Photography has taken Bamulanzeki places

Whenever he read news, he would get fascinated by photos of then US president, Barack Obama.

To Nicholas Bamulanzeki, the photos would tell beautiful stories that always attracted his attention.

Because he loved the photos, Nicholas, as he is commonly referred to by colleagues says he went an extra mile to find out the person behind the photos.

He later learnt that the photos were taken by Peter Joseph Souza.

“I fell in love with Obama’s photos and had to find out who always took them. I loved how the photos told good stories,” Bamulanzeki says.

He says, by this time he was at Makerere University where he was doing a Bachelor’s degree in mass communication but Souza’s photos influenced what to major in.

“It was easy for me to major in photojournalism because of the influence that I got from Peter Souza’s photos. I never looked back.”

Bamulanzeki says that he later did photography as he helped out at a friend’s studio located at Namaganda Plaza in Kampala and here he earned money for upkeep at university.

Positioning himself

After graduating, Bamulanzeki joined The Observer newspaper as one of the three photojournalists employed by the news organization.

“When I got into the newsroom there were challenges that I encountered as a newcomer because people didn’t take me serious. They thought I wouldn’t live to give them a fight for their money.  However, I fought for my space and later people I realized I had a great talent in photography.”

He adds that being new, he made sure he was approachable by everyone and that people found it easy to work with him.

This, according to Bamulanzeki gave him an edge over the other two senior photojournalists whose work ethics he says were not good.

“Many people in the field found it easy to work with me because my work ethics were different from others,” he adds.

As the adage goes, the rest is history as Bamulanzeki has gone on to be a household name in terms of photojournalism and photography in Uganda.


Bamulanzeki however says it has not been easy, making a name in photography, noting that being unique has ensured he enjoys the profession.

“Posting my photos on social media has helped me grow a following but most of my clients are referrals. It is easy for people for whom I have ever taken photos to refer others. This is because of my good work ethics,” he says.

The unique way of telling my stories using pictures and doing things has ensured people trust me.

He says, for example that when he sets to do something or promises a client something, he fulfills it, making people love him for this.

“Whenever I make a promise, I fulfill it. My yes is a yes and no is a no. This is unique with me but also, when telling stories using photos, I pick out things that many people leave behind.”

Bamulanzeki recalls the November 2018 boat accident near Mutima Beach on Lake Victoria which claimed the lives of more than 30 people as one of those that introduced him into the hearts of people.

“When we went to cover the boat accident, I took pictures of every detail. In a way, someone who was even away from the scene was able to follow the story better. This saw many people follow me.”

The best he could ever get

Bamulanzeki says photography is the best profession he could have ever joined since it has taken him places he never thought of reaching.

“Most of my trips are work related. For example, I was in Cairo (Afcon 2019 finals), Barcelona and many other places all courtesy of photography. Sometimes I feel if it wasn’t for the job I do, I wouldn’t have travelled even a quarter of the places I have been to.”

He adds that photography is his bread winner, noting that everything he has achieved is because of this profession.

“I am better off than many who sit in offices and wait for the month to end and get salaries.  In fact, we always joke with my wife (with whom they were in journalism school) that as I went for photojournalism, she went for the easy branch of public relations but I now earn more than her. I don’t regret joining photography.”


Bamulanzeki also has some piece of advice for young people who would like to join photography and photojournalism at that.

“Don’t do photography as the last option. Don’t join photography as a method of trial and error. Join it as a profession that as time goes on, you will enjoy,” he says.

Bamulanzeki says whereas photojournalism makes one to interact with many people, it is advisable to always stay humble or else the career can easily crumble as a house of cards.

He says: “Don’t grow wings. Be humble. You may not be the best but because you are humble, people find it easy to deal with you. Be a man of your word. If you tell a client you will be there at such and such a time, be true to it.”

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