Sean + Jean | Engaged!

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Jean Escanillian and Sean Genon in Sumilon Blue Water Island Resort

Last year in the summer, I was privileged enough to be chosen as the engagement photographer for Sean and Jean. Jean contacted me all the way from Dubai a year before this as I was recommended by her sister. We Skyped a few times and I sent them mood boards, pegs and contracts online (I was so proud to be able to make and send my own e-contracts online! Felt so legit. lol).

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

This was another photoshoot wherein I had to do styling as well as photography, but since I wasn’t available to shop with them nor could I pull-out clothes myself, I just sent them styling pegs. In my opinion, it worked quite well. They brought suitcases of clothes and accessories! Apparently Dubai is a great place to shop!

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Like with many of my shoots, Raisa did the makeup. May I say, she’s definitely one of my favorites to work with! I totally slept while she did makeup coz I had 101% trust in her to fulfill my concept. She never disappoints and I’m always impressed (really, I’m not exaggerating). When it comes to my shoots I tend to be finicky and meticulous, hovering over the make-up artist and overseeing the work … Even here in Vancouver for my school work I noticed this trait, because my classmates accuse me of being a “perfectionist”. But honestly I don’t feel that way! I just can’t stand half-baked work, especially if it comes from me (perfectionist? naah :P).

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

On the first day of shooting, Jean was literally shaking with nervousness as I directed her poses. I calmed her down by letting her shake off the nerves, lightened the mood and told them both “Just have fun!”. I love how these shoots are all about the couple! I always want them to feel special and beautiful when I’m photographing them. Photoshoots may sound very serious, but for engagement jobs I always try to create the atmosphere that it’s more like I’m-a-friend-just-taking-couple-photos for you! I guess it helps that I tend to smile a lot, and I look like a teenager instead of a professional photographer.

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

As you can see, they explicitly requested that they didn’t want the usual lovey-dovey engagement photo session style. “No holding hands¬†while smiling at each other on the beach”! Otherwise popularly known as HHWWPSSP, kids. They wanted something “sexy and edgy”, like something out of a magazine editorial. They also stressed that the reason they picked me was because of my “storytelling” style. They wanted a photo session that wasn’t just full of poses, but one with a background story. I’m glad (more like relieved) to say they liked the output! It was a pleasure shooting a couple that was already good-looking to begin with. Makes my job easier haha.

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

AND THEN AND THEN GUESS WHAT. Sean had a surprise for Jean! You know how a lot of marriages these days are more like agreements, right? Like “hey, let’s get married! Oh, okay! *officially engaged*” Some men have thrown chivalry and romanticism out the door, but others are still playing old-school and it’s always a nice surprise. Makes me feel all warm and happy inside. Anyhoo–yes, I’m talking about the ol’ bend-the-knee proposal.

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Jean was happy enough without an engagement ring, but Sean went all out and surprised her during the photoshoot so that I could actually document his proposal! Sneaky genius.

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

I’d like to thank Sean and Jean again for the opportunity! Wish I could have attended your wedding last Valentines day. This was such a fun workcation for me and Raisa. :) I’ve been to Sumilon prior to this shoot and it’s definitely a nice place to relax and enjoy the pure beach air, especially if you’re into secluded island getaways.

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement

Sean and Jean Genon - Sumilon - Engagement


How to Apply for a Canadian Study Visa (Filipino Citizens)


Wow, it’s been around 5 months since I’ve arrived in the sweet land of Maple Syrup! I’ve always wanted to make more “helpful” blog posts but never got around to, despite it being one of my yearly resolutions (2013 fail). But today I’m about to change that ūüėÄ So hopefully this post will help someone out there who was in the same predicament as me just a year ago. I know it all seems daunting, and tempting to just hire a travel or immigration agency to do the dirty work for you…

BUT listen to me before you give that PHP 40k away, you can do it yourself quite EASILY for a fraction of the cost!

Of course, please take into account I applied in 2013 so the laws may have changed depending on when you’re reading this (please comment below for any broken links and I’ll try to get to it). Best to read through the CIC website about Study Permits¬†first and then come back here. They update their information and website quite regularly.

Ready? Here’s a Step-by-Step process:

Read more…


snow_feetWaking up to my first snowfall… So magical.

