Thursday, September 02, 2010

PHOTOGRAPHER FOCUS: { JAJA SAMANIEGO }

It was one of those dreary rainy afternoons, but Jaja Samaniego's coverage of our August 22 wedding was like sunshine coming through the gray clouds.

Vatel Manila chats with Ms. Samaniego on her style & thoughts as a photographer:

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What led you to a life pursuing images?

Part of growing up is my fondness for film, fashion magazines and MTV. I love looking at how colors, textures, shapes and other elements combine together to create meaningful images. As a visual person, I wanted to create a concrete image of my ideas. I tried drawing and painting but unfortunately I wasn't good at it.

The idea of photography came to me when I wanted my drawings to look as realistic as possible. Back in college, I had my very first black-and-white photography class. From then on, I was hooked. I started borrowing my friend's camera every time I go home to my province just so I can take pictures of the locals. My Dad finally got me my first dLSR and I just wanted to make the most of it. So that was the start.

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Tell us about your nature as a photographer.

My take on photography is daring. I greatly rely on my female instincts especially when shooting weddings in particular. I like elegant, subtle, candid and intimate images - the style that I'm constantly refining and discovering every time I shoot. Knowing that the wedding day is considered a woman’s (the bride's) most special day, I use a good blend of my heart and head when shooting in order for me to capture a myriad of feelings as it happens really fast, and at the same time produce eye-catching portraits that would define the true emotions of people at that point in time.
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What to you is a successful shoot?

It’s a successful shoot if: there’s great people, great food, great weather, great details and most importantly, if I’m able to capture great images!
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Does being female make a difference?

I would say that woman/female instincts could be very helpful when capturing images especially in intimate ceremonies such as weddings and engagements. Love, patience, warmth, care and calmness are just a few characteristics that define our nature as a woman. I find it an edge to be naturally inclined to these emotions for it reflects in my images, too.

With regards to the details and capturing emotions, I think I know a lot of male photographers who are really good at this. Well, there’s a popular saying that says, "Behind every man's success is a woman".

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What tips can you give aspiring photographers?

It’s important to know your camera’s mechanism. Spend time learning exposure and lighting so you won’t rely on Photoshop. It’s also important to have a mentor or someone that can critic and motivate you at the same time.
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What are you looking forward to?
Since I started shooting for Imagine Nation Photography, I’ve met a lot of wonderful people, been to new places and learned a lot of things. I’m really looking forward to discover the world and just do what I love the most which is shooting.
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Tips to couples on their wedding day.

a. Eat before the ceremony.
b. Pray with all the suppliers.
c. Enjoy every minute of it.


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Shot for Imagine Nation Photography with Jay jay Lucas, Carlo Cecilio and Lai De Guzman.


Contact Jaja Samaniego
Email: jaja_samaniego@yahoo.com

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