This is a story of networking, knowing the right people, and being in the right place at the right time!
It was 2007. I had just moved to Manila, Philippines at the very end of March. Just eight short weeks into my Philippine adventure I find myself clear on the other side of the island of Luzon at Pueblo por la Playa resort in Lucena with film director Felino Tañada and Jerwin Mercado, one of the stars of his latest film Hanggang Dito Na Lamang at Maraming Salamat.
Felino is a friend of a friend I had met just a few weeks earlier. Knowing Felino needed a photographer for a photo spread publicity piece about Jerwin, my new friend gave him my contact information. So Felino calls me up and early one morning a couple days later I'm being driven across the island to do the photo shoot!
Jerwin was no stranger to the camera, which was a big help as he was a pretty quiet and shy guy the day of the shoot. With a little direction from his trusted director acting also as my assistant in set up and lighting, we pulled off a wonderful all day shoot. Fourteen hours later I was back in own bed, weary but very satisfied with the work we'd produced that day.
The shame of it all is Icon magazine (the magazine for which we were shooting these images) went under just days after our shoot! The photos were never able to be used to promote Jerwin and the film before it opened. Actually, we did manage to have some prints exhibited at a local club in Manila along with a trailer for the film, but it wouldn't be until a few months before I was to return to the US in 2009 that the images would make it to a magazine, promote Jerwin and the film, now out on DVD...and even that issue came out a year late!
I owe my friend, Felino, and Jerwin many thanks. The initial response to the images from this shoot helped bring attention to me and my work, encouraging others to work with me. For that I am eternally grateful; especially to Jerwin, for being so easy to work with...and a tremendously good looking model.