Works

Mike & Nadine

Whenever you see a photograph of a bride and a groom in front of an altar, you only see one frame–frozen in time. To dismissive eyes, it is nothing but another shot of a couple finally tying the knot. What you don’t see are the beginnings and the meeting of minds. You never see how two unique individuals mesh and clash every single day as you would see in a supernova. You never see the infinite longing of the other person and the incalculable weight of emotions that wrap each one when they leave each other’s orbit. People are like stars. They explode and implode because these feelings–these guiding lights that they call emotions–ebb and flow. They do not stand still and while they move about, they cannot help but take part in a beautiful dance of joy.

Mike and Nadine never had that love at first sight feeling even though they were set up by their friends to meet each other. Yet as two people who had quiet yet equally magnetic personalities, they couldn’t help but drift towards each other. All it took was for them to see what they had been missing their entire lives and they were never the same again. Mike fell for Nadine and she also knew that she wanted to be with him. When it came time for Mike to make a decision, he eventually sold everything he had in Australia, left his life there just so he could be together with Nadine. He booked a one-way ticket to the Philippines because everything didn’t even matter without Nadine by his side.

Nadine was also accepted by Mike’s family and she fit in perfectly in their lives. Mike’s mother who hadn’t seen Nadine yet at the time of the announcement of them being together already loved Nadine. Every time he would have the chance, Mike would share his dreams and future plans with Nadine. She would only describe this kind of oneness as if they had their own little planet to tend.

When you look up at the stars, you never really think that anything much is happening. You see the light of a star that is somehow burning at the other end of the universe. Yet when you ask about its beginnings, there is so much to talk about–so much context in flickering lights as if to say, “Hey, look at me. Look closer and let me show you.” The love story of Nadine and Mike is as unique as the crests and troughs of twirling supernovas dancing in the galaxy. Each pulse different, every rise and fall of their shapes, one in a billion.

The human race have studied space and the different things that it holds out there–quasars, nebulae, galaxies, supernovas and giant stars. The scientists at SETI aimed an electro magnetic radio telescope at pulsars way off in space. Those were thousands of light years from the earth and they wanted to listen if there was any intelligent life on earth. The aimed it at sixteen millisecond pulsars and supernovas which were oscillating and shooting a radio frequency. You would never guess in a million years that when combined, the synth-like qualities and percussive beats would combine into a hymn that was actually composed by a musician singing about the greatness of God.

Anyone can interpret a snapshot. But in order to see people for who they really are, you need to learn to listen intently to whispered tales and ask about the little things that the heart goes through. Much like quarks spinning on an axis, so do the tales that two people start once they attract each other.

The photographs below will contain single frames of what transpired during that electric 12-hour period. For some of the people who will view this album, the bride and groom might be strangers to you as you begin to go through the immortalized moments. Yet, I challenge you to look past art and composition and see two stars who have somehow managed to align themselves and shine brighter because of each other’s light.












 

Can you see them now? Can you now look beyond the photograph of two people merely going through the motions of a sacrament?

Do you see the tears borne out of fear that the other person could possibly give up?

Do you see the rapture that is found in the face of a jet-lagged person, wheeling their suitcase and their entire life meeting you in a dingy airport?

Do you now hear the sobs of the girl as the sun-colored ring was being slipped on by the man of her dreams?

Find the beauty. Ask for the story.

Because the most beautiful moments in our lives will always have one.




 


Black & Gold

One of the things that you’ll notice immediately when going through these photos is that the two key colors are black and gold. Black connotes mystery and is the color of the unknown. Gold, on the other hand, is a color that symbolizes prestige, luxury and sophistication–all qualities that require something that black would never want nor have–an audience. How fitting it is that this editorial features a budding events planning-styling company that is, as of the time of this post’s writing, still flying under the radar but who is about to have its own sophisticated audience.

Hosted on the grounds of The Mango Farm in Antipolo, this is the first of many editorial shoots launched by Blue Trumpet, a full-service event planning, styling and production company that has essentially merged some of the most outstanding people in the wedding and events industry. For their first editorial, a black and gold theme which featured several cohesive elements that lends to a very specific aesthetic. From sold-out placeholders to gold-colored plates, (special thanks to Bizu!) the team carefully handpicked every one of the elements in the images below. The black candle holders were enough to create a beautiful contrast against the white plates with gold linings, the escort cards were placed in glass placeholders which had gold metal frames and plates were accentuated with gold eucalyptus.

In an editorial that emphasized varying levels of contrasts, the Blue Trumpet team made sure that even the gorgeous bouquet matched the elegant and classy setup spruced up by master florist Dylan Gozum himself as he created a cascading bouquet that had gold leaves so it could both stand out and blend seamlessly with the palette. When held at a specific angle, the implied lines even form a triangle which again subtly hints at both harmony and balance–something that the members of Blue Trumpet no doubt have in abundance.

