Eugene Santos is a Dubai-based lensman known for his unusual shots. He has worked hard to be known as a corporate photographer and sports hunter of significant influence.
With all the things getting better, he became an official corporate photographer for HSBC, Serco, The Ritz Carlton JBR ,Silvertech, Cocoona and Gold’s Gym – to name a few.
His life as a photographer grew since he started in 2010, two years after he decided to stop doing his day job. “It was fun indeed, but things went a little monotonous. I felt stocked and couldn’t ponder on the learning anymore thus in 2014 I started to cool down and head back to doing my marketing again in a corporate environment.”
But since he voluntarily injected arts into his veins, it has become part of him. “I stayed balanced and relaxed through events photo shoots and individual portraits and portfolios.”
Eugene recalled that once, he met a couple who was so in love, and getting married. It was a great time for him. “I took my camera and snapped the trigger. I fell in love.” After that, he has totally evolved into someone and this time, a specialty started to develop. He finally embraced wedding photography.
“It is more of a passion, a connection from my camera to my inner self that fulfills my being as a photographer. It is amazing how the lenses could capture the all-so perfect love a person can give to another. It is just an honor to be part of it. Laugh at the love stories, joke about hilarious pasts, and dream of their future – all of that captured and shelf to my photography collections.”
Nothing is impossible, especially in a wedding coverage. “The plan is to give it all up – heart, mind and body. Total alertness. Complete preparations. Not just because I am paid for it, but also because every client I have deserves it. Imagine Michel Jordan playing the NBA finals –all sweaty and tongued-out but at the end of the game, a perfect shot. I do my wedding coverage just like that. I run around, even rolled over – sweaty indeed but that’s the blood of it, afterwards, a perfect shot.”
In the making
A businessman in the making – at least that is how he defines his existence when I was growing up. “Being the eldest amongst five siblings, doing family business is a done deal. Childhood was entirely helping my parents run the family business – no more no less.”
It was and still, a generous life for this successful artist. Back home, in Antipolo, Philippines, anything can be served in our dining table except for one thing, photography. I do not have it in my DNA that is why I am surprise to see myself with all the cameras wrapped around me. In fact, I thought of myself being the techie guy – I am a graduate of an IT course after all.
The year 2006 made a whole lot on revising his soul. The generous life tamed down. “My parents, who have been one of the greatest influences of my life, had to be removed from my radar so I could start standing on my own. I have to see for myself that I can be the master of my own fate and not the shadow of my parents. It was tougher than I thought it would be but I have to start somewhere – and that somewhere is Dubai.”
Eugene is aware that liking photography is not good enough. “I won’t be able to pass that “good-enough” cliché laid back, thus I planned to take a leap and introduced myself to online studies. While doing that, I exposed myself to some, if not all, photo shoot engagements I come across to. Introducing myself to the photographer’s community in Dubai is a humbling experience. I had the privileged to work beside well-acclaimed Filipino photographers in their own respective genres. I drove for them, carried their gears in numbers of their photo shoots and became one of their second shooter during events.
Exhausting may it seem but he just could not stop exploring the world of photography. “I came to realize that photography is a way of preserving memories that when you look back years from now you will still remember how things like – how things felt. As this thought hits me, my passion grew deeper and the genres of my photography became wider. “
His love for pictures ranges from A to Z. “I went to deserted places to captivate a breathtaking landscape. I walked to the runway’s aisle to capture that picture perfect angle and mark my images into fashion blogs and articles. Then I sat back and indulge in the aesthetics of shapes and figures as I do interior photography.”
As he got caught up with lenses and flashes, his day job afforded him the opportunity to discover sports photography. He became a certified sports hunter following the leagues of the UAE Tennis Association (UAETE), Dubai Open World Tennis Championships and Mubadala and Capitala World Tennis Championships. He had opportunities to shoot the biggest names in tennis such as Federer, Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, Tsonga. From then on I have been a regular photo contributor of these leagues, and others, to newspapers and other sports brochures and journals.
He could have been contented doing all the things that he loves – but he’s not. “I engaged myself more into making a special occasion an extra special. As I travel the road of wedding events, I have come across numbers of interesting people and tied up to some companies that give additional glitter into my client’s smiles. It is more than amazing … giving an experience to a love story that is yet to bloom into a blessed marriage.”
Eugene sets his eyes into the vast horizon. “I am still dreaming to become one that you won’t forget – that one you would hang around with on and off camera. I am still working hard to get you on my list. And tomorrow if I’d be in the same place, in the same situation, I am on the winning end because I am dreaming and I am working hard to achieve it.”
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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.