The Art of the Matter Part 1
At what age did you start taking photos? Do you remember the very first shots you took? Can you describe them? What was it about photography that appealed to you?
I started taking photos at around 15. I didn't have a nice camera then but I always brought it along with me anyway for practice. I remember I always took picture of stuff I'd see lying around the places where I went to—random things like flowers and furniture. I was also fond of taking pictures of my high school classmates and my siblings. Now that I think about it, my oldest pictures were generally just snapshots with little artistic quality to them.
I've always been fascinated with fashion. When I was younger, I would always look at pictures for inspiration. Everything pretty much started from there. I began to lean towards the photography aspect of the pictures I saw in magazines, more than its fashion aspect.
When, how, and why did you start shooting professionally?
I officially started shooting for publications last June 2007, but prior to the first time my photos got published, I did a bit of modeling in magazines (I was in the Candy Jan-Feb 2007 issue) and shooting for my friends who needed pictures for their debuts and whatnot. I started becoming more active early 2007 on the internet and more people were able to discover my work through my deviantART account (http://slumberdoll.deviantart.com) and through Animax's Kawaii Girls (I was the 2nd Kawaii Girl). Everything just fell into place after that. I'm still overwhelmed until now.
What do you love most about photography?
I love how great it is that I can show other people what my eyes can see through the viewfinder of my camera. It is very fulfilling to be able to share my work and at the same time bring smiles to other people's faces.
How often do you shoot? What are your favorite subjects?
I try to shoot once or twice a month. College is a priority, of course—especially now that I'm a junior. But if school didn't exist, I probably would be shooting everyday.
My favorite subjects would be my friends. I'm lucky to have absolutely gorgeous model friends and blockmates who I can drag away for spontaneous photoshoots. Most of my friends are also into the kind of fashion that I like so shooting becomes much easier since we all understand each other.
Who are your photography influences?
Oh, lots! I'm mostly influenced by Japanese fashion magazines such as Popteen, Cawaii, Fruits, and Cutie. The photographs in most of these magazines use very minimal artificial lighting but they always turn out great.
Where do you get ideas/inspiration for your shots?
I find inspiration in geeky stuff like anime, video games (I am a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series), cosplay (one of my favorite models is a popular cosplayer), music and art/design (since I am a design student). Since I also style and do make-up in some of my photoshoots, I find inspiration in the same magazines I stated above.
Does it get hard to juggle school and photography?
Well, college is tough but if you love what you're doing, you will really create time for it. In my case, even though I get stressed with the amount of work that I get in school, every shoot of mine I treat as a sort of stress reliever. I don't look at it was work but as something much much better. :D
What're you up to today? Submit your OOTD, fanfic, essay, school project, org event, a pic of your latest hobby, or anything you want to be posted on the Candy Bulletin page!
Nineteen is a rather unremarkable age as it is not as celebrated as the age before it nor is it considered as much of a turning point as the age after it. However, this is the time when you find yourself smack in the middle of enjoying your teens and worrying about becoming an adult.
More often than not, you'll start to wonder whether you made the most out of your teenage years or whether you're ready to take on the responsibilities of being an adult. This constant dilemma will leave you anxious and confused. But, don't beat yourself up because this is the beauty of being 19.
You are no longer the foolish teenager who thought he/she was the center of the universe because now, you are old enough to start thinking like a grown up who understands that you are but a tiny speck in the whole solar system. It doesn't mean that you are insignificant but rather, that you are part of a colossal existence. This realization will enable you to make the right choice. And as you navigate the remaining days of your teens, don't forget to look back on the lessons you've picked up through the years and look forward to what lies ahead of you in the future.
BUWAN (Reverse Poetry)
Isinulat ni: Zamira Ariola
Ang liwanag noon
Nagsilbing gabay ngayon
Ang nagpapanatiling buhay
Sa pusong pagod
Sa pusong wala ng laman
Sa pusong wala nang nararandaman
Ikaw ang nagdala
Bakit nga ba?
Ikaw ang minahal
Ikaw ang ginawang mundo
Para magkasilbi ang buhay ko?
Bakit ikaw ang nagdala ng liwanag?
Ikaw ba ang buwan?
[Basahing muli paitaas]
"The paradoxical idea of attaining a happier life and how to withstand these beliefs."
The Revolting Truth About Happiness by Theserenefae
If people ask you about your vision of a happier life we automatically envision ourselves having more money, true love, a better job, Instagram-worthy vacations, etc. But let me break this to you this, According to Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology at Yale University and the voice behind The Happiness Lab podcast, "Most of the goals we think would make us happy do not really make us happy." And why is that? Simple, being happy is all in our minds. The human mind ploys us with these lenses on how we envision ourselves and our lives to be happy. The perception of "having" or "gaining" is the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. So how can we really be "happy"?
