Photography has been quite well known to trigger emotions, to disseminate information without words, to manipulate data without facts, to unravel facts to reveal the truth, and has been used widely to create awareness whether it be for a person, a place, or the reality. Photographs always have been a powerful weapon as it reveals almost anything and could be used where to beautify one thing or crush the other.
In this view, a conference that I had recently attended speaks about photography, the good, the bad, and how do we improve our works. It is an event where fresh and experienced photographers collide to create an exciting atmosphere discussing how can we work better on making beautiful photos, how can we inspire more people with our photographs, and how can we become better at what we do.

Photoworld Asia 2019

Photoworld Asia 2019 is currently the longest-running photography event in Southeast Asia, now on its 11th year.
The speakers for this year’s event were all dominated by female photographers and mentors who are experienced with their craft.

Personal Branding as a Photographer

RC Sustiguer, the first speaker who is a part of Maxwell Group, talked about “Personal Branding as a Photographer”. She shared her expertise in creating a name for a brand in the industry but is recognized mostly for her coaching capabilities, drawing a person’s inner talent to produce results.
RC mentioned that a photographer must learn about himself first before learning the technicalities. One must also learn about self-value and unleash the creativity that’s within oneself. Personal branding is the act of developing the strategy or actions to guide your brand. The most important thing one must do is to become a leader and embrace leadership. The results will depend on the level of preparation and to be credible, you must have the integrity to commit and choose for the better.


Social Media Publishing

The second speaker, Geli Blanco, talked about “Social Media Publishing” and how you can use Social Media to create and expand your brand. Geli was the genius behind one of the most successful Coca-cola campaigns.
Geli mentioned that one must post relevant and timely updates on your personal or page profiles. One must also provide accurate information. Photographers must reach out to their audience. Provide an eye-catching display of information. One must also master the platform (especially FB pages) and lastly, one must track and measure his page or posts.
When you are communicating using social media, you must be authentic, you must be personal. Do educate people and don’t sell, hard. In order to attain success, he/she must always plan ahead.

Mobile Phone Photography

Vivian Valdes is a well-recognized photographer using her phone’s lenses. She has already caught attention in social media and even Nat Geo regarding her photography skills and sold over $400 worth of photos online.
She explained that in mobile photography, one does not need a more expensive phone to take good photos. All it takes is the eye and the know-how about mobile cameras. One good example she discussed was about how similar the lenses of a less expensive phone and a more expensive phone with a known brand name. Vivian has also been mostly using her first camera phone, a MyPhone brand, in most of her photography until now.

Natural Light Portraiture

On the second day, the first speaker was Andrea Genota, a newbie in the world of photography but is well recognized for the beauty of her photos. She discussed how to use natural light in taking better photographs.
She mentioned that it’s best to take photos especially portraits when it’s early in the morning at around 6 am to 9 am, and before sunset, usually takes place at around 4 pm to 5:30 pm. The ray of sunlight isn’t harsh and is the perfect blend for the skin. She added that in taking portrait shots, one must build rapport with the model and direct him/her on what to do. The biggest part of doing portrait shots is the post-processing of photos to make it look better.


Empowerment through innovation in the world of Print

This subject in the conference was discussed by Lisa Watson of HP Indigo Asia Pacific and Japan. She mentioned that as the world changes, the innovation in print changes as well. They have developed new colors to work with photographs and new printers to work with the latest technology. Although social media has been a greater part in publishing, the print remains as it was the world’s foundation of photographs in the old and new generation.

Underwater Photography

In underwater photography, Peachy Hernando spoke about the basics to the advanced techniques in diving, equipment, requirements, and how to take a good photo underwater.
Underwater photography is not a cheap hobby. It requires you to gather the skills first, then the equipment especially for diving, and the equipment when you are doing photography. Before you could also dive well in the deep, you have to acquire licenses that enable you to dive freely in the water. Underwater photography is a fun thing and a curious thing to do as you will be able to see the life underwater, learn from it, and know more about the aquatic resources.

Boudoir Photography

Boudoir photography was headed by the Actress-Model Rachel Lobangco.
Previously, she was the subject of the photoshoots but since then, she has developed a love for photography. Now she’s one of the most sought after photographers in the industry of concept photography. She demonstrated the art of boudoir photography where everyone seemed to have enjoyed.

Telling Stories through Photography

In Photoworld Asia 2019’s 3rd day of the conference held in Makati, the talk was started by Hannah Morales.
Hannah Reyes Morales is a photographer whose photos are already telling a story. She is also a part of the National Geographic where she had published an article last December for her work on Filipino Diaspora. She shared her thoughts and story during the talk and mentioned that photography is a way of connecting and it is a direct confrontation to the world.


Fashion and Advertising

Shaira Luna was the child genius who was very well known to people in the early 90’s due to a commercial she was a part of. She spends most of her time now as a photographer for magazines and fashion shoots for advertisements. Shaira is now a celebrity photographer for well-known fashion brands and magazines in the advertising industry and has been featured a lot because of her well-recognized talent in photography.
She mentioned she likes being creative and that helped her catch her dreams and turn them into reality.


Joan Bondoc, who talked about Photojournalism, shared her experiences from being staff to well-recognized photography in the industry of photojournalism. She has been a big part of the history from the day she started taking photos. Her works convey a lot of emotions and manipulative (perspective) photos may it be the president, rallyist, or ordinary working people.

8 Things Learned from Photography

Jaja Samaniego, a wedding and events photographer, shared stories and her learning from being in the photography field for quite some time. As a wedding photographer, she had already witnessed a lot of emotions and her works in the wedding photography scene are exceptional. She captures moments that are important with clients and does it excellently.
In photography, there will always be something new to learn. It’s just like every profession where everything starts with curiosity. Let your creativity crawl to your mind. Make a lot of mistakes and use them to benefit in the future by not letting yourself do the same mistakes again. If you are stuck, try to learn new things and you’ll eventually make progress.
PhotoWorld Asia 2019 was organized by the Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF), spearheaded by its President, Mr. Pablo Beltran, and Chairman, Eduviges Huang. Learn more about photography, visit Photoworld Manila.


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