Providing another chance for local MSMEs to shine, CHiNOY TV is partnering with Fil-Chi Ho Tsia Ho Dim to present the Seng Di Feature series, a project where Chinoy-owned businesses, chefs, food photographers, and food videographers are spotlighted.
In a time where more and more businesses are transitioning into online marketing, finding a professional to properly showcase one’s products is more crucial than ever. Today’s Seng Di Feature covers six photographers and videographers who are ready to meet your culinary photography needs!
1) Ivan Uy
Ivan Uy is a photographer at Madcap Productions, an innovative team dedicated to providing uniquely crafted creative solutions and narratives to different industries, no matter the size. Uy learned the basics of photography as a Design major who graduated from the University of Santo Tomas. Discovering a love for both food and taking pictures, he then chose to pursue a career in culinary photography and videography with the support of his father and peers.
In light of the pandemic, Uy and his team understand now more than ever the importance of businesses needing to highlight their online presence. Channeling their passion for photography into a means for making a difference, the Madcap team has recently partnered with AtoZ in their #MarawiandBeyond campaign, which aims to raise funds by selling masks to build livelihood centers for the displaced communities in Area 1, Marawi.
“I understand that a lot of businesses have had it hard. [My group and I] have taken the initiative to help out as much as we can and use our skills for our clients to have an edge in the crowded online community…” Uy stated.
2) Cherry Pacheco
A makeup artist who has a deep love for food photography and styling, Cherry Pacheco began posting pictures of her food on social media when the pandemic lockdown started. Despite having no formal background in photography, companies took notice of her content and began hiring her for food photoshoots.
Pacheco cited her previous extensive experience as a food stylist, makeup artist, and blogger, as well as her eye for aesthetics, for her ability to tell what looks good and what doesn’t.
“My personal aesthetic for food plays on [their] natural appeal and colors of the food or product,” Pacheco explained.
Photo (Left) By Floyd Jhocson
3) Matt Lee
Matt Lee established Cereaal Studio, a brand and lifestyle photography studio in 2015. Lee picked up photography by attending seminars but explained that pursuing passion projects is where the learning truly is:
“I have always had a love for eating, but I didn’t start to look at food as art until I started taking pictures of it. It’s been a passion since then to keep pushing how to make food look good and trying new concepts that we haven’t done before.”
Experienced in the industry, Lee and his team have published a cookbook, contributed visual works to several book-projects, given seminars and workshops, and have taken official cast photos for The Lion King Broadway tour (Manila).
Lee has personally taught photography classes to high school students. To aspiring food photographers, he offers this advice: “Always treat your last shoot as if you’re shooting your best work yet.”
4) Johan Chua
Recognizing that small businesses are having difficulty in promoting themselves during these trying times, Johan Chua offers free photography to start-ups. Chua, who believes in using his passion to help others, began by taking pictures of his friends’ online businesses. He is currently trying to extend the same services to those outside his circle.
“I believe that by offering free photography, it gives [sic] start-ups an edge in helping [to promote] their product,” said Chua. “A good photo goes a long way.”
5) Jeric Dy
As an experienced freelance photographer, Jeric Dy has worked for several advertising agencies, a travel magazine, and individual creatives. Though he originally began his career as a life photographer, focusing on celebratory events (e.g. weddings and birthdays), he eventually ventured into commercial photography and established Spectrum Digitals with his partner Walter Siy.
Exploring food photography as a hobby, Chua initially started to shoot for his friends’ start-up businesses before extending his client circle to include restaurants and hotels such as Nobu, Hyatt, and City of Dreams (COD) Manila among others. One of his most memorable challenges was working with Michelin Star chefs from all over the world when working with COD Manila.
“They helped me grow as well and learn more about the meaning of food,” Chua shared, referring to the clients he has worked with. “I grow relationships with every client I work with. Awards and recognitions—I may only have a few, but to be able to grow [a] relationship with every person I get to work with is what I enjoy the most.”
6) Betty Uy
Betty Uy is a lifestyle photographer who has been in the industry for more than eight years. For lifestyle settings, Uy has trained under Imagine Nation Photography, a professional network of young photographers and videographers based in Manila.
Venturing into photographing food, Uy has expressed that the experience was enjoyable and that she pursues the craft purely for passion. She channels this energy into managing Studio Air Mammoth, which has been providing brands with photography and visual graphics services since 2012.
Reflecting on her experiences, Uy gives the following advice: “Practice, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. No need for expensive gears—work with what you have.”