Creating memories through the lens is my passion, says Bertha Lutome, A care Leader and a photographer.
Creating memories through the lens
I define a camera as the most powerful tool used to change the world. It in many cases brings positive impact, and on rare occasions prompt negative change. Growing up in a country where radio and television were the most used mediums of mass communication, I rarely phantomed myself taking pictures either for fun or business. I enjoyed reading newspapers and envisioned being a journalist when I was 12 years old.
This dream was propelled further when I enrolled for a Diploma course in Journalism at Kenya Institute of Mass Communication and majored in print journalism. I must attest that photography classes were not my all-time favorite, especially during editing sessions when we were asked to convert a JPEG image into PNG or TIFF and vice versa, my goodness, I saw this as a very huge task that could only be achieved by a professional, yet it was extremely simple.
I am happy that a task I found unachievable has become my cup of tea for the last four years. I am Bertha Lutome, commonly known to many as Bertha Images, a female photographer from Nairobi Kenya, who marvels covering events like baby showers, bridal showers, gender reveals, weddings, funerals, birthdays, and corporates. I also enjoy wildlife photography and interacting with nature.
My photography journey
I am a self-taught photographer, who developed passion for photography when I gained my first job as a Communications Coordinator in a local NGO in Kenya. I was expected to cover special events and write stories about them, but then, my passion was more into writing than photography, that is when my mentor, @Gweth Photography challenged me to pursue the art. I took the camera, made several mistakes but eventually found it interesting.
I admired his sharp images and yearned to become like him. The journey started in August 2019, when I gained strong interest in macro photography, and sought guidance from professional macro photographers in Kenya. I enjoyed taking photos of insects, flowers and aspired to become a top wildlife photographer. My resilience, thirst for knowledge and desire to grow prompted me to shoot every day and attend virtual trainings organized by Cannon and facilitated by a Nigerian photographer, Austinedo Uddoh. I did free photoshoots, and I am glad that my sister was my biggest fun and model, who wouldn’t love free photos!
Bertha Images celebrated its first anniversary on 9th October 2020 and managed to secure its first paid travel shoot on 10th October. The shoot was amazing, the clients were friendly, but the feedback was scary. I received a message from the client, and he didn’t like the photos, they were pathetic! I thought I had garnered better skills and the photos were appealing, but anyway, I respected his opinion and used it to lay a strong foundation for my career. I look at the photos and understand why the client wasn’t happy. There’s always a first time for everything.
I have since grown to be a versatile photographer, although I learn new skills daily. I have experienced times when I can stay the whole month without a paid photoshoot and times when I have plenty of photoshoots, back-to-back that I fail to sleep for three days. Being a strong believer of the word, I have learned to stay humble, trust God and the process. I value my clients and often go an extra mile to deliver the photos on time, and interact with them, while taking pictures.
The biggest challenge that I have experienced being a female photographer is lack of trust from clients on first appearance, I understand since this is a male dominated field. I managed to overcome the frustration and gained the confidence to work and stand for long hours.
I look forward to taking my skills to the next level and documenting international events, and more weddings. My advice to budding photographers, more so people with lived experience, would be keep shooting! Shoot, edit, repeat!