Tuesday, February 19, 2008


For those thinking of dabbling into street photography in Manila, be forewarned. Expect to get requests from some folks -- kids and adults alike -- to take their picture.

However, be not alarmed, for such requests are made in jest, though the charming smile and the glimmer in their eyes reveal the hope that you wouldn't mind sparing a shot or two.

Personally, since I use a memory card with a fairly large capacity, I'm almost always glad to oblige. Besides, it's good public relations anyway. Should I ask them for directions afterwards, I'm confident they wouldn't lead me astray.

But what's truly fascinating about this whole thing is that no one would dare ask for a print copy, though on rare occasion, one may ask to see the result of the shot you've just made on the preview screen of your digital camera. Nonetheless, the mere fact that you had given them a moment of your time to heed their request makes their day. That may be because, as Sidney Snoeck had once quipped, "Someone significant such as a photographer had given them special attention even if for a few seconds."

This photo essay depict images of camera-loving people taken during the past two months alone. But the one of the young boy (top photo) deserves the lead photo position. You see, most local folks are shy and would only have the nerve to ask you to take their pictures only if with a group of their peers. This young boy, however, right after a parade in Binondo, actually ran after me to ask if I could take a snapshot of him. Indeed, it was his unusual boldness that charmed me so, before taking his picture, I asked him to stand with Binondo Church as backdrop.

And just like the rest, as soon as I finished, he gave me a warm appreciative smile and ran off without asking for a print of his picture. All that bravado for nothing, I thought.


posted by Señor Enrique at 5:17 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should also tell these people to watch out for their pics being published in your blog, Eric. I'm sure they would be more thrilled, especially the young ones. :)

February 19, 2008 7:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like everybody wants to be in front of your camera!Nice shots!
Wiley Willows Photoblog

February 19, 2008 7:26 AM  

Blogger Panaderos said...

Goes to show that a lot of Pinoys love to ham it up in front of a camera. I miss those warm smiles. Ain't nothing like it in the whole world.

February 19, 2008 9:51 AM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

This is so funny :)

Pero totoo yan. I always manage to catch a poser whenever I take pics of my kids and some scenery. Laging may ume-epal sa background..hahaha :)

February 19, 2008 9:55 AM  

Blogger pusa said...

this is my 3rd time to post my comment, hopefully it'll come thru!

just wanna say that i can soooo totally relate to this experience =)
and i have tons of photos of "unknown" people in my disk right now, havent got the time to publish them to give them proper tribute =)

also one of the reasons why i aint afraid of taking photos out in the streets because i know that filipino people are camera lovers =)

February 19, 2008 10:03 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice pix Senor!

February 19, 2008 10:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right that it can help build public relations skill. It's really nice to see kids and adults alike want their photos to be taken because usually people would shy away.


February 19, 2008 10:38 AM  

Blogger Unknown said...

Charming photos, Eric! The boy reminds of my 14-year old nephew---naughty but nice.:D

February 19, 2008 1:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's 2AM again and I'm glad I have something to look forward to read at this hour at your blog.

Your subject matter is excellent. Children, young adults, our future, our country's next generation, our irreplaceable resources, that will carry on after us.

We used to be like then, now look at us!

Please take a look of my recent trip to Manila!

February 19, 2008 4:47 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

There are really more Pinoys who love hamming than any other race I have ever come across. The first thing that was so grossly different between me and my German husband was our perception of photography...or how to behave in front of the camera. He's quite a control freak when it comes to taking pictures (formal and staid)...while I am more clowning in front of the camera. I was just used to it! Yun pala it may be in our genes! (ha-ha!)

February 19, 2008 5:10 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

It is indeed a real pleasure to be a photographer in the Philippines. People enjoy being photographed and for a shy person like me it is a good way to connect to people.

I love your candid pictures.
Thanks for the plug.

February 19, 2008 5:45 PM  

Blogger  gmirage said...

Haha...This happens to me too SenorE, I remember once while in the market, a man approched me and he was not so friendly....asking me why I'm taking the photos of fruits and if I'm allowed. I was of course having talked to the tindero who comes from India...he then asked if I also take photos of people, I said, 'Yes, why? "Could you take a photo of me too?" hahahah...

The funny thing is they don't even know where the photos would end up, right? I forgot who asked me that sometime ago...why people love their photos being taken wihout the possibility of seeing it in print. =D "Addict sa Kodak!" - so we say. lol.

Great portraits by the way...

February 19, 2008 6:08 PM  

Blogger  gmirage said...

Oh, about the last photo which I didn't noticed earlier, not only are the people around him laughing, I am too! Kulit!

February 19, 2008 6:15 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Now that's a good idea, Rhoda, but at that time I had no idea what I'd do with the pictures I had taken of these friendly souls -- until now.

Hmmmm ... I should really give your idea some thought.

