Adventures of The Man behind

11-11-11 at La Luz Beach Resort, Laiya, Batangas, Philippines

11-11-11 is a date that only happens once every 100 years. Since most of us don’t live that long, it has been made a special day by many. They say that babies who were born on this date received special media attention, and that there was an increased number of marriages which took place in many parts of the world. Heck, even TV and Billboard ads for a local fastfood chain had something going on about 11-11-11. So I’m sure a lot of you have some epic stories to tell about how you spent November 11, 2011.

Mine was spent on a relaxing vacation and photoshoot session at La Luz Beach Resort in Laiya, Batangas.


The challenge was that my subjects were a completely mixed bunch in terms of age, gender, build, height, and ethnicity, all of whom I have to shoot within a span of a few minutes worth of good sunset lighting. Armed with only a bare speedlight mounted on my tripod, I set to work. I know some photographers who would utilize an umbrella for shoots like this, but I packed light as I didn’t have an assistant with me for this shoot. But I’m pretty very happy with the results. What matters is that I brought smiles to the faces of my customers soon as they saw my work.

Check out the photos:

Family portrait.

The beautiful child. For child photography, perspective makes a big difference. Most point-and-shooters just snap away from standing position. I suggest you try getting down on one knee to shoot at your child’s eye-level. You’ll be amazed at how big of an impact it makes.

Father and child.

The daddy. To those reading this, please understand the anonymity as in this particular instance, I’m mandated by a policy to not mention names or organizations.

Now this is what I was talking about. I did have other subjects for this shoot. Had to readjust lighting and settings to compensate. I’m happy with how it turned out. Besides, challenges like this just make me a better photographer.

Careful framing or cropping, plus using the longer end of a zoom lens, helps to shed a few pounds on the photo.

On location shoots like this, I don’t use a light meter. Why? Because ambient light changes fast, as unfortunately, in this part of the world, there isn’t really a “golden hour”, as it only really lasts for a few minutes.

If shooting group shots with only one off-camera flash, positioning is vital as you don’t want one person casting a shadow on another person.

I just had to include this shot. If there’s one thing Batangas is famous for apart from beaches and balisong knives, it’s bulalo!

Last photo that I’ll share with you guys from this session. The sun flare was captured on purpose. Did you know that there’s actually a science behind shooting sun flares?

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