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How to Make It as a Runway Fashion Photographer in Manila

Advice from one of the industry's best.
How to Make It as a Runway Fashion Photographer in Manila
IMAGE Lalaine Abella
Advice from one of the industry's best.

Runway photography is not, by any means, as easy as it looks. There are way too many factors to consider: the lighting, the movement of the clothes, and how fast or slow the models are walking (among a ton of others). Still, that's precisely why it's a medium to master according to local fashion favorite Ryan Ong, who has lent his skill to nearly every publication in the industry. Becoming a go-to photographer of the nation's top titles is no small feat, and if you want his job, there's more to it than meets the eye. Keep reading and take it from Ryan himself!

IMAGE Ryan Ong

How did you start as a runway photographer?

"In 2010, photography was fast becoming a favorite hobby. During one of my vacations in Las Vegas, I chanced upon a fashion show and took the opportunity to capture it. I then realized that this was one of the most challenging fields in photography, and that I wanted to excel in it.

"Luckily, Preview.ph (then Stylebible.ph) took notice and got me to shoot for them. Since then, I've just kept on going!"

IMAGE Ryan Ong

In your opinion, what does it take to succeed as a fashion photographer in Manila?

"Passion and love for the craft. Don't stop with just learning the proper techniques, but also keep yourself abreast with the fashion industry."

Do you have a signature style? How does your work stand out from others?

"Fashion is an art of expression. Photography is a way to communicate that expression to the audience. I strive to show the true colors and details from the hard work of the designers."

Dos and donts of fashion photography?

Dos:

1. "Be present at the runway rehearsals!"

2. "Familiarize yourself with the stage."

3. "Bring all the appropriate gear."

Don'ts:

"Don't try to change the colors of the designers' creations!"

Any advice for those just starting out?

"Stay passionate. Stay positive. Never stop learning. Love what you do."

Most memorable shoot so far?

"The Weddings Fashion Show at The Peninsula! It was an amazing showcase of top Filipino designers."

What's a funny experience you had while on the job?

"I once fell from my chair while on the job and pretended to be taking shots from a different angle."

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