Edwin Maina on the benefits of creative community

The Nairobi-based photographer talks about being self-taught and the creative collective he’s set up to ensure he tells the stories of the people in his community 

Going to art school for three years and gaining a degree has long been the traditional way of breaking into the creative industries. But with cost and competition becoming an increasing concern for many people, finding success via alternative routes is proving to be more and more possible.

“Skipping formal education made me work even harder than my mates in the field who had networking and mentorship opportunities that you get from attending creative institutions,” says self-taught photographer Edwin Maina. “It also gave me the freedom to explore my own style and vision.”

Driven by experimentation, practice and passion, the Nairobi-based imagemaker has had to learn patience while also learning his craft. Whether that’s waiting for the perfect light to take a shot or the hours needed to edit an image afterwards, he says he’s now embraced those uncontrollable moments. “I have learnt to really trust and believe the process.”

Top: Campaign images for Asha Eleven summer collection. Above: Jonam (People Of The Lake) campaign images for KikoRomeo. All images: Edwin Maina