In this article, we get to know one of our #ShesGotTheLens photography competition winners. Sabrina Said is a Kenya based photographer and artist. Her page is an assemblage of moving images and photographs, expressive of her biggest motivations, dream projects and what she wishes to accomplish. Her creativity meets authenticity in the unique stories she tells through photography. Through her art she conveys an experience that she hopes inspires & empowers others.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Who is Sabrina Said?
A Kenya based photographer with a passion for Art. I love travelling and have a keen eye for fashion and beauty. I am also currently completing my degree in Travel & Tourism at the University of Nairobi and hope to one day own my own studio that will embrace diversity and help elevate artists through different lenses of creativity.
How did you get into photography?
While on vacation in Canada in the year 2014, I got my first camera and what started off as simply taking pictures for my family back home eventually sparked my interest in photography. I started taking pictures of wildlife and eventually found my niche in Portraits and Fashion Photography.
In your opinion, what’s the best way to capture a visual story?
I begin by putting together all the small details needed to tell the story in a single frame. Emotions for one, are an important part of storytelling and I always encourage the models I work with to be free to express their style and set the tone, which makes the image more authentic.
You submitted ‘Udaku Mtaani’ as your #ShesGotTheLens entry. Could you tell us more about the story behind the picture?
I went through photos of my mum and aunts that captured their get togethers and picked a common theme that I noticed in all of them. I wanted to then capture the ‘Swahili vibes’ using various props, foods and clothing to re-enact a moment that portrays the timelessness of Swahili heritage in a picture.
What’s a different shot that you captured recently that you love and why?
I recently visited the Rhino Sanctuary at Fairmont Mara where we saw two protected White Rhinos. I managed to get a shot of one of them who goes by the name ‘Kofi Annan’. I loved the picture because it captures the friendship between the rhino and the ranger and the caring nature of the ranger towards the rhino. It was quite touching!
What are some of the highlights you’ve experienced in your craft?
I have gotten to travel to beautiful destinations across Kenya and other places around the world and have been able to
interact with people from diverse backgrounds as well.
What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced?
The biggest challenge I’ve experienced as a new artist is trying to get my break through without making my personal life public.
Another major challenge I have unfortunately experienced is the lack of support from other women. I think in spite of the steep competition in the industry, someone else’s win shouldn’t be seen as a threat. We should all strive to work on our insecurities and uplift each other. Only then can we genuinely grow together.
Photography within East Africa can be a very male-dominated field, how do you think we can shift that?
I think we can shift that by starting to actively appreciate photography purely for what it is, artistic expression from the lens of a creator regardless of gender. Not through the prejudiced perspectives society often teaches us.
Any advice for upcoming young female photographers?
Be yourself and don’t succumb to pressures of social media. Most importantly know your VALUE!
Lastly, a question we ask all our new Nomads, what’s your favourite Kenyan travel destination and why?
Maasai Mara because no two days are the same. Every day is a different experience!