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Beauty in Photography

Photographer of the Week: Charles Rodulfo

Updated

By Maan D’Asis Pamaran

Charles Rodulfo has come a long way from coaxing his classmates and friends to be his models to becoming one of the sought-after commercial photographers working with local and international brands. “I have always been fascinated with making people look good through photographs. When I was in college, I would ask my classmates and friends to model for me, then I looked for models searching for photographers to work with on the website Multiply, and I worked with online stores in making their lookbooks,” he recalls.

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    Toward his senior year, he interned for a popular style website that had him rubbing elbows with celebrities and socialites at events. “I believe that at this point, I already know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life—take portraits of prominent people.”

    Upon graduating, his first job was a photographer’s assistant at Adphoto, the studio of the late John Chua. “It has greatly influenced me that it is important to treat photography as a business if I was going to make a career over it. After that, I worked at an advertising studio for two years. I then picked up the marketing skills to eventually put together the foundation for what would eventually be CharlieShotMe.”

    After working for advertising for a few years, he went full time into photography for the first time. He started out as a contributing photographer for the style site, eventually moving up to becoming its associate art director. “During this time, I got to meet the right people that I would eventually work with as brands, PRs, celebrities, and influencers. Then, I left my day job to go full time again. It was one of those moments where it did not take a lot for me to make a decision. All I know was, I really wanted to be a photographer and nothing else.”

    The projects started rolling in. “After leaving my job, I got to contribute in a lot of magazines, I started getting big local and international brands into the fold. I was also started working on campaigns and shoots with people I really wanted to work with. I could’ve never imagined that people I once watched on television and saw in magazines would one day model for me at a shoot. It was also around this time when the hashtag #CharlieShotMe became a very sought-after commodity as people would want their photo taken and use the hashtag on social media,” he happily shares.

    Even as he underscores the importance of a photographer’s mindset when creating beautiful images, he acknowledges the significance of having the whole team onboard. “Everyone in the team—including the hair and makeup artist, stylist, art director, especially the model—needs to work together in harmony to be able to produce great images. If someone in the team throws off the mood on set, everyone would absorb that negativity and it shows in the image,” he advises.

    Charlie describes his trademark work as “bright, pastel-y, candid, playful, and laid-back,” with women as his favorite subjects.  “I usually photograph women because I believe that I have honed my skills over the years to make sure that every time I take someone’s portrait, they would get the most flattering images possible.”

    “My goal as an artist is to be able to set myself as someone different from the rest,” he adds. “I want my photos to stand the test of time like Richard Avedon and Annie Liebovitz. I want to immortalize the people I shoot and make their photos memorable.”

    With all the new cameras that have emerged since his start with film, he says that the basics stay the same. “Photography is an expression of art. There is no right or wrong setting, there are no rules set in stone, but knowing the foundations of art is important.”

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