A Photographer’s Guide To Covering Elections

Its the elections season this month (read this article every 5 years 🙂 Thank you)

Its is election season in Kenya. Campaigns are the order of the day with “tibims” and “ni witu” being the lingo a Kenyan does not fail to include in any chat.

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A photographer who has the chance to cover the campaign trail must understand that they are documenting the defining moments of a president’s legacy.

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So, what should you know before covering the general elections especially the elections in Kenya? This could be as a hobbyist, for work or just freelancing.

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  1. Keep yourself visible. This is for your safety and for your equipment’s’ safety
  2. Introduce yourself to your subjects this is to establish trust and ensure the officials are aware of your presence, lest you are mistaken for an illegal observer.
  3. Carry extra batteries/ speed-light (obviously)
  4. Do not take sides; wear neutral colours and not any campaign branding to avoid annoying the opponents or sparking their emotions.
  5. Capture
  6. Show us the action do not get lost in the data. Check out Boniface Mwangi‘s book “Boniface Mwangi Unbounded” for vivid action from the 2007 polls.
  7. Use your social media to “brand” yourself and it may come handy if one or two people know your whereabouts.
  8. Lastly have some water with you. Being on your feet all day has its fair share of fatigue.

Most importantly stay safe. No photo is worth your life.

What Other tips do you have for fellow photogs?
Comment below an lets keep each other informed.

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Vote wisely!!

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