IPA Interviews with Winning Photographers

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“I believe what makes a photograph relevant is if it can strike a chord in someone’s emotions. It doesn’t matter if it is technically perfect or not. Impact to the viewer is always the strongest component to a photograph.”

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Interview with

Pilar Trigo Bonnin

Portrait, Wedding and Fine Art Photographer

How did you become a photographer?

I clearly remember the moment I fell in love with photography. My father brought home a Polaroid camera when I was 8 years old. I remember being mesmerized by a moment frozen in time through photography. When I got older and started to travel, I would take photos with my film point and shoot camera. Frustrated by how the photographs never looked as stunning as my eyes captured the moment, I purchased my first Film SLR camera, studied photography under Fine Arts and built my darkroom where I would spend countless of hours in. It was still the film era and there were not too many photographers in the Philippines but my desire and passion to learn were very deep. I built a home studio and initially started with children’s portraits to make some extra cash for my film and darkroom expenses. I, later on, met a friend who asked me to be his back up photographer for weddings and everything else evolved from there.

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How do you see Philippine photography as a whole in terms of using it as a language?

Nowadays, people put their stories and lives online through photographs from all walks of life. Whether they post it on social media or simply send it to their loved ones working overseas, it is already a way of communicating. At times, no words are needed, just a powerful photograph to tell the story.

What makes the woman photographer different in terms of the manner of presentation of a subject/object/content in photography as compared to a male photographer? Is there really a difference?

Personally, I don’t think that there is a difference due to gender. Storytelling through photography is genderless. It is all a matter of personal interpretation. If one were to analyze a photograph, you won’t be able to tell if a man or a woman took the photograph.

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What do you think are the limitations a woman photographer has in photography. Do you believe that photography is a male-dominated discipline?

I think that the only limitation a woman photographer or ANY photographer has is herself or HIMSELF. There are no limitations except for your mind and your conscience. So depending on your personal beliefs, imagination, and creativity, the sky is the limit. Photography has no gender.

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What makes a photograph relevant?

What makes a photograph relevant is if it can strike a chord in someone’s emotions. It doesn’t matter if it is technically perfect or not. The impact to the viewer is always the strongest component to a photograph.

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