‘It’s cap­tur­ing the en­ergy and the kag­u­luhan be­fore the ac­tual show. when ev­ery­one’s In ac­tion, and ev­ery­one’s taranta’ — An­drea Bel­dua

FHM (Philippines) - - Contents -

We pair off two of our fa­vorite lenswomen

What’s your fa­vorite sub­ject to shoot? Mandy:

It would prob­a­bly be my friends. For me, it’s still the per­son that makes the photo, not the fancy styling or the makeup.

An­drea: I think what I love do­ing best is shoot­ing back­stage dur­ing fash­ion shows. It’s every­thing com­bined: I love shoot­ing peo­ple and clothes, and I love cap­tur­ing mo­ments. It’s the en­ergy— cap­tur­ing the en­ergy and the

kag­u­luhan be­fore the ac­tual show. I love when they’re all chang­ing and ev­ery­one’s in ac­tion and ev­ery­one’s taranta, and there are clothes and makeup strewn ev­ery­where. It’s like a glimpse

ta­laga into how the in­dus­try re­ally is. How would you de­scribe your shoot­ing style? Mandy: I don’t re­ally know if I have a style yet, but a lot of

peo­ple have told me that they can tell my style from how I edit it, be­cause it looks like it’s shot with film—some­thing like that. But I’m still ex­per­i­ment­ing and see­ing what works for me.

An­drea: I think my photos are mostly cine­matic and filmic. Very moody. I think you can tell my photos were taken by a woman, it’s re­ally my brand­ing ta­laga. How can you tell if a photo was taken by a man or a woman? An­drea: When I look at a photo, I would be 90 per­cent cor­rect when I say na alam ko na kuha ng babae o kuha ng lalaki. Lalo na when the model is a girl. Like, our idea of sexy is very or­ganic in the way na it’s sen­sual. When a man di­rects a model’s pose, some­times, I can tell ta­laga be­cause he’ d make her move or sit dif­fer­ently. That’s not how she sits. That’s not how she places her fin­gers or her hands over her knee. Small things like that... Mas mati­gas ang kuha ng lalaki. How do you make women more com­fort­able in front of a cam­era, espe­cially when she’s wear­ing some­thing sexy?

Mandy: I would com­pli­ment her a lot. Usu­ally, when I’m shoot­ing mod­els wear­ing biki­nis, I’m gonna be in a bikini as well, so it’s not awk­ward, and also be­cause I don’t want an ugly tan with a t-shirt on me! But yeah, if it’s in­door, and it’s for a bralette or some­thing, I usu­ally just keep check­ing on them. I’ll be like, ‘Are you okay? Is this okay? Do you want to cover up?’ Has a guy ever hit on you while you were shoot­ing? An­drea: Yup. Hap­pens all the time. If I’m at­tracted to the guy, like if he’s my model, I feel like some­times it cre­ates a cer­tain

kind of ten­sion that trans­lates well in photos. But other times, it’s just, ‘Yo, this is weird man. Can we be pro­fes­sional about it?’

Mandy: For me, it’s more of the by­standers, the ran­dom peo­ple around, but no one who’s ac­tu­ally part of the team or some­thing. So how was your ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing this shoot?

Mandy: Ex­cit­ing. I’ve never had this kind of shoot where I was shoot­ing another fe­male pho­tog­ra­pher while she was shoot­ing me. [To An­drea] Have you ever done this be­fore?

An­drea: No, never. This is the first time. Mandy: It’s so fun!

An­drea: Kasi we get it eh. Like, we have a rap­port. Like, we’re both pho­tog­ra­phers and we both kind of know how to move and how to di­rect each other.

Mandy: We kind of just know what the other per­son wants al­ready. We just need to say some­thing, and she’ll be like, ‘gotchu.’

An­drea: It’s so easy, and I wish we had more time!

Mandy: And it’s a nice ex­pe­ri­ence when the model freaks out about the light just as much as you do. [laughs] How does it feel to be in front of the cam­era for a change? An­drea: Mandy’s al­ways in front of the cam­era. [laughs] Mandy: It’s weird, but in a way, it’s a big learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s a dif­fer­ent kind of ner­vous­ness,

‘Usu­ally, when I’m shoot­ing mod­els wear­ing biki­nis, I’m gonna be In a bikini as well, so It’s not awk­ward — Mandy Martinez

I would say. Be­cause when we’re shoot­ing, we’re think­ing about the shot, and when we’re mod­el­ing, we’re think­ing about how we’re go­ing to look. It’s weird, but I bring that aware­ness with me when I’m shoot­ing other girls, so I can di­rect them bet­ter be­cause I know what’s go­ing on in their head since I’ve been in front be­fore.

