About Neil Thomas
I was born in Kenya and had an idyllic childhood running about in my bare feet under a hot African sun. It was during those years I really got to love this beautiful continent - the light, the people, the colours and sounds.
When I was about 10 my step-grandmother gave me a Ricoh film camera that had a lens about the same size as that of a modern day cell-phone! I loved it and photographed everything. I should have realised then that my world would always be understood and appreciated visually.
For my teen years I endured school in the UK and did fairly well but was more interested in getting out and seeing the world. I then hitch-hicked through Africa a few times in the late 80’s, worked with NGOs in Somalia and Sudan during the wars in the early 90’s and then went off to get my undergraduate degree that involved moving to Holland.
After graduating I moved to South Africa getting an MSc in Environment and Development.
I went back to Amsterdam to photography school and ended up freelancing for travel magazines and worked in France and Italy in the late 90’s. I soon got a taste of doing photography for a living.
I returned to Kenya in 2000, and after a brief foray into a development career, I switched over to the world of photography and it all became clear, that this is what I was born for.
From that point until now I’ve been working as a freelance photographer and have shot everything from big advertising campaigns to NGO profiles, travelled continents, made films, flown drones and led photography tours. The work is varied and diverse and that’s what makes it fun and interesting.
I am based in Nairobi (Kenya) and I work worldwide.
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