Social media can sometimes be quite paradoxical. On one hand, most people who have joined the phenomenon utilize their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as a way to express themselves. It’s an avenue that empowers the users to voice out their opinions freely and publicly. It’s a two-way mechanism that begins with releasing one’s sentiments and thoughts, and interacting with the audience to gain insight. Well, at least that’s the ideal picture.
Because the same digital experience is also what instigates fear and pressure to be part of the bandwagon. Sometimes, we find ourselves trying to blend in with the crowd in an effort to avoid being judged. Case in point, Instagram. One of the best parts about this social media app is how it advocates creative freedom and expression. We post photos of the different aspects of our life that characterize who we are—be it the places we eat, the aesthetic we prefer, and the outfits we don everyday. It’s perfectly fine that we all want to post similar subjects, but we shouldn’t all have to adhere to the same photo treatment and background. One scroll through your feed will give you a stream of OOTDs against the uniform white wall that no one ever seems to get tired of.
You may look to Instagram as a way to show off your meticulously well-crafted outfits, but it may not even stand out. Do you really want to get caught in the influx of monotonous posts? I didn't think so. To get your OOTD the attention it deserves, I dare you to step outside the white-walled box and go for something different. What you wear is one thing, but where its worn is what will make you unique. Instead of limiting yourself with the same background, I urge you to try parking lots. It’s time to play with the geometry of the harsh structure, the way the light casts a shadow on the dim vicinity, and the wind that grazes through the vast area. Because, really, a blank space is too often just as plain as its name suggests.
1. Serendra, Bonifacio Global City
Low-florescent lighting is enough to give you a dramatic and powerful shot. But the real hidden gem tucked away in this concrete jungle is the spiral staircase that cascades to the middle of the mall. The steps are located at the spot where the sun beams the brightest and has lush greens landscaped in the center. Play with the shadows that cast along the rails to create a mesmerizing and captivating photograph.
2. Poliform, Makati City
Poliform Varenna is the leading brand for kitchen and wardrobe furniture. The items in itself already have a symmetry that provides an interesting setting for a shoot. But for backdrop purposes, we’re looking to the foliage of its parking lot. Beneath the strip of the concrete material abound is a tropical paradise with an assortment of plants. Contrast a crsip and clean white ensemble with the disproportionate greens.
3. TriNoma, Quezon City
North girls know that this mall is known for its architectural landscape and its enormous space. So of course, there’s more than enough room in the complex to shoot your OOTD in. TriNoma’s rooftop parking opens you to a sky in the best shade of blue that almost resembles a filter (my HB1 and HB2 people would know) and a view of construction sites that make for the perfect asymmetrical structure to give your look the impact it needs.
4. UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue
One of the reasons I surmise as to why people would be hesitant to shoot in parking lots would be the low lighting. But UP Town Center’s parking lot surreptitiously lets in just the right amount of sun through the dotted floors and spaced railings. If you’ve been finding a way to give your outfit an edgy touch, then you don’t have to look any further from this area’s all metal everything.
5. Malayan Plaza, Ortigas
If you want to take your look to greater heights, then I suggest you comprehend the idiomatic expression literally. The Malayan Plaza hotel at Manila’s corporate center has a helipad that gives you a 360-degree view of the skyline of the Metro. I admit, both the photographer and I were initially hesitant to share this precious spot just because it was too breathtaking.
6. One Wilson Place, San Juan City
Underneath the helipad of this condominium building is a space lined up with wired cages where the residents come to hang their clothes. The clean laundry makes for an even cleaner and sharper photograph. Manipulate the cabled details and work with the wind that frequently passes through for shot worthy of a magazine editorial.
Photography by Andrea Beldua
Clothes from Religioso