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  • Writer's pictureNelly

Learned to Create Erich Caparas Award-Winning Image

Makeup: Mary Letim-Ponce. Model and concept: Jean Dara


Collaborating with a team of creative people is ideal. In the beginning, having to create a team of makeup artists, stylists, designers and models may be necessary. It's also good to create a mood board to visualize a concept and to gain inspiration from it. The keyword here is to visualize, because this will be carried through to the next item of importance.


The concept must be executed properly. The ingredients for proper execution are lighting, composition and posing. Lighting molds the subject. The intensity of the light, the number of lights, the angle, height, and placement of lights are all necessary to create the mood and drama you want to convey. Posing flow should be natural and relaxed. The placement of the hands, the direction of the fingers, the expression of the face and where the eyes look all play important roles in composing the image properly. Each plays a role in expressing the story you want to tell and the emotion you want to evoke from the viewer.


This is a word I borrowed from my audio days. It’s the final step of audio post-production to balance the stereo mix and optimize playback across all systems and media formats. Mastering, as it applies to photography, involves putting the finishing touches to add drama, impact, advanced post-production skills and mentoring—the “wow” factor to the image. This is where your trademark and signature look emanates. Attention to detail is of utmost importance.


To be the best that you can be, learn from some of the best in the industry and have them share and demonstrate their “secrets.” Join photography associations that will inspire you to be your best in this constantly changing and ever-challenging industry. Join competitions where you receive not only a score, but the judges’ feedback on improving your entries. This will grow your art in leaps and bounds. Who knows, you may even get addicted to it!

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