Name: Marie Ainomugisha
Occupations: Photographer, Blogger, Contributor and Digital Influencer
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Creative Lifecycle & Bio
According to the creative lifecycle we were shown in class I find myself drawn towards the public recognition phase and I think I’ve sat there for about a year now. My photography path dates back to 2015 when I asked my mother for a camera as a Christmas gift instead of a new iPhone which I badly needed after holding onto my old Sony for around 3 years. My mother questioned this choice since all I had done was complain about my old phone each time we spoke. She agreed to buy me a camera and I chose the Sony A6000 because of its great specs and portability.
I went to Ngong hills with a few friends to shot-test my camera but the images were not to my liking. I decided to research a lot more on the camera functions, lenses and master Lightroom as my editing app. Thankfully, I was already part of the instagrammers community at the time and I had talented friends to learn from at instameets so it was almost a breeze practicing and perfecting my craft. I started taking self-portraits at the laundry bay in my building’s rooftop and with time my friends and followers started asking to model for me. It was a fun time of finding voice and creating beautiful portraits while learning aspects of lighting and location.
I love to collaborate and I never turned down any chance to do so when asked by fellow photographers on Instagram. I remember being called to shoot with Gareth Pon (@garethpon) at KICC in 2016 with a few greats like Mutua Matheka (@truthslinger), Samir Dave (@samdave69), Sarah Waiswa (@lafrohemien) etc. by my friend Neema (@thebongolese). It was inspiring talking to someone so great in the industry and learning tips to progress in my field of work. He encouraged me to blog more since at the time I was very dormant on SOAFRICANE.COM.
After a few months of planning, I worked with stylist Brian Msafiri (@brianmsafiri) on my very first fashion photography project. This opened doors for me and I was invited to the Creative Nations summit at DusitD2 in November 2016.
Taking advice from Gareth Pon, I advanced with my content creation on the blog and posted a lot more recipes, restaurant reviews, travel blogposts, and natural hair content. I gained lots of subscribers and managed to score a few sponsors for an East African giveaway in December 2016.
I bought more photography gear as well as a dynamic website theme that portrays all I stand for on one page. I also got the opportunity to write sponsored content for international travel magazines such as Irinajo, OnSheGoes and TasteMakers Africa in 2017. I’ve focused more on digital influencing and content creation in 2017 than on fashion photography but I hope to find a great balance like one of my role models, Lyra Aoko (@lyraoko).
My vision is to produce beautiful photos and riveting online content that resonates with African youth and contributes to the African identity and story.
My mission is to create beautiful fashion, travel and documentary photos and videos from around Africa that showcase our true identity and story as told by one of us.
It’s also my mission to host SOAFRICANE.COM as a content engagement platform with contributors and content creators like myself from across the African continent.
• Indulging in more collaborative work with fashion designers, bloggers of all spheres, visual artists, fellow photographers and other creatives in my cohort.
• Expanding on my travel scope, as well as shooting more travel and documentary content from places I visit.
• Turning SOAFRICANE.COM into an African youth content contributors’ platform on lifestyle, fashion, travel, current affairs etc. as well as starting a podcast and video channel on the platform’s creative content.