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I Inspiration

Meet the young, vibrant,driven and very talented photographer Makena Murungi. She shares her passion for Baby Photography and her journey as a young person in business.

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Meet the young, vibrant,driven and very talented photographer Makena Murungi. She shares her passion for Baby Photography and her journey as a young person in business.

" I am 24 years old and I knew from quite a young age that I wanted to get into business. So after completing high school at Kenya High, I joined USIU and studied International Business Administration concentrating in Marketing.

After that I went on to do a Masters in Advertising and Design at the University of Leeds. I chose to study advertising and design because I am very intrigued by the visual world around me. It is this same interest in my visual surroundings that got me interested in photography.

My interest in photography first started in 2008 when I came across some really cool pictures online and I was immediately drawn to it.

I got my first camera a year later in 2009 and I found myself pulled towards photographing people, and then more specifically towards photographing babies. I started following a couple of baby photographers from other parts of the world, and I was so amazed by their work and I wanted to create pictures as beautiful as theirs for my relatives who have babies. From here Makena Murungi Photography was born.

Photography is a very expensive hobby, and quite early in it I realized that to be able to afford the equipment I wanted, I either had to get a really good job to fund my hobby, or find a way of getting my hobby to fund itself.

My parents were initially concerned that I wanted to do photography full time right after I finished my Masters. They really tried to convince me to find a job and do photography on the side. But my mind was set.

Despite their concerns, they have been very supportive of my photography and were actually my first clients. Sometimes I think they are still a bit uneasy about it but I am grateful to them for believing in me and encouraging me to pursue my dreams.

Turning my passion for photography into a business.

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit; I started my first business, a partnership with two friends, when I was 19. So it made sense to merge my interest in business and my passion for photography. I was excited at the idea of making a living doing what I love, but I came to realize later on that it’s way harder than I had imagined.

People always make it seem like as long as you are doing what you love everything else will fall into place. I think the manner in which success stories are told skip the most important part, HARD WORK. Success stories always make it seem easier than it is, few people talk about just how much it actually takes.

My TeamMakenateam

We are a team of three, Maureen, Helleine and I. I deal with the creative bit of the process, I come up with the concept, take the pictures, edit them and do everything related to design. Maureen is in charge of managing customer relationships, and handling new inquires as well as marketing. Helleine deals with our suppliers and makes sure that our products get to the client on time and in good shape. We get along really well, and have a lot of fun in the studio. I have really come to appreciate the importance of a good team.

The challenges I face

Being so young are there challenges I face as a person in business. I think the biggest challenge I face is people not taking me seriously sometimes. Very often when I meet people after communicating with them either over email or phone they seem shocked and say I sound very mature and that they were expecting to meet someone older.

Also, when I was just starting out, gaining mothers’ to trust me to handle their newborn babies was quite a challenge, especially since I am not a mother.

I don’t have that problem anymore, I think after people see my work they have more faith that I know what I am doing. I am a fully specialized baby photographer; my studio was designed with families that have babies in mind, so it is very homely and safe. My props and equipment are all specifically for baby and maternity photography. This is different from many other photographers who do multiple areas of photography. I think this specialization has allowed me to perfect this one particular area; my aim is to master this art and become one of the best baby photographers.

This field of photography is different from all other fields; it requires so much patience to work around what the baby wants to do; we have to be prepared for them to cry, pee and poop during the sessions. So we usually factor in enough time for soothing and feeding, its not the standard type of photo shoot most people are used to.

MakenababyI am also a very big advocate for prints. In fact the reason I do what I do is 

because I want to enable mothers to cherish and hang onto that overwhelming feeling of love at that moment when they have a new baby, and the best way to do that is through big beautiful prints in your house.Nowadays many photographers offer digital only packages, but I believe it is so important to have durable physical prints because digital images just aren’t as permanent, and 5 years, 10 years, 50 years from now the pictures we actually hold on to are those that we have physically with us.

What drives me

I draw my motivation from other people; there are so many people around us doing such amazing things in various industries. I like to read and watch their stories and I try to look beyond the oversimplification of their stories, to imagine how much hard work and resilience it actually took for them to get to where they are now.

Future Plans...

Five years from now I would like to become a teacher, and share what I know about photography. I would like to set up or be part of the setting up of a school in Kenya that focuses on visual arts, among them photography and create a place for people who are where I was 7 years ago;interested in learning but don’t know where to go.

Advise to those planning to go into business ...

Two things:  The longer it takes to develop, the less likely it is to launch.

When I started out I wanted everything to be perfect, and found myself waiting for that point when everything would be perfect, that point will never come. Jump in with what you have and go perfecting it as time goes along.

  • Kill your inner critic.

 We all have that voice that has all the reasons why we can’t do it, and drives us into second guessing ourselves. That is one of the most dangerous things you can do to yourself, if you don’t fully believe in what you are doing how can you expect other people to believe?

Final words

I encourage mothers to get professional pictures of their babies. We mostly seek out professional photography during important life stages; when we graduate, when we get engaged, married. Yet so many mothers let this very important stage of their babies’ life go by without having beautiful physical pictures. Babies change so much in their first year, that period of their life flies and you cant rewind time, but pictures let you hold on to that point of their lives forever.

CONTACTS

Facebook Page: Makena Murungi Photography

Website: www.makenamurungi.com

Call: 0705 806 190

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or Visit:

Makena Murungi Photography

Apartment #V6

Nine Planets Apartments, 

Karbarnet Road (Off Ngong Road)

Nairobi

Contact us today! so we can connect you with mums (women) in the most experiential and engaging way!..both online on our website and page, and offline-through events.

Info@supamamas.co.ke
+254 708 115 132
Darosa Plaza, Karen Road Office No.10