Michael Awiti is a Nairobi-based photographer and the founder of Eyeball Studios.
In an interview with KTN, the photographer said he set up his business in 2016 after quitting his job at a firm based in Mombasa.
Awiti ventured into photography after acquiring a Ksh 30,000 second-hand camera with the help of his sister.
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Here is his story as told by WoK.
Awiti started his photography studio after quitting her job at a Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) firm in Mombasa.
He worked at the firm for a year before quitting to follow his passion, although setting up a studio was not a walk in the park.
“I quit because I wanted to follow my passion. It was quite a hard journey because I couldn’t afford a camera but I managed to raise Ksh 30,000 and bought a second hand camera with the help of my sister,” Awiti said.
Awiti explained that he quit his job becais he didn’t enjoy putting on uniforms, adding that he always wanted to be in the fashion industry.
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“From the outfits, I don’t like wearing ties, suits and uniforms and where I was working we had to put on uniforms, those are the things that were making me not enjoy my job
“Another thing is that I always want to be in the fashion industry, it’s something that I really wanted. Going to KRA was because of my parents,” he said.
He went ahead to reveal how his dad reacted to hia decision to quit his job.
“They weren’t for it. When I got into photography professionally, my dad started seeing the kind of people that I was interacting with and he was impressed,” Awiti said.
Starting off was not easy because he had no enough savings to have his own shop and buy the required equipments.
“The first location I had was in Embakasi; it was a movie shop where my friend had allowed me to put a blue backdrop where I’d do passport photos. Once in a while we could go to campuses for graduations,” Awiti said.
Awiti also went into collaborations with local celebrities and did free shoots in a bid to push his brand name.
“I did for a while and worked with so many influencers to push my brand name. It was both positive and negative but I had the urge to go for what I wanted,” he explained.
Awiti has majored on portraits and he has worked with among others Rue Baby, Betty Kyallo, Sarah Hassan, Wafula Chebukati, DJ Pierra Makena and Tanasha Donna.
“Photography is work, I wake up every morning to come to work, it’s just like any other job you can do. It only need seriousness, if you don’t take it that serious you won’t see any achievement in it,” he explained.
Awiti also mentioned challenges that he has encountered in his line of duty which includes dealing with ignorant clients.
Other challenges include working seven days a week without off-days and traveling a lot.
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