Phoneography Cebu teams up with Volkswagen Cebu and designer Hanz Coquilla in eco-awareness drive
By Patricia May P. Catan
AS SMARTPHONES get smarter and more sophisticated, the possibilities of mobile phone photography have become endless. One group that has seen — and documented — the rise of mobile photography in these parts is Phoneography Cebu.
And what better way for the group to celebrate its fourth year than holding an event with a cause. Dubbed as “Trashé: A Plastic and Trash Awareness Fashion Show and Photoshoot Event,” the activity was held in partnership with Volkswagen Cebu, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and prominent designer Hanz Coquilla last August 25 at the Volkswagen Cebu Showroom in Cebu City.
In attendance were phoneography enthusiasts, including professional photographers, who share the same passion and drive for mobile photography. Aside from the fashion show and photoshoot event, Phoneography Cebu also invited key speakers with backgrounds in photography, fashion and environmental causes where everyone learned how to use their hobby and passion for a purpose. Karlo Miguel Cuizon of DENR and Harlan Dean of Volkswagen Cebu graced the event.
A Tool for Awareness
The first speaker from Let’s Do It Philippines, Enrique San Juan, talked about using photography in awareness campaigns to help disseminate information and pressing issues concerning the environment.
Using mobile photography as a visual tool to help spread plastic and trash awareness is found the most effective these days, San Juan said. A single yet striking photo posted on social media showing the realities of how plastic is damaging our ecosystem can create a ripple effect and spark a movement.
Doing so is timely since the National Cleanup Day falls on September 15 and Let’s Do It Philippines is encouraging everyone to use the hashtag #iam5million to encourage more people to join this movement and aim for a cleaner and greener home.
From Waste to Waist
Dreaming of a cleaner and greener earth too is prominent fashion designer Hanz Coquilla, himself a member of Phoneography Cebu. He admits that the fashion industry is a great contributor of waste, especially the trend that is fast fashion.
Coquilla stands by his advocacy to produce practical and timeless fashion that can last for years, and that’s exactly what he showcased during the fashion show where his creations inspired by fishes, coral reefs and armadillos from years ago are highlighted.
Ethics and Passion
The last two speakers, freelance photojournalist Victor Kintanar and fashion photographer Albert Pedrosa, talked about the ethics of phoneography and passion for fashion respectively.
Kintanar mentioned that people are now visually interested because of smartphones, which makes phoneography as something that people easily take interest in and that’s where the ethics of phoneography come in.
The evolution of photography has become a hobby that’s worth exploring, and as Pedrosa, he found his niche in fashion photography. Passionate with his craft, Pedrosa finds meaning and purpose in every shot he takes that validates the kind of photographer that he is.
Phoneography is no different as long as every phoneographer learns to find purpose, Pedrosa adds, and there’s no better place to start than feed environmental awareness among your audience with your captures.
Among the other highlights of Phoneography Cebu’s fourth anniversary celebration was the photo exhibit that featured captivating captures from local phoneographers and the fashion photoshoot that challenged all the phoneographers in attendance with the sophisticated Volkswagen showroom as backdrop. In sum, Trashé had become more than a celebration of four meaningful years of Phoneography Cebu, as it shone a light on discovery, purpose and passion.