Discover: Stephen Maithya Photographer

Published on: Jun 05, 2019

1. What is your favorite quote?
“When others sit, you stand up; when others stand up, you stand out; when others stand out, you become outstanding; when others become outstanding, you become the standard measure.”
A quote by the former principal of the Alliance High School, which he always reminded us during the school’s parades and principal talks.
2. What would the closest person in your life say if we asked them, “What is the one characteristic that they totally dig about you, and the one that drives them insane?”
I am a go getter
3. Can you tell us the story of your prior successes, challenges and major responsibilities?
I started small with the Nikon coolpix L25 pocket camera as a point and shoot hobbyist, framing whatever intrigued me with my camera. The hobby developed into a passion. A friend of mine called Freddy would later lend me his office work professional camera on the weekends for me to train with. I went from framing just anything to now focussing on people; their personalities and their emotions. Later on, i bought my first professional camera from my savings as a Biology, Chemistry and Physics private tutor and capital top up from my beloved mother. From all the people that i approached then for capital to facilitate my vision, including relatives and friends, it is only my beloved mother that was responsive( my dad had passed on at that moment). It was a very turbulent moment for us as a family, with the sudden demise of my paps. I did not give up on my dreams; soldiered on with my ambition, passion and vision. From then, it has been a road trodding from grass to glory, thanks to the Almighty God.


4.Tell us about a time when you almost gave up and how you felt about that, and what you did instead of giving up

1. Seeking capital, especially when i was starting out. Camera equipment is very very expensive. I was still a student at the moment (at the Kenyatta University pursuing a degree in Analytical Chemistry with Management)

2. Perception on photography from other people; people do not see the value in photography. They do not deem it as a serious profession which can sustain one’s living. It is considered to be a cheap, most likely because almost everyone is claiming to be a photographer. But i am glad that with time, that perception has gradually narrowed, with the emergence of photography mentors who are setting new standards in the country. I am glad that I am one of these mentors.
3. Getting a proficient team to work with; not many people are able to make sense of your vision. I did approach a number of people to team up with, but a majority were not serious and committed. I am glad that eventually, I did get a few individuals to partake in my mission.
In 2015 when I had spent too much on purchasing equipment(with capital from my own pocket) and I was not securing enough returns. It was really frustrating and I felt like quitting and going back to being my Analytical Chemist self. Within me, a voice always told me not to give up and exercise a little more patience, and assured me that my blessing was coming my way very soon, and that one day, I would be an inspiration to so many people. I paid attention to that voice.
5.What is your biggest motivation?
The desire to become the World’s best photographer and film maker; get to shoot with the world’s biggest corporates, magazines and studios.
6. Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That I am both left and right-handed.
7. What would someone who doesn’t like you say about you?
That I am a stern competitor; always have been since childhood, hehehe.
8. We are celebrating our first anniversary, what achievements are you celebrating this year?
  • Celebrating my fifth anniversary as Stevenchy Photography.
  • Accredited as a Nikon Star by Nikon Kenya
  • Won the Creative photographer of the Year award at the Kenya Photography Awards
  • Won the Fashion Photographer of the Year award at the Swahili Fashion Week Kenya Awards
  • Recently nominated for the Fashion Photographer of the Year award at the Kenya Fashion Awards
  • Featured on the Daily Nation Newspaper
  • Interviewed live on KUtv
  • Interviewed live on Ebru Tv
  • Accredited among the World’s best of the best photographers 2018 at
  • Having my work featured among the World’s best entries made so far into the Sony World Photography Awards 2019, being the first Kenyan and African this year.
Check Out his past feature in BE Afrika Discovered digital creative magazine here