Friday, March 16, 2007


This is my Advance Photography Workshop inside Fort Santiago learning the mechanics of shooting a model with natural light and reflectors. The man in the blue shirt (facing the crowd) is Vic Sison, our instructor. Vic is a fine arts graduate who ventured into photography and later on pioneered "paintography." Just google the word and you'll surely be led to the sites that feature this artist's fascinating techniques. Besides that, Vic also has this incredible understanding of the human anatomy and thus, provide impressive posing directions to models. Not many of our professional photographers have this insight so, Vic also gets hired as posing coach in major fashion and commercial photo shoots.

Our model on that day was nineteen-year-old Carla who is supposedly a member of the Viva Hot Babe model group. I felt sort of bad for her because it was a hot day. She must have felt like being baked by the unforgiving sun and the giant reflector, constantly aimed at her. But she was a real trooper; never complained even once.

While reviewing this photograph, I was taken back to the days when I was working in New York's couture fashion industry. A fond memory that came immediately to mind was that of Filipina model, Anna Bayle; a bonafide supermodel in her own right and amongst the top ten most in demand New York print and runway couture fashion models during the nineties.

Many publications adored her. It was even rumored that designers who craved to have their creations featured on the cover of Womens Wear Daily would get Anna as their model during the photo shoot. Doing so, from what I heard, would increase their chances that this paper -- deemed as the fashion industry's bible -- would publish the photos on its cover. That was how much the WWD editors loved Anna.

Oscar de la Renta was one of Seventh Avenue's top couture designers who would always book Anna months in advance. Understandably so. She really had a captivating presence. Those couture gowns which cost thousands of dollars each seemed as if made especially just for her.

I loved Anna, and wherever she may be right now, I wish her all the best!

Ed Santiago, our photojournalism instructor, at the far left enjoying our photo shoot.


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posted by Señor Enrique at 12:34 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coincidentally, I was just reading her blog the other day. Check it out:


March 16, 2007 5:03 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks for the URL, Peachy! Sure hope Anna gets to read my post about her, too :)

March 16, 2007 5:45 PM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

Ey, how about your shot of Carla? I want a closer look ;)

March 16, 2007 9:54 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Glad to know that this type of hands on photo workshops are regularly conducted in Manila now.

I recognized Ed Santiago but with more white hair than me. Check out another Pinoy photographer doing good in Florida.

Ralph was a colleague and a very good friend of mine (our ex-girlfriends were best friends)who's currently doing fashion shoots in Florida. He was also in the same UGAT LAHI group I was in. Check him out. or you can Google his name.

Jun De Leon should share some mentoring hours with Ed and Vic for you young Kodakeros.

I think I also mentioned to you before the name Mandy Navasero and Wendy (Upeng) Basilio, both alumnis of my alma mater here, the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California.

March 16, 2007 11:00 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Here's some of my very old photos from tear sheets from the Evening Express Daily. If you need a bigger file I have it on Tiffs.

sorry but I'm having difficulties digging for my old portfolios which are boxed in the garage and as soon as I find some more photos, I will send them to you.


March 17, 2007 3:03 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Sorry Eric I forgot to put the photos on flickr, but here it is:

March 17, 2007 5:29 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Pasensiya ka na kasi biyernes na at kinukulit na ako ng mga kasamahan ko mag-ride. Eto yung tamang address ng FLICKR ko.

March 17, 2007 6:05 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks, Noypetes! I'll link these URLs of yours when I post an entry about Ed!

Besides your site, I also checked out Rafael Tongol's. Impressive! He seems to quite usy in Florida.

I will add these names to mention to Ed.

Thanks again, Noypetes!

March 17, 2007 8:00 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ah, ok, Dave, I'll post a pic of her :)

March 17, 2007 8:00 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Just posted a portrait shot of Carla, Dave, taken at this class' photo shoot.

What do you think?

March 17, 2007 8:19 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

It looks a challenging photo shoot with the harsh sun and the strong contrast between shadow and light.

March 17, 2007 1:27 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Pssssst, Sidney ... I'll share a secret with you: we were all on full "auto mode" ... hahaha!

Trick of the trade is that this is supposed to be a wedding shoot -- therefore, everyone is urged to minimize futzing around with your camera's settings; otherwise, you'll miss most of the more interesting spontaneous "decisive moments." Thus, auto mode!

