Something wonderful came up. I met this guy on the phone ‘coz I had to inquire about a hexacam, and then a beautiful inspiring story started to unfold. I was up on the computer the whole afternoon, talking to him about life and his newfound passion for photography.
Not enough to ruin his spirit, his unfortunate first break more than a year ago led him to strive hard to be one of Ilocos Norte’s sought-after photographers and videographers, though he still calls himself a newbie.
Alvin Cariaso was born in Apayao. His dad passed away when he was still a small boy. He and his mother moved to Laoag in the 90s. As if trying to tell him something, he also eventually lost his mother and a sister, making him a complete orphan. In his own words, he says, “I used to be happy-go-lucky.”
He has a masters in information technology from the St. Paul University in Tuguegarao. Trying to make both ends meet, before his current teaching position at Northwestern University, he worked as merchandiser, and then supervisor at a gas station He now finds inspiration from his two children, a boy and a girl.
Q&A with Alvin Cariaso
What sparked your passion for photography?
I started photography in Sept 2012. I had difficulties in setting the camera because I don’t have formal education in photography. I bought a camera for personal use. I’m a hobbyist. I used to play with remote-controlled helicopters and planes. My cousin, who was doing photography, brought me along to his wedding shoots until the time that I was given my own chance to shoot, but without pay. I always got laughed at by my cousin, so every time I would go home from school, because I also teach at Northwestern University, I stay on the net to learn from YouTube tutorials. I mustered courage to ask one of my students if we could shoot. That was the pilot testing of the photography skills I gained from YouTube. I didn’t even know how to edit back then. One of my relatives was getting married and offered to hire me as photographer. Minimum charge lang and a collaboration with my photographer cousin. I consider it a failure. I didn’t finish the layouts ‘coz my cousin lost the files. After that, I decided to move on and told myself — it is time to stand on my own two feet. I hired talents with gadgets, ‘pag may offer, til I was able to invest in new equipment.
What is Lente Iloco all about?
Lente Iloco is a photography and videography group that caters to any occasion for Ilocanos.
Do you enjoy your work?
Do you always have a camera with you even on ordinary days?
Yes, especially when I travel.
Portraiture or landscape photography?
What can you tell photographers who are just starting?
Be creative, be yourself, be a natural. Never stop innovating. Be a warrior. In everything we do, dapat may tiyaga.
Contact Alvin Cariaso via the Lente Iloco page on FB (here), or call him — +63 917 731 9668 / 0949 844 5605
All photos courtesy of Alvin Cariaso
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