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Blessy: Beyond Sight Photography

Less than a year ago, Blessy Gasagara founder of Beyond Sight Photography got his first camera. Little did he know that that investment will take him on a journey far beyond his expectations. In the past few months, his photos have been published in an Irish fashion magazine, he has been booked for photo shoots almost weekly and his gift has opened so many doors for him.

Blessy is currently studying Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Aston University. He is originally from Rwanda, but currently lives in Kenya. In this interview, Blessy got to share with us the motivation behind his passion and how is relationship with God influences his decision.
1
How long have you been into photography?
I bought my first camera just over 12 months ago. It was really cheap and I used it to take pictures of almost everything I saw. The first legit picture I took was the skyline of Birmingham from a friend’s flat and that was really where it started. I got the camera from bidding on eBay and I even had to borrow money from a friend to pay for it. Up until a year ago, I wasn’t really into photography.

I started my photography company a month ago, so it is still super young and is not focused on one thing at the moment which I do not like..

What would you like your photography company to be focused on?
The name itself ‘Beyond Sight’ symbolizes something that is seen but is not perfectly in focus. The first photo album I posted were pictures from Radical Youth worship night and I feel like the pictures showcased moments that would have been easily missed. They showcased intimacy on another level and were created to start a conversation.

What makes Beyond Sight stand out from other photography company?
I remember walking back from the post office where I went to pick the camera I just bought and praying that every picture that I took with it would glorify God. That is why it has been hard for me to publish contents that does not serve the purpose well. For example if I was asked to take pictures from a fashion shoot or something like that, I wouldn’t mind doing it but it wouldn’t really portray what ‘Beyond Sight’ is about.

Most photography companies are usually mundane and follow the skeleton, the structure of taking photos that are usual. With Beyond Sight, I want to use photography to evangelize.2

So in future, will you only share pictures that promotes God?
I would want Beyond sight to showcase pictures of now and before.

Last Christmas, I went back to all the countries I used to live in when I was younger. These include:  Kenya, Rwanda, and Belgium. It was a great opportunity for me to see where I am from and how that has cultivated me to get to where I am now as a Christian. My parents are one of the main reasons why I am a Christian so traveling gave me the opportunity to see what was behind what I couldn’t see. You know when you were younger you went to Church because your parents went to Church but now that you are older you can see those things that have built you up to who you are now.

So the idea of Beyond Sight is to showcase the things that we can’t see but has made us the person that we are now.

I want to use photography as a way to evangelize.

How did you become interested in photography then?

The first professional camera I had ever used was given to me by my somewhat wealthy uncle to take a family picture. I was really young then.
After that day, I never had any interest in photography until a year ago. There is a beauty in capturing moments, photography gives you the power to be in a place, but still go back and relive those moments from another place.
So, an image says a thousand words but it also throws you to the eyes and perspective of the photographer. It is a peripheral vision.

What inspired you to start your own company?
Starting my company  came out of a need to express myself and be interdependent. There are 3 levels of dependency. To be dependent on others, to do your own thing by yourself (independence), and to be interdependent. Interdependence is working with other people using my talents and the talents of others to generate growth.
My idea with Beyond Sight is to not be the type of photographers to shoot for himself but to connect with others and make positive influence, evangelize and spread a greater message with my pictures.
3
How does it feel to have turned your passion into a career?
I don’t see it as a career yet. Once my plans and God’s plans intercede that is when I will find my true happiness or career.

Once my plans and God’s plans intercede that is when I will find my true happiness or career.

What would you say is the biggest challenge for you as a photographer?
I do not want to be too lavish. I don’t want to be a photographer that is too lavish and leaves the published post different from the original.
Photography is meant to look back at something and see where we are now and where we have come from. It can be used as a way of recalling relationship and truth. That is what I want people to experience when they see my pictures.
When a person decided to be themselves, they offer something else no one else can be.

What has been the most exciting thing for you at Beyond Sight?

Understanding what it could do and where it could go to has been really exciting for me. On the first album I shared on the page, there was this comment that solidified everything I want Beyond Sight to stand for and when I saw that comment, I was really grateful that the pictures had that effect on the person that left the comment.

The comment read ”This made me feel as if I was right there worshiping, it gave me so goose… Joy unspeakable….”.

Do you feel like your life has changed much since you officially became a photographer?4

My perspective on things has changed a lot. Now, I am able to see broader and express myself beyond school work. I have always wanted to be more than just a student, so I am really excited to see what happens when I graduate this year. A lot of people go to university just because it is what is expected of us but we need to find a way to be ourselves and express ourselves beyond coursework deadline.

We need to find a way to be ourselves and express ourselves beyond coursework deadline.