While I am mostly busy with school and mundane tasks here living the solo student life, thoughts of how I should blog and post more photos always cross my mind… Honestly, I’ve been arguing with myself lately. I think I’ve reached the point wherein I could care less about social media. I truly feel that I want to live a quiet life. But on the other hand, I think I’ll eventually go back to doing photography so keeping these would help me in the future. Ah, it’s so confusing….

Anyway, I’ve probably abandoned this blog enough for me to be able to just comfortably talk to myself. So, what did I accomplish from last year’s goals hmm?

In 2013, I planned to

1. Finalize on a direction for my future! Deadline: September 2013
– Wow, thank you Lord! This is the biggest check off my list for last year’s goals. This is exactly why I am here in Canada today. This is exactly why I am studying at BCIT. This is exactly why I am cooking red kidney beans and baking jacket potatoes for dinner (tho hoping they’ll turn out edible, lol).

airport August 24, 2013 – The day I left for Vancouver from Cebu

2. Learn more about web design and get back on it
– I’m currently taking up Digital Design and Development which is a program for website and app development. My final project for Term 1 can be seen on my main domain,… But it still needs a lot of work.

3. Travel
– I wasn’t able to travel this year, aside from coming to North America. But I was able to go sight seeing a bit, and head to Seattle coz of my good friend. I guess the most exciting thing I did this year was learning how to snowboard!

snowboard The experience left me with a sore back, butt and hematoma on my knees for days.
But sooo worth it for the sake of awesomeness.

4. Become more responsible and less forgetful! -_-
– This is a half check! Living independently made me more responsible (say yes to chores), but I am still quite clumsy and forgetful with my own things.

5. Read more
– I haven’t read as much books as I’ve wanted…. So this carries on to 2014.

6. Learn how to sew and basic cooking
– If you’ve seen my instagram, I’ve starting learning how to cook and make food for myself!

7. Yoga (lol this is the least of my expectations)
– Ironically, I’ve successfully learned and practiced yoga when it was the least of my expectations! lol.

8. Maybe blog more about helpful things
– Tsk. I’ve barely even blogged!! *resolution out the window*

Despite not accomplishing all the goals I’ve set for 2013, I’m happy. I was able to experience other things that I didn’t expect at the start of the year. I’m more independent and mature, or at least I’d like to think so.

 Things I want to accomplish in 2014:
– Graduate from BCIT with honors (if there is such a thing? if not, I’ll settle for just good grades)
– Get a job here that I’ll actually enjoy! Wishful thinking… But *OPTIMISM*..!
– Become stronger physically by developing a habit for exercise. Continue to eat healthy.
– Learn how to cook better, and make raw vegetarian food.
– Take more photos and learn how to make videos.
– Write more so that I can learn how to express myself better.
– Concentrate on developing the fruits of the Spirit.
– Read more books and watch more documentaries

Things that happened in 2013:
– Truly concentrated on being a freelance professional photographer in Cebu. I realized that advertising photography is my strength, commercially. I did prewedding photoshoots on the sideline to support myself.
– Worked with Mandaue Foam for two advertising campaigns.

mandauefoam3Mandaue Foam’s Awesummer Sale

– I took photographs for Waterfront Hotel and Casino. My biggest advertising client yet.
– I was featured in Sun Star Cebu’s Weekend section as a photographer.

sunstar“Passion Photographer”, September 2 issue of the newspaper Sun Star

– I met family who I’ve never met before! Her beautiful family lives in Vancouver. I also got to recently meet other family friends. I guess there are quite a number of Filipino-Chinese here in Vancouver from Cebu. Doesn’t make me feel like I’m in such a foreign land at all. In fact, Richmond feels like Hong Kong more than North America… lol.

achigrace With my cousin and her adorable, super smart daughter, Rogan.

