06.28.17 | francis – lilibeth wedding

Before 2016 ends I have covered a wedding of another music ministry colleagues. People are getting married on December! Party overload!

I’ve known the groom since his college days and he is a singer/guitarist of the church’s music ministry in Pasig. I’ve seen how he grows not only in the ministry but in his walk with God. He often hugs me whenever I see him at the church or somewhere else and he still does until now. I often call him Jumong since he looks like the Korean drama character Jumong. The bride is a guitarist as well and a chef now.  She joined our new Victory group just recently.

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06.14.17 | john-hazel

It took me a while to blog about photography and I seem to have second thoughts posting one (again) after dipping through beautiful pictures taken by great photographers I’ve seen online. I felt half-baked and thought that these pictures I took cannot even amount to anything. But I guess, it’s something I can acknowledge myself for a job well done for passionate beginner like me.

This is the first prenup shoot I officially took. I was endorsed by a church mate to these couple – John & Hazel while checking on some photographers to cover their wedding. They’ve seen some of the shots I took on one event at Victory Church in Pasig which made them decide to hire me. Apart from the matter that they have hampered cost on images for their wedding I assured to give their prenup for free since I will be covering their wedding.

The couple were very collective during the pictorial so it was effortless for me to direct them on poses I want for their photos. You may have noticed the kid on some of their photos – he is their son. It’s a prenup shoot and family portrait at the same time. They’re such an adorable family I can’t help but snap my camera.

Here are some of their best shots.

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06.19.17 | debutante : hazel gwynette

My first fan as a photographer is my family. I like it when they support the remarkable ensemble I do and I like less when they tell me that my shots are so-so (not so good). Who wouldn’t want recognition? And who would want criticism? Nonetheless, as an endeavoring photographer, critique is one factor to become better and compliment is another.

This is my first ever pre-debut coverage. Anyway, she is my niece, my sold out beau. Hahaha.  Having nieces is a good advantage as I can always cover their special events for my portfolio. Of course, they would love to do that for their  Facebook profile picture or a post for their Instagram accounts. I covered one of her pre-debut pictorial 2 years ago. She prefers my service above all other great photographers. Not because I am better than those photographers out there, it’s simply because, she is more relaxed and comfortable posing in front of me and my camera. I implied her (and my sister – her mom) to get another photographers for her pre-debut and her party itself. Why not me? I promised I would do her make up on her debut (yes she prefers my make up on top of professional ones. talk about loyalty? hahaha) and I can’t do both. Moreover, I don’t do videos, so it’s best to have other photographers do the videos. Since it’s rare nowadays to get a video service alone as it always comes with photos, so they hired them for both.

I still accompanied her (and her mom) during the shoot with the hired photographers in Ecopark, Quezon City, so I still get some shots of her. Though she still wants me to take another pre-debut shoot for her afterwards. Spoiled niece huh? So we went all the way to Pangasinan (our hometown) where her lolo (my father) made her a swing just for the photoshoot and to Baguio where we had to brave the cold weather and the rain.

It’s fun taking photos under the pouring rain not to mention defying the brisk weather.

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Continue reading “06.19.17 | debutante : hazel gwynette”

10.23.14 | a bashful smile

I’ve known this pretty girl since the time I had her sibling joined my small group (discipleship) last year. I actually observed her looks for couple of Sundays (that’s when I get to see her, during Sunday worship service at Victory, Pasig) and have wanted her to join the Teen Photo Shoot I planned months back.

One thing I noticed though, Blessy and her sibling, Angenelle have this one thing in common (well , there are some siblings whom you wouldn’t know they are sisters or brothers until they tell you so). They smile sweetly and bashfully. And when they do, their eyes glimmer.. Why can’t I smile like that? They are gifted with such smile and I am totally envious!

I soooo love her bashful smile! Mitch, a photographer friend, just reminded me of her while we were brainstorming for the photoshoot. Yes, I invited two more friends (apart from Mitch) to join me with this so they can also have their shots for their portfolio. And I was speechless I was able to convince her to pose for my first Teen Portrait Shoot. When I did her make up, I was afraid I might overdo it as she already have the beautiful face and heavy make up might spoil the natural beauty. A simple eye shadow. a light blush and a lip gloss made her shine already.

What I like about this teenager is that she follows instruction and would even remind you to just tell her what to do. Most of her shots were lock up. You can’t afford to miss that smile, do you?

Since I intend to write a blog about the Photo Shoot I tried to get some facts about her. Too bad, I was inept to talk about her during the photoshoot. That is one disadvantage when you have group photoshoot, you sporadically overlook some details like getting to know your model. I had this conversation with her through FB chat. I had questions she need to answer solely for this blog.