What have you learnt about yourself and other since you started Beyond Sight?
Vulnerability. A lot of people didn’t know that I photographed, mostly because I didn’t share my work which was because I thought it wasn’t good enough. But right now, through my photography I am letting people see me for me. So I have seen that vulnerability is good, and it leads to growth.

For a lot of men, being able to suppress your emotions is a sign of strength. After a while, repression starts to hurt and that is where vulnerability comes back in and allows you to unfold that character that you have been missing out on.
I have learnt that faith and vulnerability are one of the biggest ways to interact with humanity. It’s our way of connecting and portraying emotions so I guess vulnerability helps to create growth and that’s what makes me want to allow myself to be better.

What fears do you have in the journey of seeing your dreams materialize?

They say that the greatest critic is yourself. So my fear is really myself. I am afraid that I will allow other people pressure  me to be who I am not.

What are your future plans for Beyond sight?

I really like what Brandon Stanton has managed to do with Humans of New York (@HumansOfNY). I really like how he has shared real pictures of real people with real testimonies to the world. I think that’s really where I want to be. I want to be able to portray emotions that are there but not fully noticed. Pictures that will have depth, meaning and a story behind them.

Imagine you are 80 years old now, what would you go back to say to your younger self or to your children?

Screw society! Be yourself, do not care what other people think of you, and live a life that portrays who you really are. To understand who you are, you need to know God. So, aim for a life that portrays who you are in Christ. Something else, understand yourself before you try and fix others. Try to love yourself before you love others in a way. Because it’s hard. The greatest commandment calls you to love thy neighbour as yourself. Forget your neighbou

r for now, focus on learning how to love yourself because it is definitely an inward battle.

If someone had given you that advice, how would it have changed our life?

I would be in worship school, in London.

My first dream was to major in worship with a minor in business but worship has always been my first love. However, my parents were not in support of me going to study worship and higher education level and that is why I am studying Engineering at Aston University.

How has your relationship with God influenced the decisions that you have made for yourself?

I lost touch with  a lot of friends. Although it seems like I always have a lot of people around me, but I don’t connect with everyone in the same way.
God has definitely changed my life in ways that I couldn’t have done for myself. He has opened my eyes to the consequences of my decisions and given me his word which is the sword that guides me. (Hebrews 4:12)

There is so much, I could say it’s hard to put it all together. He just taught me to open my eyes to the things I was doing and in that sense I became closer to him. So every decision has brought me closer to him. The bible says in Amos 3:3 ‘’Can two walk together unless they agree?’’ So you can’t grow with God without agreeing with him.5

So apart from photography, what else do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy being by myself. I am enjoying growing and learning how to be a man of God
I also enjoy  reading and expressing myself through singing.

What advice would you give to people who do not know what their passion is?
I am always shocked to hear  people say they have no talent. So, instead of asking people ‘’what do you do?” Or ”what is your talent ?’’ I ask them ‘‘how do you express yourself?’’

Finding your passion, lies in how you express yourself authentically.  It lies in how you unleash the burdens in your mind.

Finding your passion, lies in how you express yourself authentically.  It lies in how you unleash the burdens in your mind.

What advice would you give to people who are scared of pursuing their passion?
There is this guy on YouTube called Casey Neistat. He left home when he was 15 with a child, grabbed a camera and started learning how to edit videos and that has taken him to places beyond his imagination. I think he was in a deep place of pain which helped him throw himself out there. What I am trying to say is that you will never know what  will happen if you do not try.

You will never know what  will happen if you do not try.

Are there any photographers you look up to?
A lot of photographers on Instagram are my motivation. One of my favorite is ‘gypsyydangerr’. Instagram is my inspiration as well as my demotivation.

What kind of things do you do or have you done to improve your skills as a photographer?
Learning how to use the instrument you have been given is very important. Also, understanding that I am in control of the camera, the camera is just a tool. This has helped me grow and improve my creativity.

The inspiration and support I receive, has also helped me grow.

 Contact Blessy
Follow Blessy on Instagram
Like Beyond Sight’s Photography page

 

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3 Comments

  1. Brandon Osaze Airihenbuwa
    13/01/2016 at 10:38 pm — Reply

    Nice one, looking forward to all the great work you are going too do

  2. Vanessa Bello
    13/01/2016 at 10:39 pm — Reply

    Feeling inspired after reading this. Do not be afraid to glorify God with your gift. Yes you may loose friends along the way but when God blesses you, it is all worth it!

  3. 05/03/2016 at 10:16 pm — Reply

    O my God Blessy ! this is so wonderful.Keep it up.You have my full support and prayers
    Nelson

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