Wit fu­els young lenswoman Tammy David

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Peo­ple in the arts and me­dia in­dus­try know Tammy David as some­one who can make any­one laugh five sec­onds into the con­ver­sa­tion. “[She is] quick-wit­ted. [Her] smarts and sense of hu­mor come through not just in her words and ac­tions, but in her photographs,” Isa Lorenzo tells. Aside from her free­lanc­ing, David man­ages all online con­tent for Sil­ver­lens Gal­leries. “We al­ways love hav­ing her around.”

She started out as a writer. At 16, she wrote for 2bU!, the youth life­style sec­tion of the Philip­pine Daily

Inquirer. “I got paid more when­ever I would sub­mit my text with pho­tos,” David re­calls. She wanted to take bet­ter pic­tures, hence she joined work­shops, took in­tern­ships, read books, signed up for port­fo­lio re­views and at­tended photo fes­ti­vals here and abroad. “Writ­ing helped me value con­text in my im­ages, es­pe­cially as a doc­u­men­tary pho­tog­ra­pher. And like writ­ing, one of the things that help me im­prove in photography is to read more.” Soon enough, she be­gan get­ting less writ­ing and more photography as­sign­ments. She shrugs, “I guess my pic­tures are bet­ter than my ar­ti­cles.” To­day, al­most 15 years af­ter her in­ci­den­tal tran­si­tion into photography, David’s works have been ex­hib­ited in Manila, Sin­ga­pore, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, Jakarta, Seoul, Ham­burg and Lon­don. She has also been awarded twice as one of the spe­cial artists of the ASEAN-Korean Mul­ti­me­dia Com­pe­ti­tion.

The photographs in this story are from three of David’s photo sto­ries: “Crown and Coun­try” is a vis­ual study of pageant cul­ture in the Philip­pines. “Size Mat­ters” is about fat rights ac­tivists in Amer­ica and “It takes an Is­land” is a se­ries of self-portraits. David no­ticed that she is ob­sessed with how peo­ple per­ceive beauty and body is­sues — that is usu­ally the com­mon theme of her per­sonal work. “Peo­ple re­mem­ber th­ese im­ages and it’s al­ways a good feel­ing that your work leaves an im­pres­sion, so I like th­ese pho­tos,” she says. “I’m grate­ful that I found sto­ries or per­sonal projects that I gen­uinely loved work­ing on and that got great feed­back. I can only wish the same for all pho­tog­ra­phers.”

David gets her in­spi­ra­tion from ma­te­rial she finds online: Pro­files of peo­ple, odd news items and im­ages she finds on Tum­blr. She keeps up with the times; she is ac­tive on Twit­ter and In­sta­gram, and her posts fre­quently TOP: "Size Mat­ters" is a se­ries on fat rights ac­tivists in Amer­ica. LEFT: "It takes an Is­land" is a se­lec­tion of self­por­traits that re­volve around David's fa­vorite theme: The per­cep­tion of beauty and body is­sues. For more in­for­ma­tion on David's work and port­fo­lio, visit www.tam­my­ come with hi­lar­i­ous puns and cap­tions. “I come across a topic, do a lot of online re­search, then start tak­ing pic­tures to see if it has po­ten­tial. Some­times I put to­gether my pic­tures and see if there’s a com­mon theme, then edit, then shoot some more. My photography is a lot of edit­ing in that sense, I add and sub­tract.” And be­cause of Sil­ver­lens, she is most of the time sur­rounded by art, both from here and abroad.

When asked what her dream pho­to­shoot is, she quips, “I might as well put it out there: A por­trait sit­ting with James Franco or Michael Fass­ben­der!” Then adds, “But in all hon­esty, and as cheesy as it sounds, I’d like to think I’m al­ready liv­ing the dream since I get to do what I love.” If given the chance, how­ever, she thinks it would be great to move to Lon­don to as­sist one of her fa­vorite pho­tog­ra­phers — the awarded por­trait and land­scape pho­tog­ra­pher Na­dav Kan­der.—

David's "Crown and Coun­try" is a vis­ual study of pageant

cul­ture in the Philip­pines

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