Before moving these photos to my archive, I thought it would be nice to share 'em here.
I was asked to join Bulacan's Next Runway Top Model, now on its second "cycle", as a mentor-photographer. I was very hesitant at first, entering the competition at a late stage, but I was very open to the idea because of three things : 1.) I liked the concept, a full-production competition to find and develop college students to be confident and competent models, 2.) I couldn't say no to Aavron delos Santos, one of the organizers, because I know how his crew works, and I'm of the opinion that surrounding yourself with people who excel in their field could also improve your craft, and 3.) believe it or not, I've always considered shooting models as my weakest point in photography. I just don't like to make people pose, and would rather have someone direct them for me. I find it awkward, personally, especially the sexy poses. That's why I don't shoot models that much, and I'm very happy just shooting my wife and my son as my models, to be honest. But as it is, I took it as a challenge to be part of BNRTM so I could get out of my comfort zone.
The competition got off to a great start. I became the mentor for House of Prada, together with Manny Halasan (designer) and Donna Porras (hair and makeup). I loved our team and our aspirants. I think our house was distinct because we had no animosity or too much stress. Hahaha. But seriously, we took things in stride and things progressed smoothly.
Anyway, here are some photos from our shoots. Starting with the "school uniform" shoot that I thought was a straight-up pictorial featuring the aspirants in their uniforms. Little did I know we were supposed to use a concept. It was too late when I found out we were allowed to alter or tweak the looks. Imagine my utter surprise when the other houses uploaded their photos using zombie/androgyny/Glee themes. Hats off to them. We did what we could with this shoot.
For our second shoot, fully aware that we were to use a theme, we did a "royal rebel" concept.
The video crew documented our Royal Rebel shoot. Thanks a lot for this. We really appreciate it.
I'd like to once again thank everyone in House of Prada. Manny, you're awesome and cool. Donna, you're great and I'm still amazed how fast you work. To all the aspirants, thank you for your cooperation. I know not all of you were able to project like I wanted to, but thank you for trying. We all did our best, and I'm very happy for that. PRADA AND PROUD. Clean, elegant, classy.
To the BNRTM organizers, thank you all. I enjoyed my stint and I'm proud to have been a part of the competition. It's an honor to be among the best photographers, designers, hair and makeup artists, and coaches in Bulacan. To the logistics and documentation crew, THANK YOU for facilitating our shoots. Couldn't have done it without you. I'd also like to thank my friends who helped tremendously with the shoots : Red Bautista, Jay Salvador, Lem German (and Queenie). I'd also like to thank my wife Anie for sharing some tips during the first shoot.
In spite of all these efforts, I can't help but air my disappointment about how BNRTM ended. The road to disaster is paved with good intentions. I'm not burning bridges with anyone, but after hearing both sides of the story, and seeing for myself how things transpired, I came to a conclusion. I'm proud of having been a part of BNRTM, but it's time to close this chapter.
It's time for REVAMP.