I woke up at 5AM which is not my usual routine. I guess I was as excited as some of the other photographers here because of this event. I have been looking forward to this one since they announced it on the threads... and why not; the best photographers in town are all there so who am I to resist?! I got there at around 7AM when there were not much people because the ones I saw were just the people from DPP. So I decided to get breakfast at Figaro to get espresso shots since I knew it was going to be a long day. I don't want to be resentful not going to Xander Angeles' slot in the evening so I tried my best to prepare for the rest of the day. Ladies from the DPP staff suddenly came in and obviously since that was a coffee shot that I was in, they are probably going to get breakfast. I said to myself "Oh it seems I'm really too early coz these girls are relaxing" and so I thought. After my 2 espresso infused drinks and a chocolate muffin, I saw them rush outside and so I went out to check if there was a line already. Lo and behold at 8AM I saw people across the plant boxes holding 3 lines already. Frantic, I went ahead and got my gear and sat on the same area under the heat of the sweltering sun. The shade from the grown shrubs helped a lot in keeping us aptly cool but I was still perspiring. I hate the thought of not starting the event yet and I was already filthy. Some of the staff cared enough to send water and got us to fill up forms and yes these people were really nice. I could have been first in line but lo and behold I was in the third line bearing number 57.
I planned to go to three classes:
1430-1600 BEAUTIFUL PORTRAITS by Pilar Tuason
1700- 1800 THE REAL APPROACH to FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY in the Digital Age by Raymond Isaac
1800 - 1930 EDGE OF LIGHT: Deconstructed by Xander Angeles, Niko Villegas, and Genald Tungol
So I got that encircled on the paper and waited patiently. Yes, it was about two to three hours more before Fully Booked opens at the Fort. I didn't see any of my peers from the photography clubs yet. I spent my time alone texting and bugging them to go there early since they initially planned to be there by 10AM. I'm sure they won't be able to get into any class as I saw the lines grew by the minute. To give you an estimate of the attendees, here's how long the line was (in red):
Yeap, we all had to endure the heat, noise and smell in some cases LOL but if you think about it I was really impressed on how photographers like me kept their cool and EAGERNESS to stay and participate in DPP's day (which later I learned to have numbered 1,800 people!). I listened to some of them who came from as far as Singapore, Bacolod, and Davao who came there just for the event... so who am I to complain when I was just from QC. The staff tried their best to make things better by getting us to prepare stuff ahead of time and get lanyards for the ID's. Mine had a photo on it of John Regala and I was cute too hahah. So after I got all my peers agitated and rush to the venue, they were a little too late since classes were all gone in an hour or maybe less when they opened. I got all of the classes I wanted and went back to the lines to find my club mates. One by one they all arrived but only a few got what classes they wanted. It closed like hotcakes. I'm not surprised since the Best of the Best names in the industry were the ones holding the seminars. I was really happy to get the last class specifically; after all I'm a fashion photographer and I've got to get in to that DECONSTRUCTED class by Xander Angeles, Niko Villegas, and Genald Tungol by hook or by crook.
So I had small chats with my peers from the D60KREW, Digital Katipuneros and the Nocturnals. I met some of my co bloggers too. I was really glad to see them! Some of them I haven't seen for the longest time. I knew it was a good thing to come to this event but seeing these faces again was PRICELESS. You get to catch up on stories, brag about gear (for some of them hehe), compare shots and see their work too. I spent the afternoon doing that and some fun with the D60KREW on the side event we had for our anniversary too. D60KREW does street and we had a challenge of doing 50mm on our kit lenses and produce the best photos we could have. I didn't get to print mine because of time constraints and work but when the bunch had their entries laid out, it was pretty impressive. I had a nice time and lunch with the guys.
It was time to go to my first class so I went back to the venue. My first one was with Ms. Pilar Tuason. I knew she was very good in lighting. This one for portraits was eagerly awaited. The schedules kinda had to wait because landscape Master Jay Jallorina was just finishing his class. I must admit I wasn't into that genre of photography but his tips were great and very technical. It made me a little bit interested (just a little! hehe) but I think I already know what I was up for when I took this hobby. I want to do fashion and portraits.
Pilar Tuason's Child, Maternal, Nude and Beauty Photography
Last year I had a glimpse of what Ms. Pilar Tuason has up her sleeves. She is very good in weddings and child photography bar none. A calling so they say. The shots she got us to look at were superb. I specifically like the one with the dancers spinning around and the bride in the middle. It made me think of some Russian inspired Anastacia like production. It was all good! I got some really good pointers on how to do portraits of this caliber.
First is to be a people person, I know I have that. Apparently when she mentioned this I got to smile the whole time because I passed this criteria (yes I talk too much) and if you think about it I get to manage people because I can entertain them a bit. I am a little weird but I do that a lot so no one can check out I have MENSA capable scores on paper. It is important to handle kids and parents alike so you have to be pleasing at all times to get that perfect shot the first fifteen days when a child is born. I was worried about flashes and kids so I asked a question; and no they don't hold back on lights when they handle kids. I guess I was worried they would go blind or something. Since she assured no one came back to her after a few years complaining their kids were blind I guess it was okay (haha).
