s a teen in the 90’s, I loved those GUESS Jeans ads with Claudia Schiffer and Anna Nicole Smith. This was the dawn of the age of the supermodels in fashion. I admired the poses, the sensual sophistication, and the art of it all. But I never thought I could do it. Photography was too expensive and I didn’t believe I had the talent or eye for it. I personally fell in love with photography at the age of 36, when I first “clicked” a shot of my young daughters. I saw the clarity and the raw emotion captured in that moment in time. For six months, I shot everything I could think of. I was addicted. I gravitated towards fashion….my subconscious still wanted to do something like those Guess Jeans ads…..they were so sensual, and so alluring. It stuck with me. A beautiful woman is an art in itself and I wanted to capture it.
I have expanded to do some landscape, boudoir, engagements, and children. Eventually, I adapted to calling myself “Illustrado” which is both a homage to the Illustrado class in the Philippines and a play on words from the English word, “Illustrator”. To illustrate actually means to enlighten or to educate and that’s what I like to think I do. I enlighten the subject, I show the true self, that inner beauty…. and capture it. These images you see here are from my first couple of years of shooting fashion and wanted to pay homage to the models who had faith in me.
The series with model Zyaire Jones allowed me to combine both exotic beauty with street and fashion, while exploring the contrast in colors. From there I met model Samantha Jones, whose classic beauty allowed me to create timeless images like those old Eternity commercials.
The gorgeous Sarah Stipanovich then saw these images and wanted her own. So, and she then drove three hours to work with me. Sarah and I shot at the McNay Art Museum where I learned to love shadows lines.
Stephanie Grace then helped me emulate a concept that I saw in a fashion magazine….shooting her in a pool during a cold night. Photography is still a passionate hobby and not a profession, however, I’ve been very lucky that a lot of models, make-up artists and stylists choose to work with me and help me create my vision.