Inside his perfectly-lit studio in a rooftop cubicle at MM Plaza in Kampala Metropolis, Rogers Magada proudly hangs largely picture portraits of some of his consumers – between whom is singer Rickman Manrick.
Magada, a photographer is best recognised for his official portraits of celebs and trend figures — but he also creates include photographs for leading artistes.
“What helps make me distinct is the color and the contact on my pics. I enjoy with a image and give them a distinctive really feel,” he says.
Magada has produced between lots of basic portraits of Irene Namubiru, Lydia Jazmine, Maro, Zulitums, Angella Katatumba, John Blaq, Liam and An-acknowledged. He was the formal photographer of his cousin Maro when he held his Anjagala live performance.
His portraits are largely revealed on the social media internet pages of the artistes.
His sensitivity to classical portraiture’s interplay of shadow and light-weight that gives moody images with an perception of melancholy, was motivated by his good friend, Gideon, who taught him Adobe Photoshop.
“He utilized filters and turned a image into black and white nonetheless the history was continue to in its authentic colour. It was like magic,” Magada says of Gideon, who is now a chef.
By the time Magada dropped out of university in Senior 6 at St Peter’s Higher College in Jinja, he had picked interest in Good Artwork.
“I was intrigued in Wonderful Art because it will allow you to consider out new factors. I did not like anything else about faculty. It was like prison to me. At a person level, I even wanted to notify my father to give me cash to start up my personal enterprise,” he says, stressing that “school only served him to be superior mannered and discuss good English”.
Magada was born to Wilber Waiswa , a policeman and Janet Nabukenya, a businesswoman in Buwenge, Jinja.
After finishing Senior 6 at St Peter’s Large School in Jinja at 16, he touched a lot of issues before he manufactured his initially mark as a photographer.
His entry was not straight. In 2010, he met Eddie Mukasa, who ran an Online café in Kakiri. Magada applied to frequent the café to enjoy pc game titles. Later on, he would get started aiding out Mukasa on some minor routines.
It was from right here that he fulfilled Joel Mwebe, who experienced a laptop store specialising in repairs and income. He learnt on the occupation and soon started encouraging out with very simple jobs.
Afterwards, Mwebe put him in cost of Common Pc Workshop in Bulenga on Kampala-Mityana Highway. He stopped doing the job for Mwebe and hungered for a challenge to take on.
An urge to follow his possess path stored pushing him and in 2018, he settled for his very own route.
His mate Davies Watika took him to Tororo the place he vended audio on his picture studio verandah. Slowly, Watika introduced me to cameras and I started off having photographs of significant college pupils,” he remembers.
But for 6 months, he had a work but not the funds.
His fledgling vocation would imbue him with organisers of Miss out on Pearl in Tororo 2018 that served him create a unusual bond with celebrity subjects.
Utilizing a Nikon D90 digicam, which he had borrowed, he took images of Jane Tibaleka, commonly known as Tiba, the winner of the Pass up Pearl 2018 competition and shared them on his social media platforms.
His artistic eye would capture the awareness of German photographer Wolfgang Hilberer, who invited Magada for a espresso.
“Hilberer cherished the darkish photograph. We began conversing about pictures and he questioned me about cameras,” Magada points out.
He commenced associating with Hilberer at his residence in Seguku who despatched him on errands. Alongside the way, Hilberer donated a Canon 450D and 3 lenses to Magada and the pair started doing the job alongside one another.
It was for the duration of this time that Magada assumed of setting up a studio and fulfilling his aspiration of turning out to be a specialist photographer.
His Norway-based aunt Miria Nakamya sent him some funds which he used to acquire a funds speedlite, tripod and bring about as perfectly as a computer.
Magada shared area with a mate, Timothy, who was renting a major property at Aged Kampala founding the now well-known Tukuba Foto Studio. They applied the sitting space as the studio.
“Jobs have been not forthcoming. Next, I was however hoping to obtain my model and it was not captivating to numerous people today. That is how the small business collapsed,” he says of the early travails.
Timothy still left for Jinja whilst Magada went to his parents’ residence in Nsambya.
He later on linked up with freelance photographer Nelly Salvator functioning as the editor.
Throughout the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, he begun afresh immediately after assembly with another photographer, Bruce Mpooko.
“There was an possibility to generate cash during Covid-19. Men and women could not go to studios, so we started out riding motorcycles to people’s households searching for clients. Business enterprise was fantastic mainly because we have been practical,” he recollects.
When lockdown was eased, Magada sub-rented with make-up artiste Shaima Dash Faces at Zainabu Aziza Plaza complementing each and every other. In 2021, he rented his individual area at MM Plaza.
He even returned Hilberer’s devices and is a happy operator of a Canon 6D, the world’s lightest comprehensive-body digicam.
He prides amongst other individuals, using deal with artwork for strike songs these types of as Eddy Kenzo’s Pleasure, Zulitums’s Invictus, John Blaq’s Chai Mata, Liam Voice’s Dear Ex an An-Known’s Mutima as well as Omega, amongst some others.
Each and every photo has a tale
Significantly as Magada is regarded for portraiture, he has a passion for day by day daily life shots. These, he largely takes with his Iphone every time he is travelling. The photographer does not have any favorite photos expressing every single photograph captures a distinct minute.
“I love every single photograph I just take. I do not have a favorite yet. The next picture is constantly the greatest,” he states.
He keeps understanding by learning the do the job of other photographers and photograph collectors. His favourite is Bedge Photos, Wonderful Klef and Praise the Photographer.
“I glimpse out for matters I are not able to do yet. I am always curious and I want to be recognised internationally,” he states.
Magada’s archive of personal times at homes and at non-public functions amounted to far more visuals of celebs.
That did not transform Magada into a superstar photographer overnight. But a newborn shower at Georgina Gardens in Kasubi in 2020, introduced him.
“I was anxious at first when I was given a gig mainly because they experienced specified me a lot of funds,” he suggests.
During this time, Maro, an artiste launched Magada to Iryn Namubiru ahead of she hit the gym for her regimen dance periods, a individual he says has learnt more about dwelling with renowned persons.
“She [Namubiru] knew what she preferred. She gave me space to understand. I genuinely thank her. She would make me repeat some of the pics but I never complained. She explained to me to usually do analysis on fancy poses if I was to come to be a greater photographer,” Magada claims.
Magada is gregarious but largely unassuming. He waits to be invited alternatively than insinuating himself into his subjects’ private life. That was how he has managed to get personal pics for superstars and types.
“At first I was a photographer but afterwards that modified and she stopped caring about my digicam anymore,” he provides.
I know Rogers but I did not know he could be this terrific and I have witnessed his initially pictures. He is now on the up-to-day requirements! Happy of the greatness he represents.
Tukuba is my variety a single photographer. His shots display off all his abilities. He has only received superior with each new photo. He has an intriguing viewpoint. I thank him for making me sense at ease in front of a digicam. Incredible as constantly, I am wanting forward to the upcoming time we shoot with each other.