge as compared to blindly shooting without direction as you are bound to get frustrated.

Paul at a glance

He likes travelling

Loves football and Hanging out with friends

Favourite dish

Chapati

Role model

In terms of photography there, he looks up to Mutua Matheka.

Favourite car

He has driven German cars mostly Volkswagen and BMW but his favorite car is British Rolls Royce.

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