– I was invited as a guest speaker at my Alma Mater, University of San Carlos, to talk about Photostories. It was such an honor, and amazing to feel that I gave back as an alumni talking about the personal work I’ve accomplished. I don’t make photostories anymore, but they’ll always be a part of me– fragments of my imagination and heart.
– My high school classmates and I made a time capsule to be opened two times, first when we reach 25 and then at 30 years old. In the time capsule we wrote our goals and dreams that we wanted to accomplish by the time we reach that age. My friend thanked me for the idea, he told me he was thankful that we got the opportunity to dream and set goals together.

classmatesFriendships for more than a decade. It’s nice to have friends who’ve known you since the awkward stages of your life… Coz they’ve already seen your worst and will more willingly accept you for who you are whatever may come! lol

– Shot a sponsored photostory, “Inspired by Human Nature” by a Human Nature dealer. This was later recognized and shared by the company itself!
– Photographed Zee Lifestyle’s May fashion editorial, “Urban Oasis“, directed by David Jones Cua.
– Photographed for The Stylogist’s collections, “Glamour in Detail” and “Lace Garden
– Ran a successful Basic Photography Workshop led by Groupon. This was funny because my friends and family were really surprised to see my name on their email Groupon spam!
– Went on my first out-of-town prewedding photoshoot to Sumilon! It was such a fun experience despite the exhaustion. So worth it though, I greatly enjoyed the lovely couple who sponsored me.
– Photographed the family portrait of the prestigious Pages Family…

port_Pages-Family-118-20…and their awesome husky!

– Joined the Cebu Digital Photographers in the “Seasons of Love” photography exhibit in Ayala Center Cebu which was displayed from February 22-March 3.
– Photographed advertising campaigns for B.R.I.G.H.T Academy and Playhouse Preschool.
– Seriously became flexitarian. I’m LOVIN’ it. I also drink green smoothies while learning how to make raw food. Some of the food I make are on my instagram at @annelorraineuy
– I can’t believe it sometimes, but I’m so happy that I’m now living (semi-)independently. I’ve always wanted to do this before I hit 30. It’s silly, but I feel so good that I’m doing my own laundry and washing my own dishes!
– Dyed my hair back to black, after sporting brown hair for 3 years.
– As of today my Facebook photography page has 7,476 likes, which really surprised me because it went up before I went serious as a freelance photographer. I am so grateful tho, so thank you to anyone who liked my page! Thank you for appreciating my photography :)

blehI almost didn’t make it for my annual new year’s post!! But I did ūüėõ 30 minutes left until January 2. I wish you all a great 2014 ahead, happy new year full of love and joy!¬†

Toyphoon: Toy Relief for the children of Ormoc #typhoonHaiyan

Typhoon Yolanda brought destruction to  structures, hunger and despair to people.
Some have lost families, houses, and even hope.

Christmas is fast approaching, and it is an event that people in typhoon-affected areas won’t be feeling much about this year. Families, especially children, may still be experiencing trauma from the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan.

However, we should remember that this season is most loved by our little ones. And so, Fashion for Babies plans to make sure that the Christmas spirit in children will be kept alive despite the tragedy, by starting a toy relief campaign!

We are knocking on your door to ask for your toys and trinkets (or anything you’d like to donate) for our Christmas cause for the children of Ormoc.

We will be accepting mailed donations not later than December 7, 2013 since we will still be wrapping it.

Target date of the gift giving activity will be December 14, 2013!

For cash donations, you can deposit it not later than December 10, 2013 so that we can budget the food and other expenses to be used during the event.

Donations in kind can be PRELOVED TOYS or CLOTHES, candies or biscuits. (Refer to poster for details)

Together, we can make sure the smiles on a lot of kids faces won’t be missed this jolly season.

Thank you for your generosity and kindness.

God Bless You and Merry Christmas!


The sky greeted me with gentle fog from the cold, and soft sun rays peeking through the trees on my birthday. I always go up my window every time I wake up to a new day. Today, I felt that God greeted me warmly just like every year.

Aha. Thought I’d given up blogging, eh? (Eh?! What a Canadian thing to say..)

As much as I fall back on blogging regularly, I’ll always try to exert more effort on writing a birthday post. Looking at my life in retrospect, both birthdays and new years list, helps me appreciate the choices I’ve made, the hard work I’ve done,¬†the blessings I don’t deserve, and the future to look forward to. You can say that doing this routine has made me stronger as a person (self-realization is a big thing for me). It helps me be more optimistic even when life gets hard.

