Attending the event by utter coincidence, it was a case of being in the right place at the right time, or it was by luck. I had gone to someone’s office but found them in a meeting and thereby at the reception i decided to read my old messages. I mute my whatsapp groups and read old messages when i have time. From one of the chats I got the Whatsapp add for Photography in the Wild. I got interested in it and immediately made a decision to participate.

Two things stood out for me -Photography then Wild, I was sold out. One problem though, i had no camera. I called the number and got to speak to Naomi. She proposed that I get myself a D300 and referred me to a seller.

I met amazingly loving people, people passionate about photography, people with so much energy. I was there, with my brand new camera and I tripod. Which i never got to use. I enjoyed great help from everyone. From fixing my lens to understanding how the basic buttons works. I was proud of what I was able to do with my baby camera. I saw gadgets of all forms and sizes, Macharia’s lens was from out of this world, at least I got to use use a bigger lens thanks to Essy. The difference in quality was tangible. (Evidence: Take a look at the picture of the buffalo)

My experience at this event was so good so much so much so that I had=ve enrolled for photography classes with Versatile. 2 classes down (orientation and introduction) I am learning photography that will come in handy for my project (the travelling accountant)  you can’t afford to miss trips with this passionate photographers-pure fun and a lot of learning while at it.

Thank you David Macharia and the team for what you do. God bless versatile, long live versatile.

Gladys Juma

The Travelling Accountant

I work in a club…a high end one…one patronised by the who is who in the social circles,I don’t refuse tips, I take them as a sign of appreciation for my good work,afterall we all love money,don’t we?You are probably thinking I’m a stripper or bartender in this club,no,I’m a photographer.
On this night, tips are flying my way like lack of importance-ta kwaga bata. I pocket all this as tomorrow I have a safari drive with my people,I am angry as I have just received a phone call from one Njoori telling me that he has broken my lens,i swear I’ll strangle that guy,but then again accidents happen and from the sound of it he’s sorry,though he’d better make it right otherwise…

Sunday 0500hrs

I get to my place,I shower then change and I get moving, ready for a day with the wild. I can’t help but outline my expectations for the day as the matatu cruises to nyairofi, the city of all that is good and bad.
I team up with my fellow photographers and after quite a hustle,we embark on our journey to Nairobi National Park.
I conclude that people love the wild as we find many people already queued to get in. As obedient citizens we tow the line and wait our turn.
We commence our drive and drive for 40 minutes straight without sighting an animal except for some small animals off to burry some nuts,we then spot many vehicles huddled up together and as is the norm with us Kenyans we run to where the crowds are.

Lo and behold! We find a lion basking while feeding,click click click, off go the shutters as budding photographers click away,zooming in and out, changing exposure, all in pursuit of the perfect shot.I also take my shots and boy do i like what I have.

We move to the clubhouse to have breakfast,I was famished,I down several mugs of tea and an infinity number if samosas, ngwashe not forgetting ndumas. Come on I’m wanjiru or ciru as boys call me????,daughter of gikuyu and mumbi I must pay my respects to these foods it’s a ritual.

We set off for another drive this time round we are lucky we spot some zebras,in the background the Nairobi skyline,I try getting a shot,a killer one, but my position suits me not,i’m in a very high bus and cannot get a good low angle.I look to the car infront,my mentor is in a van,on his hand a prime lens of focal length 400mm.A lens the size of my arm and costs a kidney and a liver????.There’s no way i stand a chance to get a better shot with my 70-300mm which Njoori broke,damn him.

We drive for some time then go back to the clubhouse for lunch and a session by gibs.
I love food…it’s among the many reasons I wake up????.I eat chicken and ugali to my fill,my friend cathy majani would be so envious.
I struggle to listen to gibbs talk about…I don’t remember as yesternite lack of sleep took a toll on me. I am  woken up by the sound of claps as he is being applauded after his talk.

We head out for another drive. We meet an old grizzled buffalo with a broken horn and a cracked skin that has weathered many storms of the savannah. It feeds with its head bowed, probably enjoying the savannah grass or mourning for its long lost relations that vanished through the lion’s paws or through the famine of the savannah.”what’s your story wild cow? If only you’d lift up your head and reveal to us that which you conceal. It raised its head slowly like Elizabeth the queen would wave to the crowd and the rhyme of the shutters began click click click to infinity.A moment to live for.

We then head onto the picnic site where we sort of team build by played games that require team spirit. There was a man with his son, each has a camera clicking away to awesome images. I decide that I shall buy my kids a camera too if and when they come.

We head back to the clubhouse for submission of three of the best photos for the awarding. I submit mine with no hope of winning. I move back to the back seats and chat my way off on my phone.
“Theres a lady who has awesome pictures but she edited hers with her camera and can thus not be considered for the ranking,even so we will applaud her art.give it up for ESTHER WANJIRU.”
This was a moment for happiness,i move forward with my ugly shorts and dusty crocs????????.
It matters not how you look but what you can do.

I am in love with photography and more with wildlife so when the opportunity presented itself, I did not have to think about it, and there was no disappointment. Photography in the wild was what I expected and more. An opportunity to meet some of the best photographers in the country as well as  beginners, like I am. It was an awesome learning experience, and even better shared in the wild. I feel I have grown more as a photographer and my awareness as a lover of wildlife has really been boosted. Thank you Versatile for the opportunity and for the guidance. I really look forward to the next meeting and before then I will continue to speak the message you gave us that our wildlife is WORTH MORE ALIVE!

If you read this, help spread it out #WorthMoreAlive #SaveWild #WatchWildOnLineandInline