All posts filed under: Beauty

Keep your dreams alive

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” ~ Gail Devers Zsaharah in the forest Loleng’s Resort, Davao City © Jojie Alcantara // Advertisements

Take me back in time

“We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they’re called memories. Some take us forward, they’re called dreams.” ~ Jeremy Irons, British actor I love looking at old photos, especially in our family albums. It transports me back to my happy childhood. Last year, a severe flood in our vicinity literally washed away most of my nostalgic possessions and memories of yellowed prints and moldy negatives.  I was left with a few scattered digitally scanned remnants of my sepia childhood. Rather than feel depressed about this loss, I try to recreate my new images into vintage photographs instead.  Using this style takes me happily back in time.  At least, for a while. Model: Teresa Kae Photo treatment: Vintage tones using Photoshop © Jojie Alcantara, 2012 More of these in my RETROGRAPHS gallery

Faded photograph

“What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” ― Karl Lagerfeld I was fortunate to meet the lovely Teresa Kae, a model based in Las Vegas.  She was in my city for a short vacation with a good friend.  Very willing to pose for me in a light, fun shoot, I did my favorite post processing trick –that of turning digital files into vintage photographs.  If retouching photo agencies do restoration, I simply “age” an image into something that evokes good, old memories from faded photographs. Teresa Kae is very young, but she has this classic beauty that is timeless, like an “old soul” breathing nostalgia, transporting you to the the golden era of film prints. Hope it gives the same effect on you. Teresa K and other models are in my retro album.

The smize have it

“But even though she was attractive, there was something else about her that caught his eye. She was intelligent, he could sense that right away, and confident, too, as if she were able to move through life on her own terms. To him, these were the things that really mattered. Without them, beauty was nothing.” ~Nicholas Sparks, Message in a Bottle Whenever I shoot a model, I make sure she makes eye contact with me (or through the lens), as oppose to glam advertising shots that ask them to look like preoccupied puppets with a faraway squint in their eyes. Tyra Banks call it “smize“, smiling with your eyes. In my day, we used to say, “project!” or “emote!” (I was then a fashion model AND a runway director, like a playing coach in basketball terms. Oh right, an old fashioned Tyra minus the booty.) 🙂 My model is Zsaharah, of moslem descent, with a strong, attractive personality and a professional outlook in her work (she is a nurse, by the way). She became one …

Dew on a rose © Jojie Alcantara

A flower’s gift

     “I am the lover’s gift; I am the wedding wreath; I am the memory of a moment of happiness; I am the last gift of the living to the dead; I am a part of  joy and a part of sorrow.” ― Khalil Gibran Found this on a couple of websites and I compiled it: What Do Flower Colors Mean? Steeped in tradition, the meanings of flowers have been a part of human culture for thousands of years. The practice of attaching meanings to the colors of flowers is also a long-honored tradition in almost every culture. Some types of flowers may also have meanings that accentuate or expand on the meaning of the color. For example, a red rose can mean love and passion, while a black rose can signify obsession. The following is a listing of common colors that are associated with a variety of flowers. RED is most commonly associated with love, desire, and passion. A red flower can be a symbol of desire, lust, devotion, and beauty. The color red …

Use your personal power

“You are innately designed to use your personal power. When you don’t, you experience a sense of helplessness, paralysis, and depression-which is your clue that something is not working as it could. You, like all of us, deserve everything that is wonderful and exciting in life. And those feelings emerge only when you get in touch with your powerful self.” ~ Susan Jeffers Karina was one of Davao’s popular models a few years back before she successfully ventured into greener pastures to pursue a modeling career in Manila.  This was one of my early shoots with her back then.  What else can I say, she got in touch with her powerful self. 🙂 View more of my portrait shoot with Karina

Beautiful people do not just happen out of the blue

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” ~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross This old photo was one of my favorites, taken in Pearl Farm Beach Resort, Samal Island.  She (Sharon) was one of the models for the resort’s brochure we were shooting.  During one of the breaks, I asked her to pose for me playfully, and I disappeared behind her.  She probably wondered where I went because I didn’t take a frontal shot.

Two faces of India

“There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won’t go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds… I had been seeing the world in black & white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor.” ~Keith Bellows, National Geographic Society I’ve never visited India before.  Yet.  It’s in my list of travel destinations, though.  When a group of students from India came to my city to study medicine here a few years ago, I had this wonderful opportunity of beautiful faces wanting to do portraits with me. 

Children of hope

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr. Children of Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe in the highlands of Tibolo Village in Sta. Cruz.  They are friendly, cheerful and a curious lot. This image finished finalist among 12700 entries in the December 2011 monthly photo contest of Betterphoto.com. © Jojie Alcantara

Sunrise in Times Beach, Matina by Jojie Alcantara

Clouded moment

“You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.” ~ Paulo Coelho (Mystical author, one of Brazil’s most successful novelists) Cloud formation I captured in Baywalk, Times Beach one fine morning Click to view large image

Wild Child

Meet Carmen Smith. Half New Zealander, half Filipina. She’s currently a student, a makeup artist/model, and a runner up of Mutya ng Davao. She is normally sweet, neat and tidy. But for this shoot, I asked her to change her character, and this is the transformation she gave me. Wild Child View more of her images in my gallery