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Extraordinary journey of osse into travel visual art

Sunday May 09 2021
Photo pic
By Lilian Ndilwa

Photographers are believed to be outgoing people who are naturally extroverts, and are always motivated to work as well as being interactive with people. But, that is a not the case with Osse Sinare.

Aged 31, Osse has been a travel photographer for two years now but has been in the industry generally for over ten years.

The last time he was out of the country, he was in Malaysia.

Why? He has several times felt unmotivated and stuck when it comes to being creative in his work.

“I used to be a full time fashion and portrait photographer, creating work for various local and International clients but after doing it for like five years plus I decided to reduce creating work for clients and focus my energy on creating content for myself and also challenge myself to grow my YouTube channel,” he explained.

He says that, at about the time when Facebook was gaining popularity, he started editing pictures of himself and posted them on the app.

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“People were attracted to my pictures, and this made me start to see pictures in a different light. I kept wanting to improve what I was doing. I also started to make flyers with impressive designs - and this became my part-time job, as I had to balance between studying and working,” he says.

Over time, he became curious about how fashion photographers take pictures. This made him to start taking pictures of people in events and clubs.

Osse started taking pictures for fun. He would borrow photography equipment from friends.

“People started asking how much I charged for the pictures I took. This somewhat surprised me, and I was ten not sure that people would pay me for the pictures I took of them,” says Osse.

This turn of events led him to develop passion for photography - and he even developed his own photography portfolio on a certain website.

It was this passion that also indirectly informed him that his vision to study business computer became blurry.

Before he got back to Tanzania, Osse showed his father what he had been working on in Malaysia. With a business proposal in hand, and a website already operating, he asked his father to ‘invest’ in his photography business.

“Father agreed to invest in my work, and he was not surprised that I was turning capturing photos to business, in fact he understood why I chose photography,” he says.

In 2012, Osse came back to Tanzania, and like the majority of graduates, he had tried to get employed for a period of six months whilst staying at home, before deciding that working in the corporate world is not for him.

“In the same year, I was bettering my expertise in photography during the six months, and my first work was for a magazine titled ‘Hot in Dar.’ I was shooting pics for the magazine’s covers - and this was the time when I got to work with Vanessa Mdee.

This exposed me to the wider world, and there was an increase in the number of people who reached out to me,” he recalls.

Along the way in his career, Osse decided that, to excel career-wise, he had to start taking lessons on perfecting his skills. In that regard, he started watching tutorials, and took training courses that refined his skills.

But, all this notwithstanding, Osse never forgot his desire to become a fashion photographer someday.

In fact, he made a decision to relocate to South Africa so that he would pursue the dream he had in Malaysia. But, first things first: learn more about photography. So far, he already knew by about 90 percent of photography through his online studies.

But, he was also seriously considering diverting from ‘sedentary photography’ - so to speak - to work in his travel beat in the photography industry, Osse explains that, after having taken pictures of people for a long time, he lost interest in that.

“There are perceptions that taking photos of people is an easy job; this is not true because, as a photographer, there is lot more than shooting pictures of people. It takes a lot of emotional intelligence, consumes lots of energy because, in-between, you have to make a person feel comfortable while you take his/her picture.

This is hard for an introvert. However, I started noticing that less energy was consumed when I started shooting locations, rather than merely persons,” Osse explains.

Being an introvert photographer shooting pictures of people became difficult for Osse, especially when he constantly took shots of new people whose comfortability to be photographed weighed down on his energy.

Extroverted photographers, on the contrary, are always on the move, and can’t stand still. They prefer to go out and hunt for ‘photographic moments,’ rather than just waiting for such ‘moments’ come to them!

In 2018, Osse decided not to accept any new projects because he started acknowledging that his talent could be evolved into a different kinds of photography.

He later realized that the passion for taking pictures of people was slowly fading - and also felt like there was an invisible ‘something’ hindering his creativity.

“I felt ‘unseen,’ and I kept questioning my role in the creative industry: questions like ‘what am I meant to do.’ I later understood that I had to do something that I love to ease my conscience,” says Osse.

During a one-year stay without taking people’s pictures, Osse came to understand that he was depressed - and, to work his way out of it, he took on as a hobby exploring areas other than photography: things he believed could make him perceive life differently.

He started reading finance, leadership, motivations and self-awareness books, to Osse this was a whole new world, it still feels different and good at the same since to him it was more of a balanced diet of information mixed with an arena, he was already an expert of.

“I might have dealt with it differently. But, if I was to advise a young aspiring photo videographer on how to deal with depression - and at a time when they are unmotivated - I would tell them to consult a counselor or a psychiatrist who would help them to deal with such matters accordingly,” he says.

After not working at photography for a year, Osse decided to make January of each succeeding year his ‘ME TIME’, and would inform his followers on Instagram on the matter.

“It has been three years now since I started taking the monthly break a year. This is important to me, because not only does it push me to greater heights; this break has so far taught me to practise gratitude - which keeps depression at bay, and from coming back,” says Osse.

There have been many noticeable differences since Osse started working as a travel photographer in 2019, He says he currently knows how to prepare himself better before interacting with people in the planned locations to shoot.

He now recognizes the ‘dos and don’ts’ of photography when interacting in crowded places.