if you’re a regular to the Blume blog, you probably know already about our recent philippines tour. it was amazing! we traveled with eileen’s parents, visiting relatives, seeing old homesteads, and learning the family history. and our baby girl, jasmine, impressed everyone by learning the customary filipino greeting, showing respect to her elders by taking their hands and gently pressing them to her forehead. this once-in-a-lifetime experience was the best 3-week vacation we could have imagined. but amidst all the eating, smoothie-slurping, and beach-bumming, eileen and i couldn’t bear to go so much time without putting our camera’s to work. luckily, a breathtaking cultural festival (more to come on that..), then shirley and mandy, and finally hang and angelo came to our rescue, giving us some very appealing excuses to exercise our eyes.
as photographers, we find our cameras really are an extension of who we are. whether the images we create are enjoyed by others (like iPhone snapshots streamed to family and friends or the carefully composed photographs below), or whether they remain hidden (like the roll of 35mm still on our kitchen shelf), the very act of composing an image is a way for us to experience life more vividly. it’s exciting. it’s therapeutic. as a bystander, i can be passive — even daydream. looking through the lens, though, i become acutely aware of obscure details, subtle body language, and all kinds of moments i would otherwise overlook entirely. even if i never release the shutter, i’ve created an indelible impression in my mind: an image. yes, a photograph should please the eye, but more importantly it should tell a story. with focused observation, i find it’s possible even to predict people’s behaviors — the next steps they’ll take within a story. i think it’s what sherlock holmes dubbed the “art of deduction.” i’m no sherlock, but i’ve been amazed at how far photography has taken me in developing this brand of intuition, and how it makes possible the capture of some beautifully understated, candid moments. witnessing them all first-hand is fascinating — and just plain fun!
of course i’ve blabbed on about it now longer than i intended. (maybe i can ponder photographic philosophies more deeply in a separate essay — although i like an article tim wu already wrote on the subject.) suffice it to say, eileen and i eat, drink and breathe our work for a very simple, personal reason: we love it. so we were honored to be given the opportunity to photograph hang and angelo’s wedding during our philippines travels. sharing in the celebration with this couple and their families was certainly a day well spent. don’t get me wrong: sipping smoothies on the beach is great. but nothing compares to the joy of living real life with real people.
thanks, hang and angelo, for inviting us to be part of your big day. we’re blessed to know you!