Last June 29, 2015, the eve of my 21st birthday, I asked my good friend and photographer, Tarish Zamora to take some photos of me to sort of preserve my youth. I didn’t have a big debut when I turned 18 so I never had one of those pre-debut photoshoots, and I generally don’t have a lot of photos of myself that I would consider ~ahrt~. I wanted to be photographed where I could show who I was as a person.
Right off the bat, I knew I didn’t want to be shot in the soft morning light, which is a common request among my clients and friends who ask to be shot for personal purposes. I am one of the most non-morning people you will ever meet. While the soft morning light will lend me a certain glow and delicateness, I also know that my grumpiness towards mornings and lack of sleep will definitely shine brighter than the sun. I asked my good friend and stylist, Bettina San Luis, to go through the clothes I had pre-selected as “Nix clothes” aka the clothes that I wear and my friends immediately say, “that is so you.” This meant jeans, 3/4 long sleeved tops, plain tops and dresses.
The end product: an unexpected fashion spread for MEGA’s online magazine, megastyle.ph
The first layout was shot in the streets of Katipunan Avenue, under the shade of the Kenny Roger’s roof that barely provide any shelter from the rain, effectively straightening my hair that I curled for 30 minutes (I also burned the top of my ear!). The second layout was shot in my village, where we asked my friend, Miguel Cu, to kindly turn his headlights on for the sake of the shot. The final layout was shot in an unexplored area of my house, where the color palette luckily matched my clothes. We ended the shoot with a bottle of my favorite drink, Asti Martini, and toasted to my 21st at exactly 12mn.
As a group of friends who are starting out in the creative industry, we often find ourselves itching to do something for art’s sake, something that may not necessarily bring us monetary rewards or published prestige, something to keep us fuelled in an industry that seems to just keep burning us out – but in a good way. Never in my life did I imagine our fun test shoots, especially one that features my face, would be picked up by a publication. It’s an entirely different feeling from when I work in a shoot for magazine editorials because this shoot is something I can truly call ours – concept, effort and final product.
More than a successful shoot and a published fashion spread, the real gift here is my friends who have stuck by me through the good and the best of times. To Team Estrogen, thank you for everything. #StayClingy 😉
Photography Tarish Zamora
Styling Bettina San Luis
Model / Makeup Nicole Ceballos
Assistance Nina Mendoza and Miguel Cu
For more, we are all for hire. You can see the full set of this shoot here.