Why I Shoot People

There was a time when I thought that picking up a camera was the quickest path to becoming an artist. And so there I was, with a pink Casio point-and-shoot, ready to bestride the world with effortless artistry. Silly rabbit. Ten years down the hole, and I’m still nowhere close to creating what I’d call ‘art’. The only difference is, now I have a camera that has more functions than my TV remote.

In the early days, I was smitten with the idea of freezing time with a single click. It seemed so… easy. But as the clicks turned into thousands of shutter snaps, the naïveté faded, much like the memories of my initial photos that were more blur than beauty.

I feel no shame in saying there was a stage where every like was a standing ovation, every comment a review. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t give me a rush. Posting a photo and waiting for the likes to roll in was like waiting for rain in a drought. Or electricity after a GPL interlude. But then came the question, was I doing this for art or affirmation?

Now, a decade later, the reality is clear and, ironically, captured in high resolution: I am hooked. It’s not about chasing the elusive dragon of ‘art’ or the digital nods of approval anymore. It’s about the urge to capture the light just right, the colours vividly, the world in a frame – likes or no likes, art or fart.

The addiction is real. There’s no morning without wanting to capture that golden glow off a building. No walk on Regent Street without seeking a story in a single frame. It’s a compulsion, a need, a reflex. My camera has become an extension of my being, a companion in my daily sojourns into the mundane and the magnificent.

I may have embarked on this journey with a naïve ambition, fueled by the simplistic idea of creating art. But over time, the journey has become the destination. Each photograph, a reflection of my growth, each snapshot, a lesson in humility.

So, the learning quest continues. Point-and-shoot in pocket (ninja black), I step into the light, chasing shadows, textures, and the endless stories that lie in wait. There’s a subtle joy in this routine, satisfaction in the click of the shutter, a quiet dialogue between me and the myriad hues of life.

I’ll still take likes though.

Click click.

Kwesi is a communications specialist who spent over a dozen years as a practicing journalist.

Follow him on Facebook, and on Instagram.

Today is Tomorrow’s Yesterday

As Guyana heads into inevitable elections and a possible and uncertain future where Oil may play a large role (larger than necessary), some photographers, including Nikhil Ramkarran, Dwayne Hackett and Darrell Carpenay, have been saying both privately and publicly that Georgetown (and the coastal areas) will undergo certain changes; they see it as a time to capture life as we see it before that change is in our past.

“Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Clean-Up – 19-0102 | DXO One
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Image and Identity

Present 04

The Moray House Trust recently started a series of events targeted at small groups of individuals with common interests. They call it The Third Place, a space to nurture conversation, community and an exchange of ideas. The format includes a short talk by someone knowledgeable in a particular field, followed by a chance to discuss it further over dinner. Dinner is made using local produce, prepared specially for the evening.

On Tuesday March 6th, 2018, I was one of the dinner guests (don’t let the term “guest” fool you, you do pay for dinner) at one titled “Image and Identity”, where the guest of honour and speaker was my good friend Nikhil Ramkarran, a lawyer by profession but an artist at heart. In total, there were 9 dinner guests in attendance, and our backgrounds and professions were considerably diverse.

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Shooting Weddings (in Guyana)

by Michael C. Lam

Let me start by saying that I am not a Wedding Photographer, and I would welcome and encourage any of the wedding photographers out there in Guyana to volunteer to write a follow-up article to clear up any misconceptions or erroneous assumptions that I may make.

What I want to convey is a (hopefully) short list of things that anyone undertaking to shoot a wedding in Guyana should take into consideration.  This is not a complete list, and probably misses lots of things that I haven’t encountered in my few weddings.  Also you should know that some of these things I am guilty of not having done (or have done), it is how we learn, and how we can help others.


Get to know the couple

I don’t mean everything about them, but it’s probably a good idea to meet with them, to discuss in general terms, what they like or dislike, what types of photos they want, whether throwing in a few whimsical ones or dramatic ones will work for them, and it can’t hurt to do a pre-wedding photo-shoot either, I’d say make it part of some of your Wedding Packages, since it gives you an idea of how they will react to the camera and to your directions, so when the big day comes there’ll be less surprises.

Type of Photography

Unlike many international photographers, few local wedding photographers have a Continue reading

Your Photos and Copyright

An Opinion piece by Michael C. Lam

Over the last few years I’ve learned some things about the images I produce through photography and the copyright laws that help to protect them, I am by no means a lawyer nor expert on this topic.  This article is based upon what I have learned through discussions, reading and research; the topics are touchy, they are complicated at times, and the simple explanations that I try to give in no way covers Copyright completely. Continue reading

Selling the “Rights”

I’ve had a few of my images used in print by media houses before, most free of cost, but a few (which can be read as just more than a couple) I have actually been paid for, one was a nominal fee, once was a fair but cheap price and recently, a very fair and unexpected fee from a reputable regional magazine.  This article is just to share a little of what I have learnt along the way

In recent weeks, with the approaching Christmas Season, we’ve been asked by many of our members about “selling their photos” for use in items such as Corporate Calendars,  Greeting Cards, or even media publication.  So we thought that now would be a good time to clear up some of the confusion and shed some light.  It also makes a good follow up to Dwayne Hackett’s “Making Money From Your Photography”.   This is not meant just to answer the questions for this “Season” but for future reference as well.

Some of us take photographs and keep them to ourselves, for our own pleasure and to share among family and friends. Some of us tend to try and get our work out there, for others to see and admire.  If your work is out there, you may be asked at some point if you would permit your image to be used for one purpose or another, whether it is to beautify a web-page, be included in a new article, or even as the cover image of a magazine.

Many of us starting out would jump at the chance to have our work printed in a well-known newspaper or publication, and starting out, we would even let it be done for free, just to see it in print.  I think (and I know many who share my opinion) if someone thinks that your photograph is worth using, then it’s also worth some money in your pocket.

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Making Money From Your Photography

A Feature Article by Dwayne Hackett

-Consider trading the fruits of your passion to finance more of your passion.

Let us say you are a serious, passionate amateur photographer. Your photography skills are steadily improving and as you proudly show your creations to your friends (and maybe the world), you get kind comments and “oohs” and “ahhs”. Sooner or later you’re going to get the request from someone who is interested in your photography and who would like to buy one or some of your creations, or even want you to create some photography for them. You might politely decline or you might accept the opportunity. Continue reading

A speck of beauty amidst the drudgery

Reposted from Khan’s Chronicles  |  JUNE 15, 2012 · 3:57 PM

Amidst the drudgery of existence in Guyana is something different. It is innocuous and beautiful. A growing group of young Guyanese photography enthusiasts is documenting contemporary (I cannot bring myself to use the word ‘modern’) Guyana. Through their lens, both of the camera and mind, they capture life and landscape in alluring, Continue reading