Osborne Macharia – “I was scared yet challenged at the same time”
Osborne Macharia talks about his photography career in Kenya
This week Creative Chair is in Kenya with Osborne Macharia, a photographer and digital artist who has received acclaim for numerous projects, both commercial and personal.
We caught up with him to find out more about how he got into the industry and the story behind his fictional narrative work.
You can see a lot more of his work on his Behance portfolio.
You mention that you are a self-taught photographer. Can you tell us a little more about that journey from a novice to a professional?
I landed in photography after failing one unit in campus and having to repeat that particular unit. This meant that throughout that whole academic year I would only have one class. This left me with a lot of free time.
Somewhere at the beginning of that year, I came across the work of Photographer Joey Lawrence and his series in Ethiopia. That sparked a fire in me that shifted my focus from Architecture into photography and that has been my passion ever since. That was almost six years ago.
Your portfolio features a series of stories centred around fictional groups and characters. What inspired you to create projects such as these and do you have any more planned for the future?
It all started in 2015 when I had this idea of creating this group of distinct and gifted opticians within the Mau Mau (Kenya’s freedom fighters) who built special spectacles that they used to spot the enemy at night. Till that time, there was hardly any positive content about our freedom fighters. Its reception was beyond my expectation, and I decided to give Fictional Narrative a try.
It’s been an amazing and unexpected journey since that initial project.
What has been your favourite commercial projects and why?
I would say it has to be my first international shoot with Diageo back in 2013 called ‘Guinness Raise Your Game’. This was my first year shooting commercially and through a couple of personal projects I had shared online, I was contacted by an agency in London who were coming to shoot in Nairobi, and I got the gig. I was scared yet challenged at the same time.
The level of respect was overwhelming regardless of my experience or territory. One of the cast I got to shoot at that time was Paris-based football stuntman, Iya Traore.
Finally, if you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?
Lol…. I would go for Hugh Masekela’s Grazing in the Grass. I can’t explain why but that’s what I feel right now.