Unexpected Journey to Photography

Model: Rica Jane Cawaling

When I was young, all I ever dreamed of was being a farmer—yes, I once drew a picture of me being a farmer when our teacher asked us what we wanted to become when I was in pre-school. Then it moved to being a singer and that was all it. Not once did I ever thought of being able to use a complex camera to capture tons of images, may it be nature, buildings, or people. Never in my entire childhood did I ever dreamt of becoming a photographer.

Until the usage of a digital camera was abused.

I’ve always thought of photography as simply focusing your lens on a subject then hitting the shutter, capturing an image out of the chosen subject. But when I learned that photography uses great knowledge in all of its aspects of being a photographer, my point of view on this matter changed drastically. Who would’ve thought it takes more than just a simple point-and-shoot procedure. You’re gonna have to be aware of the light, the amount of light you need, how fast the shutter’s gonna be, and don’t forget about the composition.

The first time I used a digital camera was back in my elementary days. The school would send us off to field trips and my mom would let me bring the camera for me to take as many photos I want so that when I get home, I’ll have something to show them.

Let me tell you something. I do take photos whenever I’m out on a field trip. The problem? The gallery contains 97% of photos without me in it. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not a camera-shy type person but when you just have your camera there’s no telling what you’ll be capturing next. And, perhaps, sometimes I really don’t want anyone taking photos of me (depending on a situation). But of course, it didn’t stay that way. Over time I tried to work on the “less-photos-of-me-and-more-of-other-people” doings.

Fast forwarding to the time our dad bought us a family DSLR camera, I learned that these kinds of cameras give you high quality images and that professionals use these types of camera in the field of photography.

At first, I didn’t know what made it extra special compared to our digital camera so I wasn’t totally amazed and eager to use it. The time came when I finally got to use it and I used to take lots of pictures of different things (trees, small objects, outdoor scenery) and I just fell in love with the camera.

Then the time came when my classmate asked me a favor of shooting her pre-debut. I was taught by our school publication’s chief photographer the different camera exposures that could help me achieve the perfect shot I wanted. So here’s where I learned about the importance of the usage the shutter speed, the aperture, and the ISO using the camera on Manual mode and saving images in .RAW/.NEF files. With these, I was able to apply them in every time I had to use my camera in taking pictures of people or random objects.

After learning that my classmate requested me to shoot her photos for her pre-debut, 2 more of my friends asked me to do a photoshoot and a coverage of their debuts. It was such an honor that my classmates gave their trusts to me because they also trust in my photography skills even if I’m still an aspiring photographer.

Now, looking back at what I wanted to become when I was child you can say that this was an unexpected turn of pages from wanting to be a farmer/singer to becoming a photographer. Since I’ve already entered the field of photography, it’s best to keep doing what I’m doing and learn many more from other people.

My first ever pre-debut shoot.

Model: Rica Jane Cawaling

This was my second client who’s also my classmate who asked me not only a pre-debut photoshoot but also the coverage of her debut.

Model: Andrea Niro

And here’s she is on her big day dancing with her boyfriend.


And here is my recent client.

Model: Shanne Barroga


This is me trying out different camera settings to achieve a silhouette effect.

Model: Rica Jane Cawaling

And the following are collections of what I took when I’m outside with my camera beside me.

Manila Bay, Philippines
BF Times, Las Piñas City
Nearby Cultural Center of the Philippines

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