Written by Angela Cortero
Photos by Eunick Nobe and Paulo Obia
Infographic by Sheena Dy
It’s a definite struggle for aspiring production artists to figure out how to pursue their passion, especially when it’s with limited resources and a beginner’s knowledge. Luckily, the Batch 3 #WIMterns had the privilege to receive a workshop and talk from a successful freelance photographer and videographer, Al Amin.
Al has traveled to many destinations around the Philippines and Asia working alongside big brands, and has filmed celebrities like Sam YG, Marlon Stockinger, Pia Wurtzbach, and more.
Al on a filming assignment in Java, Indonesia for a major airline company
The speaker really got us hooked when he shared to us his tragic, yet inspiring heartbreak story that motivated him to pursue his ambition, and of course, when he shared with us some pieces of wisdom he had learned from his experiences in the field. Here are 5 of our best take-aways from Al’s inspiring talk:
5. There’s a lot to sacrifice for your passion.
It’s only natural to start pursuing your interests with basic resources. Progress comes with the need for additional equipment, and working hard to be able to obtain these through your own means is extremely rewarding. You may be sacrificing the approval from your parents or even a significant material possession, but as soon as you’re happy and satisfied with what you’re doing, it will all be worth it.
4. Photography and shooting is all about the proper lighting paired with the perfect timing.
Filters won’t actually be necessary once you’ve found proper lighting for your subject. If natural lighting isn’t available, invest on good studio lights (that usually come in packages in Quiapo) and learn how to operate with those. Shooting also takes time, of course, so just be patient throughout the shoot and you’ll soon find the perfect timing. The best photos usually come from a beautiful angle that’s kept still for a moment, in order to capture the smaller but more breathtaking details.
3. To be creative, you have to be original.
You can always take inspiration or pegs from other photos, but never duplicate their exact same styles! Take time to scope the area you’re in, make use of the nature that surrounds you to create a unique frame, and also try working with people and faces as your subject (this is best done with permission if you don’t want disturbed strangers running after you). It’s all in the matter of continuously taking images and clips; never hesitate to stop and take that shot.
2. It actually doesn’t matter what camera you’re using.
Whether that’s an entry-level digital camera, a DSLR, or even just your smart phone’s camera, as long as you know how to work with your device and its best features, you’re good to go! If you have enough resources and are really interested in high resolution photos and wider angles, invest on a good lens. That would definitely make a huge improvement. The additional equipment to further enhance your shots would just serve as a bonus once you’ve mastered your own gear!
1. You always have to be professional on the job.
Taking pictures of food is one thing, but taking photos of celebrities and models is a whole other thing. Even though you’re dying inside from being overly star struck and itching to profess your love for them, you have to bottle those up for a while and focus on finishing the shoot. Don’t hesitate to instruct them politely of the visual you mean to go for and just keep your cool for the meantime. Later on, you can bask in the feeling of accomplishment for being the privileged artist who gets to create works of art for another.
Al Amin has been making waves in the industry through confidently sharing his work on social media and making his own brand. He also specializes in creating amazing travel destination videos. Because of his drive and determination, major companies now contact him for his craft, hire him to go on all-expense-paid trips, while he gets to live out his dream career.
Check out one of Al’s travel videos on When in Manila here:
Videography Workshop by Al Amin