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 :



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





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.







06.14.14 | teen portraits

This photoshoot was planned for weeks and I seemed to get frustrated since I didn’t know where to get models who wouldn’t require Talent Fee (TF). Well of course, I didn’t intend to pay them because I don’t have a budget for such. I initially plan to just give my models their edited pictures & FB/Blog posting as well as the raw shots.

I surfed online for days which theme would fit the models should this plan materialise. I got the street hiphop, cheerleaders, or summer looks for the girls. I just had some dilemma here – it would be hard for them to get such outfits that I have in mind, so I went with the BOHO theme (for the girls). And for boys – K-Pop. I was praying their outfit would just be almost (if not exactly) the same  as what I had imagined!

While browsing, a message arrived in FB and a youth (DALE) whom I know for years now, offers himself to pose for one of my portrait shoots without TF (talent fee). Olah! I got one down.  Now I have to find one more guy for the K-Pop theme. It was not hard for me to do so since Dale will bring his friend for the shoot. I got excited!

Now, it’s time to muster mademoiselle models. I have countless in mind, nonetheless, I have to deem their talent on posing in front of the camera and if they got the “IT” thing for my photography taste. It was a trouble-free task to get favours since I knew some youngsters from the church. I only have to negotiate the “Without TF” so I can mobilize them. So I checked my FB friends and I got two girls! Ellaine & Alex. Yes, they agreed! I got all the more excited.

I asked my photographer friends (mostly amateurs like me) as well to join me with the photoshoot. Mitch suggested one potential model – Blessy. I managed to get her approval within a day. So we are set as planned. However, after a week of finding their perfect outfit for the pictorial, the theme didn’t emerged as planned. It’s alright though.

Teaser Photograph is also posted in my FB page @ Luke Belmonte Photography


Venue : RIO del Pasig

Photoshoot Date : May 31, 2014

Photographs by : Luke Belmonte 

Photo Ops Buddy : Mitch Gargoles


Hobbyists : Yami Gutierrez & Reggie Gadong


Ellaine Zarcilla

Alex Gutierrez

Blessy Caliñgo

Dale Bulan

Jomar Correra

Theme : Bohemian Style for Mademoiselle & K-Pop for Young Men

Make up by : Luke Belmonte