December 1, 2016
(Photo care of www.mc.edu.ph)
July 11, 2016Check out Lia’s Pastel Party. 🙂 It got featured at Baby and Breakfast!
May 27, 2016
May 11, 2016
Our work got featured at Baby and Breakfast! Yeay for Blessings. Click the Photo to get to their link on Aiden’s Baptismal Party.
This photo was done by my really good and talented friend Lorra. She got featured and I’m just very happy to see this photo of her at Celebrity Mom Magazine. 🙂
Here’s a photo of my Kerygma Magazine feature. I remember as a young person, we had book sales / book fairs in school and every so often we would get hold of copies of Kerygma Magazine. My mom also had a an officemate who has helped her get a subscription that’s why we always had copies of Kerygma Magazine and also Didache. Never in my wildest dreams did I see me getting printed on it. But the Lord has His own ways of surprising us.
April 22, 2014
“Portrait of Success: Why We Love Photographer Lai de Guzman”
Find out how this camera-wielding fempreneur turned her passion into a full-fledged business!
Writer: Stephanie Esguerra
Pursuing your passion, even in this day and age, is considered a risk. Chasing your dreams–instead of sticking to a stable job–is seen as a waste of time. Still, there are those who remain undeterred by the uncertainties of life, those who are willing to brave each challenge that comes with following their heart.Lai de Guzman, photographer and femtrepreneur, is one of them.
Ever since her high school days, family and friends would often see Lai holding a camera, taking random photos. Well until her first two corporate jobs, Lai carried the same fascination for photography, and she found herself signing up for a two-year apprenticeship program for a photography company.
Not long after, she resigned from her office job and pursued the craft full-time, fully knowing that from then on, she would not be able to rely on a regular salary. She had to give up a predictable schedule and shorter working hours, as well as weekends. Funds she would before allot for other things went to her gear and gear repair needs.
“It was a leap of faith,” Lai says. “I wanted to know how life would be if I worked as a professional photographer rather than just treating it as something I do on the side. By God’s grace, I’m still a photographer. I am still in awe at how things are turning out to be.”
In 2013, the Lai de Guzman Creative Services Inc. company was born, providing a variety of photography and design services. Planning to take the big leap and going for something that you’re really passionate about? Lai says that you should go for it! “You must start somewhere,” she advises. “Love and embrace the entire process. Consider both the creative and entrepreneurial side. Always choose where you’ll be a bigger blessing.”
Lourdes Anne Isabel M. de Guzman, or Lai, was fresh out of college from the Ateneo de Manila when she became an apprentice of Imagine Nation Photography by chance.
Signing up for an orientation, she came to accompany a friend, and ended up being asked to come back. Her basic photography course in college under Pancho Escaler, basic photography under Jo Avila, and an apprenticeship program by John Mateos Ong of Imagine Nation Photography eventually paid off when she was hired by the company in 2009.
Now at 29, and a freelance entrepreneur-photographer, she has been doing portrait and event photography for the past four years, serving mostly wedding clients.
“I enjoy photographing details and candid moments in weddings, and I love shooting using natural light. My favorite subjects are people, kids, and food,” she explains, with the latter a particular obsession in one of her blogs (chibographer.tumblr.com).
“I think I create happy photos. I usually shoot with the intention of making the onlookers smile and feel good as well. I still shoot weddings but I have greatly been enjoying lifestyle photography, where we help people celebrate and cherish their life’s milestones,” she says. This discipline stems from the fact that her family keeps a number of albums since her childhood, of moments growing up being documented by a film camera with the prints all over the house.
“Little did I know that this practice would eventually bloom into the same discipline that I currently apply when I shoot events. More than documenting and preserving moments, I enjoy photography because it allows me to tell stories,” Lai muses.
For Lai, an effective photograph “must be relatable, it must communicate to its audience and it should be captivating.”
“Although I would want to say that a well-planned photograph would probably work, sometimes candid or spontaneous shots are also effective. Photographers must know how to stay in the moment long enough for their vision or message to come to life; or better yet, be able to anticipate moving targets and hit them anyway.“
Lai believes the mood is extremely important when creating good pictures. “Say for example, a happy-themed shoot would be a nightmare with a sad and depressed photographer. However, it is the responsibility of the photographer to be in control of his moods or feelings, his commitments, his focus and his output,” she explains.
Asked about her preferences, she says, “In general, my shots are light, sweet, and happy with vibrant colors. I love watching out for candid shots, and ‘painting pictures’ with people’s emotions. On occasion, I also play with shadows to add a little drama to my portraits.”
At the moment she isn’t affiliated with any photo organization, nor has joined any contests lately. “I think the only recognition that I’ve ever won was a ‘Ms. Congeniality Award’ at a photographer’s Christmas party. Is that counted?” (She asks with a smile.)
The best thing about being a photographer for Lai is “it always takes you somewhere. You always have the chance to get out there and shoot. What I do love most about photography is the ability ( and opportunity) it gives to make memories somewhat tangible and worth sharing. It also lets you connect with others,” she says.
Her principles are short and simple. “One, Show up! No one else an grow your talent for you. Be really interested. Two, upgrade only when you need to. You don’t want to excess baggage. Three, set goals. You always need something to look forward to. Four, find mentors. They’ll help you start from somewhere. Five, you are a steward of your own talent. You must really care about your craft and the God who trusted you with it. Lastly, apart from technical skills, I believe soft skills are likewise important. There was a time when I could cover a wedding without having to speak a word to our clients, or even my team mates or our fellow suppliers. I’d want to say I was shy, but no one would probably believe me. I guess it was more of fear. Over time and by God’s grace, we do overcome.”
Lai’s ultimate goal as a visual artist? “I think the major accomplishment is really becoming a full-time photographer. Juggling corporate work and photography in the past couple of years was indeed challenging. I appreciate ample time with family and friends who now also enjoy the crazy and fun life I’ve come to choose. Once a photographer by chance, now a photographer by choice.”
Her aim is to simply inspire more people to use their God-given talents. “I got the sparks for photography by looking up to others who were persistent and relentless in improving their craft and going after their dreams. Someday I intend to pay forward the same discipline as a form of gratefulness to the Lord who has sent me opportunities ( and the people) who really helped me grow and improve my craft more than I could ever imagine.”
For the fun character, artist and coffee addict that is Lai, this bundle of joy regards photography as “a tool you use to count your blessings with.” Indeed she has been counting until now.