He is the name behind Kush Tarun Photography, a recent graduate with distinction from Africa Digital Media Institute. Meet Kush, as he highlights on life behind the lens.
Tell us more about Kush Tarun
Kush Tarun is a 20 year old photographer and a resident of Voi. I am a lover of nature, and a passionate young man. A strong believer in following our dreams and passions as they can take us to unimaginable places. A strong believer in following dreams and passions as they can take us to unimaginable places.
What is it about photography, did it pick you or did you pick it?
Photography picked me I believe, I did not pick it. It is something I am passionate about and something I love doing. At the age of 8 I got my first smart phone and taking pictures became something I loved. Just taking pictures of things around me, my family and my travels made me love it more. I also pursued photography in college for 6 months at ADMI graduated with a distinction and it is now what i do for a living. The course itself was rigorous and difficult but I can say it went well as the teachers were great and I learnt quite a bit out of it. I did my very best and the distinction was a sign of hard work.
Why did you decide to study photography instead of business, commerce or any other course, it is your passion anyway? And how did your parents react to you taking the course?
I did photography as a course since it is what I love and I felt like I should pursue it. Yes there are other courses that one may probably pursue like maybe business but why do what you don’t like? My parents supported my venture as they advised me to take the chance and learn something else. My father would have easily asked me to help him out as we own a supermarket, but he is handling it himself and therefore he saw it as an opportunity for me to have something of my own. Before he needs my help running the supermarket, I needed to do something constructive with my life and something that can help me later in life.
Share your experience on life behind the lens?
Life behind the lens is not as easy as people think. It is something you have to be drawn to, you have to know what you intend to capture and to learn the appropriate settings. Most people think photography is about taking the camera focusing and taking the shot, it is far from that. What is important is for you to be keen, get the settings right and be fast, never miss a moment as it cannot be recaptured. It is actually fascinating when you see the world through the lenses it is also quite different from what we see normally. Through the camera I get to capture feelings, happiness, and sadness, moments and i get to see people in a different light.
Where do you see Kush Tarun Photography in 5 years?
I believe Kush Tarun photography will grow bigger and much better. I started working officially with the camera last year, as much as the passion has been there for the past 10-12 years. When I started last year, my market was quite small but this year it has grown tremendously and I feel like that is a good step for me. In the next 5 years I see it somewhere at least growing to be much bigger.
What would you tell a parent who is not supporting their child with their talent?
I understand parents who don’t want to support their children’s passions but I would ask them to support the children in whatever they are passionate about. Let the children try if they fail its fine but at least you gave them a chance but they may also succeed and once they do the parents will still benefit from it.
What do you have to say about the local photography market?
The market locally is not very good because the prices and payments in Voi are not really good. Compared to the world beyond our town, the prices here are extremely low, but we accept it as we realize we are a growing town and with time we will get there, if we learn and understand photography. Photography is about the quality of pictures you get and I sell quality. If the pictures you get are good enough with the money you are spending then it’s okay. For me photography is all about the quality.
Have you faced any problems when relating to the locals in your line of work, especially considering you are of Indian descent?
My family has been in Voi town for quite a while since I am the third generation to be here and I have never faced any problem when dealing with the locals. We have integrated well with the local communities having studied here and grown up here, so in my line of business I have never faced any difficulties or issues dealing with them. It is a complete non-issue, I believe I am a local myself.
Any difficulties in your line of work?
Yes in every business there are difficulties, the biggest one in my line of business is the pricing. Different photographers have different prices and this becomes a challenge when some people under price the packages making the rest seem too expensive. The quality is also a problem since the low prices come with low quality.
Greatest achievement since you began photography despite the short amount of time?
Biggest achievement for me is every work that I do. Every wedding that I cover, every event for me that is an achievement. I am happy for working with one of the top photographers in the country and I find it exhilarating.
Advice to your fellow upcoming youths or someone who is upcoming in the world of talent and passion
I would advise other youths to do what they love and work hard, the fruits are great. Open up your mind to the possibilities, don’t lose hope and be patient, it all comes with good time.