I never thought I’d say this but here it is nonetheless.

I need to shoot.

Yes. I need to shoot.

My cousin has been telling me to set up a photoblog type of website and I have been reluctant to do so simply because I would not have anything to post. Who wants to follow a photo blog that is updated every quarter? I come from an event planning/project management background. Back in college, I did two things that are not quite related to what I am doing now – event planning and getting my philosophy degree (we’ll get to that later). I continued doing that for about three years after college. I did everything from managing website to managing million dollar irrigation retrofit projects for public agencies. Yeah, sure, I liked pictures but planning/management has been my day job for the longest time.

Back to topic. Yes, I do not shoot the same way the 50,000,000 photographers out there do. I pretty much never carry my camera with me not even at family gatherings. When I do have a camera with me, I’d be lucky to have fired 2 shots. I just had dinner with a good friend and she asked if I ever walked around downtown LA to take pics. I said “no” and that the last time I walked around town to take random pics was when I was in Boston back in November 2008. Actually, that probably doesn’t count since I was being “touristy” rather than “creative.” Okay. Cross that then. The last time I walked around town to take random pics was winter/spring 2008. I don’t have a PaD (Photo a Day) gallery nor do I participate in photowalks or what not. I’m not talking crap about those endeavors. I’m just saying that I do fashion/advertising/commercial photography. That’s what I do. I shoot with the intent of producing a photograph that is magazine worthy either as an editorial spread or an advertising shot. That’s the way I shoot and I do so with a very specific workflow. In my book, great pictures are made, not taken (yes, I hate the words “nice capture” and “how did they come out?” being linked to my work).

Another friend asked if she could watch me shoot and edit the pics. I don’t have a problem with that but there really isn’t much to see during the shoot. Much of the work I put in my regular shoots are before the day of the shoot itself. I spend countless hours brainstorming concepts, putting together a mood board, casting for models and the rest of the production team (hair, MUA, stylist), scouting locations, shopping for clothes (yes, I do that), emailing, creating a storyboard, etc. Come shoot day, I pretty much know what the pictures will look like. The only variable that is left unaccounted for is how the model will interpret the mood and storyboards. Actually, even that is rather predictable since I would have casted the model based on how her portfolio pics resemble the expressions/poses I have in mind.

Yeah, I’m kinda anal like that. It came from doing an advertising shoot for company X. I got commissioned for the shoot but was not given any information whatsoever until the day before (and I had to DEMAND it). Pretty much had to wing the entire process – no brief, no prior knowledge of the models, no idea what the location looked like, no idea of the schedule, no anything but an address and the earliest time I’m allowed to be at the place. The shoot went great on their part but not for me since I was freaking out the entire day. After that, I told myself that I will do everything in my power to not go through the experience again. Since then, I started planning more, shooting less, and liking the final images more. However, the bad side of that is that I almost never shoot. To date, the last “real” shoot (“real” because I do not count the commercial day-to-day stuff I do at work) was back in June 13 – a month and a half ago.

That’s a long time. When my friend/coworker and I decided to do a random shoot a couple weeks ago, the first few minutes felt really weird. Weird in a good way but a bit uncomfortable weird since it’s soooooo far off from what I do everyday (same frame, same lighting, same angle, same poses, same Photoshop actions, etc).

Anyway, I figured I’d do impromptu sessions once in a while – unplanned shoots: 2 days of planning, no meeting the model beforehand, no hairstylist, no makeup artist, no stylist (besides me…if I can even be considered one), no final image in mind. Oh shit.

But then again….some people believe that random molecular motion can result to beauty.

To close, here’s a pickup line I formulated back in college. I was told not to use it since it was too complicated. I did use it once and was told that the girl was really into it…and that I was too drunk to realize that she was.

“You are the ultimate manifestation that God exists because unintelligent processes and random molecular being cannot come up with a being who is as fair and as lovely as you”


Yeah that was based on Thomas Aquinas’ teleological proof for God’s existence.


About Carlo

I like film photography, K-pop, and yogurt soju.

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