Personal: My Top 3 Resources as a Photography Student

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It is that time of the year again – back to school season.

My little ones went back this week and if you do not know already, I am still at University. I will be going back towards the end of this month to start the second and final year of my MA in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism.

I want to share with you my top 3 resources that have helped me in my journey as a photographer even before I became a student and now moving forward as I try to build my brand as a photographer beyond the confines of an institution. So here goes!

#1: Libraries 

The Library at the university campus is really well stocked with books, magazines, journals and media like CDs and DVDs. If I want to do any research for a project I am working on, that is the first place I would go to for the resources I require. When I am working towards a deadline, I would rather stay in the library to get my work done than at home. One good thing is that once the term progresses, the library is open 24hrs. This has really helped me avoid carrying books home and instead, I stay in the library until I get most of the work done by accessing any research material that I require off the shelves.

And, I will still have access even after I graduate as alumni.

For anything Africa related, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Library is a really good resource. At the moment I have access via SCONUL which is a scheme that gives students and academics the use of libraries at other universities other than their own.

If you are not a student, you can access several libraries across London to do your research. A few libraries that I can recommend for photographers are the British Library, The National Art Library located at The V&A and Stuart Hall Library as these libraries are much better resourced as compared to your local council library which is still a good place to start. All libraries are free to access, but you will have to check their websites for opening times and details of how to access some of their catalogue of resources.

#2: Museums / Galleries

Visiting museums and galleries is always a good idea. I find looking at historical and contemporary artwork a good way of stimulating my way of how I see things and visualise how I would do it if it was my project. I try as much as possible to see not only photography related work but also sculpture, paintings, installations etc. when I visit these places.

This year alone I have visited Somerset House during Photo London, V&A Museum of Childhood with my kids over summer, Tate Modern, British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, to name a few.

As the saying goes,

Variety is the spice of life.

Also, this is one way to exercise physically and mentally whilst at the same time try as much as possible to involve my kids.

#3: Websites and Social Media

This one is kind of an obvious one. Photographic websites and social media platforms are my go-to places for inspiration. When it comes to social media, Instagram is my preferred choice to see what others are doing in terms of their creativity and you can also engage with people if you like their work. It is a really nifty way of networking with other creatives from around the world.

With regards to websites, once I see or hear of a photographer I like, I go to their website to see more of their work. Most times you will find work they haven’t shared on their social media or you find they have even shared more details to particular a project.

Anyway, here are a few photography related websites for you to check out and be inspired:

Everyday Africa

American Suburb X

BJP (British Journal of Photography)

Lens Culture

Fotoroom

Women Photograph

And there you have it, my top 3 resources for photography as a student.

Do you have any websites that are photography related that I should check out? Please share by leaving a comment with a link.

#BacktoSchoolSeason

Personal: Selfie

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I Woke Up Like This Selfie (2019)

I am one of those photographers that does not like being in front of the camera but having said that I might as well get used to it seeing as I already have a YouTube channel.

Yes, you read that right, I do have a channel, but I haven’t uploaded a video for 9 months.

The more I watch myself, the more I see that I need to work on my presentation skills. I have never been so uncomfortable in front of the camera and continuing on this journey of putting myself out there will be a weird one.

Also, let me just go ahead and say that the reason I haven’t uploaded in months is that I was derailed by various events in the past few months, both good and bad. This made me lose my mojo to vlog, but I am slowly getting it back to it. I have this urge within me to share my journey as a mum and photographer and sometimes, a video works best.

I have a plan like I do with this blog, to hold myself accountable and post at least one video a week, but for now, I think I will start with one video every two weeks. I am yet to decide when to post. Perhaps every Friday like the blog post or Saturday, what do you think?

Photo Story will continue and my hope with this is to involve a few people as guests on my vlog. If this is something you would be willing to collaborate on, please leave a comment on this post. I would love to hear from you.

So, from September seeing as it’s a new year for school and all, I will be back on my channel with a new video.

