Chris Njau is a Fashion photographer and founder of Chrislu Photography. He once started his journey as a fashion designer and a video king before he discovered his passion for photography. AfroXel discussed with him.
Can you tell us who is Chris Njau?
Chris Njau is a young Tanzanian of 26. My real name is Luck Goodluck, but people know me as Chris Njau, a name my Grandma gave me. My work name is Chrislu. I’m an IT professional. For family reasons, I had to interrupt my studies. Now, I am planning to go to the UK to study fashion designing and Photography.
Photography isn't an easy work and yes there are some difficulties we meet but as a photographer, you need to take it as a challenge and make your work more unique.
Thankfulness consists of deeds, it does not consist of simply saying “Al Hamdullah" ~ Credit: Chris Njau
What type of photography are you into?
I’m into various type of photography.
a. Fashion photography first and foremost.
Without a question, photography plays a major role in global fashion culture and its industry. It is commanding an increasing share of public consciousness. Our memory of fashion is real through fashion photography and its publishing, rather than fashion itself. Over the last few decades, fashion images have engaged with new technology and proved politically and aesthetically provocative, economically useful, and ideologically powerful. But besides the massive amount of printed and online media on fashion photography circulating throughout our world, critical accounts of fashion photography are a lot harder to find. Photographic commentary has yet to contract with fashion photography in a much more sustained way and its perception of purpose and history hasn't helped it gain status yet within cultural studies. Most often closely linked to its tying with commerce, its coquetry with the trivial and frivolous as well as its ephemeral character, fashion imagery still generally gets stuck in a narrow range of importance in cultural and visual contexts. fashion photography is so wonderful I wish I could describe it even more and why I do it.
b. Landscape photography is another type.
Going back in history, landscapes were originally used primarily to fill in the blank space behind a person or scene by painters, and other artists. However, as art and photography have evolved, the background was seen to have artistic value in and of itself. Today, landscape photography is a very popular pursuit and that is why am also into it. A good landscape picture should make a connection with the viewer, and tell you a story. A good landscape picture will have you finding interesting details in the photo for several months after you first see it. The skill is to entertain the viewer within the singular moment of the photo. Capturing the instant in time and preserving it forever can make it into something amazing. It can remind you of a certain location, a certain point in time, or a period of your life.
c. Finally, at the time I indulge into fine art photography, photography created in accordance with the vision of the artist as photographer.
Fine art photography stands in contrast to representational photography, such as photojournalism, which provides a documentary visual account of specific subjects and events, literally representing objective reality rather than the subjective intent of the photographer; and commercial photography, the primary focus of which is to advertise products or services. Art photography can describe traditions, art photography was considered by many historians it also brings memories and that is why I love doing it.
"A thug is someone who stands on his own. He lives by the decisions he makes". ~ Credit: Chris Njau
What are your sources of inspiration?
I love looking at old vacation photos. Reviewing photos taken on past vacations always brings back memories that make me want to paint a new painting or visit that place again. They also make me see how an even better photography could be made by visiting the same place or a similar one. Then there is the beauty of nature which stimulates my creativity and helps me find new ideas.
Do you have any mentor, people who inspired you doing what you do?
Yes of course. Frank Ben, the founder of Reflections Media always inspires me a lot. He is the reason why am in the photography business. Kelechi Amadi Obi a Nigerian photographer who has conquered the heart and love of people with his amazing shots is another artist whose work keeps me humble.
What are the challenges you face doing photography?
In the routine of our daily life and individual pursuits of capturing the perfect photography, it is easy to forget the moments that make photography unpredictable, humbling, fun and challenging. Is there such thing as photography humor? One of the many ways I keep my sanity and often my self-respect is to be sure to see the humor in the challenges I face when out and about with my camera.
What is your actuality?
Recently, I have worked with a famous female singer Maua Sama, a collaboration which opened doors to new ones. Am about to work with more stars and push my work to the limits.