An­drea: I think it’s su­per fun, but also at the same time, I was wor­ried that I would overdi­rect my­self, like I would be su­per aware be­cause I’m su­per anal about shit. I felt like I was go­ing to be mi­crodi­rect­ing, which I tend to do a lot when I ask other peo­ple to take photos of me. But when we got started, I was like, ‘You know what, I trust Mandy.’ Mandy: Aww! An­drea: I trust her. I was re­laxed, and it felt re­ally great to put that kind of trust in another artist’s hands, so I could let go in a way. Be­cause I’m al­ways so tense, like, I want to get it right, you know? I thought I was gonna be like that. I was wor­ried. But I had so much fun!

Don’t stop tak­ing photos.

“take lots of can­dids, [when] they’re re­laxed and not posed. don’t just take it when they’re just pos­ing. take it when they’re fixing their hair or their clothes, and show it to them ev­ery once in a while so they can pose prop­erly… and then if they want jump shots or what­ever, i-burst niyo so they’d have op­tions.”

Com­po­si­tion mat­ters.

“I never take the grid off of from my cam­era be­cause I use it a lot.”

Over­ex­posed or un­der­ex­posed?

“when you’re shoot­ing out­doors, it would be bet­ter to turn it down a bit so when they edit it, they can save the high­lights in­stead of it be­ing over­ex­posed. but if you want to save the de­tails, of the sky for ex­am­ple, remember that a phone cam­era usu­ally ex­poses the dark­est part, so nabo-blow out yung high­lights. that’s why the sky doesn’t ap­pear blue—it’s white. this is why you should fo­cus it first, if you’re on an iphone, just tap on the shad­ows, then af­ter it’s fo­cused, you can turn the ex­po­sure down. ”

Play with the light.

“the light makes a huge dif­fer­ence. for ex­am­ple, if she wants her­self in front of this whole thing but she’s fac­ing against the light, it’s not gonna be as good.”

Shoot from be­low.

“the phone cam­era has a wide an­gle lens, so what­ever is at the sides [of the photo],

nagig­ing dis­torted siya, so huma­haba siya. so you don’t want to go in too close be­cause madi-dis­tort

‘yung face. but if you want to take a whole body shot, take it from me­dyo un­der­neath. Ilayo mo, and then tilt up so that the legs look longer. and then make sure her head is not hit­ting the top part [of the frame] or it’s go­ing to be dis­torted. the an­gle should al­ways be eye level, or from be­low so that they look taller.”

Stick To The ba­sics

I guess when it comes to land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy, it’s best to stick to the ba­sic pho­tog­ra­phy rules, like the rule of thirds and the fore­ground, mid­dle ground, back­ground. that would make a good land­scape photo.

don’t be afraid To zoom in… or zoom out

with travel pho­tog­ra­phy, I ei­ther go su­per close, like I take de­tails, or su­per far shots. I think with land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy, com­po­si­tion is so key.

have a point of in­ter­est

don’t just take a photo. It may ei­ther be a build­ing, or maybe a per­son stand­ing in the mid­dle of the road. Just make it in­ter­est­ing.

find your light

take note of shad­ows…and know how to play with the light that is avail­able. know how to make use of the avail­able light and how to in­cor­po­rate it into the story you want to tell.

Tell a Story

al­ways have a story to tell and cap­ture mo­ments. those turn out to be usu­ally the best ones. some­times, there are fleet­ing mo­ments—hal­im­bawa, may dadaan na ibon sa gitna nang dalawang build­ing. sakto, di ba? ‘yung mga ganoon eh. be aware, be ob­ser­vant, be alert.

places To visit

but I think for me, it’s new york, korea, and bangkok. Iba ta­laga ‘yung ilaw sa ibang bansa. they say when you’re in cam­bo­dia, the light is orange kasi mostly bricks ‘yung where the light bounces off. so that’s what I usu­ally no­tice when I travel.

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