I welcome challenges because they make me better

Bash Mutumba. PHOTO/FILE 

Passion.  Bash Fahad Mutumba is a man without regrets. The 25-year-old photographer and poet thrives in the face of challenges because he believes overcoming them makes him a better person, writes Isaac Ssejjombwe.

What is the first thing you do in the morning?
After my morning prayer, I do a few pushups, take a shower and brush my teeth. My schedule is fluid and depends on what I have to do that day. If I have a shoot that day I wake up very early so that I can be at the location in time. If there is no shoot, it means I work late into the night editing photos, so I wake up late.  

How did you end up in photography?
I feel I was born to do photography. At first I did it for fun then I realised I was good at it and could actually make a living from it. To improve my skill I taught myself by watching YouTube tutorials. I became so good that I decided to do it professionally.  

Who are some of your clients?
I have photographed so many people at functions and even private shoots.  However, some of my famous clients include Zari Hassan, Chronixx, Sheebah Karungi, Feffe Bussi, Jose Chameleone, Navio, Big Trill, Lilian Mbabazi and many others.

What is the first thing you do when you go to work?
When I reach the location, the first thing is to decide what kind of mood I want for that particular set of images. If I am shooting with flash, I will make sure all my lighting equipment is ready, and if I am using ambient light, I will make sure the time is right. For example, ideal times would be sunrise and sunset, or any time on an overcast day. The same applies to when the shoot is in studio. Nothing screams “unprofessional” like the client reaching after doing her make-up, and she sees you fidgeting because the camera batteries are all not charged. 

Earliest childhood memory?
I have many memories, but by far my most cherished are the times I spent dancing and doing gymnastics in school. I was a very flexible boy growing up. I used to do the 180 degree split, the reverse prayer pose, legs-behind-head pose, and others whose name I have forgotten. My mother was so proud of me and she literally made sure every person we met would get to hear about my talents. 

First best friend?
Honestly, the best friend concept is one I have failed to get the hang of. I never really had one single person I could point out as my best friend. I just had very many good friends that I loved equally, and I got along with even those who I never considered friends. This is more like asking a parent who has five children to pick their favourite. The answer will be hard for them to give, since they love each child differently. 

First kiss?
My first kiss was in Senior One; I was about 13. A group of friends and I were playing truth or dare, and they dared the most beautiful girl in the group to kiss me.  Even before I could think about it, she grabbed my face and planted her lips on mine kissed me for a long time. That is when I realised she must have had a crush on me just like I did on her. Because how on earth would one explain such passion. 

First book you read?
Rumpelstiltskin was the first book I read. It is a fairy tale about a boastful miller who lied to the king that his daughter would turn straw into gold. Since the girl was risking death if she failed to make the gold, an imp called Rumpelstiltskin helped her spin the straw into gold, in exchange for her first born child. 

First job?
For my first job, I worked as a writer for campusbee.ug; an online campus news site for Ugandan universities, for which I gathered and published stories from Makerere University. That was in my very first semester at university.  My stories covered the nuances of university life such as hostel life, guild presidential elections and strikes, among others.  

First salary?
I earned Shs 5,000 per story, which was decent for a first salary, since I wrote about four stories a day, and I did not need to struggle to find them. This helped me not to rely on my mother for everything. I also did social media influencer projects handled by Campus Bee on top of the stories. 

Current job?
Currently I am self-employed. I set out to expand my photography business, so on top of me doing photo shoots, my company Mutumba Media Ltd does weddings and other projects. 

What do you like about your job?
I love my job because it pays me very handsomely, and it does not feel like a job because I am doing what I love.  It feels like I am getting paid to have fun. 

Most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience was my time at Galaxy FM. I was still in my first year at the university and I already had a full time job. It was rather hectic, because I handled social media, wrote stories for the radio website and often made radio mentions in addition to attending lectures at the university. But I learnt so much and met many amazing people, and ultimately, that is what sparked off my love for photography. 

Best advice?
Look for that thing that you love the most, and find a way to make money from it. 

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