RECENTLY, I did a portfolio shoot with one of the models of Stacy Model Management, and it’s something I haven’t done for a long time. I left photography sometime in the late 90s and when I started shooting again 10 years later, it was fashion photography that kept me with photography, and the journey has become more interesting than ever.
I’ve worked with a lot of Stacey’s models when I was very much active filling up pages for IMAG magazine. I cannot say it was a training ground because until today, I still feel like an apprentice discovering a lot of possibilities and endless imaginations. The learning is always there, it’s up to you how much more you want.
It’s a difficult choice because it’s always never enough for me. The more you understand, the more you see how much more you can improve, and so the pressure builds up and challenges you not only to compete against another photographer but with yourself as well. The more you understand, the more it hurts with every mistake you make.
After shooting the portfolio shoot, it felt like doing a complete circle from when I resurfaced in photography. The fashion gray backdrop and the mobile manfrotto light stand where among the regular elements in the set. Now they’re back. I think I consumed more than four rolls of paper backdrop back then.
The time when you didn’t care that you already spent six hours in the studio and you still feel like doing more sets. When everybody just wants to pitch in their thoughts into the shoot and create an image that somehow embodies your biases and take on art. But then somebody has to pay the bill and you have to stop because you need to do a commissioned shoot.
What I noticed doing this type of shoot all over again is the opportunity to compare between now and then. There were frustrating and unwanted traits that you still carry with you and seem to have managed to stay. There was, of course, a lot of experience poured into the set this time around.
Although after looking at the shots we made, I felt like the quality of shots never improved. Maybe that’s just me, but it felt like I never made so much progress in my studio shots. Sometimes, a realization that’s really hard to admit is what it takes to wake you up and pressure yourself do better.
No matter what genre in photography you are interested in, there will never be a time that you will be a master photographer; it’s actually the journey that you’re supposed to be after. It’s the moments of glory along the way and the neverending chase of perfection. Keep on shooting, everyone!
* There’s a basic photography workshop this coming Nov. 26 to 27. Special thanks to Colour Digital Foto for the venue. Call Jennifer at 09060247718 (Globe) or 09424870385 (Sun).