Giulio Mofese is a professional photographer who has walked the world because of his adroit stances behind the lanes. Having been in the business professionally for 25 years, the Uganda-based Italian photographer opened up to UGO in an exclusive interview about the ups and downs of his career.
Brief background about yourself
I am Giulio Molfese, 42 years old. I was born in Italy. I have been in Uganda for 10 years now. I have been a photographer for more than 25 years. In Uganda I am known as a fashion photographer, but I also do portraits, commercial, catalogs, film photography, music photography and I have covered social conflicts in war zone countries in Africa like Somalia and Guninea-Bissau.
Is work one of the reasons why you moved to Uganda?
In some ways it’s the reason. I was covering social conflicts in some African countries like Rwanda, South Sudan, and Congo with my friend and we used to move through Uganda as we went around East Africa. Later, we decided to set up a Safari company here in the country which we concentrated on as our business. However, when my friend passed away five years ago, I decided to fully concentrate on photography.
Why did you choose Photography as your line of career?
Photography is a great way to express yourself: You use images, visual concepts to express your feelings, emotions, how you see the world and it has always been my passion. I come from a family where my father was a painter and for me it was kind of natural to use this visual language. But of course there is that commercial part.
Describe the fashion/photography industry of Uganda?
The market for fashion in Uganda is still small but photography is quite interesting because many people like to take pictures. In Kampala there are thousands of studios. However, there is a lot to be improved in terms of quality and technique.
Resources: Most of the things are imported in Uganda even the smallest accessories. So from a technical point of view, it is a bit difficult to access some accessories and importing them is quite expensive. There is also need to improve on the quality of images and set standards since it is a free market in Uganda.
Highs and Lows in your line of work
Years ago, a manager of a big rock star Bob Dylan used one of my pictures for his (Dylan’s) album. To me this was huge. As for lows, it is really disappointing when you put effort to produce high quality work and people don’t appreciate it.
How many Awards have you received so far in Uganda?
Three. There is the Afrikan Fashion Walk Awards (AFWAs) & Men’s Xplosion Fashion & Style Awards (MXFSAs) and Best Fashion Photographer at Abryanz Style and Fashion awards 2014.
If you are to choose another line of career, which one would you choose? And why?
Career is just a way to make a living and that I can do other things. But I cannot live without photography, that’s the way I express myself. I am a kind of shy person and photography helps me to meet new people and tell my stories.
How would you describe the Fashion industry of Uganda?
The Fashion industry of Uganda has a lot of potential. There are many talented designers and good models with some even recognized internationally but the market is very small. It is not easy to make a living out of it especially for the models.
Fashion is about creativity but it is also a business. Big International fashion houses have a team of people who care about the management of the business. In Uganda, we are starting to reach there.
Which prominent people have you ever done photo shoots with? In Uganda and outside Uganda
I have done photo shoots with prominent musicians like Bob Dylan, B.B King, Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz, Femi Kuti, Patti Smith, Black Crows, Chuck Prophet, Steve Wynn and many more. I have worked with Uganda’s famous models – former Miss Uganda Beauty Queens, Sylvia Namutebi and Dorah Mwiima.
Molfese on Social Media
Facebook: Giulio Molfese