Last week we welcomed the latest addition to the Soko family, our new Photography Fellow, Praise Santos! For the next two months, Praise will be living and working alongside our team in Nairobi. In her first week alone, Praise has already impressed us with her boundless energy, bright smile, and eye for style, not to mention her photography chops! Read on to learn more.
Name: Praise Santos
Position: Photography Fellow
In one word: sunshine-y
Hometown/Grew up in: Orlando, Florida
What attracted you to Soko?
I wanted to be involved with Soko within 10 seconds of being on the website, an image splashed by that said what Soko was about: INNOVATION + FASHION + IMPACT - the 3 things that make my heart go boom boom. As I browsed around more I found the photography fellowship opportunity. I had just returned from Uganda on a trip as a short term videographer and loved that I was able to channel my visual skills to enrich communities. I knew I wanted to do something similar more long term. It was a providential happenstance finding Soko. And now a few months later, I am living in Nairobi!
What was your photography experience going into the fellowship?
I have freelanced as a photographer and graphic designer for over 7 years.
You can see my portfolio at www.comeplum.com
What’s a typical day for you ?
With Soko a day may consist of playing Frogger to cross the busy streets walking to the offices, photographing stylish locals at a Nairobi fashion event, or driving along bumpy roads towards the mountains for a sunrise photoshoot with Maasai artisans. Outside of work, my day consists of sleeping in (at best!), attempting Pinterest recipes (50% success rate), and working out (which is an excuse to move around while jamming to Top 40 dance remixes, of course.)
Where do you seek inspiration for your work?
I love following the Sartorialist. He captures some dynamic people!
When I’m not working I love to: Find local dark chocolate - yum! When I was living in San Francisco, I was obsessed with going on factory tours of the fair-trade chocolate companies around town. My heart sank though when I found out Kenya doesn’t have locally made chocolate. I will find other local yummies though!
Describe your style in three words: wearing “normal” unusually.
Favorite piece from the Kenya Collection: Brass Fringe!
What what are you most excited about doing in Nairobi?
I look forward to going to the elephant orphanage! I overdosed on cute when I saw this picture of a baby elephant in a raincoat.
Dream travel destination?
Seeing the painting elephants in Thailand. Seriously this video makes me so happy I’m in tears every time I see it. Which has been over 10. I’m a bit obsessed with these tusked animals if you can’t tell.
Any advice/tips for aspiring photographers?
Some of my mottoes:
-Photography is the playground of light.
-Expensive equipment doesn’t make a good photographer, a good eye does.
-Don’t always live behind camera, take mental pictures - be present!
Fun fact about yourself:
My favorite day of the week is Tuesday and I’ve done two spoken word/rap battles and haven’t won either, haha.
We’re looking forward to your next rap battle (with an elephant?).