I’M imagining a blackboard and chalk hearing the student’s answer in chorus as I ask about shutter speeds and apertures. Like Math and English subjects, students of Iloilo National High School together with other public schools under the DepEd Division of Iloilo, take photography just like one of the subjects.
The Iloilo Photo Festival, now on it’s sixth year, offers a week of multi-events to students who are interested in photography. The idea is to pool professional photographers from different disciplines and share their knowledge and thoughts about photography to the students for free.
The organizers of IPF6 believe that the high cost of photography workshops limits the chance of the students to hear it from the experts and learn further about photography as an art and as a profession. Several local photography clubs in Panay were also invited to join the weeklong event with a minimal fee just to cover the cost of running the festival.
The Iloilo Photo Festival, founded by Joshua Sagrado and the faculty of INHS – School for the Arts with all the other individuals and groups, is run voluntarily. Every year as they finish the festival, they would almost always say that it’s going to be the last time because of the financial constraints in running the festival completely free for the students.
Today, they made it to the sixth year and they are hoping to do it all over again next year.
Apart from organisers pulling out funds from their own pockets, the festival is supported this year by Canon and Fujifilm Philippines together with Robinson’s Iloilo. Students coming from different towns in Panay and other neighbouring cities converge and learn from the invited speakers. This year, together with the other camera brand ambassadors, I was invited to take part of the festivities.
It was a heartwarming experience sharing your skills to the students knowing they will be the next generation to promote and practice the art of photography. Arming them with the right knowledge and exposing them to different genres in photography coming from the professionals themselves will help in shaping the future of photography.
Regardless of the trends and technologies today, even with the proliferation of social media, photographs will still take an important role. Content is king when it comes to information and communication. Sure enough, pictures are the best communicators and the basics of image composition is never obsolete.
Bottom line is that photography is never learned overnight. It’s a skill that needs to be nurtured and experienced. Better start them early and let them learn the hard way. Keep on shooting, everyone!