Kelvin Chris is a Computer Scientist who dumped his profession to pursue his passion. He is a fast-rising photographer, and some of his notable works are with the British Prime Minister, Ministry of Environment, Women in Media, 7up Bottling Company, Icentra and others. In this interview, Kelvin shares his experiences in photography, what has kept him driving his passion and how he has managed unplanned situations in the course of his job.
How and when did you delve into photography?
After I completed studies in Computer Sciencein 2015. In 2018, I got into photography because of my love for it; this made me join a media firm and that was where I started from. I met a friend who was into photography and wanted to start a company, so we teamed up and that gave birth to Feaz Media Limited; I am currently the project/event manager of the organization.
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started photography?
One of the things I wish I knew when I started photography was learning how to manipulate the settings on my camera. When I started, it was not really bad, but bad. Sometimes, I snapped pictures that were too exposed or very dark. Sometimes people would ask “who did this work?” And I wouldn’t want to tell them I did. Another major thing I wish I knew was how to edit. After snapping without editing knowledge, you need to go and look for an editor, which makes you spend more. I had to learn overtime.
So far, how has photography helped you?
Photography has helped me in a lot of ways; I have met so many people while working on the field;which has increased my network base, and I have learnt how to interact with people. Photography has put money in my pocket, I easily get booked and once I get my job done, it gets money into my pocket which helps me settle one or two bills urgently.
Whose work has influenced you the most and how do you incorporate their techniques into your photography?
I would say Kelechi Amadi – he is a renown photographer. He has tried to infuse his painting skills into his photography, he is known internationally and has won several awards. I love the fact that he is exceptionally creative and I tend to borrow some of his techniques into my own work. One of his techniques is to try, work and keep practicing, that is one way to get to his level. I like going after renowned and reputable people; for me he is my number one.
Which is your favourite lens for photography and why?
I love the Zoom Lens 55- 200MM because it is easy to manipulate, focus and take my shots instantly. While editing, I don’t have to do much on the retouching of pictures.
Among all the gadgets you own, is there one you wish you had not bought?
The gadget I wish I never bought was a microphone I bought which came along with a tripod, the mic has been laying useless, I have not been using it because I use my lapel mic. Whenever I look at that microphone, it’s just like my money has been tied down, it has never brought me any additional income. I wish I had invested that money in something else.
Is there a gadget you are hoping to buy soon?
I really love and I’m planning to have a Sony Z1908C; it is superb.
Were there times you felt like giving up photography, and what inspired you to keep on?
There were times I wanted to give up photography – those times I didn’t have clients,and in turn no money. I had bills to pay and it’s embarrassing when you can’t pay them. I almost left to begin something else but whenever I remember the fact that you just need to be focused, it kept me on track. Focus is having other good options but being glued to one till it begins to work.
I believe in God; I don’t do anything without God and He has always supplied all my needs. I am being reminded that ‘hey don’t worry it would soon rain because I have gathered my cloud.’ Again, when I see how far my mentors have come, they have been there for a while so I as well have to pay my dues with time.
What unplanned situation have you experienced on the field and how were you able to manage it?
So far, I have had two unplanned experiences on the field. First, it was a job I had with the British Prime Minister in Abuja. I thought I had a full battery. There’s this shot I was supposed to take, I was never supposed to miss that shot. Trust me, my camera went off at that point! Thank God I had my camera on the tripod, so I quickly removed my phone, and I took the shot. Second, there was a time I was to cover an event, only for me to noticed that my memory card was not in my camera, and without memory card, a photographer is doing nothing.
Again, I opted for my phone; I took major shots with my phone and pleaded for few shots from other camera guys around. Basically, my phone always come through for me; I don’t go to any occasion without getting my phone charged because you might just forget something. In a situation where calls come impromptu, I immediately put major gadgets together. Nevertheless, as a photographer, it is very good to have backup plan, and one could be a good phone camera, because it could save certain situations.