Steve Kitots: Capturing beauty one snap at a time
Steve Kitots‘ genre of photography – lifestyle and travel – excites me to the hilt. It is a genre that comes with a degree of social responsibility and one that Steve Kitots embraces. That responsibility revolves around using the medium of photography to portray Kenya and Africa beautifully. As he states himself “Beauty surrounds us everywhere we go and I am driven by wanting to capture all that surrounds me.”
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Steve Kitots started off as a web and graphic designer until the seduction of photography took over. He is part of one of my favourite photographic collectives – OneTouch, a group of photographers, cinematographers, writers and adventure travelers on a quest to showcase the beauty of African People, Cultures, Wildlife and Landscapes.
It is a pleasure to have Steve on today to find out a bit more about the man who describes himself as a creative who finds amazement in the world around him.
Describe how photography has been an important journey for you?
Photography has been an important journey for me, mainly because it allows me an opportunity to show the world how I see and view things. This is a space I get to tell my own story, from my perspective and view. It has also opened me up to being more attentive to things and people around me.
Africa has a dearth of travel writers and travel photographers. How important is this genre of photography to you in telling not only the story of Kenya, but also of the continent?
This genre of photography is extremely vital because a lot of people don’t know what is beyond their comfort zone. Some people you may find have never left the capital city Nairobi, for example or maybe even haven’t gone past 100 or so kilometers out of town. I view travel photography as a way to change the perception and show people what Kenya and Africa has to offer. There is a lot of assumptions or false perceptions about this country and continent and I see it as my duty, through this medium to tell that story.
Tell us about your trip to Amboseli National park, the home of elephants and seeing the great Mount Kilimanjaro?
Amboseli is a beautiful place to visit and the park sits right next to the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s so amazing and overwhelming seeing numerous herds of elephants in this beautiful environment against the back drop of that magnificent mountain. This is one place I love to visit and can’t get enough of, it’s such a treat!
How important is collaborating with other photographers to you?
I am a strong believer in strong creative ties and bonds and this is quite vital for me because I get to learn from people I collaborate with. Whether it’s people better than me or starting out, I see every opportunity as one for learning and sharing knowledge.
Tell us about your most memorable OneTouch adventure trip(s)?
There have been so many amazing trips with OneTouch, but I remember late 2015, we headed out to Samburu. Why this place struck out for me is because my experience there totally flipped my perception of the place. I had never been to Samburu and while there I got to see stuff I never expected and had amazing views I never knew existed that side of the country. Another time was a trip we made in collaboration with World Vision Kenya (Hunger Free) to West Pokot, this place was just amazing on so many levels and so many inspiring stories that I got to hear.
People with as much appreciation of natural beauty usually tend to have equally strong appreciation of how that beauty came to being or was created. Is that the case with you?
I am most intrigued by the beauty that surrounds us, which leads to part of my exploratory nature. I love to discover and find out why, thus my love for nature and beauty and constantly researching on how things are formed and get to be so great.
What Kenyan dishes would you miss if you had to be away from Kenya for a while?
Well, I love food and I think I would miss Chapati (which is like a naan) and some beans stew. 😊
What attractions would you suggest I put on my “must experience” list were I to visit Kenya?
There are so many places to go, but I believe, Samburu, Kisite Mpunguti (a marine park in the coastal region), Masai Mara (for the wildlife lovers), Amboseli, Kakamega Forest and Nairobi National Park are amongst my favourites.
Any tips for aspiring travel and lifestyle photographers?
The only top I would say is never be afraid to go out and discover, that is where greatness begins and the lives for all things travel comes from.