Shooting Stars

Rock fan Regina Belmonte shares about her first foray into photography.
by Regina Belmonte   |  Mar 20, 2010
photo by Regina Belmonte
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It was the most exciting text message. I'd ever received. I couldn't believe it was actually for me! I thought I received it by accident, but there it was actually for me! I thought I received it by accident, but there it was in my inbox: "Hey are you doing anything tomorrow? Do you want to shoot the pictures for our album inlay?"

Pedicab, my favorite local band since 2005, wanted me, their biggest fan, to shoot for their second album, Shinji Ilabas Mo Na Ang Helicopter. No way. I'd been going to their weekend gigs for more than a year and I'd come to be quite good friends with some of them. I knew they had seen my pictures, but I was sure that I wasn't nearly good enough for what they were asking of me. I had to ask, "Are you serious?" several times before I could believe it, and after about 30 minutes of joyous celebration, I remembered that I had never shot anything truly serious in my life.

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Sure, I took a photography class the previous semester and aced it, but I'd only been taking pictures (as opposed to generic snapshots of myself and my friends) for a year and a half, and only for fun. I'd been to photo shoots before and I knew the kind of lights and lots of lenses. I didn't even own a flash. How could I shoot Pedecab's album inlay? It would be awful, they would hate it, and they would never forgive me.

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Still, it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up, so I shelved my insecurity aside and showed up on location at RA Rivera's house and studio, prepared to take the best pictures I possibly could. The band continually reassured me and told me not to worry about it—that it was a "punk rock shoot" and the important thing was to have fun.

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"The entire time I was clicking away, I was still shaking my head in disbelief. There isn't a band in the world that I love more, and I was actually doing something to contribute to their second album."

When I got behind the camera, I started to wonder how I was going to direct rock stars. Daddy Maps, J. Sonic, Sugar Raims, Masterbeat, and Just Tony (a.k.a. Diego Mapa, Jason Caballa, Raimund Marasigan, Mike Dizon, and RA Rivera) have been in the music industry for ages and I was just a college kid pretending to know what she was doing. Was I going to have to order my idols around? But it turned out that I didn't even have to direct them. With all their crazy antics, they directed themselves—I just clicked the shutter and laughed at everything they were doing.

Pedicab is always inventive and captivating on any stage, and they brought all their energy and humor to the shoot. The entire time I was clicking away, I was still shaking my head in disbelief. There isn't a band in the world that I love more, and I was actually doing something to contribute to their second album.

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It felt so wonderful to finally be able to give back to the people who made the music I loved. The pictures I took, whether they were good or not, were my way of thanking the boys of Pedicab for giving me so much joy and teaching me to dance to the sweet sound of disco punk.

I shot my favorite band and hundreds of people are going to see the pictures I took, whether in the album inlay or as official band photos. This might just be the start of something great for me.

REAX!
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Regina Belmonte
Intern, Contributing Writer
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