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Unraveling a Treasure Trove of Stories

Photographer of the Week: ENRIQUE NICHOLAS BEJAR

Updated

By Maan D’Asis Pamaran

Truth be told, it was “extra points” that Enrique Nicholas Bejar was after when he first picked up a camera.

“It was a senior high school photography class. I was not really there to learn, but I ended up getting inspired to continue photography when my teacher showed me some photojournalism and documentary photography books. Reading and analyzing the images made me fall in love with storytelling through photography and made me forget about the ‘extra points.’ I realized how powerful the medium is in telling stories that leaves an impact to the viewer,” shares Enrique.

He started with street photography and then shifted to photojournalism when he started working for the school paper as a photographer for the Benildean Press Corps (the official student publication of De La-Salle-College of St. Benilde). He has also exhibited some of his works in his previous school Silliman University in Dumaguete City and his current school in Manila.

  • Venice, Italy (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Venice, Italy (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Valencia, Negros Oriental (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Valencia, Negros Oriental (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Pisa, Italy (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Pisa, Italy (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • The Encierro—Pamplona, Spain (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    The Encierro—Pamplona, Spain (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Tampa, Florida (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Tampa, Florida (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Summer, Manila Bay (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Summer, Manila Bay (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Summer Playground, Manila Bay (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Summer Playground, Manila Bay (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Sardine Factory, Zamboanga (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Sardine Factory, Zamboanga (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • San Fermín Festival, Pamplona, Spain (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    San Fermín Festival, Pamplona, Spain (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Sama Bajau Selling Handwoven Mats (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Sama Bajau Selling Handwoven Mats (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Rice Farmers in Tanjay, Negros Oriental (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Rice Farmers in Tanjay, Negros Oriental (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Orlando, Florida (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Orlando, Florida (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Protest, Copenhagen, Denmark (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Protest, Copenhagen, Denmark (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Navotas Fish Port (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Navotas Fish Port (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Morning Catch (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Morning Catch (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Manila Bay on Easter Sunday (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Manila Bay on Easter Sunday (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Leap of Faith (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Leap of Faith (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Iceberg, Iceland (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Iceberg, Iceland (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Highway, Sweden (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Highway, Sweden (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Flores De Mayo (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Flores De Mayo (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Fishermen. Manila Bay (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Fishermen. Manila Bay (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Manila Bay (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Manila Bay (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Manila Bay Fishing (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Manila Bay Fishing (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Fishermen in Dumaguete City (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Fishermen in Dumaguete City (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Dumaguete Fishing (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Dumaguete Fishing (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Fishermen, Dumaguete City (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Fishermen, Dumaguete City (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • The Catch, Dumaguete (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    The Catch, Dumaguete (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Fried Fish (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Fried Fish (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Portrait of a Fisheman. Dumaguete City (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Portrait of a Fisheman. Dumaguete City (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • End of Ramadan. Manila Golden Mosque (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    End of Ramadan. Manila Golden Mosque (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Dauin Coast. Negros Oriental (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Dauin Coast. Negros Oriental (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Barceloneta Beach (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Barceloneta Beach (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

  • Bagacay Cemetery (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    Bagacay Cemetery (Enrique Nicholas Bejar)

    “I’m now also exploring and interested in doing some documentary photography work. I have an ongoing long-term personal project where I document coastal communities in my hometown, Dumaguete City, and my second home, Manila Bay. It focuses on the everyday lives of fisherfolk and their families who struggle due to the effects of pollution and overfishing. I’ve always been close to the sea growing up, making me emotionally connected to this project,” discloses the young artist.

    Enrique has a preference for black and white over color due to the “timeless” quality it gives. He also finds it powerful when it comes to conveying strong emotions and moments.

    Of his projects and exhibits, he says that in telling visually important stories, a photo series is a powerful tool. If sequenced properly, it gives the viewers a glance at the photographer’s “body of work” and personal style in tackling a particular story.

    As a young lensman, his ultimate goal is to discover what he calls his inner “photographer’s voice.” “As a visual storyteller, I seek to understand the purpose of my work and to understand why I’m doing it. Understanding myself further as I grow as an artist will allow me to tackle stories in personal and sincere ways.”

    According to Enrique, the best things about being a photographer are the friendships and experiences you make with your subjects, knowing that they trust you as you document their lives. “This trust allows me to get close and personal to capture intimate scenes for me to tell their stories truthfully, with the knowledge that it’s my responsibility to be true to the story.”

    His work with coastal communities really has made him determined to emphasize the need to protect the country’s marine resources.

    “As a scuba diver even before I started my project, I knew that our local oceans had a problem with pollution. I would see pieces of plastic on almost every dive. Once I started the project, I realized how shocking the plastic problem is, especially in the Manila Bay area. It was a first for me to witness a ‘plastic beach’ where you can hardly see sand. This experience opened my eyes to how big the problem really is. Coastal communities are struggling out at sea because of this. It has made me aware of how pollution and overfishing affect their livelihood and quality of life,” Enrique concludes.

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