Thandiwe Muriu is a self-taught fashion and beauty photographer from Kenya.
In an interview in 2013 when her series Camo was first released Kenyan based beauty and fashion photographer Thandiwe Muria said, “If I were a portrait, I’d be Vincent Van Gogh’s self portrait in a straw hat. I love the colors and texture of the brush strokes.” When I chatted to her about these images she said that, “Color has always fascinated me. It’s such a strong communication tool. It can show strength or calm; be loud or quiet; gentle or harsh.”
It’s no surprise, then, if you scroll through her Instagram account or peruse her website you’ll be delivered a riot of color, dramatic lighting and textures that celebrate African beauty with an artistic vision that is unique to her. “Photographers give fashion personality; bring the garments to life,” she says.
Asked about her inspiration for Camo she said, “I’ve always loved the bright colors and fun patterns of African fabrics. My work is colorful by nature and I wanted to photograph a series exploring all the different fabrics we have here.
I personally see Camo as a celebration of all the vibrant and playful fabrics so integral to African culture. The goal of Camo is to blend the model into the background so she’s one with the fabric. Her accessories are made up of everyday objects you can expect to find here in Kenya. Africans are colorful people so why not show that aspect of my heritage in my pictures!”
“I think your artistic vision is what is most important. It is what will make your work stand out from the crowd. Vision can’t be taught but technique can,” says Thandiwe. It’s this attitude, and a savvy business sense, that has helped her carved out a name for herself in an ever-growing African fashion photography scene. (See the work of Osbourne Macharia, Lyra Aoko and Thandiwe’s favorites – Trevor Stuurman, Travys Owen and Maganga Mwagogo.
Thandiwe is releasing Camo 2.0 – which explores African hair styles in a playful way – will be out in March. Keep your eyes peeled to her website. (And this slideshow has a glimpse of what you can expect…)