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Beauty through the Lens

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By Arlene Donaire

‘I realized that photography has allowed me to be more discerning and inquisitive, to see beauty where others can’t and then want to explore how I could also make picture-perfect images. ’- Lolit Whorlow

Although she could undoubtedly pass off as someone’s muse in front of the camera, Lolit Whorlow prefers pressing the shutter herself. Based in Kuala Lumpur since 2011, this Kapampangan beauty has gone quite a distance—from her once-upon-a-time budding career in 1990 as a government staff in the Philippine Congress and Pampanga Province, to working as sales and data management staff in Hong Kong for 13 years, so she could support her parents and 11 siblings. Now, a full-time mother of two and wife, she got bitten by the shutterbug because of her instinctive eye for beauty.

  • The Queen (Lolit Whorlow)

  • The Bride (Lolit Whorlow)

  • Trapped (Lolit Whorlow)

  • Pertronas Towers (Lolit Whorlow)

  • Sunrise in Angkor Wat (Lolit Whorlow)

  • The Rising Sun (Lolit Whorlow)

  • Abucay church (Lolit Whorlow)

  • Monk on a boat (Lolit Whorlow)

  • Maricar (Lolit Whorlow)

  • The Wedding (Lolit Whorlow)

  • Queen Emerald (Lolit Whorlow)

  • Masjid Selat Melacca (Lolit Whorlow)

  • Big Lagoon, El Nido (Lolit Whorlow)

  • Angkor Wat (Lolit Whorlow)

    “I am readily drawn to beautiful things,” shares Lolit. “I realized that photography has allowed me to be more discerning and inquisitive, to see beauty where others can’t and then want to explore how I could also make picture-perfect images. When I see photographs of exquisite models and landscapes, I would always ask how it was done so perfectly.”

    Lolit decided to buy her first DSLR and enrolled in a photography school when her growing family moved in 2005 from Hong Kong to Dubai, where her husband worked. Fired up by her curiosity for recreating the beautiful images she appreciated but could never seem to produce with her point-and-shoot camera, she began her dedicated study of photography, as a serious hobby, when not attending to her family concerns. Since then, she has attended several workshops to improve her skills and advance her photo-editing techniques.

    While she admits not being a specialist in any particular genre, she is partial to landscape and night photography, and dabbling in portraiture. When many people take for granted the natural light show that happens every day, Lolit makes the most of it in creating her images.

    She shares the reason behind her fascination: “Any landscape with a beautiful sunset or sunrise is my all-time favorite subject and theme. For me, these times of day, including the blue hours, are one of the most magical and amazing things in the world that we can appreciate every day for free.”

    Her keen liking for natural lights and the colors that come alive in what photographers call the “golden hours” show in her preference for shooting in color, which she says can effectively convey not only her own mood as a photographer but also capture the essence of the moment and the environment. Her philosophy: “A photograph is effective when it communicates with the viewer; it is unforgettable, it touches the heart, and it elicits a smile. As a student of photography, I like experimenting with the fundamental elements like light, color, composition, and moments so I can produce an excellent image.”

    Inspired by the works of her idols Steve McCurry and Manny Librodo, Lolit is always on the lookout for good opportunities to share her work with others. After her photography studies, she joined several photography organizations in Dubai (Tamberkz Academy), Malaysia (Petaling Jaya Photography Society), U.S.A., and Philippines to expand her horizon. She also competes in numerous photography contests to challenge and motivate herself to do better. Last year, she was one of the top 30 photographers in the yearlong competitions of Neutral Ground Reborn, a Facebook-based community of over 2,000 Filipino photographers all over the world. To date, she is still waiting for her big win but is quite happy to note that her best recognition for now is when her photographs are being admired and followed by international and local photographers and non-photographers. She dreams of one day having her images curated for a photography exhibition in both Kuala Lumpur and the Philippines.

    Like many others who have come to love photography for its creative benefits and have embraced it as part of their way of life, Lolit echoes the sentiment: “Photography changed me positively; it gave me a new and better point of view. I can appreciate what surrounds me more than when I wasn’t a photographer. It is now ingrained in my lifestyle, my stress reliever, and my source of strength. It may not be my job, but it is one thing that I could never stop doing.”

    Lolit’s favorite photography quote comes from Mehmet Murat ildan, a Turkish playwright and novelist: “Our photographs are our best proof to others that we lived the things we lived in the past.”  For her, this is the value of photography that makes her very fulfilled. She is happiest when she is shooting and documenting lives and events and freely creating her vision in a photograph.

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