Whizz Photo Studio | Studio Partner Spotlight | Pepea Studio
As one of Nairobi’s oldest photo studios, Whizz Photo LTD is a landmark establishment. Launched in 1985 by Samir Bhanji and his wife, and business partner Raji Bhanji, it started like any other photography and photo printing business. They cater to the needs of clients as they walk in from the busy Nairobi city streets, helping them with anything and everything…from passport photos to custom made family albums.
From Dark Rooms To Digital…Photography Then (the 80s & 90s) vs Photography Now
Samir became a photographer in the early ’80s, turning a hobby that was meant to help him use his post-high school time productively into a successful and respected business. With 35 years of photography experience under his belt, he has pretty much seen it all in the best ways. He started out as a freelance photographer, covering weddings, events and the like. It’s not a surprise that today’s youth take photography so lightly. Everything has been made easier thanks to technology, and as a result, some of the magic that goes into freezing a moment in time through pictures has been lost. He fondly states that things were not as “automated” then as they are today. Everything was manual, and you could only know how good the picture turned out after it was developed. Photography required a keen eye, skill, talent, and even a little bit of luck because there were just so many things to consider.
“We had to believe in the Shot,” says Samir as he took the time to explain how analogue photos were processed and the added pressure to deliver because there was no such thing as a delete button.
According to him, technology has contributed greatly to the increased love of photography and videography we see today. Despite this, everything comes at a price, and for establishments like Whizz Photo Studio, this has unfortunately led to fewer customers. With the continued development of smartphones with powerful cameras and the popularity of social media, fewer people are printing out their pictures. Younger people opt to share their treasured moments on Instagram or save them in their cloud storage yet it is just not the same.
“With printed photos you never forget your best memories. You get to relive the moments.We keep telling them that phones get lost, passwords get forgotten and hard drives crash, but photos are forever.”
Nothing beats a memory caught in time, that you can hold in your hand and get lost in. It’s almost like reading a paperback novel, the smell of those pages can never be replicated by technology.
Whizz Photo Always Puts Customers First: The Key To A Successful Photography Business
When I walked into the Parklands Diamond Plaza branch, Samir was attending to a customer. He didn’t know who I was and excused himself to politely ask me to have a seat and wait for him to finish with the client he had. I had come to interview him, but immediately I wanted to be a customer too! During the few hours I spent in the store, I had the privilege of watching him attend to each and every single person who walked in with the utmost care. When I asked how he and Raji have managed to come so far, his response to how they have managed to keep not one, but two studios running successfully was immediate and swift.
“You have to give the customers what they want. We as Whizz Photo establish trust with our clients by always delivering services on time.We do not compromise on quality”
I felt the passion in his statements and his pain as he expressed how the individuals who churn out sub-standard work are ruining a good and respected industry. He went on to encourage young people who want to join the photography world not to be driven by short term gains, but to invest in growing their skills and experiences; because nothing can replace real talent and hard work.
Changing With The Times! Providing Contactless Photo Printing Services As A Result Of COVID19
This year has been hard for many businesses, regardless of scale. For businesses like Whizz that heavily rely on foot traffic and the physical presence of customers, business has been slow. Necessity is the mother of invention and it is in tough times like these that communities come together in whatever way they can. As a Pepea Studio Partner, Whizz is among a handful of photography studios in Kenya offering its large client base access to safe contactless online photo printing services. Their clients and anyone with an internet connection who lives around Kilimani, Parklands or Westlands can upload, edit and order prints from them using the pepea website, and get their prints delivered. In the wake of COVID19 such a service is not only extremely considerate but protects both Samir and his employees and the customers he treasures so dearly.
The Ultimate Gift This Diwali…Using The Lessons We Have Learned From 2020 To Bring Positive Change In Our Communities
As Diwali approaches and many families are struggling to provide basic necessities, celebrations will take up a new form. Many members of the local Kenyan Indian community are using this year’s Diwali celebrations to give back to the less fortunate and support local businesses. This year we encourage people to bring light and joy to the lives of passionate and hardworking business owners like Raj & Samir by not letting what is happening around us affect our day to day lives. By sticking to health safety rules and using the tools available to us to not only protect ourselves and our loved ones but to also remember this period. We have overcome so much this year and its stories such as these that keep us motivated and moving.
Visit Whizz Photo Studio today!
Parklands Branch: Diamond Plaza, Pramukh Swami Ave, Nairobi City (0711260256)
Kilimani Branch: Kasuku Centre (0724 011891)