Note: Questions & Answers translated in English.

Question 1: Is this your first time posing for a Photo Shoot?

Answer: Yes. It is my first time.

Question 2: What did you feel when you were chosen for this Photo Shoot?

Answer: I was excited. I told Mom instantly and we rummaged outfit for that.

Question 3: You were given a lot of feedback that you look like Kathryn Bernardo ( a famous teenage celebrity in the country), which is really true, did you feel somehow intimidated or flattered?

Answer: Flattered! hahahah! Of course. She is a real beauty. She’s my idol and I look like her. I’m happy.

Question 4 : If you were given the chance to pursue a career in acting but were offered a modelling opportunity which do you prefer?

Answer: Can I have both? I’m also good at crying. hahahah!

(Luke : Let’s try that part of your future career!)

Blessy : hahahah! I’m self-conscious.

Question 5: So what course are you taking up now? 

Answer: Advertising and Public Relations in PUP. Third year.

Question 6: How do you see yourself after graduating from your course?

Answer: PR Account Director or Creative Director. But I prefer working on creative materials.

(They are a family of creative talents!)

Question 7: Given the beautiful face, I’m sure you got suitors and having boyfriend is undeniable at your age. Have you got one?

Answer: I got suitors. hahaha.

Question 8: How do you describe yourself?

Answer: I’m simple and upright. At first I’m a hushed  person but when you get to know me, I’m unrelenting. Negative side? I am importunate hahaha.

Question 9: To whom in your family are you most chummy?

Answer: Hahaha. I’m close to all of them. But with my older brother, he’s so quiet that’s why I’m not really that close to him. Oh, there’s one thing we click together! Playing video games. League of Legends. And we also played Dota in our childhood days.

If it’s a girl stuff bonding, my mom and my sister. But I’m a daddy’s girl! He’s just soooo kind and he gives all what I want (if need be). Mom is strict, that’s why. But as a whole, we’re a happy family. And i love them all so much!

Question 10: Which outfit do you prefer? Casual, sporty, formal….?

Answer: I prefer Casual.

I had one last request though for my photo works.

Luke : How do you rate luke belmonte as an amateur photographer?

Rate stars: 5 the highest and 1 the lowest? Honest answer please? Hehehe

Blessy : 5 stars (with hearts) – that’s a total of 8!

Sweet girl. hahaha.

Thank you, Blessy, for gracing my first Teen Photo Shoot. I will look forward to another photo session with you.

 Here are Blessy’s best shots :

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10.16.14 | before the “selfie” there was ME

Selfie: Self-portrait. Do you know who took the first selfie? I did my research and I found Robert Corneius. “He took what is believed to be the world’s first selfie, a self-portrait he snapped one day in October 1839 while standing in the yard behind his family’s lamp store in Philadelphia”.

“And another “unidentified Edwardian woman taking a selfie with a Kodak Brownie box camera around 1900”.  More selfies came from thereon. And it has become well known in this century. Oxford English Dictionary announced the Word of the Year “SELFIE” in November 2013.  It’s evident that trends not only in fashion but also in photography come to life and is enhanced as years pass by.”

Before the rise of “Selfie” (in 2013), there was ME! I have this love of taking pictures of myself at home when I feel my most beautiful. Please don’t argue with me about that! At least it’s a fact for me. When did I first do my selfies? 1999? I guess. I haven’t got my digital camera then, so I used camera with films where I hoard those buy 1 take 1 films.

Ayt! This picture was taken in 2010, after our HBMY Town Hall party. Set my camera timer on as soon as I arrived home and started taking my own pictures. Since my housemate and my sister were already dreaming on their pillows, I was harried capturing myself for about half an hour all by myself.

The reason why I like doing this Photo Shoot alone with my camera and with all the people snoozing is because I can project and do the shams I so want. To be honest, I’m a bit reserved projecting when there are people around so I often do it on my own. The down side? I can’t take picture of ME with fuzzy background! I mean, since I am the subject, I want my background to be hazy so I would be prominent. Well, I suppose the goal of doing that is unattainable with the point and shoot camera I used for this shot. Unlike with the DSLR, you can focus on your subject and would have a great outcome of the photos.

Now, I got less of my selfie since I got my own DSLR 3100 on April 2012. I always get to play “the photographer” which is not bad after all, since I was able to enhance my passion in photography. Well, I got friends whom I can ask to take my photographs! What are friends for, right?

