BY EVE CHEGE & TRACY KOKI
A fashion photographer will tell you that only the interaction between the model and the photographer is truly spontaneous. (The stylists tweaking in the background have their inspired moments). Otherwise a shoot is managed like a scripted play with story lines, props, a cast of assistants, hair and makeup stylists, creative directors and the under-appreciated logistics person who coordinates them all.
Indeed with his life mantra personally quoted on his Behance profile, “Fascinated by lights and lenses, I like to live my life behind the camera” – Kenyan photographer Andrew Mageto who is also Director of Photography and Cinematographer at Motion Image & Sound Ltd. is already a force to reckon with as an established industry photographer.
In mastery and perfection to his skill, it’s no doubt Andrew Mageto is a fine tuned professional at what he does. His photos were recently featured in the Zen Magazine cover and fashion spreads that featured music sensation Karun & lately, in light of the amazing photography, at his latest shoot brought to you by a powerful yet creative cast of Magiq Lens Kenya, Migwa Nthigah, Lorna Mutegi, Soraya Mugambi and Odupoy Charity Namnyakova featuring renown model, Deliah Ipupa, winner of the Nivea Cover Model Competition.
As Deliah Ipupa highlights an edgy bold yet fashionable stride into 2014 regarding her modeling ‘pichabook’ that’s continuously glossing top magazines and ads, all appreciation is showered upon photographer Andrew Mageto who has developed, sharpened and eventually mastered his passion and art as well into elaborating what rich African beauty is made of world over and beyond.
“The Kenyan fashion photography industry is a young but growing industry as well. Designers and other players are slowly realizing the great value professional photography can add to their products. There are lots more upcoming and emergent photographers such as Andrew Mageto, Thomson Ncube, Zafarani Mansurali just to name but a few who are highlighting beautiful yet creative strides into fashion photography whilst quickly making brand names for themselves in the local scenes too – which is great because it is forcing us to become more creative,” says Thandiwe EliChep, a creative digital designer and proprietor, Seruya Designs.
“The country has warmed up to photography as a profession and more young people are jumping on board to try it out as a career. We also have more shows and this has created more awareness in the Kenyan and regional market and also new magazines featuring local designers are on the rise. Blogging and social media sites necessitate need for visual content for fashion articles,” says Thomson Ncube of Thomson Photography who started his career at the end of a runway.
“The photographer is most important in any fashion industry. He/she is the key to the publicity of designers’ outfits. Professionally taken pictures show textures of the outfits, creativity and the real intention of the designer. Photographers also play a big role in establishing models’ talents. Photo portfolios help advert companies choose a certain model,” adds Thandiwe EliChep.
“To succeed as fashion photographer, one needs not only passion but a good understanding of lighting thus photographers need training and good equipment. One’s artistic vision is what is most important. It is what will make your work stand out from the crowd. Vision can’t be taught but technique can. Over time your technique will improve,” adds Thomson Ncube.