Wish me luck as I conquer my fears one self-image and video at a time.

#BacktoSchoolMode

 

Personal: 10 Years Married

Designer Showcase at London Fashion Week 2013

On this day… (2013) – from my ‘Path to Khai’ project.

Earlier this week, on Monday, to be exact, I posted this RAW image (just realised I shared an unedited image – oops 😁🙈) of my marriage license, my ring and that of my husband on Instagram with the following caption:

Ten years ago today, hubby @robertngare1 and I got married in Kenya, but we have been together for longer than this.

I am not going to sugar coat it and say it has all been smooth sailing. Truth be told, no one ever prepares you for married life especially when you both come from being raised by single mums (who did a brilliant job by the way). We have gone through a rollercoaster of emotions and I can confirm from my own experience that the 7-year itch is real people. 😬😅

Being married to Robert has had its challenges and I know I haven’t made it easy for him too, but we are both here working on ourselves, TOGETHER. We have two beautiful children and amazing friends who support us when we need it. Oh and therapy too! That has helped tremendously.

Babes, as we celebrate 10 years legally together, I want to let you know that I LOVE YOU. Thank you for being there for us and our babies. Here is to more years together until we are both old and toothless!

HAPPY 10TH ANNIVERSARY BABES! 😘

When I took this image back in 2013 for a university project, I never envisioned myself using it to celebrate 10 years of marriage. Sometimes, we work on a project and once we know they are done, they are archived perhaps never to see the light of day. Yet, here we are.

Anyway, here is the blurb that goes with the project:

‘Path to Khai’ is a documentation of the birth of my firstborn son, Khai.

This project is my personal journey of love, marriage and parenthood.

Everybody has their own idea and experience of how to have a family.

This can be interpreted by the audience in different ways as long as they can identify with the final outcome of joy, heartache, despair and unconditional love.

In case you were wondering or are just curious, here is the series in full and in the order as they would appear if I was to exhibit them.

Rings
On this day… (2013)

Condoms and Lub
Personal Protection and Lubricant (2013)

Tampons
Missed Period (2013)

Pregnancy Kit
Pee on a Stick (2013)

Diapers
It’s a Boy! (2013)

Prints from this series are available for purchase (except for the marriage certificate one) – contact me here for details.

#Another10YearAnniversary

Travel: Take Me Back to the Beach

This photograph was taken by my sister-in-law at Niechorze Beach when I visited her, my brother and nephew in Poland back in 2017.

It just reminds me of my love for travelling and experiencing new people and places. I really cannot wait to embark on more travel adventures, be it alone or with my family.

I believe travelling is the one true way to learn about yourself and others. One true way to appreciate life and the abundance of opportunities it has to offer. One true way to just be YOU & FREE!

Travelling for me is my happy place.

#Wanderlust

IT’S OFFICIAL…

…I am a PHOTOGRAPHER!

Not that I wasn’t before, but it will all make sense shortly.

Ok…let me explain, I have been really caught up with events and my attention to this blog has slacked big time. I have a very good excuse though and I hope you will all forgive me.

Well, since my last blog post, I have gone and graduated, with honours, from University. I even did a whole vlog about it and in case you missed it…here it is:

So, I am forgiven, right?

I have been busy preparing for life after university and adulting, that this blog had to take a back burner for a while. I am back though and I will try as much as possible to keep you lot updated.

So yeah, my graduation happened and as a present to myself, I went away (without the kids) to visit my family in Poland (vlog on this coming soon). It was a much-deserved break after slogging away in Uni for the better part of 5 years. I am now back and ready to hustle.

Going to university was not a decision I made lightly especially when trying to be a wife and mother, it can get really tough. How I managed to get through it all, only God knows, as I was on the verge of quitting a few times. I wrote about joining here and the lessons I learnt here.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

So there you have it, folks, I am now officially a Photographer and it’s on paper. I am super proud of myself for seeing this part of my journey through despite the ups and downs.

Here is to life after uni! 🍻

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#IAmAGraduatewithHonours