I found my passion for photography during a trip to my home country of the Philippines in the summer of 2016. While there, I began documenting my experiences on Instagram, taking pictures on my phone of the places I visited, the people/animals I met, and the food I ate, and I realized I enjoyed telling stories through the images I took.
When I returned to the U.S., I decided I wanted to start taking more pictures - so I bought myself my first camera and began photographing people. Inspired by the popular Humans of New York blog, I began my own Humans project for my high school. Through this, I found a love for connecting with other people through my photography.
Over the years, I continued to pursue this passion, taking photography classes, attending workshops, and photographing school events. When the time came to start thinking about where I wanted to go to college and what I wanted to do, I originally thought of majoring in photography as an art student.
After months of rumination, I learned that my favorite style of photography wasn't all about the visual aesthetic of pictures - I didn't care much about having models to photograph, or taking pictures of architecture, nature, etc. - I wanted to tell people's stories in my photographs, capturing moments, their emotions, their lives.
I chose to pursue photojournalism - the use of photographs to tell stories. With photojournalism, my photos can give others, especially those who are underrepresented, a voice, and a platform to share their stories.
I've always been an open person - I'm not afraid to speak up about how I feel, and I'm not afraid to talk about my own struggles and share my experiences with others. Because of this, I'm able to connect with people easily, and through my photography, I've been able to create new connections, new relationships and branch out of my comfort zone.
To me, photography is more than just a hobby - it's a passion, a discipline, and allows me to bring out the best of who I am into the world.