In this series, we will dive deep into the wedding industry by chatting with talented wedding professionals of African descent. We will cover topics such as their motivation for starting their business, the challenges they face, and the particularities of the black wedding scene.
We had a chat with African photographer Dazzle Jam from DAZZLE JAM Photography. Based in Kampala, Uganda, Mukisa Dazzle is a well-established wedding, lifestyle, and portrait photographer. He was able to give us some insight into his passion, his motivation as well as some practical tips for future bride and grooms.
Can you introduce yourself and your business?
My real name is Mukisa Dazzle, but I’m known as DAZZLE JAM. I live in Kampala in Uganda and I own a photography company specialized in weddings and corporate photography (DAZZLE Jam Photography). We do every kind of photography, but I mainly work as a wedding and lifestyle photographer.
When and why did you start photography? Was it always your dream?
I’ve always been an artist, and I used to love drawing. My dream was always to open an art gallery when I grow up. But when I finished High school, a friend of mine asked me to work with her in a photography studio. That’s where it all started. Once I held a camera for the first time, everything felt so easy and natural. I never looked back and started photography from that point on. It was something I loved so much. I have been a photographer ever since I started back in 2012.
I worked on getting better, perfecting my skills, and started my own photography studio in 2015.
What’s the most memorable wedding that you’ve shot?
The most memorable wedding I shot was a wedding back in 2017. It was a big wedding, there were over 1000 guests. What I loved most about that wedding were the mood and the ambiance. Everyone was thrilled. The bride and groom danced the night away. They danced like there was no tomorrow. It was genuine.
You know, when you’re shooting a wedding, it’s all about those moments. You must capture the mood, the smiles, the reactions, the feel of the place. That’s what weddings are all about and that day, I was able to capture all of that perfectly. That is why, to me, that was the most memorable wedding I shot.
Do you only shoot locally, or do you travel?
Both. But I would love to travel more. Sometimes I shoot in Nairobi. But that’s mostly corporate work. If the opportunity presents itself, I will definitely travel more.
How would you describe your photography style?
That’s a hard question. It’s hard to find the right terms, but if I had to describe my style, I would say vintage or uptown.
What can brides and grooms do to make your job easier? What are your challenges on the wedding day as a wedding photographer?
There are so many challenges that I couldn’t name them all. But I generally tell couples to make sure to hire a wedding photographer they feel fully comfortable around and they fully trust. If they don’t trust their photographer, they won’t follow his instructions and their pictures might not turn out the way they expected. Trust is very important.
You can read all of Dazzle Jam’s helpful tips to every bride and groom here.
What do you do when you’re not photographing? Do you have any other interests?
Yes, in my spare time I do a lot of charity work and combine that with exhibitions. I love putting smiles on people’s faces and seeing them light up. I do exhibitions every year. Usually, there’s a theme and people dress up. Last year’s theme was hustle. I wanted to show how different people work in Uganda. In the end, we end up visiting a family in need and donating all the food and clothing we were able to gather.
Where can our readers find you?
On our DAZZLE JAM Photography website or on our Instagram.
We had a great time talking to Dazzle Jam and learning about his journey to becoming a wedding and lifestyle photographer. During our chat, we noticed just how passionate and devoted he is to his craft. We were amazed by the way he explained what photography actually means to him and by the beautiful quotes he shared with us. One of the essential takeaways of this interview was no matter where you start, you always have the possibility to learn, adapt, and perfect your craft and ultimately turn your passion into your career. You might not be there yet, but keep working at it until you gain the required knowledge. And then do something big. Something great.
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The Brown BrideJuly 7, 2020
This is so great! Totally agree that being comfortable with the photographer is KEY to beautiful photos on the wedding day itself. We actually just published a blog post on 50+ black wedding vendors in the US and Canada that I thought you’d be interested in as well! You’re giving us ideas on expanding that post to a series like this. Keep up the great work!
Tati | L & WJuly 8, 2020
Thank you for your kind words! And thanks for stopping by! I will def. check it out 🙂