Pride – (n.) a feeling of self-respect and personal worth

IT FEELS good whenever I get praised for the photos I shoot, despite the fact that I’ve never had any professional training. These pats on the back have made me trust my “natural” capabilities as a photographer. They made me proud of myself somehow.

This pride made me hesitate in attending “Unleashed,” the Digital Photographer Philippines’ fourth anniversary party. But soliciting advice from a friend, who told me that talents should be honed to perfection, I decided to attend the seminar, which was considered as the most anticipated photography event of the year, last July 3.

Together with the morning breeze of High Street, Fort Bonifacio, I was greeted by the overwhelming number of photographers pushing their luck to get a slot in the seminar, which featured the most respected photographers here and abroad. Going to the tail of line, I realized how photography has become a hobby and how the camera has become a fashion accessory.

While we waited, a staff from the event told us that the slots were all filled. Dismay hit me, because I was hoping to get over my frustration in landscape photography by listening to Jay Jallorina’s talk.

But I found a way to get in. Once inside the bookstore, where the lecture was being held, I opted to sit on the floor in the front row so I could easily hear what Jallorina had to say. Luck must have really been with me that day, for a girl behind me offered her seat when she had to go out of the room.

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The talk lasted only for an hour and a half, but the lessons are still with me, and I’m eager to apply what I learned.

***

Recalling what happened during the Freshman Walk, my adrenaline as a photographer faltered, maybe because I’ve been covering the event for three years. I got frustrated because my shooting style was just the same, and I had to remind myself that to look for a new angle is the challenge for me.

Because of this, I failed to look for unusual scenes to capture, making our editor in chief unsatisfied with our photos. From then on, I told myself that I and the team of photographers I handle should go the extra mile in covering the University’s Quadricentennial events.

I’m not the type of photographer who usually goes out to search for magnificent objects to capture. I really don’t know why I’m stuck at shooting the UST campus, but still, I never grow weary because I have a feeling that the University will show me scenes worth pushing the shutter for.

***

It’s nice to see some friends from the “On Assignment 4.0” held last 2008. The free flowing beer started, so as the live judging which was the last part of the party, it was nice to hear criticism from top photographers who already had their share of alcohol. Looking back, I realized that my greatest nemesis is my own ego, and sometimes I need to set this aside.

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