Thursday, March 10, 2011

Making beautiful impressions

Making beautiful impressions
Photographer of the Week: Melson Bolongaita
May 18, 2010, 2:48pm

To turn someone not that attractive into an image of beauty is proof of a photographer’s exceptional talent.
Twenty-six-year-old lensman Melson Bolongaita has been turning subjects into pretty images, whether or not they are tailor-made to model or not. That is why he’d rather insist that he be called a “beauty photographer.” Ugliness is not an option in his book and it’s his job to make models appear in their best angles. “In the condition of ‘beauty photography,’ a photograph should give beautiful impressions to people and get appreciation from them as well in spite of unattractive models, bad hair and makeup, and poor styling,” says our featured artist from Cagayan de Oro who had his share of struggles as a self-taught photographer. Melson’s portfolio is filled up with beautiful women, not that they all look astounding but because he’s skilled enough to project the most appealing possibility that can come out of someone’s picture. For him, beauty has the power to put viewers in a “wow” state and that a woman’s beauty is “totally different.”
When shooting ladies, he thinks out of the box, experiments and plays with their style and make-up. The result is often positive, proving that he cares for what viewers might just need to feel satisfied.
A computer engineering graduate, it was easy for Melson to get hooked to digital artistry. He did photo retouching jobs asked by friends for almost a decade. He recalled that once he felt like wanting to change the background of a photo of him with his college barkada. Significantly, that urge cleared the way for his photography career.
He shares, “My fascination in changing backgrounds and putting the same person in one picture was like a very cool thing for me to achieve. I used to take pictures of my sisters and female classmates and play with their images on my computer’s photo editing software.”
The credit goes to him for being an academic scholar in college. His parents knew what to do and bought him his first point-and-shoot digital camera. In his shots, Melson combines the impact of sexiness and emotions. Headshots are personal favorites as vehicles in showcasing the talking eyes. Color harmony is likewise a premium for he believes people in general usually find colorful images worth a second look.
Growing up in the province was helpful for Melson’s desire to get into the big league. He left Cagayan for Manila in mid-2006 and got a job good enough to invest on photography equipment. He is presently a product support engineer for Emerson Process Management, a diversified global manufacturing and technology company based in Pasig.
His decision to look for his fortune and try his luck in the country’s capital doesn’t mean he has forgotten his roots. Clearly he left his heart in his hometown. “I consider the respect and appreciation from my fellow local photographers in CDO as the best recognition I can get. It just feels so different when you hear their appreciation.”
“I consider myself an advocate of Cagayan de Oro’s local talents. Even though I am based in Manila, almost all of my works were collaborations with the people from my hometown. We are helping each other in achieving our dreams together and this has always been the best part.”
Naturally a shy person, photography has allowed Melson to communicate and mingle with other people. It has become a medium for him to create delightful images that make beautiful impressions.

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