See The World With Nimu Isabel!

We were all so engrossed by the photographs we were getting, when we suddenly saw something in the distance; glowing eyes to be more precise. At first we only saw a pair of glowing eyes but after some minutes, the animal, which turned out to be a hyena began to howl, summoning other hyenas, and in no time there were dozens of glowing eyes. That was our cue to vamoose!! Adrenaline rush is clearly a good thing because some of us, (names withheld), even managed to take cover inside the boot :”D……

-Nimu

We all know that one person who is almost always on the road going to places both close to far and beyond. Whose wanderlust is just extraordinary. Someone whose gallery boasts of places we have never been to or heard of.

Meet Isabel Wairimu Wanjui, aka Nimu Isabel, a travel photographer by choice.

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Portrait by Sam Duke Mulwa

She has been to almost every corner of the country you could possibly imagine and is yet to conquer all. Among being featured several times on IGKenya account on instagram, she writes about her travels on her blog “Nimu Expressions.”
We caught up with her at one of our #CampYetu events where she told us her story.

 Buni: Why travel photography?

Nimu: Photography is my passion. I eat, drink and breathe photography. I always carry my camera wherever I go, even if it’s just meeting up with friends. I have had a feel of almost all areas of photography, from weddings to fashion photography, to mention but a few. Travel is something else that I loooove doing. I love experiencing new places, cultures and people. It is always so refreshing to try out something new. So it was a no-brainer for me to go into travel photography. However, I like to be versatile so every now and then I’ll try my hand at other areas in photography as well.

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Meeting new people at Maasai Mara

Buni: Which place has been your favorite so far in your travels?

Nimu: Everywhere I have been to so far have been nothing short of amazing. However, one of my most memorable trips was my first time camping at Hell’s Gate National Park. Initially I was not supposed to be on the trip but clearly fate had other plans for meJ. This was during the time when Jose Silva (@jnsilva), a talented NYC photographer, was visiting Kenya for the Airtel Photography workshop. Some renown Kenyan photographers wanted to show him some gems that Kenya had to offer. At around 11 pm, some of us set out to shoot stars from down at the valley, since we thought it would make for a great photo, especially with the hills as the background.
We were all so engrossed by the photographs we were getting, when we suddenly saw something in the distance; glowing eyes to be more precise. At first we only saw a pair of glowing eyes but after some minutes, the animal, which turned out to be a hyena began to howl, summoning other hyenas, and in no time there were dozens of glowing eyes. That was our cue to vamoose!! Adrenaline rush is clearly a good thing because some of us, (names withheld), even managed to take cover inside the boot :”D.

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Hells Gate N. Park

Buni: What has been your greatest challenge as a travel photographer?

Nimu: Deciding where I’ll go next is always something I battle with. There is usually no prior planning for most of my trips. I just go where the road leads me. I live for spontaneity.

Buni: What has been your most memorable moment in your photography escapades?

Nimu: 4 months ago i traveled by road to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. That has got to be my most memorable moment to date. Despite it being such a long and tiresome trip, I loved every bit, especially getting to marvel at Tanzania’s landscapes. The scenery, especially as you drive through Arusha, is something else. By the way it’s only 4 hours away from Nairobi. All you need is your passport and a yellow fever vaccination card, since you’ll be crossing borders, and that’s it..Arusha has definitely been added to my bucket-list.

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Dar Es Salaam’s waterfront when Nimu visited
5 essentials for Nimu’s travels…
  • Camera, “I currently use a Canon 70D and a 50mm f1.8lens, says Nimu. I carry it almost everywhere so whether a DSLR, mirrorless or just a phone with a camera i will use it. I am a firm believer of not just savoring those beautiful moments, but capturing them as well.

  • Great company – traveling alone, most of the time, is not fun so if you can have a few friends/family tag along, the better.

  • National ID/Passport; they come in handy especially in National parks/conservancies. Subsidized rates :-D. Also, for security purposes.

  • My phone – for communication, especially in case of emergencies In addition, the apps like: Google maps really come in handy when you really don’t know where you are going. Music to inspire that shot or just for entertainment Instagram/500 px for inspiration and to assist in recreating an idea

  • A Scarf (cotton not satin, lol)– it’s pretty versatile if you ask me. One minute, it’s keeping you warm, the next it’s acting as a makeshift bed, especially during camping. Trust me :-D.

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Nairobi as seen by Nimu

Buni: Which photographer across Africa would you like to meet?

Nimu: I am a big fan of the work Ghanaian photographer, Nana Kofi Acquah (@africashowboy on Instagram), is doing. It would be an honour to meet him.

Buni: who inspires you?

Nimu: I draw inspiration from my surroundings.

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Inspiration comes from her surroundings

 Buni: So, other than photography what else are you good at or which profession are you in?

Nimu: As of the start of 2015, I turned Photography into my bread and butter. Before that I was a Human Resources (HR) professional for 2 years.
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Buni: What one thing don’t we know about you?

Nimu: One of my long-term photography plans is actually to be a National Geographic Photographer. Watch this space!!

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Nat Geo; Nyeri

Practice makes perfect. There’ll be days when you’ll encounter some creative block but that will come to pass. Use that time to engage in non-photography related activities. I find that being exposed to such activities ends up being just what you needed. You come out of it rested and with fresh perspectives. Try it!

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Mwea….. Practise makes perfect.

Her advice to budding photographers out there in the world?

Nimu: Grab every opportunity to go out there and shoot.

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