The First Muziklaban Rock Photographer of The Year

Red Horse Beer Muziklaban Rock Photographer Award

Seven years ago, when I started my workshops, I realized that there were so many people who wanted to get into music photography. The moment I signed with Red Horse Beer, I never looked at it as work but as something that would help me show the country the importance of this field.

Red Horse was ahead of its time in recognizing the need for good photos. With Music in its core vision, their need to document this very thing that makes their scene alive is not just about reports, it’s about making the image of rock stronger.

In time the number of photographers grew, and in mid-2015 I started planning this competition, which I came to fruition in mid-2016 when as I was 7, 8, 9 months pregnant.

I didn’t stop, why? Because if you’re really passionate about something and want people to feel how you feel about it, you need to show them that nothing can stop you. Like when I shot PULP Summer Slam with a 5 month baby in my belly who just discovered what the sound of a bass was and could not stop kicking me the entire time, probably trying telling his dad to shut up.

Judging this competition was really difficult. There were a lot of deliberations, back and forth between the judges – phone calls, meetings, emails. Point-wise Gerard was leading, but for subjectivity’s sake we had to consider specific strengths and weaknesses of several other photographers.

Shortlisted candidates were judged based on ONE striking photo of theirs, it gets them in the door. The real judging comes when the rest of their photos come into play versus everyone elses top five. This is for us to check if you are consistent with your work and you didn’t get lucky. We wanted to find out what you think constitutes a good photo, because we’re not going to tell you what a good photo is, we need to know that you know what that is.

Congratulations to Gerard Garcia for winning #RHBRockPhoto2016

 




 

We called in Gerard for an interview the night before the announcement. It was not required but we had to be sure he had the passion for this. We wanted to meet the rock photographer who took these rock photos.

We asked him weird questions, just to see how he reacts in certain situations, thank you to my fellow judges Razorback Manager Patrick Pulumbarit, and Kjwan Bassist and General Manager of Radio Republic Kelley Mangahas who was game in ‘torturing’ him. We could all see Gerard was nervous but we wanted to see how he would answer them. His goals and ideas were spot on, I wouldn’t expect someone to answer a question “If you were to shoot so and so, how would you approach it? What kind of photos are you going to deliver?” any differently.

Gerard told us an amazing story about one of his first shoots. During a random trip to Singapore in 2011, he was walking around when he heard Razorback songs being played in the distance.

Thinking it was a cover band he was surprised when he came close to the stage to see that they were the real thing. As he snapped those photos of Kevin Roy he realized that it was something that he could be passionate about.

It took him several years to get to where he is now and I understand that, because it took me 14 years, several of that were spent trying to figure out what the hell I was doing.

For those who didn’t make it, losing does not mean you’re a lesser photographer. I have learned that in joining competitions, you find out more about yourself and the professional world around you based on the selections. I know because I’ve joined competitions back then and in some of them I lost. In time I figured out what editors usually look for and I apply them in situations when I know I need to.

I had wished I’d known then what I know now, but we always tell ourselves that. I always daydream about travelling back in time with a Sony a7rii, but then I’d disrupt the space-time continuum. Then I’ll probably have a future where I never signed with Red Horse and I would never have met my husband and my camera would not have been invented. I wouldn’t risk it. Everything happens in good time. Ok I’m going off tangent here, haha.

Personally all of those who joined got the top points for me. Every entry tells me about each all your personal passions. That’s why there are the other judges to give different perspectives, otherwise you’ll all be tied to win, haha.

I am so grateful to all those who joined. Please do not be disheartened. I hope this coming year you will keep pushing yourself to take better photos, not for anyone else, not for this award, but for yourself.

Thank you to Red Horse Beer, Dickies Philippines, Macbeth Philippines and Haw Santiago of Saturn Return (For the trophy).