Compared to last year, my spirit is in much better shape now. I finally did what my heart sought to do. This is it. What I pined for and prayed for fervently. Where I saw myself since I was 20 but failed to do when I was 21. Now I’m 24 and it’s real. Sometimes I still can’t believe I wake up to my favorite sight of trees every morning. I’m so happy. God is so good. Life is wonderful when we make it to be.

I went to school thinking nothing special about today. I was content waking up and having good weather, stopping to admire the trees and flowers, and laughing at the squirrel who always thinks I’d steal its acorn. I smiled thinking about my successful attempts at making my breakfast Almond Milk and Fruity Oatmeal and Potato Salad with Honey Vinaigrette to pack for lunch. Fritz leaves me sweet messages to read and greets me in Philippine time and Canadian time. I’m again deeply thankful for him being part of my life once again. Also worth mentioning ¬†is my cute dad who greeted me not one, but three days before my birthday! Haha

When I arrived at school, some of my classmates greeted me and my girl friends gave me a Birthday Girl ribbon, which reminded me of what my mom let her dog wear on its birthday. Haha! Classes proceeded as usual and ended with an in-class exercise which gave me a headache. I’m not sure if it was the huge iMac glare or all the making up stories I had to do in that particular exercise for Personas and Profiles. Ironically, Storytelling class is one of the most challenging for me…

I got a call that I needed to pick up a package at the Housing Office. I was thinking it was most probably Fritz’ birthday gift because he told me to watch out for it and showed me the package a few days ago. When I got to see what was waiting for me, I was totally confused– it was a gift basket! I asked the office if it was from BCIT or something, but no, it was actually from a person who posted it to me. I inspected the basket and was surprised that everything was what I needed. It was actually my type! Haha, things that I’d totally like. So I was thinking… This person really knows me. Hmm.

And then I opened the card. Oh, what a surprise. It’s from my mom! She contacted the best florist in Burnaby to send me a birthday gift. So sweet of her to surprise me like this. T_T

We went to the mall since it was still too early for dinner. I needed measuring cups and spoons because I plan to make home-made granola tomorrow (heehee). My friends then surprised me with a birthday balloon!

Such an AWWW moment… T_T The best part about this is that Christina took a video which ended up being really funny since they showed how sneaky they were. I tied the balloon onto my bag as I walked around the mall. I think I looked a little funny dressed up all red with a birthday balloon with me. But it was worth it because we got free chocolate at Purdy’s when the lady saw my birthday balloon. Unexpected free food is always welcome, especially when it involves birthdays. Makes it twice as special.

We then ate at a Korean restaurant because I was craving for bibimbap. My friends treated me out! After dinner, I treated them to ice cream bars before the mall closed. Christina gave Instax pictures for me to remember today. First time I’ve seen these rainbow polaroids. So pretty! These are going in my box of memories where I keep letters, photos and other memorabilia. :)

My friends gave me a basket of things, all that I think are so essential in my life right now. Like a 500 Quick Meal recipe ¬†book¬†(I’m always scrambling when I cook coz I’m so new at it), bath stuff (just in time! don’t need to run for shower gel tomorrow haha) and popcorn with a red Maple Leaf chocolate loli as a welcome gesture to Canada. They didn’t even know how much I loved popcorn, what a coincidence!

Please excuse my room. It’s not really messy but it just looks that way. That blue shirt is Fritz’ which I use as a pillow every night. Its an iconic shirt he always wore when we first went out as friends. It’s too small for him now so it actually fits me better. You can see where I put the ribbon on! They told me to wear it on my chest but.. No way, BCIT isn’t Disneyland. I’ll look crazy. lol.

I initially planned my outfit differently but ended up wearing all red today. My family would be so pleased. Chinese believe wearing red on your special day brings good fortune and happiness. One time going back to my dorm, a student called me Red Riding Hood and pretended to be the Big Bad Wolf. /so random

Overall, I was so overwhelmed because I didn’t expect anything special to happen today. But it turns out that this birthday is one of the most memorable ones. Thank you to everyone who greeted me and made it special! Especially my new friends here in Vancouver for the warm welcome. :) I’m off to meet one of my favorite people for some belgian waffles at Nero’s. And then I’ll be hitting the books and working on the deluge of projects and assignments… booo.