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Gateway to Wonder

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By Macel Feliciano

“To whom much is given, much is required.” That is exactly what Arjanmar Rebeta has been doing–maximizing his God-given talent in photography and filmmaking.

The world has taken notice of Arjanmar’s creativity. The short films he has written and directed have been selected in film festivals and most have been acclaimed locally and internationally.

Arjanmar has also been recognized by the International Photography Awards or IPA-Philippines as the 2017 Photographer of the Year for both the Events and Sports categories. The IPA is one of the most exhaustive competitions in the photography industry today. The top three winners get to compete for the Lucie statue at the annual Lucie Awards Ceremony at Canegie Hall in New York. It is given by the Lucie Foundation, a nonprofit, charitable organization that aims to give tribute to master photographers, uncover and nurture new talent, and encourage the appreciation of photography all over the world.

  • (Arjanmar Rebeta)

  • (Arjanmar Rebeta)

  • (Arjanmar Rebeta)

  • For Arjanmar, photography is not taking emotions by capturing it; rather it is setting every heart free so that the door of one’s lens would welcome them to eternity. (Arjanmar Rebeta)

  • (Arjanmar Rebeta)

  • (Arjanmar Rebeta)

  • (Arjanmar Rebeta)

  • (Arjanmar Rebeta)

  • (Arjanmar Rebeta)

  • (Arjanmar Rebeta)

  • (Arjanmar Rebeta)

  • (Arjanmar Rebeta)

  • (Arjanmar Rebeta)

  • (Arjanmar Rebeta)

  • Arjanmar values each image he creates. He thinks each shot through. He considers them a gateway to wonder. (Arjanmar Rebeta)

    “To be part of somebody’s memory is already an accomplishment but to be recognized and awarded gives more significance to you as a photographer,” is what Arjanmar personally believes.

    To be included in the roster of winners in prestigious awards is truly an honor and a testament to a lensman’s skill. But a testimony to Arjanmar’s appreciation of his gift is his generosity in sharing his time and know-how to impoverished youth through Team Juan Makasining, an arts and culture advocacy group.He also imparts his knowledge to students through various talks and workshops on photography and filmmaking.

    This Camarines Sur, Bicol native has also been selected as one of the official photographers for a couple of popular television shows, as well as for various festivals in his hometown.

    Even more remarkable is that he has turned his passion for photography into a successful business venture. He established his company, Mediarama Creatives, Inc., to capture the most important moments in people’s lives. So enamored was he to tell people’s stories visually, that he now specializes in weddings, events, and portrait photography.

    Arjanmar‘s introduction to wedding photography was through a workshop conducted by the Weddings & Portrait Photographers of the Philippines (WPPP) in Naga in 2012. But he traces his beginnings to a fateful day in college. He was assigned by one of his seminary instructors in college to document a school activity using a point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot S45. This piqued his curiousity on photography.

    “My first understanding of ‘photography as painting of light’ was when my seminary rector introduced me to the importance of light in the composition. It wasn’t a workshop, but just a little conversation that meant a lot,” he waxes nostalgic.

    He was only able to buy his own camera after years in the corporate world. He then taught himself the basics of photography through YouTube tutorials.

    Today, this self-taught, multi-awarded photographer has set his sights even higher. “One of my dreams as a photographer is to publish my own photography book featuring my award-winning shots and my favorite images. I am happy to share it to the world.”

    He also shares his motivation in choosing a moment to commit to history.“As a lensman, to be able tell the genuine story, you have to possess an understanding of your subject and be able to empathize. You should have an inner connection. And that connection should trigger you to click the button of your camera.”

    For this philosophy graduate, photography is not just a science or an art form. He puts photography on a higher plane. “Photography and Philosophy are synonymous. You can write and paint the light when you have the love for wisdom. You don’t just click, you think. Photography is capturing by setting free. Photography is not taking emotions by capturing it; rather it is setting every heart free so that the door of our lens would welcome them to eternity.”

    Arjanmar values each image he creates. He thinks each shot through. He considers them a gateway to wonder. May we also see photography not just a means of recording history, but as a means of appreciating the beauty of living and cherishing the gift of life.

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