I never thought that I would get into photography. I got into it by accident, and I fell in love. When I was a kid, I used to see my father, who is a photo enthusiast, with his Canon AE-1 on his neck and he would always ask me to strike a pose and take my shot. Admittedly, I had a hard time smiling in front of the camera. There was something about being in front of the camera that made me feel uneasy. It was in elementary school when I became conscious of how I look— and that was when my interest in photography started: I wanted to know what is so special about being the person behind the camera.
When I entered college, my love for photography grew deeper. I would always bring my camera to shoot during school events and parties and weddings. It served as my training ground, and it helped me to develop my eye and interest for photography. Travel opportunities also challenged me to be more aware and active. Reading photography books and magazines also helped me widen my knowledge in the field. Modesty aside, my cousin who is an artist, Jessie Marinas (also known as the Miracle Man of Manteca) encouraged me to keep on shooting and I have not stopped ever since.
“I feel and shoot with my heart,” that is what I always tell people whenever they ask me about photography. I want to be able to express and tell them what I saw and felt before pressing the shutter; I share these emotions through photos. Though people may have a different perspective than mine, I enjoy hearing their different opinions and learning from them. I believe that a photographer is not only someone who takes good photos professionally, but is also someone who is good at storytelling—telling someone’s story through a photo. A photographer is also a master of darkness and light, he/she knows how to put it into use. I shoot both film and digital, but I believe what matters most is how successfully you are able to communicate with your audience.
My photos are reminders, a record of memories, and I wish to be able to convey to my audience that there is always something there to look at. I hope people would see and appreciate that there is always a hidden meaning as to why I chose to take that photo. My appreciation for life and the simple things are what keep me going. I get my inspiration from the people around me and from the environment. I also draw inspiration from the books I read and from Filipino artists such as Wawi Navarroza and Tammy David. I think that it is necessary to be observant and to immerse yourself whenever you are shooting with your camera.
At the moment, I am trying to focus on black and white photography. I think that it is amazing that with only two colors one can enjoy playing with the shutter and make magic out of it and depicting something beyond colorful images.