Emerging Talents in Photography/Videography
It’s a well-known fact, especially in the Emirates that Filipinos are quite the gifted visual story-tellers. Whether they are doing that via still photos or through videos, Pinoys are hands down leaders in the field. Meet the next crop of young talents making a mark in the business.
“Each one of us has a chance to be in the spotlight. Everyone can make it,” said Ace Reyes who first got recognized as a promising Filipino photographer when he debuted as a featured artist in Illustrado Scrapbook. From his small beginnings four years ago, Ace has quickly become one of the most dynamic fashion and event photographer in the city working for some of the region’s most well-respected brands including Sony Music, Clean & Clear Arabia, Maserati, and Namshi. Ace’s works have also been featured at the Dubai and Paris Fashion Week. Ace also supports local artists in the region, doing editorial shoots and album covers for local pop bands Carizma and The5.
For the young photographer, everyone has a chance to follow their dreams and make a difference, as long as they put in the hard work. He says, “You should never stop grinding for your dreams and aspirations.”
Artist, photographer, art director, and creative consultant Augustine Paredes proves that success can be achieved even at a young age. At just 24 years old, he has already staged solo, as well as group exhibitions outside of the Philippines. His work for Campus Art Dubai, as well as the #WeAreNamshi campaign, have been featured prominently in the UAE. Augustine has also collaborated with PUMA, Farfetch, as well as Zadig et Voltaire.
For Augustine, working in the creative field means being among the fiercest competition within the market. “I’ve overcome self-doubt and self-inflicted insecurity by looking back and reminding myself to not be too hard on myself.”
In a land where talents are plentiful, yet support is hard to find, Augustine works towards raising the status of not just Filipinos, but artists as a collective community. “My hope for the future is for a fair playing field for creative individuals, where passports are looked beyond and portfolios and talent matter more.”
Tonyo El Estwani
Sometimes credentials and fancy degrees aren’t the determinants to a great future, and that’s especially the case with Filipino-Lebanese Tonyo Al Estwani. Born and raised in Davao, he initially gained a culinary arts degree and worked in the kitchen for four years. That is until he discovered his passion for cinematography through surfing and longboarding. “I started with simple sports documentaries until a UAE-based media entrepreneur saw my videos and asked me to work with him.” Since 2015 Tonyo has been steadily making his way into the film industry. Currently working for Chopper Shoot, an aerial filming company in the Middle East, he has worked for both Hollywood and Bollywood films. Tonyo’s recent film on Armenia showcasing the country’s beauty has also been recognized and commended by the Armenia Department of Tourism and featured in their local TV channels and newspapers.
Tonyo’s story is one of his real passion taking over his life. “When I dream, I dream big. So, I always make sure I consistently move closer to my triumphs. For me, there’s no such thing as an overnight success, so I invest in small, manageable bits of progress every single day.”
Special thanks to our sponsors: Emirates Airline, Stars n Bars La Mer, Liali, Instax – Grandstores UAE, Dusit Thani Dubai, Gver – Your Friendly Marketplace for Sharing, Meeting Dancewear , MPQ, CMG, Filbrit, and our partners Rozen Antonio Photography, Alex Callueng Photography, Jef Anog Photography, and Ethereal Photography.