The cake, which also follows the geometric guidelines, was handcrafted by Box of Sweets by Punky Porca. From being featured in Baby and Breakfast to Unang Hirit, Punky is no stranger to fame but can always execute your vision when it comes to cakes. The diamond shapes fencing the entire cake seem to be out of shape until one realizes that a diamond shape cut horizontally in half is composed of two identical triangles. Every element seems to require both harmony and tension to see it fit inside the big picture.

Eventually, you’ll see this iconic geometric heart laced with triangles executed from the artistic mind of Rorie Fule. From the brush calligraphy lettering of the couple’s names to the carefully placed triangles on the invites, she merges mystery and opulence within several frames and manages to make everything look exquisite. The intricate boutonniere that that you see photographed along with the invites are lovingly handcrafted by {etc} Handmade Goodness and they, too, only add to the unity of the theme.

The bigger black and gold geometric heart backdrop that stands as a visual anchor to all of the images was executed by Kathleen Dela Merced whose skill in translating visions into realities is unparalleled. As one of the founding members of Blue Trumpet, she specializes in closing the gap between what you want and what’s possible. Basically, if the fantasy world that you want to create exists in your mind, more often than not, she makes it happen.

The gowns were supplied by familiar names in the wedding industry: Mi Sueño Bridal Botique, Ryan Madamba, Tantease and Von Lazaro. If you’ve ever wanted to see more of their creations so you can imagine how their designs might look on you, now’s your chance. I could embellish the designer’s works and call their aesthetic elegant, classy, balanced, flattering and sophisticated but a picture paints a thousand words. So when you see their gowns below, be prepared to be listen intently.

Our makeup artist and hairstylist tandem was Chichi Sotomil and Steph Escobido who both did an amazing job of adjusting the look of Rizza according to the kind of light the entire team had during the entire day. The weather absolutely did not cooperate and we had to make the best of what we had. Having her on board as our makeup artist was just key in the success of the editorial.

Our gorgeous and sweet model, Rizza was styled by none other than Lifestyle by Feliz. Looking at their impressive resumé will no doubt give you a feel of how integral this aspect is in any kind of shoot. From the spot on gold bangles to the beige pumps with contrasting accents, they were able to complement each look in subtle yet refined ways. I keep imagining what each layout would look like without any kind of styling from this group and I almost always frowned at the thought. “Beautiful things don’t ask for  attention.” But they still are seen. And they still are beautiful.

And like a conductor directing an entire cast of virtuosos, I would like to give a final shout out to Joed See for taking care of not just me and my team of photographers but by ensuring that every detail of this entire editorial was polished. You can always tell what kind of person the captain is by the way their ship runs. And in this case, the hassle-free coordination by Blue Trumpet’s event planner came as no surprise at all.

Creative minds let loose are like celestial bodies–in and of themselves, they are beautiful. However, when creative minds come together like a stellar collision, they not only make something “pretty” or “beautiful”. Most of the times, onlookers become witnesses to something majestic.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you , in partnership with Zeus Martinez Photography, “Black & Gold” by Blue Trumpet Events

 

 

 

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Mark & Kris

When you’ve logged as many hours watching movies for as long as I have, you sort of resign yourself to the fact that most of the gestures shown in those films remain in the realm of fiction.

The iconic scenes that litter the landscape of romantic films will always be etched in our minds.

That time when that “To me you are perfect” scene in Love Actually left you and Keira Knightley speechless. And what’s even more amazing is that you realize that it was Rick Grimes who was flipping through the signs all along.

How about Heath Ledger breaking into song to serenade young Julia Stiles while she was in the middle of football practice.

And who could forget that kiss in the rain by Noah & Allie after that killer line: “It wasn’t over. It still isn’t over.”

When Mark looks back at his pursuit of Kris, he will look back to the days where he would make sure that he would be assigned to the same boarding gate as Kris was assigned to. His memories would certainly hark back to the times where he would travel almost 200km only to bring Kris home and then go back to where he stays. It is something that seems much grander in hindsight but to Mark, it was something that didn’t needed any prodding or convincing.

To him, it was either to be happy with her or to live in misery without her. The choice was free from complications–like a child who had only one answer when asked about whether he loved someone or not.

And when Mark answered, he answered in quiet gestures and consistent kindness. The highlight of their relationship was never just a 30-second kiss and it could never be summed up in a killer one-liner. The love story that they shared would only be told through patient tones and the grueling journey of kilometers passed.

And as with all journeys, no one destination is always permanent. We settle down on one place and we uproot ourselves when needed. As Noah put it, the journey was never over.

It still isn’t over.




 



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