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Artiste Profile: Reumac, Photographer

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What do you do?

Photography, Videography and Design.

What inspires you? Light. People. Things

How did you start?

At first, it was something I always did for the family then I began having so much fun with it. Slowly it consumed me and now it’s all I know. I first started shooting when I was 9 years old and I forced my father to teach me how to use his old Minolta SLR. Before I knew it, I was the family photographer and by the time I was in university I had transitioned to prosumer digital cameras

How did you build your business?

That’s a difficult question. It started with my getting a DSLR camera to travel the world. When I came back from my travels, I was somewhere close to a professional so I started shooting for free to get my work out there. I also leveraged my networks for paid work.

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How did you grow your brand? (Reumac)

From very early, I had a clear branding strategy. I reserved ‘Reumac’ on all the major social networks. I created a clear text based logo that I used consistently and that allowed my brand to come through. The blog and the Facebook page also helped me grow the brand because they drew traffic from web searches as well as allowing me to use the platforms to show my work to potential clients.

How did you get your clients is the business profitable?

I try to be as professional as I can and make sure that I treat every client with respect. I was able to make a substantial profit from the beginning.

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Challenges faced?

When I started, no one really supported me but as the brand grew and the quality of my work grew my parents and core network of friends began to support me. Lack of capital to start off and expand has also been an issue that I have struggled with. As a business owner, I had to learn business skills on the go and this impacted on the business.

There are also times in the year when I don’t have a lot of work. I have had to diversify during these tough times. And then there are clients that use my images for newspaper ads, billboards and magazines without prior agreement.  

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 Highlights of your career?

Working with leading names in the industry like Emmanuel Jambo and working with various magazines like The Edition, Kenya Yetu.

Now that Reumac is on the backburner, what are you up to?

I work with an international NGO as a multimedia officer.

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Have you ever thought about doing something other than photography?

I’ve always worked with graphic design and videography aside from the photography. But I am planning to farm soon. Maybe get into the service industry as well.

What is your advice to students who want to get into business? (be it photography or any other)

Be the best you can be. Give it your all. Get some entrepreneurship skills training BEFORE you start. Treat everyone with respect, even that client who can’t afford to pay you in full today might be your biggest client tomorrow. Professionalism is key. Learn from your mistakes. If you fail, count it as a lesson learnt and try again. Don’t give up, the best is yet to come.

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