• Seek happiness inside you. This is a quintessential reason for our vision of happiness: misconceptions about having a lot of money would make me happy; owning this and that would make me happy; entering a relationship would make me happy. This is not the case, if you want to be truly happy with your relationship, you have to be already happy on your own. If you want satisfaction from others, you have to be satisfied with yourself. And so on.
• Fill that hole righteously We all have that tiny hole inside our hearts, tampering it with temporary band-aids. Fill this hole with purpose. Have you ever heard about The Three "M's"— Master, Mission, and Mate? Define who will be your Master, is it God? If that's so, your Mission could be following his words and will. Mate would be the last for they will be the best companion to fulfill your mission. Now hear me out, it is important to do this accordingly. We often times jumble it or invert it which can lead to failures.
• Give gifts to others. The wonderful grace in giving. There’s nothing like the rush of pure joy when you get a chance to give. However, this may not be something that we're used to. But apparently, openhandedness is our soul's true shape. As Eugene Peterson put it, "Giving is what we do best. It is the air into which we were born." This doesn't necessarily mean we have to give away our stuff but we can also present love, kindness, gratefulness, etc. in our own simplest ways to anyone such as giving time, encouragement, helping hand, or even forgiveness. Try giving and you'll receive inconceivable gifts in return.
• Savor moments. Savoring deeply intensifies our positive emotions while doing something that we love the most by simply stepping outside of the experience to review and appreciate the moment. You can practice this by having a delicious meal, reading a good book, or any activity that you enjoy and love. It can also be enhanced by sharing these experiences with others, appreciating such amazing moments, or staying present the entire time.
• Choose to Love Deeper Today's society relentlessly pressures all of us to have this "perfect" lifestyle such as pursuing careers that drain you, finding value through virtual world and purchases, letting achievements become your whole identity, and yet after all that you still feel empty and failure inside. Consumption is just skin deep—a shallow perception of happiness. Deep life brings the best out of us and others. It is about nourishing what you already have, focusing on the relationships than material wealth, becoming vulnerable at times, and being self-aware.
• Understand that Sufferings and Pain are part of Human Being. Always remember that loneliness and sufferings are inevitable. That is completely how life goes. You may be happy for a moment or a month but sooner or later great tribulation will start to kick in. Combat despair with graciousness. Count all the blessings that you have (and will have in near future, claim it!) by writing it down on a piece of paper or typing on your phone. Viola! an instant boost for happiness. We all know the fact that this superficial happiness won't work, but why do I keep on wanting? I already have all this wisdom about how to be happy for ages, but why can't I apply it to my own life?
First, you have to understand that simply knowing doesn't change your behavior. Care to realize that all the tips that I have mentioned are all verbs? Because at the end of the day, it is all about how you choose to be happy and initiate actions towards success. Know, reflect, visualize, believe, and do something about it. All of these are Actions! This is the secret of all the happiest and most influential people in the world—actions. Furthermore, do know that some of these tips do not work instantly most of the time. It requires a lot of time, motivation, consistency, and effort. I do know it's easier said than done. Take each of them slowly, one step at a time.
If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be alive. It may sound contradictory, but it’s true. Pain reminds me that I can feel, along with other emotions. Pain reminds me that I can heal, just like how I did in the past. Pain reminds me that I am strong and I can do better. It reminds me that life can be bitter, and it is up to us to make it a little sweeter (or saltier, depending on what the person wants).
With this epiphany, I take pain in a positive light. It’s normal that it can break me and make me want to stay in bed all day, but having someone or something remind me that there is hope is enough. It’s normal that I cry my heart out, but it’s important to remember that there’s a calm after the storm. If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be who I am now. It has shaped me and how I look at things. It has changed the way I approach circumstances that can challenge me and my beliefs.
Pain, back then, made me cower in the dark. Pain used to be my biggest fear, and I used to do my best to avoid pain. However, I realized that avoiding pain is like avoiding life. Because of how I wanted to protect myself, I closed myself off to people and opportunities. I used to tell myself that “this will end badly”, or “this is going to hurt in the end”. I always focused on how much pain I might endure in the end that I forgot to enjoy the process.
It’s inevitable, you see? Endings, most of the time, may hurt. It’s natural for us to grow attached to someone or something, and their disappearance might bring us a lot of pain. However, one should always remember that the pain is a reminder of how close you became, how many memories you had. If it wasn’t for pain, life would be pointless. If it wasn’t for pain, we would be nothing.