GVRC: Domestic Violence

Hey! thanks for stopping by. First, let me just drop the images before anything else; check out what we shot:-

GVRC_PekatPhotography
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GVRC_Pekat_Photography
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GVRC_PEKAT_PHOTOGRAPHY_KENYA

Gender/Domestic Violence is a reality in our homes today and most of these cases go unreported hence perpetrators repeatedly abuse the victims until such a time it becomes fatal. Everyones wish is to be raised in a non-abusive, loving home but not all of us get such a chance. Physical, mental and psychological torture has an adverse effect in the growth of a child or a family in general.

This is the issue we wanted to highlight when we teamed up with Kate Waititu of Kanai Beauties to create a series of images for the Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) which is a non-profit making, non-partisan; charitable trust of the Nairobi Women’s Hospital (NWH).

GVRC’s main purpose is to bring back meaning to survivor’s lives and their families where they do this through the provision of FREE medical treatment and psychosocial support to survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and engaging the public in advocacy issues and primary prevention of abuse.

Domestic violence is defined as “the wilful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behaviour as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.” When you look at the sobering statistics about the state of domestic violence in Kenya, its clear that very real threat in the Kenyan household.

I, personally having witnessed abuse of a child back in August 2014 where the perpetrator is still walking scot free, I am happy that I can finally be part of a campaign to help create awareness about this issue. 

In Kate's own words; "I was glad to team up with Pekat photography and be part of this campaign which is dear to my heart. I had grown up in an abusive environment and I know how that can affect a child. It’s an environment that is unpredictable, filled with tension and anxiety and dominated by fear, a life I can’t wish for any child to go through.

For the makeup looks we did a black eye look for the ‘Mom’ to show that she had been previously assaulted by the husband, and for the child we did a split lip indicating she had been previously hit by the father."

You can read more about Gender Based Violence on GVRC's Website http://gvrc.or.ke/ and Zero Violence 254-http://www.zeroviolence254.org/

Our primary theme of this shoot was to showcase a typical chaotic household with an 8 years old child who is directly or indirectly being affected by all these. To achieve that, we had to use a talent who would help us enact such a situation, with the support of other characters i.e 'Mum', relatively authoritative 'husband' who is of old age. We can't burry our heads in the sand and say that very young women aren't getting married to old men and thats why we used male and female talents with a wide age gap. However, the age of mom and two children had to be consistent and believable thats why we settled with middle aged mum, 8 year old child and another one year old.

  Bonus portrait from the shoot.

Bonus portrait from the shoot.

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The first mention of this project happened two months ago and since then we've been up and down, research, meeting with my creative team, casting, location scouts, wardrobe, designing of props and a million other things that we had to do to make this project a success. Handling a team of 13 people was by no means a joke. As I always say, good preparation and team work are the perfect ingredients of a good production. 

To me, a photo assignment doesn't start and end with taking the photos but its an unending process which starts from an idea, to conceptualisation, pre-production, production, post-production, marketing and other things. With every last shot I take, thats where my work starts. 

 Checking progress of this rocking chair a week before the shoot.

Checking progress of this rocking chair a week before the shoot.

 

Fast forward to the shoot date and the main challenge was getting the intended sombre mood, y'all know dealing with children is hectic. So we had to shoot them first then shoot the other two talents separately in the same set, perspectives. With that I could concentrate on one thing at a time. As expected, our 8 year old talent kept laughing in most of the shots.

  Why you still laughing :(

Why you still laughing :(

  What's going on back there? unh? 

What's going on back there? unh? 

  Right frame. This frame also served as our backplate. 

Right frame. This frame also served as our backplate. 

  Intended Empty backplate.  With the same perspectives and light direction, it becomes easy to merge the frames together. A backplate is the immovable plate where all other frames fall into. However the inclination of the rock chair was different from the frame the old man is seated, this gets quite difficult to merge such frames.

Intended Empty backplate.  With the same perspectives and light direction, it becomes easy to merge the frames together. A backplate is the immovable plate where all other frames fall into. However the inclination of the rock chair was different from the frame the old man is seated, this gets quite difficult to merge such frames.

The home-made curved table lamp, straight smoking pipe were designed by ProTisa. The rock chair was also made specifically for the shoot and design was based on two contemporary reference sources.

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 Shooting all talents at same time was practically impossible.

Shooting all talents at same time was practically impossible.

  The idea of leaving the telephone handset hanging was suggested by one of our team. 

The idea of leaving the telephone handset hanging was suggested by one of our team. 

  Original setting before we removed the carpet and replaced the seats.

Original setting before we removed the carpet and replaced the seats.

  LED lights were used to add ambience. Powerful flood lights would have changed the direction of light and overpower the tungsten bulb we had placed on the table. 

LED lights were used to add ambience. Powerful flood lights would have changed the direction of light and overpower the tungsten bulb we had placed on the table. 

  The good thing with team work is brainstorming, when I am shooting, I am always open to suggestions from my team.

The good thing with team work is brainstorming, when I am shooting, I am always open to suggestions from my team.

  Two Legends, One Photo. Lol :)

Two Legends, One Photo. Lol :)

BTS Clip shot on Samsung s7...

Thank you Sharifa and Charles from GVRC for trusting us with the whole production and being so supportive. Special Thanks to Kate and to all my other team- Beata, Nick, Gonza, Peter, Abel, John and Betty-Thank you. 

  The good thing with my team is that they always make sure I worry less about everything else hence giving me time to concentrate on taking the perfect frame. 

The good thing with my team is that they always make sure I worry less about everything else hence giving me time to concentrate on taking the perfect frame. 

Thank you Irene of Farm Houz for the perfect location and giving us the space to execute our ideas.

PRODUCTION CREDITS;

Peter Pekat- Producer

Beata Otieno (Ojwa Styling)- Stylist

Kate Waititu (Kanai Beauties) - Makeup Artist

Betty Mukiri - Makeup Assistant

Gonzanga Gonza- Guest Assistant

Pro Tisa - Props

Location: Farm Houz, Muguga

TALENTS:

Loise Mathini,

David Nganga

Cresenciah Wanjiku

Sandra Muthoni

I shared all my pre-production process on Instagram from day one to the last day. Interested in being part of the production? I always invite a guest assistant who've been following our updates on Instagram.

Do you have any question regarding the shoot, the equipments I used, post-processing? Any complimentary message you'd like to pass? or further clarification? Use the form in this page, i'll get back to you in a split second; ASK KAMAU

“It is seldom that domestic violence is an isolated episode; rather it is comprised of a number of episodes over an extended period of time.” 
― Asa Don Brown

Yours Truly; @its_kamau