I took this photo 3 years ago. I was just starting photography, and to this day, I’m still in love with this image. In ballet terms, I think this is called the firebird leap. This was shot at an empty lot at the side of a building. I’ll admit, this was sort of a lucky shot. But ultimately, I think this has been my favorite. It’s a mix of the gracefulness of ballet, the urban/modern feel of her wardrobe, the way her arms rest off the side as she leaps and her hair keeps up as her head tilts back, the pain of kneeling on hard soil and little sharp rocks piercing through my knees under the hot Manila sun as I tried to get this shot, and finally, the joy of seeing this shot finally coming through the LCD screen of my camera.
What inspires you in doing your photography?
Anything, really. Sometimes I would see a location (usually with a good window light), or a model then a certain idea instantly pops up. Sometimes, a song will inspire me and give a certain mood for a shoot I want to do, or even a photo from another photographer that makes me want to do something like it or makes me say “why didn’t I think of that?” But really, it’s the people who appreciates my work that inspires me.
The critiques (good and bad) that I get from people who are much more experienced that I am, help a lot. Even the ones who bring me down, those naysayers, they light up some sort of fire inside me. But also, it’s the community. You get to meet new people and make friends, who can help you in your works and vice versa. You can also teach and learn from the people you meet.
Of course, not everyone will like you or get along with you, but it’s just a part of the dynamic. The entirety of it all and the experiences you go through as a photographer is amazing. It really inspires me and it’s what keeps me going.
How do you prepare yourself before shooting or doing any assignments?
Usually, I would look up for “inspirations” on the web or a shoot that has been done with the same concept or something close to it. Then I try to study it, ‘how was it done?’, ‘why it was done a certain way?’, put it all in a mood board (in an album, folder, Pinterest, etc.) then I try to get the idea behind it and hopefully I’d end up with something of my own.
For my gear, I make sure everything on my cards are backed up and all the batteries are charged. And make sure you have extra cards and extra batteries and few extra shirts as well! You’ll never know when you might need it.