Photo passion: While all his colleagues at university dreamed of working on radio and TV, Pat Roberts wanted to do photography. In 2013 he started practising his passion and last year photography got him close to the Pope.
When did you start taking photos?
In 2013, though occasionally.
Why did you pick an interest in that field?
While at school, I realised that all my classmates wanted to be on radio or TV. Photography was never taken seriously. I found it less congested, so it was a better option, but this also came with the passion for photography.
Did you study photography?
Yes, at UMCAT School of Journalism. I specialised in Photography and Public Relations, because I knew they would take me places. I did not think of being employed but rather starting up my own venture.
Which renowned people/companies have you photographed?
I have done freelance photography for the Daily Monitor Gulu office, Chimpreports, Speak FM Gulu Radio Launch, Youth Entrepreneurship Development Network, Ssubi Foundation Canada and Uganda National Association of Building Civil Engineering and Construction. I was pleased to be accredited among the national press team to cover the Pope’s visit. I covered the wedding of former Gulu RDC, Catherine Lamwaka, not to mention other weddings and customised house parties.
What are your charges?
My average fee for a day is Shs150,000 for any abrupt event. For personalised events, I take an average, of Shs300,000 to Shs500,000 while documentary photography, specifically for projects showcasing the impact of their work, I charge Shs1.5m.
What makes a good photographer?
You must be skilled, trusted, consistent and timely with delivery.
What camera do you use and how much did you buy it?
I use a Sony SLT-A58K Digital SLR Kit with 18-55mm Zoom Lens, 20.1MP SLR Camera with 2.7 -Inch LCD Screen. With an extra 18-350MM Lens and 50-500mm lens, so a full pack goes for Shs4.8m.
How much do you earn per month?
I am paid as an in-house photographer for one of the media houses. The side income comes as additional benefits. In a bad month, I earn Shs700,000.
What advice would you give someone interested in taking up that profession?
I am a junior lecturer at UMCAT and I keep advising my students that this is the only vacant post available in most media houses in Uganda. Show your potential and grab the job. For the females, this is an avenue to try and those who want to make money, quality is what drives clients to you; give them the best and they will always come back.