Katonyala Ventures Into Photography

Pietre Katonyala is not just a specialised photographer but a photographer who takes pictures inspired by the scenic natural beauty that the Namibian countryside offers such as humans and landscapes.

Born in the village of Ondjabaalala in the Ohangwena region, Katonyala is one of the fast rising photographers in Windhoek. He describes himself as a self-taught photographer who takes to artwork for the love of craft. “Taking photos has always been my hobby. I enjoy taking pictures. My siblings started recognising my talent and passion I have for photography when I was young. Whenever there is a family gathering, I was always the photographer. It grew with me and before I recognised it, I was already a family photographer. I enjoyed being behind the camera instead of posing in front of it,” says Katonyala.

He says his real niche of being a photographer came when he received his first camera, a point-and-shoot Canon, at the age of 15 years old as a birthday present from his mother. “It was the era of films, and you couldn’t afford to lose even a single film, because once you click the shutter, is done, there was no deleting. That is when I learned to take photos, as I had to make sure every film (and batteries) is put to good use,” explains Katonyala adding that it was one of the great photography moments in his life.

“Everyone could see how happy I was taking those photos of everything and everyone back then. I would go with my camera everywhere. Growing up in the village, it was a privilege having a camera at that time, especially by a youngster,” he says.

In 2003, Katonyala moved to Windhoek to pursue his tertiary education at the Polytechnic of Namibia, studying Human Resource Management. He says his love for photography did not die, as he was destined for that, but he had to put it on hold to concentrate on his studies, and also because he did not have the necessary equipments needed for high class photography.

In 2012, he saved some money and bought a DSLR Canon Camera. He then started taking pictures as a freelance photographer. “I created a Facebook fan page (Katonyala Photography) where I post my works and requests have been coming in ever since almost everyone wanted to be taken a picture by me. I am proud to say, I get booked every weekend, with my focus on portraits, fashion and events,” boasts Katonyala.

Currently Katonyala is working on a “Photo-A-Day’ project, whereby he takes one photo every day for the rest of the year, beginning earlier this year. He is also working on a project of “A-Z”, whereby he have to take photos of things that resemble letters from A to Z and things whose names begin with letters A to Z. “These two projects will push me to greater heights and will sharpen my photography skills, as I will have to go out and document a great photo every day, no matter what.”

“I believe some photographers are made while others are born. Born photographers need to have a third eye. I have a third eye because I see things that ordinary people will not see because they don’t have a third eye. A photographer needs to have patience, as it could take minutes, or days or even months waiting for a right moment to take a great photo, that takes only few seconds to document,” he says.

He aises the youth to go out and make things happen for themselves. “We should work together, support one another and thrive as one nation. We should dream big, and try by all means to achieve our own dreams because an idle mind is a devils’ playground,” he signs off.

Source : New Era