Photography in Tanzania; Introducing The “Shutterbugs”

History….
In May last year (2014), Instagram called upon us for the 9th World Wide Instameet. I happened to be in Dar Es Salaam at the time and wondered what photogs in Tanzania had in store. I expected nothing and true to that, there was nothing in play until Joe, @JNthe1, who had once organized a meet responded that there was to be a meet at the Slip-way Masaki from around noon on the said day.

Picture by Mark Wilim
Picture by Mark Wilim

The idea of doing a meet with fellow Tanzanian photographers in itself was exciting. The good thing about instameets is the fact that your gear does not matter, whether you are using a phone, a point and shoot camera or a DSLR, you are good to go.
Fast forward….

…to the date and we got to Slipway, not knowing ANY body and it was like the first day of school all over again. “You are here for the Instagram event?” some dude asked us. “Yes we are.”
We = myself and @Annsalem, after pleasantries the lad introduced himself as @Markwillim

Ann Salem at the meet
Ann Salem at the meet, Picture captured by Kamal

Meeting the photographers..

We met fellow photographers at the bay and it was a moment of revelation, enthusiasts had turned up like white on rice.
@abbyKirahi, the Mercedes master,

Abby Kirahi captured by Kamal
Abby Kirahi captured by Kamal

@Delaraystki, whom we had the pleasure to feature as our first featured photographer,

Delaraytski as captured by Kamal
Delaraytski as captured by Kamal

@str8chalii,

Str8chalii as captured by Kamal
Str8chalii as captured by Kamal

@patnanyaro,

Patrick Nanyaro getting that shot
Patrick Nanyaro getting that shot

@Mcshady who was also featured here a few weeks back,

Mcshady Levitation by Kamal
Mcshady Levitation by Kamal

the enthustiatic @Muchez whom on this day was called the king of selfies.

The King of Selfies
Muchez the King of Selfies, perfect timing by Kamal

Waizii,Kamal and @Mayur and his sweet sister @Nikki were also present.

I cannot forget the entertainer @Urbanguru who kept us alive with his jokes.

Urbanguru
Urbanguru Levitation by Kamal

It was unanimously decided that we would do a walk around Masaki and finish up at Slipway to catch the sunset. And off we went,

It is interesting how you much you can learn from creative people and they are the best there could be so this was an honour…

Hours later we came back and the view was simply magical. @Abigail was present too and the day was done.

The Sunset at the Slipway. Pic borrowed from @InDaresalaam on instagram
The Sunset at the Slipway.
Pic borrowed from @InDaresalaam on instagram

Thanks to Instagram, a family, Shutterbugs Tanzania, was born. It may not be a perfect family but it is a family that even Instagram recognized as WWIM9_Dar was noted as one of the best meets across the world.

Shutterbugs Tanzania
Shutterbugs Tanzania
The Bugs
The Bugs

Even a local daily, the Citizen Tanzania, recognized the meet.

The Citizen Newspaper featured the meet.
The Citizen Newspaper featured the meet.

A year later, “the bugs” have grown from just about a handful to over 40 members with an Instagram account, @shutterbugs_tz having over 400 followers and the hashtag #ShutterbugsTZ having over 2200 pictures on their profile.

The Community
The Community

With such success, what next for this group from Tanzania who showcase their county in different lively day to day shots.

On the future of the group,

“In the future we hope to be a registered group and open a Tanzanian “Shutterstock” of sorts where people will be buying pictures from our portal” says Obie, a member of the group.
“We would also like to have corporate support for some of our events just like corporate brands in Kenya are doing with their local photographers…” said another member.

The group organizes weekly themed challenges as well as meets where photographers come together and have fun as well as learn from each other.

This previous weekend, the bugs held a #CityWalk where they were shooting in the Dar Es salaam CBD as well as owning the night, you can see the #WeOwntheNight_Dar photos here.

A selfie at the City Walk that was held last weekend. Pic by Obie
A selfie at the City Walk that was held last weekend.
Pic by Obie

Personally I urge female photographers in Tanzania to come out in their numbers and overcome the notion that photography is solely a guy business. There is a lot that the country offers and it is best to show this through photography as is it is the window to the world.

“Strength of a woman”
Picture by Muchez

See you at the next meet.

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