March 17, 2007 4:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow.. that's an amazing workshop man. They also say it is more difficult to shoot nude models like those Playboy mag shots. Dunno if this is true or not :)

March 17, 2007 9:04 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

I also visited that Anna Bayle blog in the past and was quite impressed with her writings. Quite a revelation coming from a profession where its practicioners are jestingly described as airheads.

Her galleries, which include nude shots, are also impressive and done tastefully.

Never heard of her prior to this experience.

March 18, 2007 3:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neat workshop. So this is for a wedding shoot. Yeah good thing you have a great model. In an actual wedding She won't stand still for too long unless its for an actual shoot. But I like the tone and highlight of your shot. Her smile lng ata is a bit off. Pero neat anyways :D

March 18, 2007 4:27 PM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

Gee, you really posted a portrait shot! I'm ignorant of the technical aspects, so I'll just say you got it just right, hehe. Her smile makes it obvious that it's not her real wedding.

March 18, 2007 11:06 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hello BW!

At the our last class, there were talks amongst many students about signing up for nude or "figure study" classes next.

I'm also intrigued to take this up but would probably do it at the very end -- once more proficient with studio lighting, especially with rim lighting techniques. You see, a major hurdle I might run into with my intended nude shoot is that I would like to get a seasoned jazz or ballet dancer for the female form, and a yoga practitioner of many years for the male form; not sure where to get them and if there would be any of them willing to take on the job.

My goal is to capture the intricate and unusual poses they can perform with their lean and taut physique -- all done in black in white.

March 19, 2007 6:11 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I haven't explored her Web site, Amadeo. Incidentally, from what I read in a locally published book about the country's intriguing and powerful women, Anna was a graduate of UP and arrived in Paris with only $50 left in her pocket. But with sheer determination, she made it as one of New York's top A models soon thereafter.

A woman to be admired, indeed.

March 19, 2007 6:15 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, right you are with her smile, Ferdz; appears to be more of a smirk. This was the moment I was playing with her in terms of giving her funny instructions, and she let out her playful self as well. Nonetheless, I love the way the light played on this photo.

It was a fun shoot, but really tough on the model.

March 19, 2007 6:20 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I was told, Dave, that Carla had a cameo role in a TV sitcom last Saturday on Channel 2. I think she's dead serious in making it in show biz. I wish her the best and hope she attains her goals. Lovely personality she has.

BTW, her mom was her chaperon at this shoot:) A handsome woman as well.

March 19, 2007 6:23 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

parang gusto ko rin mag enrol sa ganyang class, magkano po ba?

nabasa ko na rin yan si Vic Sison sa Picture Perfect...

nice portrait of the bride, warm color reflects from the reflectors... :)

ayus yung advice mong "auto mode" :)

March 19, 2007 9:25 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I highly recommend it, Lino! Since Fuji/YKL sponsors these workshops, students only pay P2,500/workshop. I'd start with Basic and then Advance. They're loads of fun, and you'll meet a bunch of interesting folks as well :)

March 20, 2007 6:13 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nakakainggit! Sarap sigurong mag-attend nang mga sessions na ganyan. Very nice shot! :)

March 22, 2007 2:07 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Talagang nakaka-enjoy, LAR! Dami ka ng matututunan, eh, dami ka ding makikilalang mga mahihilig sa fotograpiya! Member ka na ba ng camera club?

March 22, 2007 5:07 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in the NY rag trade Senor Enrique (550 7th)..interesting to note that you worked in my neck of the woods before. In what capacity, may I ask?

Your photography is beautiful and your narratives are wonderfully written.

April 05, 2007 6:58 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Anonymous!

550, eh? I used to go there often to pick-up our checks ... hehehe! We had perpetual cash flow problems, that's why.

Did costume jewelries, accessories, and just about anything to dazzle their collections for runway. We were regularly commissioned by Pauline Trigere, Geoffrey Beene, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Carolyn Roehm (when she went on her own) to name a few.

Darn, I even remember meeting the fashion goddess herself (but she's dead now). What's her name? Not Anna.

Some friends work for Calvin, Anne Klein, Issey and Donna. A very incestuous industry, don't you think? hehehe. Except for Calvin, aren't these design houses under the same parent organization?

Philip Block was just starting out then, but now I see him as a prime style consultant on TV. One of my favorite stylists; very very nice man.

April 05, 2007 7:32 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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