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As some of you may know, I am currently studying for my Masters in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism. Last year for one of my modules, Writing Photography, we did writing exercises and I am going to share with you one of them.
A Photograph That Only Exists in My Memory – The One That Got Away
It is 2009 and I am meeting a friend in the centre of Nairobi. I haven’t been in the country for almost a decade. As I stood outside City Hall, I remembered the number of street photographers that were always around to take a picture of you right outside Kenyatta International Conference Center. Always fighting for you to pick any one of them to take your picture outside this iconic building. One of the few around the city that allow photography from locals and tourists alike. Also, if you liked his style, you would be back for more photographs around the city in places like Uhuru Park.
Digital photography it seems came and changed all of that, coupled with the harassment from council officials. The city has certainly moved on since I have been away. The street photographers are no longer there and if they were, they certainly were not visible.
It got me thinking, what is stopping me from taking a picture of my friend outside KICC? After all, as shady as it seems, such photographs have a sense of history and nostalgia in them. So I kept waiting for him to show up and as soon as he did, we immediately headed in the opposite direction looking for a place to eat and catch up.
Days later, I was on a plane back to England.