Making creative poses for kids was also important. Making that perfect shot means taking the means of being different with other photographers. You can't just leave them flat on the bed and take shots. Everyone can do that at home. So a photographer needs imagination. Make the shot that would be the envy of others so you'll be successful on shooting kids. Ms. Tuason's Mother and child shots were superb. Some just used one light. Some were also just plain ambient. I like the effect a lot. I'm going to try that out one of these days. Hoping some pregnant woman comes along and volunteers for me though. The Motherly nudes were also great. I guess like mountains you sometimes see the female form, pregnant or not to be very regal... even majestic. Not because they are huge that time, but the female form all in all is impeccably pretty. I also like the headshots and face closeups on the beauty shots. We had the same thinking about the armpits being the most difficult to edit out on photoshop. So now I know everyone's having a hard time on that part. Really cool to learn new stuff and confirming things that are normal. The wedding shots for editorials were great too. I would like to do weddings soon but probably when some of my peers and my schedules meet. I think I have to make time for that soon. I got lots of ideas for poses and angled shots on her class. I have to make sure that I could do them within the year where everything is still fresh. I tend to forget them but I'll check out this post from time to time so I wouldn't. =) Thank you for the chance to listen to your talks Ms. Pilar Tuason!
*Around this time we got our group hug shot outside. =)*
Raymund Isaac's Real Deal Fashion Photography
It all made sense to me. I attended workshops from great masters like Winston Baltazar before and when fashion photographer par excellance Raymund Isaac did his stint on DPP it was really making sense to me. All the practical things that should be done by a great fashion photographer were simple. You don't have to have the fanciest gear or accessories to have the best shots in the league. It can be as simple as a card board or car shade for a reflector and a couple of simple directional lights to get that shot you want. It also made the reflections softer as a matter of fact. I really appreciated the small things he mentioned about how photography should be simple enough for everyone to understand. It should also be as easy to implement when on a photoshoot. I often make the mistake of over complicating things when all I wanted was simple shots of a model and her clothes. Thank you for making me realize how important thinking about the shot more. I will also try my best not to use the term BOKEH hahaha! I will use Out Of Focus next time!
Edge of Light DECONSTRUCTED by Xander Angeles, Niko Villegas, and Genald Tungol
How can you go wrong with Xander Angeles?! He's my idol and a second or third demigod from my first one Ely Buendia of Eraserheads but he IS the reason why I want to be better at fashion photography. I thought I was doing remarkable shots before but all that went down the drain when I saw his photos. It was not conventional and everything had a story. Emulate?! Yeah I had a hunch I had to go that path to try and be better in this field but if there was a reason why I had to I wanted it to be Xander Angeles. I almost had a heart attack when I won his XBOOK last year during the DPP Holiday party. The lights mattered in his questions so I kinda got that right. This would sound creepy (yeah I know!) but I had dreams working with him and painting lights and stuffs with foreign models. I'm sure Genald and and Niko are grandmasters too and just to experience how to work with them would be phenomenal. I want to do that soon. They inspired me and my shots this year and I'll continue to try and be better on being different. I guess that spells how you get good at this. Lights mattered a lot on how you get the impact of a photo across the 2 dimensional world of a photo. If you got your message across and had done it excellently then it would be the best thing you could do for your craft. They deconstructed photos, I wish I had their lights to begin with but it might take a while. I'll use simple setups first and see if I can get my shots to look better on print. I know it will take a couple of years but I am having lots of fun. I'll do fashion photography and draw inspiration from what they taught us. Thank you for the chance to get to talk to him too after that class. That made my day!
I stayed for the live judging (and the booze!) so I could take a look at the photos there. I went there with my peers from the Nocturnals. I knew some of them didn't pass the taste of the judges and I kinda knew that right from the time I saw the photos. I was not surprised how they hacked the landscapes and obliterated the train of thought put in on the portraits. The top winners were really deserving. I like their entries but of course I like my entries more (but I never got printed hehe)! All in all I had a nice time at DPP UNLEASHED. I learned, I got inspired, I laughed, I looked weird at some instances and got drunk. Best of all... I was happy. I hope I didn't bore you guys with the story of this very long but great day.
I'll take this bit to thank Sir Nick Tuason, and his boss Ms Pilar Tuason hehe... and to the people who facilitated the event. You did your best and we all got what we wanted, that's what matters!
Congratulations on a very successful event and I will be there on the HOLIDAY party... there is one right?! ^_^
I also got my copies signed by my idol Xander Angeles! He knew right from the time I showed him my shot that I was using a NIKON..I wonder why heheh... This was the best part of it! ^_^