Evans Ouma: Raila Odinga’s Official Photographer Speaks On His Illustrious Career

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Evans Ouma: Raila Odinga’s Official Photographer Speaks On His Illustrious Career
Photography is often used to tell a story, capture precious moments in time and document them. In current times, almost everyone has a camera on their cell phone, and photos are taken all day, every day.
We are constantly seeing photographic images on our electronic devices, in print media, and advertising. This in itself is an art, with many photographers creating a niche for themselves through different muses and subjects.
The art of photography requires passion and dedication. Evans Ouma has an instinctive passion for photography and as he puts it, ‘raw photos’.

It is this passion that has opened many doors and expanded his illustrious career as the founder of Dims Studios. So good is his work, that he has served as an official photographer for the Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Kisumu Governor Peter Anyang Nyong’o, Homabay County Governor Gladys Wanga, and many other prominent personalities.

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In this interview with WoK, Ouma discusses his career, lessons and what it takes to be a good photographer and filmmaker.

Kindly introduce yourself and what you do

My name is Evans Ouma. I am a photographer and filmmaker.

Do you do anything else other than photography?

No. This is my full-time job.

For how long have you practiced photography?

I started photography a long time ago. Professionally I started about seven years ago. My interest for photography started from seeing pictures on Msafiri magazines that we used to have back home. I was amazed at how those images were captured

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How would you describe your style of photography?

I do a lot of documentary work. With this you are expected to capture authentic images that represent the reality of what you are capturing. I do studio portraiture too, this involves using artificial lights to achieve a certain look on photos. I mostly do what is known as corporate headshots or business portraits.

Speaking of documentaries, what are some of the most memorable projects you have done?

Some of the my most memorable documentaries was the one I did for Raila Odinga’s 2017 campaigns. I travelled a lot with him during the campaign period and was part of his entourage during international assignments. I have also worked with Discovery Channel, Siemens and other international media companies.

Sometime we did a campaign on violence against women and children for a certain organization. My job was to capture images that would draw attention and signify the plight of women and children. That is another very memorable project I have done.

As a photographer, describe a perfect picture

A perfect picture is open for interpretation by different people. For me, a perfect picture is one which tells a story, is well composed and well lit.

Which camera do you use?

Currently I use a 5D Mac 3 camera. It is a camera that is great for professional photos that has great lighting. This comes in handy especially when I want to capture delicate moments, as I do not have to interrupt my subjects with the flash lighting we see with other cameras.

 

What do like most about your job?

I like that my job is flexible and I am not restricted to a schedule. That way I have more time to focus on creativity and come up with new concepts and ideas.

How would you advice people to take it as a full-time career?

First of all I think as a photographer you need to understand what you are doing and the impact of that. Understanding your assignment and what impact it has on the public will help them to go towards the right direction.

Do you have anyone you look up to locally and internationally?

Locally I would say I admire Emmanuel Jambo’s work. I wanted to work with him at the beginning of my career as an assistant, but he had a long waiting list of people like me.

Internationally, I admire the work of Martin schoeller in terms of his portraits. I like how raw his images are.

You have worked with prominent people including the Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga. Talk to us about the experience.

Working with Raila Odinga was both an honor and a privilege for me. I got to learn a lot about him as a person during our trips within and outside the country. He is a very wise person with a good heart. Working with him definitely helped me to learn a lot from him both as a seasoned politician and as a noble human being.

What is your advice for budding photographers?

My advice is find your purpose and go full swing. Once you identify what inspires you and what you can do differently, you will be able to create a niche and work with that. Also take time with your craft. It takes a while to find your best angle and preferred style of photography. So, just give yourself time to learn the ropes and slowly but surely you will get there.

What is your ultimate career goal for you?

I am passionate about young people creating opportunities for themselves. I would like to create empowerment groups that employ young people and give them freedom to work and express themselves creatively.

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