#STORIESUNDERTHETREE W/ BJ PASCUAL

by - 8:00 PM


On a Saturday, 20 individuals were invited to be part of an intimate gathering by posting a selfie under the tree along with a personal story. Since our stories have already been shared on Instagram and sir Ito Kish and BJ have already read them, it was BJ Pascual's turn to share his own story of humble beginnings to current work success in the Fashion industry that involved his passion: Photography. 

I was surprised to find out that my most favorite photographer is actually a self-taught one. He was already good at using Photoshop by creating graphic designs but never tried editing photos before using the tool. "I used to watch a lot of tutorials before. Right now you can simply just google everything, you will find all the techniques in the web and you know what, it really helps to watch tutorials from photographers or like how magazines edit their covers. Actually, even when you just observe on a shoot you'll get to learn a lot na rin." 

I am a sucker for photography. Actually it's my first love next to writing. I usually call myself a "frustrated photographer" since I really am one and what holds me back is that I don't have the proper tool to execute a proper shoot a.k.a. a DSLR camera. Like, I feel so embarrassed to invite people for a shoot and all I have is a digital and cellphone camera. It just doesn't feel legit. "It's not about the tool you use. You don't have to posses a DSLR camera, you can simply use anything even your phone. I did a cover shoot using my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phone." OK. So I guess it's time for me to let go of that thought and start watching tutorials right now. 

Here's the magazine cover he was talking about btw:

*photo from METRO mag's FB page

He said a lot of great things worth quoting actually. As much as possible, I tried to absorb what he said during the talk so I guess the downside of trying to mentally take down notes is eventually forgetting all about it. I couldn't remember everything word by word since I have a memory spun of 3 seconds (like a gold fish), so I'll do the best I can to express the same thought and how I remembered it correctly.

On people who doubt:
"We feel like the world owes us something. We don't deserve this, we deserve something better. No matter how good you are in what you do you still have to prove yourself. Sometimes, it really helps that you have pessimistic grandparents because they keep you grounded with their tough love. It motivates me to do my best. When I would show them my work, since it's just on a tiny portion of a magazine before, they would be like "Ayy bakit ang liit?", when I already had a full page and a spread they were like "Bakit wala ka diyan?" and a cover "Eh bakit wala yung pangalan mo?" and finally when I had a billboard for HUMAN, I was like "Oh ayan aah. Ako na yan. May pangalan ko na rin yan." 

On choosing between Stress or Pressure
"I feel like I can do so much more under pressure 
to meet deadlines."

On what frustrates him
"My work. I feel like I am not satisfied with my own work."

On being professional
"When I came home from my studies in New York, there wasn't much work opportunities back then. If there is maybe around one or two and then none. If an opportunity comes, no matter how unprepared you are, you have to make yourself ready and always give it your best shot."

The important asset of a photographer is...
"Vision. Creative vision is very important. Even if you're good at lighting and Photoshop but if you don't have a creative vision, balewala rin."

On using BB cream
"There are times when I don't sleep anymore because I continously edit photos to meet deadlines. BB cream lang katapat niyan. I just put it under my eyes. (with matching dab under the eye)"

On which magazines he's dreaming
 to work on a cover someday
"Vogue! Kahit anong Vogue kahit Vogue Brazil pa yan or Japan. 
Or maybe even Bazaar or Dazed."

Whenever I get an opportunity to attend talks that I know will be educational and worth it, I make it a point to attend even if it means joining a contest on social media just to get an invite. I mean it's not everyday you get a chance to ask questions and learn something from the people you admire from the industry. Also, I am very grateful that I made friends with a couple of participants during the said event. We exchanged IG usernames and assured to see each other again on BJ's next event, if ever. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Sir Ito Kish who made this event possible and for also encouraging us to share our personal stories in which he appreciated so much. I am not a furniture enthusiast to be frank but I do appreciate art in different forms including your curated pieces (not to mention creative local designs). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to take a tour of your beautiful showroom and for this experience of course.

I've been talking about our personal stories all the time. But what exactly was MY PERSONAL STORY all about? Many don't know this about me since I know not everyone can understand. 


This is my personal story.
I am 24 and confused. I'm still in the midst of figuring it out. I haven't found the right path that I'm willing to take forever though I never stopped searching. I am an HRM graduate. I enjoyed studying the course and all but the jobs and the industry itself just couldn't find its way to my heart. This was my mom's choice for me even though she knew all along that I wanted Photography so badly. "Be practical. HRM is much more in demand. There's no money in Photography anak." was what she used to tell me. This time, she wanted me to give back my gaining years experience to this industry. Even though it is something against my will, still I complied. I applied and got hired in different establishments but I can't seem to last. I knew the fault was on my side since I don't feel passionate about what I'm doing. I started feeling pressure from everyone since I'm already hearing comparisons between myself and my brother, who's doing well in our industry. And here I am, trying my luck in freelancing. 

Check out the other #StoriesUnderTheTree here. 
How about you? what is your personal story?

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