Exploring Home: Binondo, Manila

in at March 18, 2016

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Most of my photos are grounded in people, I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out experience etched on a person’s face. 

(Steve McCurry)

As a portrait photographer exposed to the the deviously flawless world of beauty and fashion (photography) so early on in my life, the fear of imperfect photographs has always limited my craft. For a very long time, I restricted my perception of beauty to the impeccable and the grandiose. I was unable to compromise my aesthetics; anything that did not meet a socially acceptable standard of beauty – the filthy, the unfamiliar – was something I veered away from. Thankfully, growth is always possible.

It takes courage to explore your craft, to know your style, be comfortable with it, yet still dive into a deep abyss of the unknown, which may not merit approval from your peers, and even yourself. It takes courage to feed on discontent but ultimately, be open to the possibility of change.

Taking photographs of strangers has always interested me but it is only at this point when I intentionally make space to immerse myself in everyday encounters. I have been opening my eyes – as if for the first time – to the world and really understanding and communing with the human condition. This is the beauty of portraiture. It elevates a soul, plunges in its reality without the need for words. It sees struggle, embraces it, and tethers you to another.

This is what it means to be human.

Elisa Aquino

Elisa Aquino is a portrait photographer, life(style) writer, passion blogger, and beauty rookie from Manila, Philippines. This platform exists to document her daily musings and to showcase the life-changing power of grace to transform women from ashes to beauty.