Interviews PHOTOGRAPHY

INTERVIEW : Ronald Tonui

Ronald Tonui : “Identifying your clients is the key”

Published on Thursday, 11 June 2020 | Ronald Tonui by theSystem *

Talk to us about what you do primarily as a creative ?

I normally work as an independent creative that is a freelance. I work with celebrities both local and international when there are concerts and some top politicians as well as on documentaries as well.

What is your experience working with celebrities ? , and high profile personalities like politicians in regards to photography?

These people will treat you as you portray. Especially the celebrities they are toungue twisters and they love free things. They don’t want to pay or kufika bei for the services.

“The problem is that this field is flooded with young men offering cheap services, So I think we need to form a serious organization governing creatives that educates all photographers on pricing matters.” – Ronald Tonui

Do you think this is because photography is not take seriously as a profession , or why do you think that happens?

In Kenya, it is not. People take it as just having fun.

How can we change this , is it a possibility for creatives to be taken just as seriously as other professions like doctors , educators and politicians?

The problem is that this field is flooded with young men offering cheap services, So I think we need to form a serious organizations governing creatives that educates all photographers on pricing matters. Also videography is paying and that’s why oflate I have a bit diverted my attention to creative-videography services like B rolls.

So its more that the industry is unregulated and so creative get taken advantage of right? because of unfair competition and crooked practices. How long have you been doing photography?

5 years, I started in 2015. Yeah sure but we are still sailing. Identifying your clients is the key.

Now Ronald your work is great , how does it distinguish from other photographers of your time?

Well, the referrals and social media have earned me a reputable name in the industry.

What is the most important thing you have learned as a photographer?

Being honest and keep relationships is the utmost of any business.

True , values go a long way ,where do you find your motivation or what keeps you going?

Working with big clients motivates me. Like being assigned big task.

You like challenges , very rare trait but very instrumental, we find ourselves in the middle of a crisis, how has this pandemic affected your work and your day to day operations?

Most of my assignments in Northern Kenya was cancelled even here in Nairobi, right now I just survive with working with Nairobi Women rep in distribution foodstuffs to Nairobi people. Most of my working is far from the city, so am always on the move. The pandemic has grounded me.

What have you learned from this pandemic?

I have had enough free time, so I have been doing some online learning i.e editing, after effects and most importantly broad knowledge in the industry. It’s my sole source of a living.

In your experience, What make a good picture?

The creative perspective of your art. How people translate your art as a unique piece.

What is the impact that you want to have in this industry?

Train as many as as possible. I have mentored couple of guys whom they look up to me. Am great I inspire a lot I am a role model to many. Am humbled.

Finally , what advice would you give offer someone just starting out in photography?

Never give up, Focus and start small. Never get discouraged by any kind of a gear you are starting with. Go out build a brand.

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