Thursday, September 29, 2011

Family: The Cenabre's

The law of attraction works, it does not happen right there and then, but it does happen at the right time. 

This beautiful family I had the opportunity to photograph is an example of that. When I decided to take a turn towards portraits, I had thought of the Cenabre's for a family session. I had doubts if Toni and Jimmy would be interested, but I had a feeling that they would want it for their girls. I started to day dream for days of a concept shoot. I thought of a school for the location and a theme that will revolve around the location. But I never had the courage to contact Toni and let her know about my idea. I kept it to myself and it was eventually forgotten.

So imagine my excitement when one day Toni sent me a message of her interest for a family session. A family session!!! It's more than what I asked for. Oh and there's more, they are checking in at the Imperial Palace Water Park in Mactan for a weekend and they want the family session there. Without hesitation, I said YES. It's a double excitement for me: a session with the family I dreamed and a chance to see what the water park has to offer.

There's a certain aura to this family that attracts me to capture their bond. They look like they are just a "barkada" (group of friends), the couple (Toni and Jimmy) are approachable and very accomodating, the girls (Jamie and Jana) are polite and in every smile they turn my way easily breaks down my trepidation of not being able to jam with them. The session may have started with a drizzle; then, a downpour, but just like the promise of the double rainbow, the family's cool and awesome personality brought an array of pastels and vibrance to an otherwise overcast day. 

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Monday, September 26, 2011

BitterSweet Monday

"Listen in silence to my wisdom."

Feeling the blues...a wordless Monday it is then!

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P.S. Photo is of a historical military housing in Presidio, San Francisco, U.S.A

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Sneak Peek: Family Session

Happy Friday everyone!!! It's the end of the week and I've been cooking something for the past few days. No, it's not food, but a family session held a couple of weekends ago. My first impression with the family was - wow, they are tall!!! I could not even help, but kept on gushing about it from the start to finish of the session. Just look at all those legs -

Oh but they are not "all legs" because most of all they are a beautiful family. The girls are pretty. I kept telling them that they can surely qualify for Ms. Universe (pardon me but it was the Ms. Universe fever at that time). Despite the initial anxiety about this session, which I talked about in my post a few days ago, I was excited to do the session because just like my family they are a family of 4. Two girls, a mom, and a dad. I feel like we have a certain bond because of that. I'm excited to share the full post, but for now here's a sneak. 

That's it for now, I have to stop myself from posting all the gorgeous photos. Stop by next week for more of this family; I don't want to post ahead without them seeing the photos first. Sigh!!! I'm actually jealous. I wish my family has photos like these. I have yet to convince my papa to keep his eyes on to the photographer or camera instead of rolling his eyes upward or looking totally bored.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Double Rainbow

"Somewhere over the rainbow 
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true"

I was on my way to a family photo session when I had a feeling that something was brewing. I could not pinpoint what it was. I knew I was ready, I had my gears prepared and my lenses cleaned. I was prepared for battle, but still I was anxious and nervous. I tried to calm my nerves and hoped that the session would turn out well. I drove out early so I would arrive an hour earlier than the scheduled meeting. 

It was only when I was driving that I realized what had been causing my anxiety. I saw the ominous and billowy dark clouds that hovered above. The stormy clouds stretched as far as my eyes could see. I was worried because the shoot was outdoors and I had in mind a vibrant and sunny session to depict the location, which was a water-park resort; and to capture a family moment which was having a grand time.  

I kept on looking at the sky and hoped that the resort would have a big blue sky instead of a dark gray. My hope was up when I could see the sun at a distance.  I arrived at the resort with nary a sight of the angry sky. But an hour later, it was raining hard. When the rain let up, I saw the sun peeking and we took advantage of it despite the slight drizzle. It was during this time that the family noticed a rainbow. So without any second thoughts, I hurried to take some shots because I knew that it would be gone in a blink of an eye. When I met up with the family on the following day, they told me that it was a double rainbow; I shrugged because I thought to myself I had lost one great opportunity. I didn't expect this - 

One of the rainbows was definitely a little bit off the frame. Obviously, I had not considered it on the composition. Call it luck, call it serendipity, but I almost shouted with glee when I found this shot. Pardon my joy, but this the first time I've seen and captured a photo of a double rainbow. A rainbow is a sign of HOPE, but a double rainbow? Wow!!! I'm excited to know its symbolic meaning. There are various interpretations of this occurrence, but the one that resonates to me the most is this,  

"When double rainbows appear it means that whatever is coming to you has great meaning in your life and that one good thing will lead to another good thing. I really rejoice in your happiness and good fortune. The rainbows are a sign from the cosmic universe that you are about to have something great fall into your lap!" 

(Insert rain dance) Wohoooo let the good things keep on coming!!! Please Universe listen to my plea!

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Kitty Love

"Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. 
Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that made you smile."

Don't you think it would have been cuter if these are real cats? But, I don't think cats can actually pose like that unless of course they are trained. In my experience, cats are much easier to take photos than dogs. The cats I have met do not seem to be bothered with my shutter clicks even in their sleep.

