PHOTOGRAPHY  means writing with light. While technology has made it quite easy for newbies to take random snapshots with smartphones or DSLR cameras, a well-composed picture to convey emotions remains elusive to many shooters. Awareness of light sources – natural and artificial – and how to play with them can help bring out spectacular images.

Seasoned photographers can produce awesome pictures even with simple point-and-shoot cameras because they have developed an eye for it.

“Wala iyan sa pana, nasa Indian iyan (It’s not about the arrow but the Indian)” is a popular mantra among those who understand that the shooter is more important than the tools.


MAE G. Elias and her Nikon D5200

Davaoeña singer/musician Mae Elias is using an “advanced beginner” Nikon D5200 camera but has captured stunning photographs that could be mistaken for shots made by a professional. Her artistry in music must have made it effortless for her brain to shift to photographic art. With plenty of free time during the day while she was a singer in Beijing for years, Mae got the opportunity to travel to great places in China and hone her skills with the camera.

As a versatile musician adept at various music genres, she also explores different concepts in photography. China’s ancient architecture, the moon, beauty shots, nature parks, and the bizarre fascinate Miss Elias. As a nursing graduate, she is not afraid of blood and that makes her calm when setting up Halloween-themed photo shoots.


CHAOYANG Park shot by Mae

Mae is known in the local music circle as a fun-loving singer armed with a down-to-earth sense of humor. Her playfulness manifests on her people photography. She is a true blue fashionista with a keen eye for styling hair, makeup, accessories, and other necessary props to bring out the best of her subjects.

An independent woman who bought her own car and supports herself through life, she is not easily impressed by material gifts from men but does appreciate the thoughtfulness. She is not afraid to go on a solo trip to take pictures of different places.

Her parents are both engineers from the University of Mindanao. She was born in Saudi Arabia but took her formal education in Davao City. Her mother enrolled her in a vocal training course when she was about twelve years old. Her sense of discipline and the desire to keep learning new stuff made her an extraordinary performer. She has developed enough patience when pursuing a goal – and that attitude is discernable in her photography. Some people get lazy to bring a tripod but she does not mind carrying extra gear for stable shots. Professionals know that a tripod solves fifty per cent of shooting challenges.

Her close friends are aware that she has a dual character; one with a child-like disposition when having fun and the other with a Charo Santos-like ability to share mature views in life. She could be a sensible counselor or life coach on a one-to-one basis. Mae is not presumptuous when giving directions as she always leaves it to her listener whether or not to consider her points of view.

On the other hand, she is quite certain about the effects that she wants in her photography – as she is clear about the things that she wants in her personal life. Her admirable strength of character resulted from picking up the lessons from some mistakes that she experienced. Like in taking pictures, it’s a trial-and-error situation – and nothing seems to stop her from learning.

Her professional job as a singer in Beijing or Shanghai has been waiting for her return but she has put it on hold because she is having a lot of fun with her musician friends here in Davao. Also, a string of local gigs in private parties somehow dampens her spirit to immediately go back to Mao Zedung’s land. She also wants to visit more places in the Philippines before eventually joining her two brothers in Canada.

Mae is currently taking up swimming lessons to make her better prepared for underwater photography. She is not yet into commercial photo shoots and remains an amateur. Amateur is from the word amat, which means love. She loves photography that complements her sense of awe with the world.

Posted in Lifestyle