Cover Photo by Hannah Reyes Morales

These ladies have found purpose behind the camera lens. Today, we're putting them front and centre in celebration of their talent.

Photography has traditionally put artists behind the lenses of their cameras. Today, we're throwing our hats off to some talented Filipinas who deserve to be front and centre. Here are some of our country's top photographers, each of whom have their own unique eye and style.

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1. Hannah Reyes Morales

Hannah Reyes Morales is best known for her stark photography and honest depiction of everyday life. Her impressive portfolio has reached the pages of The Washington Post, The New York Times, National Geographic, and Al Jazeera. Most notably, her works explore universally human themes that include survival, resilience, and the intimate everyday moments we often lose in the blink of an eye. On top of that, she has also shot for Dior during fashion week and most recently was tasked to be one of two photographers covering this year's Nobel Peace Prize. 

See her website

Related: From NatGeo To Dior What Can't Hannah Reyes Morales Do?

2. Regine David

Bodies and faces are the main curiosities of Regine David's camera lens. Many of her photos are honest, intimate, and emotional; her most frequent subjects often do not shy away from throwing a challenging (or poignant) gaze towards the camera. David is also a well-known advocate for queer visibility and often works with diverse models and subjects to portray the LGBT+ community. 

See her website

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Above Photo: Regine David

3. Xyza Cruz Bacani

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Above Photo: Xyza Cruz Bacani

The world rarely comes as black and white, though Xyza Cruz Bacani's dramatic photos may tell you otherwise. Bacani photographs the true-to-life realities that are often kept hidden by society. There is no thirst for glamour in any of her works—instead, each photograph opens up to a new story that is true and necessary. Having previously worked as a domestic worker in Hong Kong, Bacani is privy to the intimate moments of hardship and joy that come with the territory, giving her an advantage towards honest storytelling. 

See her website

Read more: Lessons From Professional Photographer Xyza Cruz Bacani

4. Cru Camara

Colour comes to play at Cru Camara's photographs, be it in a closeup portrait, or a still-life inspired snapshot. This distinct playfulness is what sets Camara's style apart, making it obvious that she isn't one to shy away from whimsy or experimentation. Neither is Camara one to be intimidated by scenes of vulnerability, including nude forms and dramatic movement. 

Read more: 'Photos Are More Than Snapshots': The Strange Fruit Collective On Photography In The Philippines

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Photo: Cru Camara
Above Photo: Cru Camara

5. Eloisa Lopez

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Photo by Eloisa Lopez
Above Photo by Eloisa Lopez

Photojournalist, Eloisa Lopez, is the woman behind some of Reuters' most important photos of the Philippines (and around Asia). As a staff member for the international news organisation, Lopez takes it upon herself to document the good, the bad, and the ugly. In fact, one of her personal projects had been to document the notorious war on drugs instituted by the current government administration. She's captured scenes from the infamous Manila gridlock, the devastating Marawi siege, and even the tension-filled Hong Kong protests. 

See her website

6. Shaira Luna

Shaira Luna is no stranger to society. In fact, she is perhaps one of the most prominent names in Philippine photography, having captured celebrated moments with celebrities, scions, and other notable names. Her biggest trademark is perhaps the softness of her photo: glamorous, sensual, and intimate in its own way. 

Read more: Paco Guerrero On His Career and Creative Process - This Photographer and Director Shares All

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Above Photo: Shaira Luna

7. Charisma Lico

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Above Photo: Charisma Lico

Strong, feminine portraits are a hallmark of Charisma Lico's work. Warm-toned and telling, she portrays powerful and well-known women in creative or intimate set-ups. With a specialisation in fashion and commercial work, Lico truly knows how to make a woman shine. 

Visit her website

See also: The Re-Emergence Of Film Photography: Its Impact, Why People Prefer It, And More

8. Carmen del Prado

Carmen del Prado portrays the idylls of nature living in her series of photographs taken on land and underwater. Bright and happy, her portraits remain to be fashionable yet intriguing, furthering the question of what adventure her subjects are likely to take on next. 

See her website

Read more: Raymund Issac On Dealing With Rejection And His Best Moments As A Photographer 

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Above Photo: Carmel del Prado

9. Andrea Beldua

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Above Photo: Andrea Beldua

Powerful and provocative, Andrea Beldua's photographs are portraits made of striking dynamism. It doesn't hurt that she's been entrusted to capture the myriad of emotions that these people portray: from the confident insouciance of a fashion model to the piercing gaze of defiant luminaries. 

 

10. Wawi Navarroza

There is very little neatness in the works of Wawi Navarroza. But then why should there be in the eclectic style of this young artist? In her works are a play of colour and proportion, an exciting though turbulent depiction of art and life that is as intriguing as the best photographs tend to be. 

Visit her website

See also:7 Must Know Wildlife Photographers To Follow On Instagram

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Above Photo: Wawi Navarroza

11. Sara Erasmo

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Above Photo: Sara Erasmo

See nature through brand new eyes with Sara Erasmo's works. While seemingly mundane, Erasmo's subjects become much more vivid under her lens. There is a new appreciation for texture, alongside the minuscule details that are so often missed by the naked eye. 

Visit her website

12. Stella Kalaw

Art and photography find common ground through the images of Stella Kalaw. Almost cinematic, her photographs are a true testament to statement: life is a movie. Through her work, one sees that there is beauty in everything: in order or disorder and even in an angle of light. As she says, she "creates photographs based on wonder, curiosity and imagination." 

Visit her website

Read more: Joe Salazar: A Filipino Master Of Fashion

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Above Photo: Stella Kalaw

13. RJ Fernandez

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Above Photo: RJ Fernandez

Based in London, RJ Fernandez knows all about colour and yet embraces the power of black and white. She's worked as a printer and retoucher, and has learned a variety of lessons through firsthand experiences with photographers, art directors, agencies, and magazines. "Blending the best of analogue techniques with digital technology led to a unique way of creating visual imagery with a particular emphasis on working with colour," she points out on her website. Her photo series often carry comprehensive colours throughout each photograph—whether in black and white or otherwise. 

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14. Tammy David

Tammy David has honed her skills in a variety of ways. Now, she has an impressive portfolio photographing food, interiors, portraits, and editorial. Her work has been featured in Monocle, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek Japan. 

Visit her website

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Above Photo: Tammy David
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