His father Jun was an established lensman, being the official photographer of STI campuses in Bulacan and Pampanga for 20 years and also serving as photographer of former Bulacan governor Jonjon Mendoza. Now carrying the torch after the patriarch passed away, the son is forging a path of his own : sustaining the old man's studio while making a mark in contemporary wedding and events photography. Already an industry veteran at the young age of 22, he has also found a home at up-and-rising wedding coverage team ProudRad.
The son also rises. Josh Tamayo is the featured Focus photographer of the month.
Q : Your father was a professional photographer. When you were still a kid, did you already see yourself following in his footsteps?
J : Not really, because that time film photography was a very critical process. You needed to be precise, practice ISO, shutterspeed, and that time I was still young and enjoyed playing.
Q : Was there any pressure at all to also be a photographer or was it something that you naturally liked to do?
J : For me it was natural. It naturally became my passion.
Q : So how was your first experience with using a camera like?
J : My father taught me how to use a camera and I wasn't interested yet that time. Siguro bata pa kasi ako nun, but I started to shoot seriously last 2013, when I was already 17 years old. Bigla ko na-realize na sana pala mas maaga ko pa nasimulan.
Q : What was your first camera and what did you like to shoot with it?
J : My first camera was a Nikon D7000 when I was in 2nd year college. That was 2012, I enjoyed it because DSLR can do more. Mostly practice shots, trial and error.
Q : How was it like to be an assistant to your father? What advice from him do you always remember?
J : My father’s regular clients were schools. Graduation portraits, class pictures, ID pictures. My role was to carry his things, check the equipment and he always told me to memorize them all. How to use different equipment. Back then my father would always remind me about framing, good lighting, and of course, to be confident.
Q : So when did you finally go on your own as a photographer?
J : I think it was my classmate's debut a month after I got my first camera. She asked me to shoot her debut and it was quite crucial yet very exciting.
Q : How would you describe your style in shooting events?
J : My style of shooting is a blend of lifestyle and photojournalism. It’s candid with a bit of direction and styling and relaxed feeling, because I love to shoot their raw emotions. I’m very minimal when it comes to poses. I find the light in the dark, shadows, patterns, because they give more dramatic moments to the couple. Parang pinaghalong wedding and street photography documenting their memories.
Q : Any frustrations or challenges when you were just starting?
J : I experienced a lot of difficulties when I was starting. Some of the people I was shooting used to laugh, they thought I was too young and didn’t believe that I was already working. For me it helped me to be more motivated and dedicated to what I’m doing.
Q : What areas do you think you still need to improve on?
J : I think in composition, good shadows and lighting, and personal relation to make the client comfortable during the shoot.
Q : What was your most memorable event or shoot?
J : It was last December. It’s the season to get married and I was booked for 23 weddings. Traveled to Palawan, next day to Tagaytay, then a morning wedding in Pampanga. Everyday I had a wedding shoot, haha! Literally I just slept in the bus carrying my gear and clothes and I realized I will not do it again. I also need to rest.
Q : What would be your dream project or shoot?
J : My dream project would be to shoot in an international celebrity wedding and famous personalities' events.
Q : Who are photographers you look up to, and why?
J : Of course my father because I saw how passionate he worked. I admire him on how he interacted with the people that he worked with because of his natural and friendly personality. Also, the team ProudRad. Their amazing photos, you cannot imagine how they're taken, I found in them my preferred style of shoot. Before I was just one of their fans but now I'm proud to be part of their team.
Q : Five to ten years from now, what would you like to achieve as a photographer?
J : Five to ten years from now I would like to become the official media outfit in top universities.
Q : A special tip you'd like to share to those who'd like to try events coverage?
J : Bring extra battery and SD card! Haha. Siguro mahalin n'yo lang 'yung trabaho and work hard. I-enjoy n'yo lang.
Q : What's your message to Focus followers and fellow members?
J : Continue to be an inspiration to others, focus and never stop practicing. 'Wag maging kampante na magaling ka na, dapat mag-aral pa rin at mag-isip ng bago. Lastly, do not compare your work to others. As long as gusto mo 'yung ginagawa mo, i-enjoy lang.
A month after getting his own camera, he bravely covered his first event. Three years later, he had to take over his father's business and service their clients. It has now been five years since he started pursuing photography and Josh has identified his style and started to make a name for himself. Regrets of not starting earlier aside, his story is an example of knowing when the time is right and making the most of the moment.
Proud and Rad. From heaven, it's easy to see : Dad is proud.
Every month, we have a feature on our members, our photography idols, and other photography issues we feel deserve a heads-up.