Tag: workshop

Workshop: Dark

Reca Beierly Pamaran is a Gothic Princess.

Overdue post from early December. This particular workshop was quite interesting and personally challenging. Sai approached me for another of my personal 1-on-1 workshops, but with a twist–he wanted something “dark”. Now you should know I always try my best to cater to the needs of my student and that’s why I prefer 1-on-1s but this time it seemed to go against my own usual and natural style.

I candidly referred him to another photographer whose works were naturally darker than mine because I honestly did not want to disappoint him! But he insisted and so I accepted the challenge.

Enchantment in a dark and mysterious kind of beauty.

I was able to work with the gorgeous Divine Tayrus again for the makeup. For commercial shoots, I like to work with those whose styles I’ve already been accustomed to and can totally trust and count on to do the job with experience. But when I have workshops I like trying new MUAs so I can discover fresh talent and new styles. Every makeup artist has a signature style and look just like us photographers!


Reca’s physical frame was ideal for the goth peg, waif and long-legged complemented by unique beauty. She was particularly shy and quiet throughout most of the photoshoot but she did a great job and never complained about anything! Thank you Marion from OZAR Models Philippines for referring her to me. :)

Some things that helped me tackle this new uncharted territory were bits of research from Professor Google. Photos of Tim Burton’s movies, basic knowledge of Goth and forcing myself to edit photos in a way that I didn’t like (but later on got used to). It really taught and developed me to be more versatile. I sealed in key aspects of a “dark” theme: slight eyebags, dark lipstick, messy hair, pale skin, all-black ensemble, blood-shot eyes, thick emo eyeliner and eyeshadow, melancholy and moderating the use of color as much as I could stand.

At first the peg called for black lipstick. I couldn’t stand it so I asked Divine to make it ombre red-black instead. I really liked how she made it looking stained and fiery rusty.

Styling once again by my friend Charmaine de Leon for South Shores. She was the easiest and no-fuss stylist I could always turn to but now that she’s back to school I’m sad she’ll be too busy to help me. :( Here’s her blog post about this day with more behind-the-scenes photos. Be sure to check out how Divine achieved this Helena Bonham Carter hairstyle.

Enough of my own photos! Here are some spot-on great photoworks from my student 😉 I think he definitely got the vibe and theme way better than I did which is super great. This is HIS element! I like it that I help people find their own style than just helping them copy mine. It is definitely better and makes their photographic pursuits much more personal and lasting.

This is the most powerful photo from the set for my books.

I had a lot of fun getting to know, teaching and shooting side-by-side with Sai that day and I hope he continues to practice and have fun with photography! He is quite versatile as well and shoots prenup/prewedding photos. You can check out more of his works [here].

Until the next story…

Photography by me. Model is Reca of OZAR Models Philippines. Makeup by Divine Orlina Tayrus. Styling by Charmaine de Leon for South Shores. Student is Sai Peral.

Workshop: Lawrencia Serie

One of my favorite images; mysterious yet beautiful yet ordinary yet unique on its own.

Last year I had a one-on-one workshop with Francis. I asked one of my favorite models named Angel to work with me again and this particular time I was able to rekindle my love for the Pre-Raphaelite paintings with how she transforms beautifully after being prepped up for a shoot. She definitely has those angles that remind me of the beautiful women from that era. Can’t believe no modeling agent has taken her under their wing yet, *hello headhunters?*

Goddess beauty, aptly named Angel.

This time to cut the budget (initially I had a big one for this coz 2 people were gonna participate), I did the model’s makeup myself. To be honest, I’m always hoping for the best every time I do makeup… I usually just do the basics to be safe– highlight, define corners of eyes, blush, contour nose, lips, eyebrows… Anything and everything I learn from the Academy of Youtube. And just change color palettes to suit the theme! I’d prefer to work with makeup artists though,  the prep time is usually when I can discuss some photography theories and personal tips with my student-of-the-day, and just get to know him/her more!

I must say this galaxy kitty shirt dress from South Shores is pretty cute.

This was kind of last minute, so I couldn’t find anyone I could trust to do makeup then. BUT thinking about it now, I think Angel would have looked good with any makeup so I probably should have just gambled and took a chance on any rookie makeup artist. (Hello, if you are interested to collaborate with me please email me with your portfolio! x)

My garden at home isn’t photogenic at all so I’m always at a dilemma when it comes to location shoots. The only park I know of in Cebu is the Fuente Circle, and it’s so not convenient to find parking there, then walk, lugging expensive equipment beside a beautiful model while trying to protect her from wide-eyed gazes from DOMs and pervs. Shooting at a location when it’s in the middle of the busiest traffic circles/roundabouts in Cebu with the unfortunate possibility of being a victim of a hold-up or worse! …Cannot be lah.

