A few months ago we ran a photography contest on our site; we asked our clients, visitors and fans to nominate their favorite photographer. Isaiah Maghanga of i6 Photography and Creatives got the bulk of the votes. Curiosity got the best of us, so we sat down for a one-on-one chat with the God fearing and humble budding photographer to find out what makes him tick. Here is what he had to say:
Who is Isaiah Maghanga in a nutshell
Isaiah Maghanga is a Husband, Father, Son to the most High, friend to many, a world-changer through Art.
Could you briefly describe your venture
I am in the creative business. My work is to use the gift of Art to create wow-factor images minus any box.
Please tell us how and when your company started its operations and where are you based
i6 began in 2011 simply running from the comfort of my home. I of course began alone but with time I’ve grown to have an assistant, 2 stylists that I work with, a make-up artist and a number of trainees I mentor.
Your business name “i6 photography and Creatives” is quite unique; could you please tell us how you came up with the name
I am a Christian so when I was starting, I asked God for a name for my business and He took me to a verse in the Bible (Isaiah 6:1-2) It says, “….when king Uzziah dies, Isaiah saw The Lord…..” God was telling me that this is a calling He’s getting me into. I am not just going to take pictures or create images because I can or I love it but because He intends to use my skill to heal people, put smiles on people’s faces, give them hope, show them how beautiful and able they are. So He said, my getting into the business is going to demote all manner of mediocrity that’s there. That’s how the name came. So i6 is “I” from Isaiah and “6” is the chapter. Every time that name is mentioned it reminds me of the assignment so that I don’t lose track and start doing my own things. Creatives basically stands for what the business does, Creates.
How would you describe your style?
When I started I was more intoxicated in a style called Strobist which in simple terms can be described as off-camera flash photography. But in the 4 years I’ve been experimenting a lot with so much and my style has changed a bit. I still do strobist but then I have my own personal Post-Edgy feel that I include in my post-production process to give my images my own identity and look.
Could you briefly describe your business process?
I get a call from a client, they say what they want, we send them a quote then organize for a meeting or just keep it on mail, we discuss the project, depending on what it is, whether a wedding or commercial, or a product shoot, if they are satisfied we sign a contract as we set a date, time and location for the shoot. After the shoot the next thing is the editing and once done the work gets delivered to the client according to what was agreed.
How many weddings do you cover per year?
I have never thought about that. Sincerely it doesn’t really matter a lot how many weddings I cover in a year. What matters to me is am I growing and am I satisfying my clients!
Are you a specialist in any particular field of photography or do you engage in all forms of photography?
I am a Commercial/Editorial/Fashion/Wedding Photographer. That’s what I mainly do.
Is photography something you studied for or do you do it out of passion?
I am a self-taught Photographer. I dint go to any school or seat in any photography class. I took knowledge from a few people who had already gone ahead of me and learnt a lot online. And yes, passion is a big part of it.
What drives your passion for photography?
I am driven by the fact that I am on an assignment to make the world a better place through my images. Make a sad kid smile again or a hopeless man hopeful. Aside that, I am naturally an artist so I burn with a desire to create something unique and good-looking everyday.
What type of cameras do you shoot with? Any particular preference?
Since I began I have been shooting with a Canon and that’s because its what I was introduced to when I began but with time I have learnt a lot about different kinds of gear and what they do. So for the last maybe 6 months or so, I have been operating between my DSLR and a medium format Phase One 645DF.
If you were to choose just one lens which one would it be, and why?
I would go for the 50mm f/1.2 for the Canon and the 110mm LS f/2.8 for the Phase One. Simply because the 50mm is an excellent lens in giving great quality and perfect detail and I loooooove details. Crispy details. And the 110mm is the best suited lens for portraits aside also delivering out of this world quality.
What are some of the accessories that you never leave behind when shooting, other than your cameras?
A minimum of 3 wireless transmitters, at least 3 flash strobes, rechargeable batteries, manfrotto stands, Westcott modifiers.
What is your most important photo-editing accessory/software?
Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Camera Raw. And recently the Capture One Pro.
How important is Photoshop in your final images?
Very important. It gives me exactly what I want and a number of times surpasses my imagination in what it can do.
Why do you think clients who have ever worked with you love you so much? What is so unique about your service?
Well. I am not so sure if they love me so much but what I try to do is I try relate with my clients beyond the business perspective. I like to know a bit about my clients so that its easy for them to be comfortable around me when we are shooting. I try to put a balance between Isaiah the Photographer and Isaiah the normal human being like everyone else. And that works because some of my very good friends today were/are still my clients. We met on a client-service provider platform and the relationship grew.
How do your clients find you?
Word of mouth referrals, being introduced by other clients and friends, online platforms……
How quickly do your clients get to see the final images?
It depends on the scope of work that is there. But I try not to keep them waiting for so long. My images take time because I like to take my time to critically work on them but I make sure that I don’t over-stay with the work.
What are the challenges of being photographer in Kenya? How did you overcome the challenges to emerge top?
The market is still growing so people are taking their sweet time to really understand why they should pay for Photography services while they think they can take photos with their phones. But it’s an art, it’s not just taking photos, it’s how you do it that makes a difference. I haven’t emerged top yet and again that’s in the list of my concerns. My main aim really is to be as unique as possible in what I do. Let someone come to me because they love what I do and are interested in it and not because my images look like someone else’s.
Do you cover destination weddings?Do you travel a lot in that regard?
I do cover destination weddings. Though so far I haven’t really traveled so much because of weddings.
What was your best moment as a photographer so far?
That’s very hard to answer because I have been blessed to enjoy like three quarters of the time I have held the camera in my hands.
What piece of equipment are you planning to buy next, and why?
Definitely the Phase One 645DF+. It’s a magical piece of gear. I am trying to be brief because if I start giving reasons why I might take a day.
How does the future look like for you?
More than bright, I need to get shades to see it clearly.
Any advice for upcoming photographers?
Work on your craft. There are no short-cuts. I still do lots of personal projects as a way of practicing and I am constantly on the internet trying to learn new tricks. Be patient, anything big takes times to build. Be good to people. Most important, PRAY, it works.
Could you please share with us some of the most awesome images you have captured in the course of your career?