On a chilly, rainy Saturday evening, I had the pleasure of photographing USF Kasamahan's 41st Annual Barrio Fiesta, and after such an experience, I am nothing short of humbled.
Being an attendee at last year's Barrio fiesta and having the pleasure of enjoying it from the stands was surely a lovely experience, but being able to express myself as a part of Kasamahan in the form of my images, this time around, created a newfound feeling of euphoria. The ability to convey the emotion and passion left on the stage by my fellow peers was truly awe-inspiring, and even though I didn't take part in the months and months of practice and preparation for this event, I can confidently say that I felt like a part of the family from my first step into the dressing rooms to take some behind-the-scenes images, up until my final step out of the presentation theater when all was said and done.
It's a truly beautiful thing - the ability to experience both the struggles and triumphs that many first-generation Filipino Americans, like myself, face when growing up as children, from being exclusively dependent on our parents to making life-decisions that could potentially change our lives forever. USF Kasamahan's 41st Annual Barrio Fiesta was a wonderful display of not only elegance, but ambition, in terms of how the Filipino community is able to immerse itself in so many different shapes and forms. From that, we always manage to go back to our roots, to our ancestors who came before us, making countless sacrifices, traveling near and far, and risking all that they had, just so we could have a future. I know that I can speak for the majority when I say that we are all truly grateful and that we will take these blessings to help us further chase our dreams and inevitably turn them all into reality.
Follow your dreams, don't ever sell yourself short, and never change who you are.
Met up with Rolo & Mindy, once again, for their eight-year anniversary! The location of choice, this time around, was around the Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco, as opposed to last year's Golden Gate Park excursion. We ventured around the SF City Hall (which was, surprisingly enough, my first time inside of there & I absolutely enjoyed it), and then later went out towards the rear end of the building to take a specific, special image that Rolo had been meaning to take with Mindy for quite some time. The shoot was planned around the central theme of engagement between the two, which is definitely valid considering they've been engaged three years ago from today.
A special thanks and shoutout to them for remaining an inspiration to everyone!
One of the things that I enjoy most about photographing cotillions is seeing how filipino culture immerses itself in so many different areas. Today's cotillion's topic of interest? Dance.
Gardelle's cotillion was strongly centered around movement, being a member of a dance group, which seamlessly fueled the energy in the venue throughout the entirety of the night. From the laughs that were made as jokes were cracked, to the tears that were shed during the heartwarming speeches from the eighteen candles and roses, to the ooh's, ahh's, and cheers that the guests made after the end of every performance as they simply kicked back and enjoyed the celebration of a girl's eighteen years of life - everything was done in an exquisite manner. The blood, sweat, and tears could be felt in a sentimental sense as Gardelle and her entourage gave it their all during every piece, making this cotillion a performance recital in it's own right.
Photographed Robert & Jamelyn with my good friend Rolo Tanedo on a not-so relaxed Sunday afternoon at Stow Lake. Traffic was horrendous in Golden Gate Park any time after 12 PM due to the One Republic concert that was attracting most of the park's visitors today, as well as a local elementary school's walkathon taking place at Stow Lake itself. That said, even with all of the hustle & bustle the day was already managing to bring before the photoshoot finally went underway, Stow Lake proved it's worth, once again, becoming the primary setting for the engagement session with it's never-ending backdrops and simply wonderful overall ambiance. Robert & Jamelyn were an absolute delight to photograph, were incredibly easy to work with, and of course - validated that which true love consists of. Love is all about making sacrifices for one another and ultimately looking past imperfections to make them perfect. Robert & Jamelyn show just that!
Some say that opposites attract, while the latter states otherwise. Today’s subjects at hand that represent the latter? Jullian & Rinna.
From their passion for sneakers that they share which had initially started back in their good ‘ole high school days, to their ever growing love for photography and videography that strengthens just as much as their current bond and relationship does, one thing has been apparent with these two since the beginning: they epitomize the typical cliché of “you always fall for your best friend”, and transcend above that matter.
I had the pleasure of photographing their two-year anniversary on a chilly Friday night in Dolores Park just as the sun had began to set, and what I absolutely love about these two is the energy that they both bring. Each and every time I see them, whether it be a chance to hang out with them or a simple hello and goodbye, dull moments never come into play. This outing was no different from the rest, where laughs were shared throughout the entirety.
Surely, to get the full gist of it, one would have had to witness the shoot in person to get the exact, legitimate feel of the moment – that’s the way things go with just about anything. Having said that, I feel that I’ve conveyed their quirky, carefree natures in the best possible way that I could in the images you see below.