I met Boniface Mwangi in early 2013, after I had just moved to Pawa 254. I had made the move after figuring that working from there would give me exposure. To some extent Boniface Mwangi became that exposure. On meeting for the first time, we had an in-depth conversation on photography, the conversation saw me transition from a budding photographer looking for a base to a protege with a home in Pawa 254. I became one of Pawa 254’s 0fficial in house Photographer and in Boniface, I had found a friend.
In my new capacity at Pawa, I constantly photographed Boniface, from portraits to events, from personal to family portraits. The family portraits have been the most significant to me. In the three years I have known Boniface, he has become a friend and this has eased the bulk of work while photographing him. You see, I have done two family portrait shoots with Boniface. The first photo shoot saw me shoot his extended family. This was basically a call out to his family, like ‘Hey, we are going to take amazing photos of you, so throw on your Sunday best’.
I think it went pretty well, so much so that in December 2015 when Boniface was preparing to release a Christmas message, he decided it was time for another family photo shoot. Amazing photos help with the spread of holiday cheer, no? Yes. This is how the second shoot was birthed.
The first shoot had been in the studio, so it only made sense to shoot the second one outdoors. We settled on City Park as our location, but we still needed to check it out. 9am on Christmas eve found us at City Park scouting and that went pretty smoothly, actually not true, we got arrested when we got back to where we had parked the car but cleared up the misunderstanding in a few minutes. I was ready to shoot, Boniface went home and got his family and we were back at City Park at around 3p.m.
Boniface Mwangi is an award winning photographer, so shooting him and the family was a bit of a challenge. I questioned myself, would he like the quality of my work? Did my point of view make sense to him… basic questions that a protege hopes the mentor will approve. I like to think that he did approve.
The six spots we had scouted earlier in the day turned out to be pretty fine, the City Park monkeys were not too much of a distraction, well, until they stole the kids’ snacks which was pretty hilarious- though I doubt the kids think so- . Speaking of kids, I love kids so shooting Boniface Mwangi’s kids was exciting for me, even when one of them fell and had to be coerced into continuing with the photo shoot.
The photo shoot lasted for three hours and was followed by a rush to the office, (Pawa 254) for an editing session seeing as Christmas was the next day. Even with the crazy deadline, the outcome was pretty decent, don’t you think?
I had two on-location strobe lights which had power packs, the main light had a 40cm octabox and angled 65 degrees to the subjects from above two meters away from them, same to the back light which had no modifier and its power was one stop higher than the main light. I wanted a harsh catch light and harsh rim light on them so as I can separate them from the background.
I’m addicted to 80mm/85mm lens so it was my primary lens.