Inside his well-lit studio in a rooftop cubicle at MM Plaza in Kampala Town, Rogers Magada proudly hangs mainly image portraits of some of his customers – among the whom is singer Rickman Manrick.
Magada, a photographer is ideal recognised for his official portraits of celebs and trend figures — but he also results in deal with photos for leading artistes.
“What will make me different is the color and the touch on my photos. I play with a picture and give them a various sense,” he claims.
Magada has made among several typical portraits of Irene Namubiru, Lydia Jazmine, Maro, Zulitums, Angella Katatumba, John Blaq, Liam and An-acknowledged. He was the official photographer of his cousin Maro when he held his Anjagala live performance.
His portraits are largely published on the social media internet pages of the artistes.
His sensitivity to classical portraiture’s interaction of shadow and light-weight that offers moody shots with an perception of melancholy, was motivated by his friend, Gideon, who taught him Adobe Photoshop.
“He made use of filters and turned a photograph into black and white nonetheless the history was even now in its initial color. It was like magic,” Magada says of Gideon, who is now a chef.
By the time Magada dropped out of school in Senior 6 at St Peter’s Large University in Jinja, he experienced picked curiosity in Fine Artwork.
“I was intrigued in Fine Artwork mainly because it permits you to consider out new matters. I did not like anything else about school. It was like prison to me. At one level, I even needed to explain to my father to give me money to begin up my have enterprise,” he says, stressing that “school only aided him to be excellent mannered and talk very good English”.
Magada was born to Wilber Waiswa , a policeman and Janet Nabukenya, a businesswoman in Buwenge, Jinja.
After completing Senior Six at St Peter’s Substantial School in Jinja at 16, he touched quite a few points prior to he made his initial mark as a photographer.
His entry was not straight. In 2010, he achieved Eddie Mukasa, who ran an Net café in Kakiri. Magada applied to regular the café to engage in personal computer video games. Afterwards, he would commence helping out Mukasa on some slight routines.
It was from in this article that he fulfilled Joel Mwebe, who had a computer system store specialising in repairs and profits. He learnt on the position and shortly begun serving to out with uncomplicated duties.
Later on, Mwebe set him in demand of Universal Computer Workshop in Bulenga on Kampala-Mityana Highway. He stopped working for Mwebe and hungered for a problem to choose on.
An urge to follow his very own path held pushing him and in 2018, he settled for his very own route.
His good friend Davies Watika took him to Tororo where by he vended audio on his photograph studio verandah. Steadily, Watika launched me to cameras and I started using pictures of substantial university pupils,” he recollects.
But for 6 months, he had a task but not the money.
His fledgling career would imbue him with organisers of Miss Pearl in Tororo 2018 that assisted him establish a rare bond with movie star topics.
Using a Nikon D90 camera, which he had borrowed, he took photos of Jane Tibaleka, commonly acknowledged as Tiba, the winner of the Miss Pearl 2018 level of competition and shared them on his social media platforms.
His inventive eye would catch the focus of German photographer Wolfgang Hilberer, who invited Magada for a coffee.
“Hilberer liked the dark picture. We began chatting about images and he questioned me about cameras,” Magada points out.
He began associating with Hilberer at his house in Seguku who sent him on errands. Along the way, Hilberer donated a Canon 450D and three lenses to Magada and the pair commenced working together.
It was during this time that Magada thought of creating a studio and fulfilling his desire of getting to be a expert photographer.
His Norway-centered aunt Miria Nakamya despatched him some dollars which he used to acquire a funds speedlite, tripod and set off as perfectly as a pc.
Magada shared place with a pal, Timothy, who was renting a major residence at Aged Kampala founding the now famed Tukuba Foto Studio. They applied the sitting down area as the studio.
“Jobs ended up not forthcoming. Secondly, I was nevertheless striving to locate my type and it was not appealing to a lot of men and women. That is how the small business collapsed,” he claims of the early travails.
Timothy still left for Jinja when Magada went to his parents’ residence in Nsambya.
He afterwards linked up with freelance photographer Nelly Salvator performing as the editor.
All through the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, he begun afresh right after meeting with a different photographer, Bruce Mpooko.
“There was an opportunity to receive cash during Covid-19. Folks could not go to studios, so we started out using bikes to people’s properties hunting for clients. Enterprise was excellent mainly because we ended up hassle-free,” he remembers.
When lockdown was eased, Magada sub-rented with make-up artiste Shaima Dash Faces at Zainabu Aziza Plaza complementing every single other. In 2021, he rented his very own place at MM Plaza.
He even returned Hilberer’s gear and is a very pleased proprietor of a Canon 6D, the world’s lightest total-body camera.
He prides amongst other folks, taking address artwork for hit tracks these as Eddy Kenzo’s Satisfaction, Zulitums’s Invictus, John Blaq’s Chai Mata, Liam Voice’s Expensive Ex an An-Known’s Mutima as effectively as Omega, between others.
Every single picture has a tale
Much as Magada is identified for portraiture, he has a passion for every day lifetime pictures. These, he generally normally takes with his Apple iphone any time he is travelling. The photographer does not have any favorite images saying each individual photograph captures a certain second.
“I like each image I choose. I do not have a favorite however. The future photograph is constantly the ideal,” he says.
He keeps understanding by studying the function of other photographers and photograph collectors. His favorite is Bedge Photos, Remarkable Klef and Praise the Photographer.
“I seem out for issues I simply cannot do nonetheless. I am normally curious and I want to be recognised internationally,” he states.
Magada’s archive of intimate moments at homes and at non-public functions amounted to more images of superstars.
That did not transform Magada into a celebrity photographer right away. But a little one shower at Georgina Gardens in Kasubi in 2020, introduced him.
“I was nervous at 1st when I was supplied a gig simply because they had provided me a large amount of funds,” he suggests.
In the course of this time, Maro, an artiste introduced Magada to Iryn Namubiru ahead of she strike the health and fitness center for her regimen dance classes, a particular person he suggests has learnt far more about dwelling with famed people today.
“She [Namubiru] understood what she required. She gave me space to find out. I genuinely thank her. She would make me repeat some of the pictures but I under no circumstances complained. She advised me to always do analysis on extravagant poses if I was to come to be a improved photographer,” Magada claims.
Magada is gregarious but mainly unassuming. He waits to be invited alternatively than insinuating himself into his subjects’ non-public lives. That was how he has managed to take personal images for stars and products.
“At very first I was a photographer but afterwards that adjusted and she stopped caring about my digital camera anymore,” he adds.
I know Rogers but I did not know he could be this terrific and I have viewed his initially pics. He is now on the up-to-date specifications! Proud of the greatness he represents.
Tukuba is my quantity one photographer. His photographs clearly show off all his capabilities. He has only bought improved with every new image. He has an intriguing viewpoint. I thank him for building me really feel snug in front of a digital camera. Awesome as constantly, I am searching forward to the up coming time we shoot collectively.