Kenya's celebrated photographer reveals the two hardest job he has ever done and how he executed it

When Former US president, Barrack Obama came visiting, the instructions were clear he had to ‘shoot’ the President without fail, failure was not an option.

Luck, being in the right place at the right time and sometimes even possessing a sixth sense to know when to click are just some of the ingredients needed to produce that perfect photo.

What most people however,  don't know is that taking that perfect shot is not just pointing the Camera and clicking sometimes a photographer needs military precision and preparation in order to pull it through.

One has to factor in the weather, logistical challenges, go flat out to get a clear shot and sometimes even endanger themselves just to get the shot.

Sometimes photographers prepare for days sit for hours like a patient leopard waiting and just at the right time pounce with their tool of trade, aiming and shooting, squatting, craning, sweating all in a days work.

In order to understand the process, the sheer hard work and sacrifices photographers go through; Business Insider SSA sat down with Kenya’s celebrated photographer to understand the life behind the Camera lens.

Michael Khateli has taken some of the most viral photos in the country of heads of state and laymen alike and earned himself a space in the Kenya hall of fame.

“The most prominent event I have covered has to be the Obama visit to Kenya then Pope Francis visit to Kenya as well”

Khateli whose photos have been featured by international media houses was sought to cover Pope Francis visit to Kenya and had no option but deliver.

“I think for me the hardest events ever are Presidential events, I will give two event which were most challenging, the first one was when the pope was in the country, he was to be in the country for only two days so he had a really busy schedule so I had to take photos of him at the Airport upload them share them online immediately, he was in the country for about 48 hours and I think I only slept for like six hours and I had been contracted by Citizen then (Royal Media Services) and they wanted to get the photos on real time basis so for me that was one of the hardest jobs”

His services were sought again when Former US president, Barrack Obama came visiting and the instructions were clear he had to ‘shoot’ the President without fail, failure was not an option.

“Again when Obama was in the country that was another nightmare, it was really hard to get shots, clear shots of him because then you had to get through the security of our President followed by dealing with the security detail of Obama so that was also really challenging”

Experience, calm nerves, steady hands and brute determination has however come handy for Khateli who continues to grace Kenya’s high profile events and showbiz.

“Like when you wake up in the morning you think about the job and you tell yourself how you will I execute this job? How will I get the photos? How will I deliver these photos so those two events really gave me a headache and I had to plan really well beforehand in order to execute it”


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