Luswata turned his hobby for photography into a thriving business

Studying at Makerere University Business School(MUBS) where he was doing a diploma in business computing, Samuel Luswata always had to walk more than 10 kilometres every day from school because he couldn’t afford the taxi fare.

“My parents were paying for my tuition and giving me some pocket money but this was not enough. I could board a taxi in the morning to campus but in the evening, I had to walk,” Luswata says of his anguishes.

He had to depend on what his mother, a primary school teacher would give him, but this was not enough.

As they say, tough times call for tough measures, Luswata tried to look for odd jobs to be able to at least earn some money but his efforts were futile.

Hobby becomes savior

He says that during that time, his hobby was photography as he took photos of himself that he would post on social media for fun.

“Together with my friends, we could take photos with our phones and could call ourselves fashionistas. We could choose one of us with the best phone camera to take the photos and send to us. This was fun,” he says.

Luswata says through his own means, he was able to buy a small Sony camera, similar to ones usually used for family photography.

The born of Masaka was very happy for the achievement and now he would brag among his peers.

According to Luswata, despite getting the camera, his anguishes continued as he always had to walk back home every evening after lectures at MUBS.

“One day, mum told me pupils at her school had a tour and that I could make some money for myself I went with them and took photos using my camera. I bought this idea right away,” he says.

As they say, the rest is history as Luswata could not believe the profits he made upon return from the trip after selling the photos.

Whereas he had got a good amount of money out of taking photos for the school children, it ended there and he returned to enjoying his hobby of taking photos with friends for fun.

However, things turned for the best when one of Luswata’s friend advised him to post those photos on his social media platforms and inform his followers of his photography skills.

Luswata says whereas it was not instant, the idea worked as he started getting people asking him to take their photos for money.

“The biggest moment came when a girl reached out to me and asked me to take photos on her birthday party organized at one of the bars in Namugongo. At the end of the function, she paid me Shs 20 ,000 and I was happy.”

He says in the past the biggest amount he had got was Shs 6000 and now that he had been paid Shs 20,000, he was over the moon and realized he could make money out of photography.

He says when business continued to grow, he realized he had no time for lectures. He put them on hold to chase the money.

Upgrading from the small family photography camera, Luswata then bought another second hand camera from a photographer for shs130,000.

Today the camera he carries cost him $4000 (Shs 15 million).

“I have kept on upgrading until now when I use one of the best machines which costs $4000,” he says.

He says he has specialized in wedding photography as his niche but says he can also photograph other functions.

“I get almost all my clients through social media. I post my works on social media and it is here that I get clients. From these clients I also get referrals,” he says.

“I make sure if a client hires me, I take time to understand what exactly they want and I deliver exactly that. This is because the client is my boss and I have to do what exactly he or she wants.”

No regrets

Luswata says he has no regrets joining photography because he has achieved a lot.

“I have been able to make connections but also meet so many people who have helped me in my career. From photography, I have been able to look after myself, family, pay school fees for my sister up to university and also look after my other siblings plus my mother,” he says.

He says that apart from being able to acquire some property in form of plots of land, he has been able to create jobs for 15 of his fellow youths whom he employs at his photography company.

“Photography has enabled me change my life and I am happy with that.”


Luswata advises fellow youth to never tire on doing what they think is good for them.

“If you see something will take you forward, never leave it. Do it until you benefit. Be truthful and trustworthy in whatever you do.”

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