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Photographer of the Week: Rene Bernal

Published

By Maan D’Asis Pamaran

The streets hold stories for Rene B. Bernal to tell through his lens. He started out doing portraiture, capturing happy moments within his own family and has since moved on to show some of the world’s contrasting realities.

“It was during my first daughter’s first birthday and at that time we did not have a photographer to cover the event. Fortunately, my younger brother allowed me to borrow his new DSLR and it was my first time to use that kind of camera. It’s heavy and it has a lot of buttons and adjustments to it so I was afraid that I might break it or unable to handle it properly. But he advised just to set it to Auto and it was good to go,” Rene recalls.

  • Walk In the Past (Rene Bernal)

    Walk In the Past (Rene Bernal)

  • Viva Sto. Nino (Rene Bernal)

    Viva Sto. Nino (Rene Bernal)

  • Unusual Lake  (Rene Bernal)

    Unusual Lake (Rene Bernal)

  • The Dome  (Rene Bernal)

    The Dome (Rene Bernal)

  • Selfie  (Rene Bernal)

    Selfie (Rene Bernal)

  • My Home  (Rene Bernal)

    My Home (Rene Bernal)

  • Morning at the Bay  (Rene Bernal)

    Morning at the Bay (Rene Bernal)

  • Lost  (Rene Bernal)

    Lost (Rene Bernal)

  • Living In the Jet Plane  (Rene Bernal)

    Living In the Jet Plane (Rene Bernal)

  • Happiness  (Rene Bernal)

    Happiness (Rene Bernal)

  • Half Half  (Rene Bernal)

    Half Half (Rene Bernal)

  • Golden Hour  (Rene Bernal)

    Golden Hour (Rene Bernal)

  • Going To Work  (Rene Bernal)

    Going To Work (Rene Bernal)

  • Faith (Rene Bernal)

    Faith (Rene Bernal)

  • Navigating Dreams  (Rene Bernal)

    Navigating Dreams (Rene Bernal)

  • Dreamland  (Rene Bernal)

    Dreamland (Rene Bernal)

  • Double Face  (Rene Bernal)

    Double Face (Rene Bernal)

  • Distorted  (Rene Bernal)

    Distorted (Rene Bernal)

  • Connect The Dots  (Rene Bernal)

    Connect The Dots (Rene Bernal)

  • Climate Change  (Rene Bernal)

    Climate Change (Rene Bernal)

  • Yellow, WPPP 2018 Portrait Grand Winner  (Rene Bernal)

    Yellow, WPPP 2018 Portrait Grand Winner (Rene Bernal)

  • Uncertainty of Tomorrow, PWC Portrait, 1st Place  (Rene Bernal)

    Uncertainty of Tomorrow, PWC Portrait, 1st Place (Rene Bernal)

  • The Duel, EyeEm Awards 2018, Street Photographer Grand Winner  (Rene Bernal)

    The Duel, EyeEm Awards 2018, Street Photographer Grand Winner (Rene Bernal)

  • Playground, WPC 2018 Shooting Star Award, 3rd Place  (Rene Bernal)

    Playground, WPC 2018 Shooting Star Award, 3rd Place (Rene Bernal)

  •  Burning Dreams    Published In National Geographic Yourshot

    Burning Dreams Published In National Geographic Yourshot

    After the birthday party, the IT professional started to tinker with the camera for a few days. “I was amazed at the photographs taken using DSLR especially portrait shots. So, while my brother’s camera was still with me, I tried to play around with it to learn its other functions and features and I shoot a lot whatever subject available to me. From that day on, I was the go-to guy to take photographs of special events for my family and relatives,” he shares.

    His interest piqued, he bought his own second-hand camera and practiced on more portraits. “In the beginning, it was all photos of my family, especially of my kids to document their moments and happiness growing up. On family vacations, office outings, or personal business trips, I enjoyed taking photos of sceneries, landscapes, and portraits of interesting people.” Over time, he learned through research, practice, and by joining a basic photography course at the Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF).

    It was June 12, 2015, Araw ng Kalayaan, when he first forayed into street photography. It was also his first time to join a photo walk that was organized by well-known local veteran photographers. “It’s was a tiring experience but it’s all worth it because of the knowledge you can learn from these photographers and meeting new friends with the same interest in photography. Surprisingly, my submitted street photo was included in top five for the theme contest!”

    Through constant sharpening of his skills, he has since received awards from prestigious local and international photo contests, including the EyeEm Awards 2018 for The Street Photographer of the Year, International Monochrome Photography Awards for Discovery of the Year 2018, the 2018 World Photographic Cup Bronze Award, Street Photography International (SPi) – Street Awards 2018 by Leica as Finalist, IPA Philippines (two gold, two silver awards), and Neutral Ground Reborn 2018 Photo of the Year. His work was also published online for National Geographic’s YourShot Assignment.  Owing to his background in portraiture, he also won as grand winner of the portrait category of the 2018 Wedding & Portrait Photographers of the Philippines (WPPP) 2018.

    “Up until now, I still can’t believe that my work has been recognized and exhibited locally and internationally. It’s a blessing that I always wanted to share and inspire others,” says Rene.

    For him, photography is a continuous journey of learning. “Throughout this journey, I have somehow gained experience on how to improve my way of shooting, through my own mistakes or through shared ideas from fellow photographers and friends who are as passionate about photography. Being a photographer teaches you to be more organized, to have creative vision and focus, and be more respectful. It also allows you to see and hear other people’s stories and to share their stories that resonate in visual form.”

     

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