Reuben Kiptanui is a hotelier by training, and currently working with a leading hotel brand in Doha, Qatar. When he is not working, photography is his passion which started out as a hobby and has now become a side-hustle that he wants to eventually turn into a successful full-time business. He holds a Bachelor’s in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the Pwani University, Kenya.
What inspired you to pursue photography?
I love capturing moments and telling stories through the lenses of my camera. It’s an art that allows me to express a part of myself whilst bringing out the beauty of the environment around me as well as capturing some unique moments in time.
I discovered my passion for photography five years ago when I bought a camera, and it has been one of my favourite gadgets. It started as a hobby, and I used to post my photos on social media. Before long people started requesting me to cover events for them after coming across my social media platform. To date, I have had the privilege of working with several media houses, corporate firms, travel agents and prominent people. Each project helped me sharpen my skills and grow my network.
Do you have any specific genre of photography that you do?
I started out as an event photographer covering weddings, parties, portraits etc. Later, I developed an interest in landscape, nature, and travel photography. I just love the beauty of God’s creation. I also do architectural photography because I love patterns and designs.
Every journey has its share of challenges; what have been some of yours?
Finding the balance between my current hospitality career and my passion for photography. If it were possible, I would prefer to spend as much time as possible in my day behind my camera. Perhaps in the future, I will be able to take up photography but for now, I continue to find ways to balance the two.
Any notable milestones or achievements you would like to share?
My photography work has been featured on various websites and media stations, such as Scopio and KASS Media Group, Kenya.
What is the big picture i.e., where to from here?
My dream like I said is to tell stories to a wider audience through photograph and hopefully establish and run my own media company in the future.
What word of advice would you like to give to someone thinking of pursuing the same path?
Stay true to your dreams and never give up. There’s fulfilment in pursuing what your heart wants. Start taking pictures with any gadget within your reach like your phone camera. Don’t limit yourself at first, capture anything and everything until you discover the genre you like most. Don’t be afraid to fail, but rather experiment and be flexible. Leverage the amount of information available on the internet, watch tutorials by some of the leading photographers and follow them on social media. Make good use of social media, have social media accounts and post regularly, that’s how you network and interact with other creators.
Finally, be yourself and remember that photography is more about the photographer and less about the gear.
An interesting fact about you?
Am a Perfectionist and am generally shy.