“The last part of my handle “phoet” is a made-up word, that means photography and poetry.” Explains Humphrey Gateri, @nairobiphoet on Instagram, a self taught photographer with a keen eye, based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Gateri has been shooting professionally for more than a year and a half, and since pursuing his hobby, has won numerous accolades including the Kenya Masterpieces Awards 2016.
The former Nairobi University student in Electrical Engineering, by chance discovered his talent for photography. Gateri was forced to defer his studies during his second year due to financial problems. That’s when he borrowed his friend’s dSLR and started a “365DaysChallenge” hashtag on Instagram where he’d post a photo a day. It was this time of consistent pursuit of photography that Gateri grew strength-to-strength as a photographer.
In Gateri’s Instagram feed, you’ll find captivating images of concerts, portraits, landscapes, Nairobi cityscapes and street photography.
Capital Lifestyle reached out to Gateri to find out how photography and Instagram have impacted his journey in Mobile Photography.
What cameras do you enjoy shooting with and what do you like most about them?
Currently I shoot with a D3200 Nikon and an Iphone 5c . I recently tried out the new D750 Nikon! Possibly the best camera to have in my gear bag at the moment. I like shooting with my phone because its discreet as opposed to the big dSLRs especially for street photography although it has its limitations.
I keep in mind that with photography its never about the camera.
Where do you shoot most of your photos and what sort of photos do you like to take best?
I shoot mostly in Nairobi because this is where I am based and call home. I want to show a different side of my city away from the negativity and the norms. I like taking photos that have an element of creativity embedded.
What are your top tips for taking captivating Instagram photos?
Get inspiration from different photographers out there, try different styles and settle for the one that you feel suits you best. Then be consistent. Its more important to be yourself as well and don’t copy what someone else is doing because they get thousands of likes or have thousands of followers.
Which Instagrammers do you recommend everyone to follow?
Sarah Waiswa @lafroheimen She’s the true and original phoet! 😀
Mutua Matheka @truthslinger probably you already follow him
How has Instagram influenced your profession and your business?
The fact that you can connect with other people who you share the same interest and ideas as you is the best thing that Instagram brought fourth. Connecting Instagrammers across the world not only within your area. I get inspiration from some of the best photographers out there, tips and advice from some of them too. With time I see my skills improving and I become better and better. Nowadays most people are connecting through the platform and surprisingly I get most of my jobs through Instagram or through referrals basis from someone who’s seen my Instagram profile.
5 Favourite @nairobiphoet Instagram Posts
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A woman shields herself from the heavy rains that Nairobi is currently experiencing ! Across the streets are the Kenya Supreme Courts where a flashy car seems to be coming out from ! Took this one with my Lumia 730 ! A candid one! #NairobiStateOfMind Photo number 203 #365days #365dayschallenge #nairobi #kenya #blackandwhite #bw #nairobiweather #killeverygram #mood #moodygrams #rain #vscokenya #igkenya #visuals #artofvisuals #streetphotography
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| Sticky little leaves | Finally I shoot with Rebecca @stickylittleleaves during yesterday's #Nainiwho? Instameet . Check her out , amazing work ! Ohh and Down town Nairobi is fire ! #heatercentral #visualsoflife #artofvisuals #moodygrams #fstoppers #fatalframes #makeportraits #portraits #igkenya #vscokenya #way2ill #portraitpage #Kenya #nairobi #jj_portraits #rsa_mystery #rsa_portraits #gameoftones #illgrammers #thecreatorclass #way2ill #exclusive_shot #theimaged #symmetrykillers #symmetricalmonsters #ig_masterpiece #photowall