One of my dreams in life is to be have an article I wrote be published on a major national website. It finally happened.
On February 19, 2016, I covered the Dama 3D Danao Dancel Dumas Anniversary Concert for When In Manila.
Here’s what went down:
It all started with three guys and their acoustic guitars banding together to pool their collective stories into one epic tale. Like the bards of old who wove their experiences and anguish into works of art, Johnoy Danao, Ebe Dancel, and Bullet Dumas has done the same in modern times. And it is all for the love of their craft. Pure unadulterated love. Of all the instruments made by man, there’s no instrument more primal and simpler than the acoustic guitar. In its own, it’s a tool to deliver the user’s emotional quandaries. Married with the unmistakable voices and exceptional lyrics of Danao, Dancel, and Dumas, it becomes magic. It becomes an experience.
I woke up today to a message that I never expected. I had hoped to receive that message. I had wished. It was wishful thinking. I never thought I was worthy of the message. I never thought I was good enough – talented enough – already to be given the task that the message contained.
I was at my usual haunt – Starbucks BF Aguirre – Monday evening to write an overview for Infinity Blues Photography. I wrote the fees I charge, how I do things, etc. The basics. As I was writing and writing, it suddenly hit me that what I was writing was the Terms & Conditions of my freelance work. It was the contract – the agreement – between Infinity Blues Photography, yours truly, and the client.
It surprised me as I’ve never done anything like that. Business and I don’t gel. I’ll admit, it did seem pretty easy to write. To me, anyway. I’m sure that not all of what I wrote belongs to an actual Terms & Conditions, but hey, not bad for a first timer.
One of the fondest memories I have of my youth was being a plus one to my father’s meetings. He’d bring me along so I can learn about the family business. Not that I ever learned anything. Much. What little I learned was more on how people dealt with people – how people connected and communicated with each other.
Business isn’t my forte, being the artist in the family. It never was, really. I understood what I needed to understand. Not what the family needed me to understand. But what makes those business meetings memorable to me was every time one of the people my dad meets with hands me their business card.
It seems odd to hand an eleven year old a business card. Then again, if the children will someday be handed the reigns of the family business, I suppose it’s good strategy in the event that the business deal would prove fruitful down the line.
I’ve mentioned before that my musical inclinations have, in recent years, leaned towards the stripped down, bare bones side of things. That simplicity and unfussiness of music has appealed to me due to, well, I wouldn’t say my age, but due to my bias for introspection and quiet. Simply put, I prefer acoustic singer-songwriter music on most days.
That’s why I’m a huge follower of the artists in the “3D: Danao Dancel Dumas” collective. Individually, the trio – Johnoy Danao, Ebe Dancel, and Bullet Dumas – does not need an introduction. All three have made names for themselves in local music history. All three have been success stories in OPM. All three are influential to the current and upcoming crop of guitar-wielding, whiskey swigging, lovelorn troubadours. And as a collective, as “3D,” the supergroup has definitely made an impact.
*Pictured above and below are the first and latest music photos I’ve shot
There was a time when I felt so insecure, so jealous, of the young photographer friends I’ve made last year. The Karen dela Fuentes. The Caloy Enclunas. The Gab Pilis. The Simon Vigans. And the dozens of young amazing photographers who’ll only be even more amazing as they grow older.
I’m 31. I have only a year on my belt. And no, I’m not counting my semi-regular three year stint as a music photographer years ago. I barely made any strides in those days. I’m just now retaking my life from depression. I’m just getting my life on the right track. And I thought that my age would be a hindrance, a massive stutter on my career as a photographer.
I had no intention of doing anything else other than the one on my calendar. I only had one agenda yesterday: to have coffee with Bel Certeza. Money is pretty tight. Refer to the previous post as to the reason for my economic woes. But an hour or so before I left the house, I contacted a friend of mine from college. Her boyfriend’s band, Brisom, was going to play at Saguijo. I asked her if I can be added on the band’s guestlist.
Now, I’m not a cheapskate. I know how important door charge is to the bands that play a venue. If I have extra cash, I’d pay the door charge. But I do not. I told Marsha, the aforementioned college friend, that I’d take photos of Brisom in return. I didn’t get to. No, that’s not why things are bad. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning.
So my camera gear family got bigger. I mentioned on a previous post that I got a new camera strap/sling and monopod during the holidays. Last Friday, I got a used Benro BH1 ballhead from a referral by a fellow Reese Intern. I got to try the setup, Benro BH1 ballhead + Benro A28T Monopod + Canon EOS 60D + Canon Shutter Release Cable, in the field last Saturday! I got to raise my camera much higher for different angles with the monopod/ballhead. Things were a bit difficult at first since it’s the first time I used that setup, but I like the outcome. I like the different perspectives. It spiced things up a bit because, honestly, I was getting bored with my shots. That’s a good thing, right? I get to experiment. I get to challenge myself.
I’ve seen him do his stand-up comedy act about twice. Not intentional, but incidental. Those times I watched him, it was in support of his opening act, Arianne dela Cruz. Arianne is a friend of mine who once did the singer-songwriter/band circle years ago. She was, for a while, the musical opening act of Mike Unson’s comedy tour.
Last night at Checkpoint, history sort of repeated itself. I went to watch one of the musical acts that preceded him on stage, Fiona Comendador. Also a friend of mine.