Portraits Archives - Page 2 of 2 - She Makes Him Known

Portraits: Alyssa x Menina Step


If I published this entry weeks ago, it would probably have been a ‘pity party’ type of post – familiar to me and my readers. Since we’re being honest, I easily could have produced paragraph after paragraph stating how I can devote much time and energy to keep my craft alive yet not be assured that I am to love what I create. That still holds true but thank God I never found the fuel to continue writing then; I am certain my thoughts needed a redirection.

I will not always have the courage to love the things I create. I relentlessly magnify my shortcomings because I am human. That entails constantly wanting this supernatural version of myself I will never arrive at. But. if there’s one thing that holds true for all my days, it’s that I love what I do, and this reality will always trump any feeling of unworthiness that passes – and eventually loses its hold on me.

My dreams are more alive than ever; these are no longer just silent ideas in my head. I may be slow, I may have taken more time to make the commitment – of creating and living beyond fear – to continue where I left off but now, I am here. I say that again boldly, I am here, and nothing can stop me from following through. That is a declaration.

Photography: Elisa Aquino

Modeling and Styling: Alyssa Lapid

Make-up and Hair: Rachel Torres

Special thanks to: Menina Step

Portraits: Samantha

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“What I see is that look in her eyes, the one that says she’s worthy of that stare, that all the attention is well-deserved. That’s when I click the shutter.” 

(BJ Pascual, PUSH)

Through the years of taking portraits – I started in 2011 – I’ve come to photograph the same faces over and over again. My friends have always been so gracious to allow me to, if I may humbly say so, reveal parts of themselves they have not seen or they do not know to even exist.

My subjects transform right before my eyes.

It is so beautiful to see newfound courage and confidence in other people, especially those most dear to you. To be able to say that I am part of that change, even in the smallest of ways, gives me more reason to come back to portraiture again and again.

Photography, Styling, and Make-up: Elisa Aquino

Model: Samie Betia

Portraits: Ica

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“How are you?”

“I’m in a really good place right now.”

Lately, I’ve been taking the time to get in touch with a lot of my friends who are younger than me, and I find that they can teach me so much about humility, faith, and love.

My perception of the three have been tainted – not stained – by experience through the years that I’ve learned to simply humble myself, step back, and start rediscovering the goodness I can only fully understand and accept through someone else’s discerning heart and eyes.

I am grateful that there are people who continue to show me that I am human – limited, capable of hurting, and prone to error. Only in this light am I able to become the best I could and I pray to be.

Portraiture allows me to constantly show people that their beauty is a gift they can fully receive and revel in. This continues to give me purpose when I am doubtful about my journey. Others have stained the idea of beauty that it no longer becomes a woman’s source of power but of shame. I pray that I be given more opportunities to share this message to women everywhere.

Thank you for your effervescent light and love, Ica. Believe me when I say that you are so beautiful!

Photography, Styling, and Make-up: Elisa Aquino

Portraits: Jeline Catt







There are places which stay with you through time.

Memories continue to linger, to persist within us though people are gone, places are abandoned, and priorities change.

At  seven, I felt what it was like to truly lose anyone for the first time. After a day of play, we were summoned in the living room only to be told that my grandfather – generous, silent, and kind – finally joined our Creator. His suffering was no more, but the pain touched all of us. I saw it in my grandmother’s eyes, I felt it in her touch. Her love was gone. Who was she to serve, to nurture?

At seventeen, after fleeing from the worst storm that’s ever hit the city – in my life time – I saw my mother tearily get reunited with my father after being separated for hours trying to save us from our house filled with filthy, murky rain water. Wedding photographs, vintage vinyls, film compact discs were no more.

I woke up panicking when I heard the rain fall for the first time after the storm. I was alone, and the trauma was still with me. It stayed for a long time.

Thank you to this incredible set of people who brought my dream shoot to life. This place may have lost its luster and its grandeur but the memories continue to stay.

(Thank you for creating new ones with me.)

Photography: Elisa Aquino

Modeling and Styling: Jeline Catt

Make-up and Hair: Rachel Torres

Co-photographers: Pauline Disuanco and Jarica Funtano

Special thank you to: Roisine

Making Sense of My Calling

If you include my early years as a loathsome, cringe-worthy, and insecure (self-portrait) photographer, I have been shooting for approximately eight years. Eight years of endlessly finding my style, perfecting my aesthetics, and growing as an artist and as a feeling individual.

I do not think I was born a photographer.

I was lost. I held a camera, felt its weight, and I found purpose.

I do not go to rallies. I do not engage in cultural immersions elsewhere. I do not go from one neighborhood to the next hearing people’s stories. I do not volunteer at hospitals, shelters, nor schools. I do not go to the murky, messy parts of my country.

I may be selfless but through my own, personal, quiet way. I shoot people – in all their beauty and glory – and I am finally okay with that.

It took me almost a decade to etch that in my heart.

I shoot portraits, I shoot editorials, and I am reveling in my talent. I refused to do so before because I was afraid that others contributed more from their vocations than I do but this is my path, and I have finally made sense of my calling.

There is nothing that makes me more joyful than capturing others to show them their capacity to (actually) be beautiful. Beauty is not shallow, beauty is a gift, beauty is power.

I matter, I touch lives, I bring light. I finally know that now.