Mr. Dino Lara is a wedding photographer based in the Philippines. He’s also one of my closest friends.
We were together in our climb for stability, our quest for recognition, and our struggles to remain in top form. I can write a book about this guy.
And I know the landscape of the country’s wedding photography scene right now is littered with the young, the hip and the cool. But let’s put things in perspective, the young guns owe a lot to this fine “older” gentleman.
1. The guy led the march for digital. Back when the 1 gig IBM Microdrive cost $1000. He was rocking a 3 megapixel Canon D30. Your iPhone cam now has more pixels. It was unknown territory for most, but he was a trailblazer. This was 2001.
2. He incorporated graphic design into photography. Way before it was cool. Way before it was hip. Because it was his aesthetic. That tiny picture enveloped by a sea of white, negative space – that’s him. I remember, there was this Bridal Show in Renaissance Hotel, people went bananas for the albums. And even if he could only afford one digital slr then, he would bust out his scanner to digitize the images from his film cameras.
3. He told the clients, I’m the artist, let me choose the pictures. Thus ending the dilemma for clients to choose from a gazillion images and a two year wait for the album. It is, the Artist’s Choice after all.
4. For all the edgy/dark/moody/alt influences that the scene has weathered, his pictures, above all, remain to be the bar by which honesty and purity of emotion and beauty are set.
Do me a favor, greet the man a happy birthday!