Photography has always been part of me, and I just got into it more and more each day. For me, it’s just like a game I play, like how athletes are for their respective sports. It’s like my happy place, something I do out of boredom, for fun, or just for the sake of taking photos.
I remember starting a 365 project before, but I never got to finish it because I wasn’t that inspired (to be honest..) since I didn’t really know what to take, where to go, and I didn’t have the right program to use for all my photo editing. It took me a long time before the next things I will mention happened.
So I’ve been trying to look for a job, and I’m still trying to explore about where to go, what to do, or if I should go back to school instead to add to my experience. I was referred to this Employment Service known as AYCE, which stands for Alternative Youth Centre for Employment. It was my first day there, I handed out my resume and I was able to talk to one of the counselors there, Dawn Banfield. It was my first time to meet her, and she was able to explain to me what I needed to do, where to go. Basically she gave me direction. On that same day, she handed me out this form and told me to apply for it, since it might be of big help to me just in case I get in.
Once I got home, I was curious as to what this was about. So I searched for it on the internet, and I was actually interested and gave it a try.
I sent out my application to the said website/email, and got a call on August 16, 2011 and told me to go for an interview. So I went, and I even remember that day because of the problem I had with my eye. I was pretty much nervous that day because I’m not really good with interviews, and I haven’t been here in Toronto, Canada for too long. So I met with the two interviewers, got to know a bit about the program and I was able to show them some of my photos. That day went well.
Days later, I got a call telling me I got in the program. I was even jumping and I’m not sure if he had any idea how happy I was. Finally, something good has happened after being a bum for too long.
So here’s how it really all started.
On September 19, 2011, was my first day at The Remix Project.
So this is one of the things you will see first once you enter the room.
During orientation day, we learned more about what the program is, who we will be working with, about our project heads, what we’re supposed to do, what we’ll be able to do, etc. I even remember taking this photo during the break, I saw this guitar just in the corner of the photography studio.
So anyway, that’s pretty much the start of my whole adventure. From that day, I can say that I really learned a lot. I’ve been doing photography for a long time now, and I still was able to learn more styles, techniques, and other stuff from photography. I remember what my mentor told me, that you never stop learning. Everyday you learn something new. What you learn in one field you can find ways on how you will be able to apply those in other fields. (e.g. photography to film.)
So going back to the earlier part of this post, I have to thank the two people who got me in this program, the same two people who interviewed me and have always been there to teach you new stuff.
On the left is Ruthie Titus, the assistant for the photography program. I remember one of the first conversations we had. It was about how I will be able to get some shoots since I really didn’t know where to go for my sports and food photography. And on the right is Jalani Morgan, head for the photography program, and who, like Ruthie, has always been supportive of my work. And I also have to thank them for teaching me everything I needed to know, and for giving me a great mentor, Ryan Francoz. Ryan has always given me the best tips on how to get great shots for food, how to edit properly, and I think I’ve done a great job.
But, aside from them, I have other people to thank also.
I’ve always been quiet, and I’ve always considered myself as the “shy one” but these people here have always been friendly. Whenever they’re around, everything just seems better.
On the left is Elle Villamor, who I guess I can relate to because she’s a Filipino as well. In the middle is one of the photography participants, Ashley Meza-Wong. And on the right is Halima Jama, a photography participant as well. These people right here have always inspired me to work hard and be better. They’re just some of the people I get to talk to whenever I’m at Remix, and we talk about just anything.
Something I learned from this experience: NEVER STOP GOING AFTER YOUR DREAMS Because, you’ll never know what’s out there for you. Challenges will always be there, which is one reason why we continue to learn. If nothing happens, at least you know you tried and gave out your best. Like what Michael Jordan said, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
The program’s about to end, but I’m sure that I’ll be seeing this place again. Maybe not too often, but I will be around Pardee Avenue again.
“Nothing’s easy in life. You have to give out your best, and work your way to reach your desired destination. But once you’re there, everything feels perfect. Just remember: never give up, and one day you’ll be as successful as you dreamed of!”