A picture is worth a 1000 words, so the adage goes.
For Matthew Meli, a picture is worth a career, a living and well, worth about everything.
For the young, ambitious photographer whose whole life has revolved around Eldoret in the North Rift region, his satisfaction is wrapped in holding a camera and letting his clients pose in front of him as he seeks and takes the perfect shot.
That passion has driven him to set up a photography company, perfectly named Nimepoz Nation Photography, which is gaining traction and popularity in the town.
“I am the founder, CEO and chief photographer at NIMEPOZ NATION. I am a portraits, wedding and events photographer. I have done almost everything while hustling, but right now I am doing photography fulltime. It is my career now,” says Meli.
He says he grew up with cameras around him, a key ingredient that seems to have spiced his passion for the job.
“I have always had something about cameras. My uncle used to own one and it would always excite me. I slowly developed passion in it and even got to handle it more in the university where I did a degree in Film and Media studies. So for me it has always been a passion. I then decided to practice it professionally in 2016,” reveals the photographer.
What Drives Him
“I do photography because it is therapeutic to me, it is where I can experiment and exhaust my creativity. I also do it because I love to create memories for people, and well of course, as a source of income.
I have had a number of mentors. I have learnt from several platforms. Online as well as established photographers through observation and relating with them during collaborative projects. It has therefore been a process, since it’s almost entirely been a self-taught skill.”
Matthew has been on several occasions acknowledged the best photographer in Eldoret. He has done a series dubbed ‘The Sunflower Series’ which he says is the biggest shoot he has ever done and is proud of.
“Going global and selling my brand out there. That’s my goal, and oh well, getting to be part of a global photography projects such as America’s, Next Top Model.
I am happy that my brand is growing day by day and has been recognized in my county and even other counties. I am looking forward to even having branches in every county and mentoring young enthusiastic photographers.”
There are definitely challenges in every career.
Creating an art gallery and a place to showcase his talent has always been a challenge.
“I think the government should consider creating an affordable stylish space for creatives in every county. This will enable photographers to showcase their work and even make money from selling their art.”
“My dream has always been to grow and I owe that to God. I had always wanted to have a creative space in town so that I may be able to work with different people and creatives and I am glad of the progress I have made.”
Another hurdle has been the costly equipment required to be a successful photographer.
“It has taken a lot to build my Brand, NIMEPOZ NATION, and so far I am contented with my income. I would never prefer getting employed, unless they are paying way much better. I value good working environment and freedom. I would not trade that for a better pay.”
He encourages women to take interest in photography and arts because it pays if one is passionate and hardworking.
“Nothing can be compared to making your own money from your talent or something learnt overtime and perfected. I really admire female Photographers. I respect them and I have always wanted to mentor one who has interest and passion in it. I think they should consider art more.
My parting shot is to thank my clients and anyone that has worked with us and trusted us to make their memories worthwhile. I want to assure them that we are here to maintain the quality and continue giving them worthy pieces of art. To my fellow creatives, let’s keep up the vibe and let’s protect our art, never settle for anything less. For the youngsters coming up, keep shooting!
Some of His works:
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