Sunday, January 21, 2007


This is the very first I had ever won in the realm of photography — as second place winner in both Portrait and Still Life categories — awarded at the end of our workshop last December. I didn’t blog about this before; not that I was ashamed of it, but it was because I didn’t want to appear ostentatious, though neither one was a first prize winner.

However, something happened last week which made me change my mind: during the presentation of everyone’s assignment in our Basic Photography Workshop, the candid picture I had taken of a young girl in Fort Santiago was overwhelmingly chosen as the favorite of the entire class. Although I admitted what I learned from the previous workshop was the key factor in my success wth this picture, I thought, to be fair, I should now at least disclose my previous background in photography; instead of being eternally discreet or secretive about it, especially amongst my fellow photography enthusiasts.

I have always been fascinated with cameras since I was in grade school. A candy box shaped like a camera and a plastic toy camera where my dearly treasured playthings then. My father even entrusted me with our Kodak Brownie camera during family outings; I was always responsible for safekeeping it, as well as taking snapshots at family events.

When I moved to New York, like my friends, I, too, would always have a camera stashed in my backpack (a borrowed Minolta SLR from my brother James). I never got into developing and processing my own black and white films, but loved taking photographs of practically anything. I was thrilled when Minolta came out with its fully-programmable SLR; I was now able to enjoy picture taking even more but without the hassle of configuring correct exposure settings, which I was never inspired to master to begin with.

My ongoing interest in photography reached a higher level when my best friend asked me to help him open his fashion accessory design studio on Seventh Avenue. Although he studied industrial design in Georgia Tech and Pratt Institute, his overall designing skills were taught to him by his father, a Paris-schooled and -trained couture designer. Actually, my friend’s desire to enter New York’s couture fashion industry was not motivated by the money to be made in it, but by the allure of beautiful women and the notorious partying in that community. Anyway, we originally planned to be in it for only three years the most, but we lasted eight years.

As in all small companies with continual cash flow problems as ours, everyone has to wear as many hats possible, so to speak, to cut down on expenses. Besides my usual chores, I also handled all of the company’s audio/visual marketing presentations, including taking still photographs of our products used in runway shows. And since our clients were Seventh Avenue’s top couture houses, during the famous New York fashion week, I was assured an "all access pass" in any premier runway show I wished to attend. The pictures I took we would later use when creating our own catalogs and PR materials. I also produced our video catalog that were distributed to our list of private clientile. However, the video shoot and all its technical post-production work were handled by an independent team we hired.

When we eventually burnt out due to extended hours of work and excessive partying, we finally called it quits; however, my interest in taking pictures never wavered. By that time, I began to favor carrying a smaller point & shoot camera in my bag, while my SLR I would only use on special occasions. It wasn’t until here in Manila when my interest in photography was once again greatly rekindled, though rather slowly, as inspired by my desire to create an added dimension to my blog entries.

Here are the photos that won me two glass medals (modeled after a camera lens):

posted by Señor Enrique at 8:11 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...



Here is for you. "We try to grab pieces of our lives as they speed past us. Photographs freeze those pieces and help us remember how we were. We don't know these lost people but if you look around, you'll find someone just like them." Gene McSweeney

January 21, 2007 10:43 PM  

Blogger ia said...

Congrats! ^_^

January 22, 2007 12:23 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Congrats Eric. I've loved that B&W picture of the little girl since I first saw it. And those two photographs that won you the medals are great as well. Cheers!

January 22, 2007 12:32 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats bro.. Nice to know your exciting experiences back in NYC. I guess you're living a laid back, stress free life now enjoying photography. These awards will certainly inspire you to excel more :)

January 22, 2007 3:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

congratulations! you really do have a talent for photography. we'll see more of your photos, that's for sure! =)

January 22, 2007 5:32 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks, Rolly! How true it is, and this may be why photography has sort of enchanted me -- my inner desire to freeze a moment and hold on to it forever.

January 22, 2007 7:44 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Ia ... if you want to see the first and third place winners, check out PhotoWorldManila Photo Gallery Index at:

Under Practical Digital Photography Workshop for Novembeer 2006

January 22, 2007 7:47 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks, Irene!

I assume this entry serves as one of the five things you don't know about me meme, huh? hehehe!

Yes, I remember you mentioned how much you liked that photo of the little girl.

January 22, 2007 7:48 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Manila life has its share of stressful moments, but photography has been an effective therapy; without it I'd probably had gone batty at this time.

Now you know I was once like you -- never wanting to venture beyond the camera's auto mode ... hehehe!

January 22, 2007 7:51 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, I'm afraid you're all in for more pics from me ... hehehe!

Thanks, Carla!

January 22, 2007 7:54 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Congrats! And honestly well deserved!!!

January 22, 2007 8:45 AM  

Blogger Cathy B said...

Woohoo! Congrats! I love the photo of the little girl Eric! Speaks a thousand words :)

January 22, 2007 12:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow congrats po :)galing naman :)

January 22, 2007 1:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

senor, the hobby really pays off! hats-off to you man! btw, i didn't receive any email. :)

January 22, 2007 5:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow! congratulations, senor! all the wonderful pictures you've been showing here on your blog have made me wonder whether or not you'll be entering them into contests. i'm hoping to see more awards and recognition for you in the future -- your work and talent deserve them.

congratulations again! :)

January 22, 2007 6:17 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I was actually praying to win at least one prize, Sidney -- didn't matter whether first, second or third -- but getting two was astonishing.

January 22, 2007 6:43 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks, Cathy! I was thinking at one point last December how great it would have been for me to take pictures of those children in Bicol while receiving one of those BEARS FOR BICOL teddy bear that you had tirelessly collected. That would have been awesome.

Incidentally, one of the guys in my class, Dr. Jhanssen Castillo -- the first prize winner for Portrait category -- joined a medical mission to Bicol right after our workshop ended last December. He posted some pictures that he had taken while over there. I highly recommend everyone to check out his flickr gallery. Here's the URL:

He's a very talented photographer, indeed! A soft-spoken young man but full of wonderful surprises!

January 22, 2007 6:58 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Maraming salamat, Melai. Naka-chamda din :)

January 22, 2007 7:01 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Jeff! I sent it to you Yahoo email. Ok, will resend to your other address.

Certainly, this entry explains why from my early days as a blogger, I was immediately attracted to your works and Tet Bautista's. You two are among our incredibly talented artists. The time I was in NYC's music and fashion industries afforded me the opportunity to meet numerous talented young people from all parts of the world. Anyway, the times I spent with them and learning about their works made me identify other upcoming talented artists like you and Tet.

You keep up the good work, Jeff. You are highly respected and admired in our local photography community -- makes me proud to have been a friend of yours for quite some time now! :)

January 22, 2007 7:11 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you, Corsarius! Like Jeff Vergara and Tet Bautista, you are unarguably a very talented young man. I know you are destined as well towards greatness. Keep up your writing, young man!

January 22, 2007 7:14 PM  

Blogger tet said...

Hey hey hey!!! OMG, 2 in row?!! Woohoo!!! CONGRATULATIONS Sir Eric!!!! Im proud of you man... Well deserved!!!

btw, i also love the BW photo of the girl. totoong-totoo!

September 18, 2007 12:47 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Many thanks, Tet!

September 18, 2007 6:39 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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