So my last and safest resort is always the dead-end of my street, where the season is kind to me with beautiful flowers and rich bunches of bushes and leaves. I’m currently doing my own little observational experiment of the subtle seasonal changes in Cebu in relation to the fauna, along with the weather in relation to photographic light translation. It is very interesting and enriching to become more in touch with your personal surroundings, to see everything through the eyes of the camera lens. Suddenly I find mundane shadows to be oh so amazing… I just wish my neighbor wasn’t as diligent in maintaining his garden. :( I love the natural growth it gives.

It’s so beautifully wild there’s even a small monkey behind all those yellow flowers; neighbor’s pet

This was taken after a very rainy afternoon. Cloudy weather always gives the most balanced light in photographs and I find that in Cebu this works best. Sunny days often seem too harsh and imbalanced even though I try my best to find the perfect exposure. Oh and yes, light is different everywhere around the world. How interesting, right?

It’s fun to take photos when people don’t want you to. They’re just too photogenic together I couldn’t resist. 😉

In addition to theories, personal tips and Photoshop secrets I share to my student, I also give them the PSDs of everything we work on for their keeping and lifetime support to anything photography related! My student was very busy so I wasn’t able to get sample photos from him. Interesting that most of my students are from call centers.

Photography and makeup by me. Styling by Charmaine de Leon from South Shores. Model is Angel Dela Torre. Student is Francis Gimena. I would link him up but I don’t have his photography album portfolio. So Francis if you’d like, please send it to me ASAP.

Rouge Angel (Red & White)

Angel Dela Torre as my Rouge Angel

If you’ve been seeing my feeds on Facebook, a few photos of this pretty girl have been popping up lately–with her showing many arms and even floating with silver clocks. These are from my latest workshop slash collaboration with Rae Cabradilla. I always want to customize and personalize my one-on-one workshops to fit the interests and needs of my client, and with Rae, an advanced Photoshop class centering on levitation and conceptual photography fit her best!

My second version after the Facebook upload. I prefer this better, it tells what I mean more precisely.

Read more…

Workshop: 1 on 1 with Micah

Ava as a Porcelain Flower.

Just last weekend I did a one-on-one workshop with Micah. Basically the photo shoot I organized for her was more dark and tamed, mainly because I wanted to go for a Snow White ish concept, but on the last minute tried to tone it down for a beginner shoot. For the first two hours we talked about what she mainly wanted to learn more about (in addition to the emails we exchanged). The rain kept pouring and pouring and it was as cloudy as ever. Photoshop lessons would have come after shooting, but to save time I taught her the basics of coloring before we started photographing. Micah wasn’t all too crazy about Photoshop or editing so I just breezed through the basics to show her and then let her tinker with things as I guided her.

I explained to her how it’s important to know what your own taste is, what colors and mood you preferably lean on. She said she liked bright, colorful and happy photos and it was then that I realized the theme I organized was completely opposite of her! That said, next time I will try and make things more generic. Haha!

I taught her a lot of basics in editing and even some of my own secret styles. Whatever she asked for, I taught her. She was a  nice girl so it was easy to pass on to her what I know. She mainly wanted to learn more about outdoor shooting, so I spent more time talking to her about my set-ups and tips on outdoor shoots. Teaching her how to use white balance to create a mood, was one of the highlights.

Aside from that, I think one of the most important things I stressed was the process of the photoshoot. How you oversee your makeup artist, talk to your model and directing her. Ryle was my makeup artist again and she never disappoints! I’m a big fan of her makeup work. She just does wonders!

Composing her shot as I watched over her.

One thing I made different with my 1 on 1 workshop is that I always try to use “real girls” as models. First off, when I was a beginner it was difficult to actually get a professional model! So realistically, I wanted to replicate the scenario in my live classroom. I found Ava through searching around Facebook (pretty profile pictures) and asked if she would want to model for a workshop and she said yes! She was real sweet and easy to work with. I taught Micah how to take care of these “real girls”. There’s also something about a real girl when she doesn’t know how to pose anymore, it FORCES you to be creative and THINK! 😉

One of her portrait shots applying what she learned with color.

Here’s what Micah said: “I definitely learned a lot from it; the teacher was great. thank you guys! :)”

I’m having a group workshop with the Accenture Photography Club this week and later I’ll be giving a short introduction presentation. I’m no professional, but whatever I know is up for grabs if you want to learn! Contact me if you’re interested on a 1 on 1 workshop as well. I enjoy doing them now that I still have a lot of time.