As a kid, I really want to become an Architect or to become a painter like my father. But as the years go by and with the demands of life situations, I became a teacher and as I pursued my teaching career I found myself loving Photography and decided to take up Photography Courses; specifically Fashion Photography. I studied at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines under the mentorship of Rxandy Capinpin one of the best fashion and conceptual photographers in the Philippines.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw my inspirations from movies, fictional characters, some fashion editorials from online and printout magazines, locally and internationally.
What was the turning point in your life that made you decide to venture out photography in the UAE?
As I decided to work in Dubai as a High School Teacher, it was also my goal to enter the world of Fashion Photography in the UAE. With the help of some friends who were already in the business of Fashion in UAE, doors were starting to open for opportunities for me to attend Fashion Events and shoot such as the very well known Fashion Forward Dubai organized by Brag Events under Mr. Bong Guerrero.
[The] art scene in the Middle East is very unique and very modern, yet preserving the culture of the emirates. UAE is very open to new trends in arts and they give opportunities for artists in different nationalities to showcase what they’ve got and what they can exhibit to people.
Dubai is such a hub of fashion; how do you integrate the Filipino flavor with Middle Eastern fashion in your photos?
As I plan on contributing my work to some fashion magazines in the UAE, I can say that being explorative in my work as a Filipino is one of the best things that I can integrate in Middle Eastern Fashion, not being boxed into one concept but rather looking for more artistic ways to present the image well.
I've seen you work during a photo shoot for an online magazine; you take some very fun and incredibly smart shots of your models. What is the concepting process and collaboration like on these shoots?
Processing the concept is not only done by the photographer. With the collaborative ideas of the fashion team (Fashion Stylists, Hair and Make Up Artists, Art Director) a specific concept of the shoot can be created. With the entire artistic applications of each part of the crew, a specific fashion shoot output will come out into a success.
As a teacher of Arts (MAPEH), I can relate my job as a Fashion Photographer by teaching the students to love ARTS as a form of expressing what they feel, what they love to do and by exploring their inner desires to bring out artistic expressions in what they have.
Favorite fashion photo shoot was (with whom, where, when and what for)?
My finals (Fashion Editorial) for the Fashion Institute of the Philippines.
Title: TROPHY WIFE
Models : Stephanie Retuya (1st Runner Up Asia's Next Top Model S1) and Miguel Masigan
Make up Artists: Jacky Pante
Hair Stylists: Ten Franco FashionStylits: AbirAsda and Pol Tapia
For now I am looking forward to have a Major Fashion Editorial Contribution in any fashion magazine in the UAE or other countries to showcase what I can do as a Fashion Photographer.
Lastly, any tips for young aspiring fashion photographers?
Continue to strive for greatness in everything you do and do it with excellence; and don’t lose the inner passion in your craft even though there are hardships and trials that will come your way. Also always be humble and be professional in your work. Treat everyone fairly and do not forget those people who helped you to reach your dream. And most importantly trust and pray to GOD for all his plans for your life!
interview by Eyzell Salinel
photos courtesy of Bethoven Filomeno