February 19, 2008 9:24 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That would be really nice, Luke, to have a lot of local folks enjoying being in front of my camera. That'll give me a lot of opportunities for more interesting photo essays in the future -- if true, that is :)

February 19, 2008 9:27 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I, too, have one of those Pinoy smiles, Panaderos, which helped me gain friends in New York, as well as smooth exits in tight, volatile situations ... hehehe.

February 19, 2008 9:29 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks for reminding me something that had escaped my mind, Cookie -- those annoying "epals" ... hehehe.

Oftentimes, they would try to be discreet about it but just the same, it would become obvious the way they'd maneuver themselves to be included within the frame of your shots; as if you wouldn't notice :)

February 19, 2008 9:34 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You've just given me a wonderful idea, Pusa -- at least once a month, do a tribute to these affable folks :)

But you know? Come to think of it, they make street photography even more enjoyable :)

February 19, 2008 9:36 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you, Mandaragat.

These images should remind you of some of our fun-loving fellow Pinoys here at home :)

February 19, 2008 9:37 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Whoever that boy was, Luna, he ought to seriously consider joining a summer theater troupe/camp. I think his personality would be ideal for show business, especially since he loves being in front of the camera.

February 19, 2008 9:39 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, you're right, Kyels! Their friendly demeanor makes street photography even more enjoyable and more important, safe :)

February 19, 2008 9:40 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Paolo!

It'll take you another couple of more days to get over your jet lag. I'm glad my site provides some entertainment :)

I will definitely visit your site to check out your articles about your recent Manila vacation.

February 19, 2008 9:42 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's intriguing, indeed, Bernadette, how your husband seems to prefer his subjects to be more formal in front of his camera. May have to do with his particular style of portraiture?

I think you and I share the same attitude with our subjects -- carefree and relaxed in front of the camera :)

February 19, 2008 9:47 PM  

Blogger  gmirage said...

Hmmm...I was actually lining up that photo of the violinist I wrote before, good idea! let's do that!

February 20, 2008 12:00 AM  

Blogger Ebb Tide said...

Hi! Like your candid shot of the boy and Binondo. I think candid and local shots of faces, smiles and reactions are more interesting and delicious to look at.

February 20, 2008 1:30 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I share the same sentiment, Sidney. Without photography, I probably would have never had the chance to meet as many people as I have to date.

Being a photographer certainly provides me with the opportunities to step out of my usual comfort zone and connect with local folks from various backgrounds.

Thanks, too, Sidney, for sharing your insights on street photography with me :)

February 20, 2008 7:18 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That was hysterical, G. Mirage. Boy, aren't the characters we meet incredibly colorful and unpredictable at times, eh? Hahaha!

So now we know what to do with all these photos of friendly folks on the streets. Let's do our respective monthly tribute to them as Pusa had suggested :)

Yes! Those folks on the last photo were really enjoying their friends antics in front of the camera!

It was really fun!

February 20, 2008 7:20 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Ebb Tide!

Yes, I agree with you -- candid shots are a lot more riveting, especially those images of people having a wonderful time.

February 20, 2008 7:23 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

The sequence of these comments and my responses may seem out of whack, G. Mirage. THat's because when I was doing them late last night, I was exhausted and what my mind wanted to impart, my typing fingers were not responding to; hence, many grammatical and typos. So, I had to clean up my responses this morning ... hehehe.

Yes, let's do a monthly tribute to these wonderful hams :)

February 20, 2008 7:29 AM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

i would have missed the last pic if i didn't take a closer look at it. i'm glad i did, kasi ang kulit ng itsura nya! hahaha! =)

February 21, 2008 6:35 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Even his friends were very much amused by his antics, Carla. I couldn't help but laugh myself. It was a great way to end the day of taking pics at the rally. I think it's wonderful that some local folks were able to retain their sense of humor after all the protesting.

February 21, 2008 7:08 AM  

Blogger mgaputonimimi said...

nakakatuwa po talaga kunan ang mga willing mag pa kuha... ^_^

hindi matigas oh parang timid ang dating.. may sigla at attitude..

February 21, 2008 6:26 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I like it best, Mimi, when they play with the camera and appear not at all intimidated by it. Oftentimes, that's when you'd get those prize shots :)

February 21, 2008 7:56 PM  

Blogger reyd said...

It is always fun to see kids enjoying themselves in front of a camera.
But, what are those street gang's hand signs? lol
Ayan na ba ang uso ngayon? Not like before when during a group photo, we would put a victory sign behind the head of the next person.
(Sungay) hahaha!
I love the third photo, yung may pamaypay pa...hahaha, group of Rainbow Coalition ata sila.

"A simple smile captured on a photograph is always priceless".

(What more kung halakhak pa) :D

February 24, 2008 6:39 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

They're students of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Reyd, and they're quite a fun bunch all right who certainly brought "colors" to the scene :)

Yup, those are the trendy hand gestures courtesy of the hip hop/rap culture. No more unwitting V-signs behind ones top of the head or the once famous pogi gesture.

At the end of the day, this kind of shots from such friendly souls also brings a smile to my face :)

February 24, 2008 7:10 PM  

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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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