My favorite subjects are children in their natural state, the more natural the better, because it is in that state when their beauty stares right back at you, undeniable.
These are children of sitio Lapinig in the hinterland village of Marilog up the boondocks of Davao City. Up there where only horses and carabaos are the means of transport, children of the Matigsalug tribe thrive.
They are poor. Their clothes are shabby. But their smiles are beyond compare.
Some are shy, some very generous with their smiles.
The challenge is to catch that fleeting expression before this becomes self-conscious.
And yes… to capture that smile on children who would soon burst out crying, the black camera lens soon appearing like a monster of sorts.
That’s how it is with shooting very small children.
You just have to know when to focus and when to click.
Just be ready…
But never look through the lens for long.
Because from experience, staring long into the lens somehow spooks them.
But they will engage with you before that…
And don’t mind if it’s a bit out of focus or outside the frame…
The spontaneity and the movement will be more important than the pose.