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Creating Connections

Photographer of the Week: , Eldred Neal Sollesta

Published

By Maan D’Asis Pamaran

As a child with a film camera, Eldred Neal Nava Sollesta was always reminded by his parents to only click when everyone in the frame was smiling. “Sayang daw ang film,” he smiles in recollection. As he grew older, he was presented an opportunity to travel to Mindanao as his missionary service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

When digital camera became widely available in 2008, it was a relief for him as he was able to document raw emotions from the locals—the sweet smiles of the children, the everyday hurdles of the working men, the facial expressions of a lonely elderly.

“It was my first time away from my family, my home, and everyone I know. I was a stranger to the place but I did not feel lonely. In every place I went to, I began to see ordinary day-to-day things that brought happiness to my heart. I began observing changes in nature. There were patterns and symmetry in people, landscapes, and just about everything I laid my eyes on. I was glad to have my camera and lenses with me because there were so much memories, opportunities, emotions, and occasions frozen in a moment in just one click of a button,” he reminisces fondly.

  • Waves and Sunset (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Waves and Sunset (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Warriors In Motion (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Warriors In Motion (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • The Seaweed Farmer (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    The Seaweed Farmer (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Tamed (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Tamed (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Sunset Dance In Lapasi (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Sunset Dance In Lapasi (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Sunset In Qatar (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Sunset In Qatar (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Light and Shadows (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Light and Shadows (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Let it Rain (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Let it Rain (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Inspire the Young (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Inspire the Young (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Indonesian Smile (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Indonesian Smile (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • In Detail (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    In Detail (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Iloilo City (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Iloilo City (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Identical Reflections (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Identical Reflections (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Happy Fisher (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Happy Fisher (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Golden Phoenix (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Golden Phoenix (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Friends (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Friends (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Fashion In Places (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Fashion In Places (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Delegation (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Delegation (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Dancers of Papua (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Dancers of Papua (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Contemplate (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Contemplate (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Calypso (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Calypso (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Beauty from Java (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Beauty from Java (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

  • Beach And Bonfires (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Beach And Bonfires (Eldred Neal Sollesta)

    Eldred connects with his audience through travel landscape and portraits in vivid colors, as well as natural light with fun and vibrant subjects.  “It gives me an opportunity to connect with locals and to live like them. Shooting people and places stretches my skills and knowledge in photography, given that every place or person is unique. I believe every photographer should always be spontaneous and creative. I also love chasing the golden hour,” the Ilonggo photographer shares.

    He wants to go farther along his photography journey with the goal to master the field of photography and to continuously acquire more experiences. “I would also love to impart my knowledge and expertise in this field to inspire others to get out of their comfort zone and be adventurous photographers.”

    He has been quite active in the photography community, joining Street and Documentary Philippines–Iloilo in 2015 and the Photographic Society of America this year. “On November 2017, during Fujifilm’s Nationwide Photowalk, I placed first runner-up and bagged a brand-new camera. I was also privileged to get invited as an international guest photographer on the International Photo Week in Indonesia on June 22-29, 2019,” he adds happily.

    He views his work as part of his ministry as well. “Photography is my way to show my gratitude to our Creator. He has given me this talent to show everyone that there is beauty in everything. As I continue to hone this skill, I give back to all the people, places, subjects, and mentors that have inspired me to continue in this journey.”

    For Eldred, photography may have started as a hobby, but it has become a lifestyle and it allows him to make connections with other people, with nature, and the Creator.

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