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Quoted sentences from google.com

10.10.14 | a woman’s journey

She’ll be turning 30 in a few days. What a number? It’s an age which is almost out of the calendar, but, who cares? It’s just a number, mostly say. Being young is not all about figures. It correspondingly embraces the heart and how you perceive life as it comes. Ohhh, young at heart?

And this lady wanted to have something exceptional as a gift for herself on her birthday. Something she’s never done. A pictorial… her own photoshoot. It’s an entreaty which I can’t refuse from a friend.

So we planned to photoshoot in a school campus – UP Diliman – where most of the photographers preferred to do their photography sessions since it’s one of the most ideal  spot because of it’s nature ambiance. I took shots while we sightsee the place and I started to love the place! It was the first so I got all the more excited when I get to see the other part of the school. It gave me a sweet urge to do photography in an intense manner.

It’s the first solo photoshoot I had so I didn’t mind sweating too much and walking past many buildings and many streets to shoot. The excitement just eased away any tiresome act of this tiny body! Whew! Well, we enjoyed the many street foods we found around the campus and my, my… I loved the ice cream! What’s the flavor again? Snap that! I totally can’t remember. Me and my busy head. Sorry I’m not good at memorizing such. Maybe the second or third time I encounter that flavor, I’ll be able to keep that in mind.

The featured photo was part of the last set and I got at least 20 shots to get the best photo of Toni positioned on the sward. We were like prickling since she has to recline on the prairie for almost half an hour for me to get the shot I have in mind. And I have to really stay flat on the meadow. Well, it’s all worth the sweat, I got the shot I like! 

photoshoot on february 8. 2014

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08.25.14 | he did the ramp. i did the shots.

I was thrilled to take my holiday off last Thursday. I was like…glancing at my scheduler to make sure I am not missing any settled engagement to photography works. So I thought I can start updating my blog on that day after meeting a couple for their pre-nup pictorial early next year. However, an aide-memoire via facebook just popped up and boom! I almost overlooked the event coverage for the Men’s Mini Olympics at Victory-Pasig Church. How could I missed that when I have my scheduler handy all the time?

So the usual thing for me when it’s “no work” the next day. I stayed up till around 4am at dawn editing pictures which has been long overdue. I do’n’t even know how to explain myself to these people I promised to. It was the hardest when you can’t keep your promise and all they can do is to just wait until their pictures are all done. Now, I’m learning here. Keeping your promise is one thing. Explaining yourself why is that is another thing. Hush.

After getting at least 5hours sleep, I geared up myself for what I have to do for the day. Just before I walk out of the house, a text message is received. Someone’s requesting for a full body and a half body shot for his modeling entry. I didn’t think twice as I knew the sisters of this guy – DAVID – and his brother is my partner in the ministry. But I was uncertain if I’ll be able to do the best shot with at least an hour shoot as I have to cover one event after.

Nonetheless, I still took the chance since I wanted to really ask him (sooner) to join one of my portrait shoots. My predicament is that I haven’t had the chance to strategize how to take his photos aside from the actuality that David has the face and a body of a model. While I do my errands at the mall, I was trying to visualize his face so I would know his angle and his best body poses. I even downloaded pictures of actors and models so I can use them for our session.

I managed to take some shots of David, unfortunately, I was not satisfied with my work. I thought less than thirty minutes shoot is enough for this tall man but I get hooked. I have to get better shots of him so I requested another session last Saturday. The reason behind is that I want him to be comfortable while I take his photographs so I can get the photos I want. I am still amateur in this business and I want to discover more. 

He seemed to be the shy guy at first and he was obviously uncomfortable in front of the camera. And I learned during our sessions that he’s pursuing his modeling career and has been seen on the televison many times. His concern is that he has no experience posing in front of the camera like this. He is used to do the ramp modelling when he was in college and… I was so envious he got the chance to do that! Yes…trivia about me -it was my dream to become a model since childhood. I was not given the height required for models so, now, I can only achieve that dream through my models in photography.

I asked someone who posed for one of my portrait shoot – DALE – to join David on this photoshoot so he will have someone he can talk to during session and I want David to see as well how Dale poses with different angles.

There’s one thing I learned in this session – MAKE USE OF WHAT YOUR MODEL HAS. So I made DAVID do the real thing.HE DID THE RAMP, I DID THE SHOTS! Now he’s talking!

The featured photo is the best I ever took. Album posted on my FB page  @ Luke Belmonte Photography. Thank you, David, for gracing this photoshoot. I learned something from here as an aspiring photographer. And Dale, ’til our next sessions.

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