Photography is an expression of the other side of your world that other people do not see. This, according to Benny de Guzman, is firm belief in life.
Using DSLR full frame camera, he’s out as a freelance creative exhibition designer, freelance photographer and freelance interior designer. His shots graced the cover of significant cultural books in the United Arab Emirates. This is a feat that makes this Filipino trailblazer proud.
Way to the top
As long as he can remember, Benny was only 7 years old when he started holding his father’s camera and took photos.
When he was on his first year in college, he tried to join an organization of photographers. He was told that his camera was not of a DSLR type. He was disappointed but then he found the courage to ask why. “I asked if how much do I need to buy such a camera. Of course, as a student I didn’t have the means to purchase one.”
He promised himself that he would someday purchase one. He stopped taking pictures when his father’s film camera was no longer fit to be used. It ended his journey but that did not stopped him from following his dreams.
When he went abroad, the desire to buy a camera became a lifelong obsession. He started to save money. “When I was studying photography, there I learned to realize that at first, you don’t need a DSLR camera although there is an advantage if you have one. You have to learn first the theory, history and basics as well as into what field you would be before buying a camera, lenses and other accessories that you think you need.”
“Today, there are many types of gadgets that you can use to take images like the android phones. Even photographers use phones as back up.”
What success means
For Benny who have gone to a lot of challenges, these are the words to live by for a photographer to shine – eagerness, desires, passion, willingness to learn, patience, discipline. But on top of these, humility should be one’s armor.
These words contribute largely to his personal formula for achievement and which sets him apart from others. “Success is when you are able to achieve your goals, desire for more knowledge and have the passion to share what you have learned to other people without even expecting and waiting for return.”
“You should not wait for a prize in return because I have learned the basics of photography from my friends who were then willing to teach without expecting something in return. They were like blessing to me. When I spot a person who shows interest in photography, I wouldn’t have the second thought of imparting knowledge.”
Indeed, Benny is blessed to have been chosen as one of the photographers whose shot was included in an exhibition in CNN building in Media City. This was followed by series of projects with a publishing company to cover the Sharjah Light Festival. Luckily, his shots were also chosen for the cover of book projects.
To those who would pursue a career in photography, Benny said just continue with the passion, the desire and eagerness to learn the basics. “If you feel that you have learned much, then try to get another cup where to put what has been taught to you. Photography is like life. Everyday we learn. Be humble especially if you know that you have gained much and have the guts to share what you know to others.”
“Don’t give up on your dreams especially if passion is at stake. Time will come when everything that you have worked for will bear fruit.”
The journey for this man has not yet come to an end though he has accumulated experiences far beyond what he has desired for in his younger years. The dream lives on and this time, he added two on his list – to be recognized as Travel Documentary Photographer and Under Water Photographer.
Through travel documentary, he will be able to express fully his passion for various genres – landscape, architecture, portrait, fashion and street photography. Through underwater medium, he is amazed by other side of the world when one is exploring the magical splendor of the sea.
And not in so distant future, he aims to travel outside of Middle East preferably in Nepal, Utah, Canada and United Kingdom and capture what the world has to offer.
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THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.