LETTER TO A PHOTOGRAPHER

The journey ahead
The journey ahead

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“Pain is temporary; it may last for a minute, an hour, a day or even a year but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit however it will last forever.”

Dear photographer,

Today you will haul yourself out of bed at about 8 a.m. you will pull your camera from its charger and you will pack it in its bag. You will trudge a dusty road on your way to the stage where you will get into a matatu with loud gospel music. It has one of those stickers written, God bless the work of my hands. You are already sweating albeit the deo that you slapped on a few minutes before. (Mike Laria, do you see how we use the word albeit?)

When you get off you will walk around looking up and the beauty of the city will amaze you. How the skyscrapers blend in with the sky, the pattern of the clouds, magic. You take out your camera and you will begin to click away amid stares from all over. This would make you uneasy but your earphones are plugged in and you’re listening to something from J Cole because his music puts you in your element.

If they look at the direction in which you point your lens they will ask why, because they don’t see what you see, they don’t understand and yet you can’t give that question an answer that’s 100% because it is all mysterious art to you and you are deeply in love.

Photographer you will see a great piece of architecture and you can’t resist wanting to know how it would look in your screen. Just as you are pressing the capture button, the guard of the building will stop you and he will want to know why you are taking pictures of ‘his’ building. His name is Titus. Titus asks you if you are Al-Shabaab. “Yes I am, we’re planning to blow up your building.’’ You tell him it’s a school project and he says it is ok but warns you not to capture his face. Oh Titus, I have nothing to do with your face. But there are days you will almost get arrested and you will give up your lunch money.

You will bump into one or two old friends, maybe even-God forbid- an ex who didn’t really share in your enthusiasm about your craft. They are doing some fancy course like aviation or something because they were better than you in Math and they look like they are moving up in the world. At this point you feel like you’ve been kicked in the teeth, you are sweating, your mouth is dry, and you are hungry you could eat a horse. You will lie and say you got a contract with some big company because really you feel ashamed you haven’t done anything substantial with your life as compared to them. Yes, doing accounts is quite the achievement.

Photographer, these things will happen to you for a long time and it will get to a point you will question the worth of it all. You will wait patiently for your big break but for now you have to do your time. The struggle continues. Don’t quit. Just a little bit longer now, you will get there.

Merc

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11 thoughts on “LETTER TO A PHOTOGRAPHER

  1. Like I said before over and over again, this are words that you should chant to yourself any time you see the light dimming in that tunnel…….

    You’re really good, and I’m not just saying that because we share some blood somehow… Naahhh!!!!!

    👏👏👏👏👏👏 kabla niandike speech, lemme stop there

    Liked by 1 person

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