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Photographer of the Week: Paul Johnrou Bechayda

Published

By Maan D’Asis Pamaran

Photography is a way of communing with nature and connecting with people. For Paul Johnrou Bechayda, it is also a creative outlet that helped him deal with depression. His interest in the art started when he was young but he had to put it on hold after he became his family’s breadwinner.

“Instead of buying a DSLR camera, I focused on mobile photography. Then, after the last student in my family graduated, I eventually had the opportunity to afford a second-hand Nikon D7000. I have not stopped learning about photography since then,” Paul shares.

  • The Wolf (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    The Wolf (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • The Ruins, Roxas City (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    The Ruins, Roxas City (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • The Red Lady (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    The Red Lady (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • The Nymph (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    The Nymph (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • The Mad Queen (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    The Mad Queen (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • The Fortress (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    The Fortress (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Shining Lakshmi (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Shining Lakshmi (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Reflections. Iloilo Paraw Regatta 2019 (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Reflections. Iloilo Paraw Regatta 2019 (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Reflection (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Reflection (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Pasungayan Festival Of San Joaquin, Iloilo (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Pasungayan Festival Of San Joaquin, Iloilo (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Bucari, the Summer Capital of Iloilo (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Bucari, the Summer Capital of Iloilo (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Over My Window (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Over My Window (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • One Quiet Morning In Guimaras Island (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    One Quiet Morning In Guimaras Island (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Miss Teen Iloilo 2018 In Colorful Hues (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Miss Teen Iloilo 2018 In Colorful Hues (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Ilongga Queens (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Ilongga Queens (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Iloilo Paraw Regatta 2019 at Sunrise (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Iloilo Paraw Regatta 2019 at Sunrise (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Iloilo Kings (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Iloilo Kings (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Iloilo Dinagyang (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Iloilo Dinagyang (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Ice Princess (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Ice Princess (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Inspired (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Inspired (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Flat Lay Portrait (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Flat Lay Portrait (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Fire Empress (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Fire Empress (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Dinagyang 2019 (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Dinagyang 2019 (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Calypso (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Calypso (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Boys' Night Out (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Boys' Night Out (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Boaracay After the Closure (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Boaracay After the Closure (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Blue Empress (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Blue Empress (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Bird of Paradise (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Bird of Paradise (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • Babaylan (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    Babaylan (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

  • A Beautiful Nymph (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    A Beautiful Nymph (Paul Johnrou Bechayda)

    He was initially inclined towards travel and nature stills but after attending a few portrait workshops, has started capturing personalities on photo as well. This has roots on the situation that he found himself in several years prior.

    “Creating good portraits gives me great opportunity to connect with more people. I enjoy making more friends. I was a depression survivor and for some time after I lost my mother, I felt like I was abandoned by my closest friends. I didn’t socialize as much as I could and would often just hibernate at home. Photography was actually one of the biggest reasons for me to socialize again after surviving a five-year depression,” he discloses.

    For his shoots, he creates a rapport with his models and clients, maintaining a happy and positive vibe. This helps him to achieve his goals of bringing out the best in each shoot, whether it be a dramatic black-and-white photo or something vibrant colors. His “trademark,” he says, would be raw, tight shots that capture different emotions. “Aside from the lighting, composition, outfit, location, subject and so on, an effective photograph is something that has a purpose and a vision. An effective photograph also evokes emotion, intrigue, and mystery to the mind of the viewers. If a viewer feels the emotion, I think the goal for creating the final image is a success.”

    Paul has his own personal successes, with photo contests in both the mobile and pro camera categories. “For a time I was active in a free online photo contest called Pixoto. I managed to win a few awards under the mobile phone category in 2011 and 2012. I was able to collect cash prizes through its weekly and monthly contests,” he smiles. “The best award I got was winning the thephoblographer.com contest where I won a new 85mm f1.8 Di VC USD lens.”

    His goal is to share his works internationally, but for him it is still a long way to go. “I still have a lot to discover and improve in my chosen craft. Every now and then, I learn something new and I would often tell myself: I wished I knew this and applied it in my photos before. This is why I promise that I will keep on learning and discover new things about photography.”

    According to him, the best thing about being a photographer is to be part of the creative community. “It gets me out of the house because I am a home-based ESL teacher. I normally stay at home from Monday to Friday. On weekends, I have clients or sometimes I do some creative shoots. My principle in photography is that I have to be different. I have to have my own identity and not make my photos looking similar to what most do. Although I am a very law-abiding citizen but when it comes to the rules in photography, I tend to break them,” he laughs.

     

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