Brief us, who is Wanga?

Chris Wanga is a simple guy who strongly believes in JESUS and the help of the HOLY SPIRIT in everything that he does. Those who know me say am caring, loving, I am a down to earth man, Very inquisitive, peaceful, have a soft spot for GOD and humanity. Am a proud daddy to one lovely, beautiful, awesome, bright princess called Kayla.

How did you become a photographer?

Hehe…Am out of Campus with all the zeal and energy full of hopes that i might secure a job immediately and be an independent citizen. One year gone, no IT job, as that’s what I studied at the prestigious Makerere University in Kampala-Uganda.

During those quiet alone moments I remembered a time in campus at one of the many recreational parties at the beach in Entebe, a guy came and took some photos of us and printed them, there and then. Without any shadow of a doubt I knew I would replicate this here. How, I didn’t know. I shared the idea with a friend, raised some money from the referendum job I had secured as a Presiding officer, went to Kampala, bought the Canon Selphy portable printer at Ksh 30,000 and borrowed my sister’s Sony cyber shot digital camera (Which I am yet to pay back, because it got damaged from Eric Omondi’s Rambo shoot……..hehehe).Here is where my photography journey took off.

I knew all the graduation dates for all Education Institutions in Nairobi and Nakuru. You wouldn’t miss me at either Nyayo stadium, Uhuru Park or Central Park during holidays shooting with the slogan “Picha Pap Pesa Pap” hehehe. It was during one of the graduation ceremonies that I met two great guys that turned out to be my mentors, Mr. Kiarie Nguyo (now Eric Omondi’s manager) and Mr. Kiama (Great Cinematographer of our time).I used a DSLR camera Canon 5D Mark ii for the first time courtesy of them and under their guidance. Then I met some other great buddies that I will forever be indebted to, they believed in me and we raised some thousands of shillings and purchased a Canon DSLR camera with its kit lens and this is when PICHA ZA WANGA was rolled out. Something small about the name, Because of my love for ‘Swahili ‘and the Kenyan ‘Shengspear’ Dictionary, I went for ‘ Picha za Wanga ’ instead of ‘ Wanga Photography ’ 

What kind of a photographer are you?

For now Picha za Wanga does all genres of photography apart from “Dudu” macro photography.

Wanga? Define the meaning of a picture and a photograph?

A Picture is an image of something or someone formed on a surface (either by drawing, painting, printing, or photography) While A photograph or a photo is an image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic medium such as a CCD or a CMOS chip. Most photographs are created using a camera, which uses a lens to focus the scene’s  visible wavelengths of light into a reproduction of what the human eye would see.

The process and practice of creating photographs is called photography.

The word “photography” was coined in 1839 by Sir John Herschel and is based on the Greek (phos), meaning “Light” and (graphê) meaning “Drawing & Writing” together meaning “Drawing with light”.

Who inspires you?

My Inspiration comes from The HOLY SPIRIT of GOD and GOD Who is THE GREATEST ARTIST that existed and will forever exist. Am inspired by many other amazing photographers whom I follow their work and have a heart for humanity as our Slogan “Art with a heart”.

 Describe a typical day in the life of Chris Wanga?

In a normal day without any shoot I start my day by having a good time with my CREATOR with the help of the HOLY SPIRIT kama kawa, do some work outs (health is wealth), do edits from previous shoots,research, read and learn new things in regards to photography and practice them.Monday is always my day off to just rest, let the body have some rejuvenation and plan my week.

For how long have you been a photographer?

It’s now three educative years since I decided to follow this passion.

What is your BEST photography tip?

Practice, Practice, Practice.

 Brief us about the biggest lesson that you have learned, along the way since you have been a photographer?

Separate business from the art/Passion. Draw a line and Always make things clear with your clients from the word go. The photography business ain’t cheap at all.

Tell us what was the scariest moment you experienced as a photographer?

First was when the camera failed to power on and the moment to be captured was right there. Second was getting home with the footage ready to back up only for the card to give me an error message!!!!!!!!!!!!

What kind of equipment do you use now, and what did you start with?

I started with a Sony Cyber shot digital camera and a canon Selphy portable printer and now am using a Canon 60D, Yongnuo speedlites, soft-box/umbrellas on my way to much superior gear meaning my prices will change too *Winks*

Any major achievement?

The mere fact that I decided to follow my heart and passion in Photography despite the challenges is one major achievement. This gift has opened great doors for me and as the good gracious book says; A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.

Any awards you have won so far?

In our humanly eyes I haven’t won any award just yet coz of laziness in submitting pictures but am very positive that in heaven I have won an award for winning souls to GOD through the photography gift. #WorshippingThroughTheLens

Advice to upcoming photographers?

In every dream, whether big or small, with ambition being the head, embrace practicality and never let anyone dim your shine. Be diligent and don’t compromise on the quality no matter what. Also get a mentor and a reliable team; I repeat a reliable team coz Teamwork makes Dreams Work. Picha za Wanga is a big team, I am just but a very small part of that team. In all this let GOD be the captain.

What is your next big project that you want to achieve?

Boniface Muthoni (One amazing Photographer) and Picha za Wanga have something coming dubbed “#500Smiles” Chris Wanga.

Director of Photography  | PICHA ZA WANGA

P.O Box 1448-00100, Nairobi, Kenya

Phone: +254 (0) 786 368387