Some cats do not care; while others are innately curious. I like it when they are curious, it makes my job easier because they just approach me without any prodding or giving them treats. I just patiently wait while they slowly come within my frame, and when they do; I then click. Cats have big and beautiful eyes, it's something I have a hard time capturing from our pet dog, Bok. This; however, does not mean that I'm jumping ship and will now be a cat lover. Dogs still have a special place in my heart. 

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Friday, September 16, 2011

People and Their Stories

Blood is thicker than water. Siblings may squabble, but at the end of the day, they are each others comfort and ally.

A photography subject that I find fascinating is the human interaction, facial expressions, and everyday lives. Sometimes it is a challenge on how to channel into images a certain emotion or action. The idea may be there, but some moments are fleeting that you have to act fast and click without hesitation. Most often, I thought to myself, what is their story?

It happened to me last weekend when I was checking at a water park for a good spot. I was just passing by when I saw two kids who held hands while taking a dip at the pool. At that time my mind was over active and I was imagining their story; hence, without second thoughts I pressed on the shutter and went my way. I truly believe that the kid's parents were not taking any chances on safety. The kids with their floating jackets stood out among the other kids at the water park who were not wearing any. But what caught my eye was their closeness; they held hands and the older sister ensured that her little brother was always at her side. It was so endearing to witness the bond between siblings.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Travel: Boracay Here We Come

I was excited to go to Boracay last August, but I was also worried that it might not be the best time because the monsoon season just begun; thus, I was expecting lots of rain. But still I prayed that the sun would shine brightly on the weekend that I would be at Boracay.

Fortunately, our group arrived at Caticlan without a hitch and the boat ride to Boracay island was uneventful. So far the weather was good and everything went smoothly. It was a good sign that we would have a great weekend after all. 

We planned the Boracay excursion just a month before the trip. It was a non-peak season so we were not afraid that hotels would be fully booked. In fact, we scored a good deal at La Carmela de Boracay for it's Barkada Package during the non-peak season. It came with a meal, but you would only have a choice of pork and chicken for every meal. It was great for budget conscious travellers like us, but eventually you would get bored with it. I was amazed at the hotel's chef who whipped up different kinds of pork and chicken dishes in every meal. You may upgrade the meal to a buffet selection for an additional fee; however, I suggest that you check out the buffet dishes first before deciding to upgrade.

Food, fun activities, night life, and everything else that you might need is not something to worry at the island. The island is teeming with restaurants and establishments that sell almost all you need. The island is buzzing with activity from morning till dawn. I believe the island does not sleep.

We had a lovely day over the weekend and on our last day; it was as if the sky knew that we were leaving. It was gloomy and rain started to pour. Nevertheless, it was a great Boracay vacation. Until now I miss the beach and I miss the island. I will still go back even if it would be my third time around. 

 Station 2, Balabag, Boracay island
Malay, Aklan, Phils. 

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Les Bleuets Sont Bleus

The rose is red, the violet's blue,
The honey's sweet, and so are you.
Thou are my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou'd be you. 
- Garland, Gammer Gurton -

Nature always has the answer to my color hunting woes. I've been trying to stay away from flower shots for Project 64: Out of the Box just so I will challenge myself to be more creative. Sometimes though, I'm pressed for time and right under my nose is a subject that shouts out the color of the week. Before I even took the shot above, I had been cleaning my photo archives and I found some flower shots (again :-)); they're not blue violet but close enough. I don't want them to be stuck in my hard drive without sharing. I hope these flower shots will bring beauty and inspiration to your day. 

***Les Bleuets Sont Bleus - is French for violets are blue***

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

She Just Turned One

My friend's youngest daughter turned one year old last month. First birthdays in Asian culture is usually a cause for celebration; hence, we had a photo session with Mary Bernadette as she turned one. I had a difficult start with the little girl and my mind at that time was thinking fast on how to appease the youngster.

No, she didn't cry, but her eyes kept darting to the people around and she would always have this inquisitive look. Most of the time too, she could not be bothered away from her toys and she even turned her back on me when I was about to snap a photo of her. 

And when she did look up, she became curious on the big black thing that I was holding up. She would crawl towards right in front my face or should I say camera. It was as if she was teasing me or she just wanted to play. 

Eventually, she would not have any of our antics. She cried and even looked totally bored. So we decided to give her a breath of fresh air. 

Viola! Her mood changed when we let her be at the garden. She could not stop trying to stand up, taking baby steps, and grasping on anything that she could hold. I bet a few months from now she could no longer be stopped from running around. Goodluck to her mom and nanny.

I'm glad that baby "Bernice" as she is fondly called by one of her "ninangs" (godmother) is showing signs of a healthy toddler. She is growing up fast right before our eyes. She has grown baby teeth, she is improving and practicing her motor skills each day, and she is definitely a joy to watch most especially when she smiles and finds something fascinating.

We wrapped up the session when we could no longer pull her out from her own world. She became so engrossed on a lotion bottle. In fact it made her cry when we attempted to take it away from her for safety reasons. 

It was a difficult start yet am happy to say that I survived. Most importantly, I trudged on despite the challenge and I am glad that I did because upon reviewing the photos, I felt satisfaction that I captured the honest expressions and behavior of a one year old. How I wish my mom had the inclination to document my childhood; perhaps this is one of the reasons why I enjoy doing this for others. 

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