Portraits 101 Class in UP Diliman x How to Get Great Portraits.

Happening during my portraits class and some tips on how to take better photos.


(Date of event: April 23, 2018)

Three words to describe this class. “It was lit!” That’s how I can best describe it. I love how we got to take photos with a resident model for that specific class. We were around 12 students, the most populated class I’ve been to.

Since I’ve been doing photography for almost 3 years, I was confident enough to instruct the model how she would pose and communicate with her on what vibe I want to give in the portraits based on the outfit she’s wearing.

Here are some of the portraits I’ve done…

Model: Dannah Miscala

Camera used: Nikon D7000

Location: Around UP Diliman

Date: April 23, 2018

Overall, I really enjoyed taking pictures of her because in one single instruction she knows what to do. I was ecstatic that time and decided to get extra with the shoot. I was also able to ask her some questions like, “When did you start modeling?” She replied, “I’ve been modeling for 2 years already.”

I edited everything that same afternoon and finished at around 11 pm. I used Adobe Lightroom 4 and VSCO for the post-processing. Gosh, this was one of the best shots I’ve done for a portrait shoot. Most people thought that this was professionally done when in fact I did all of these by myself.

Let’s get REAL here. If you are a beginner in photography, I don’t think you would enjoy this activity as much as I did. Because taking pictures alone without having prior knowledge of the basics of photography will leave you frustrated because the output will either look too DARK or too BRIGHT plus it is also time-consuming on your part. Another issue will be your lack of ideas on how will you position your model for your portrait. You will just be blank. Just blank.

But it’s okay because I am here to give some tips on how to get great portrait shots:

  1.  Know the basic settings in your camera. – Knowing the basic settings in your camera will help you a lot in exposing your pictures properly. There are 3 components in photography that you must know when you’re using manual mode.  Shutter speed, Aperture, and ISO.  You must set your shutter speed first and your set your ISO last for you to get optimal exposure in your photos. In bright light, always set your ISO to 100.

2.  Get some inspiration. – In order for you to get some ideas in portraits, you must check other portraits captured by fellow photographers. Photographers like Brandon Woelfel and Peter McKinnon take really great portraits. I suggest you check out their social media sites to check it out. But I am sure there are a lot of photographers who take impressive portraits as well. You may rely on Instagram and Google to search for some awesome looking portraits and study them.

3.) Just play around. – The magic won’t spark if you don’t use your imagination. Go ahead. play with some cool photography techniques and play it around in your portraits. Fairy lights and cd discs are great tools to level up your skills in photography.

4.) Learn post-processing – For starters, you can use Adobe Lightroom to do some final touches in your photos and even manipulate certain colors. I personally love complementing colors based on the model’s skin type and the color of her outfit. For an alternative app, you can always filter the photo with VSCO. It is the bomb! I love their presets and you can tweak it out on what vibe you are going for.

5.) Never take blurry portraits. – Blurry portraits are an eyesore for the viewer. It is just not advisable for portraits since it distracts the attention of the viewer. Make sure your subject’s on focus first before capturing.


And here are some few tips on how to level up your portraits. I hope that these tips are helpful for those who are studying portrait photography. Keep in mind that it takes time to establish yourself as a photographer but endless practicing, learning, and experimenting, for sure you can have the #portraitgoals you’ve always dreamed of.  Don’t assume that you are already mastered portraits once you took a great shot, Just keep on learning photography in hopes that you will be recognized for your work. Thank you for reading. 😀

– – Jermaine Makimkim,


My Photography Career.

How will I start this? Hey! I am back after several months of hiatus. So many things have happened for the past few months that I decided to step away from my blogging career. Now that I am back, today’s blog is going to be all about my photography career.

I don’t think my photography aesthetic has changed but I want you to be the judge on the progress I’ve made throughout the months.

Here are some of the photos I’ve captured in 2017:

I’ve explored myself on landscapes and sceneries. I felt like I was making travel content at that time. Most people said I leveled up my photography skills since I started in 2015 but I think I have to make more improvement because I noticed that my photos were just there. It was dull for me. I needed some inspiration to bring the magic out of my photos.

A year later of discovery and learning…

So far, I think I made some improvements but it will be better.if you’re the judge for this.

Anyways, I made this blog as the first blog for 2018 plus I am now celebrating 1 year of making blogs now! Hope that this will continue and oneday I will establish myself as a blogger in the future! 😀


Jermaine Makimkim, amateur blogger.

Yesterday’s Goodbye

May 16, 2017

The day to where I left the Philippines. Yes, and I know that my stay there is over. I made several memories during my 2 months stay there. I remember the last thing I ate at the house was garlic rice and corned beef. Prepared by my loving grandmother/lola. I already missed her. I am happy because of her. PicsArt_05-18-09.34.11-01[1]

Though I know that goodbyes aren’t the end and I’ll be back in 7 months, I still have this sentimental feeling whenever I’ll leave my relatives but at the same time, I would be able to focus on myself religiously. Things do change. It does get busy, I get busy with my photography career and they get busy as well. So the sentiment fades away. The first week will definitely be an adjustment period to the timezone you’re currently in.

Here are the struggles that follow:

“Ugh so hot here! I cannot breathe! *pant pant* ”

“Ugh I cannot sleep huhuhu!”

“Ugh why the time is so sloooow?”


So so much more crap that goes along your way. But at the end of the day. You made memories during your vacation stay in your destination. I hope there are more memories to come in my crazy, beautiful life 🙂 May God bless us all.


Unplanned Aesthetic.

Things never go the way we planned it.


April 27, 2017. 5:10 pm (Philippine Standard Time), FBR Arcade, Katipunan Ave. , Quezon City.

We were dismissed on our review for Senior High School entrance exam. I called my parents and they told me:

“Anak, we are in traffic at EDSA. We might arrive a little late. You make hintay (wait) nalang.”

As an regular, obedient, Filipino child, I said ” Yes po.”

I went out of the building with me waiting around the building. There we’re 3 options that I could do while waiting but each one of them has its cons.

1. ) I could buy pizza at Yellow Cab (which is beside our building) Unfortunately, they do not offer a slice of pizza which is more practical than buying yourself 1 whole box and eat your heart out ; and I am broke at that time.

2.) I could wait at the lobby of our review center but I do not know what is the password of the WiFi there. Besides, I don’t have anything to edit at that time.

3.) Go out around the building and sweat the HELL out there! I have no towel to wipe on.

These are my thoughts during that time. :

“MY GAS what will I do for the next 30 minutes?!”

“How to be productive po? 😦 ”

“Grabii ang INIT! JOSKO LORD!”

“Smile lang kahit uwing- uwi ka na! ”

I was sitting at a chair when I remember that I was wearing my classic black and white Vans at that time. I also remembered that I have a black Nokia phone in hand with me and the floor outside the building was black.

” *ting* I have an idea! ”

Then I got the bright idea to come up with another photo shoot which was somehow “aesthetic” I guess. Tried different angles and different poses on my shoes and phone. This happened after 50+ pics of the same thing.


After taking shots of these photos, I didn’t expect that I have something to post! I thought that the photo will be ugly, unprofessional, unaesthetic, etc. After seeing these shots. These satisfy me to post it on Instagram. It is my first time to take an aerial photo of my shoes and my cellphone because most of the time my shoes looks crap, my outfit is mismatch, and the lighting is CRAP.  Things really happen when you least expect it.

A few days after I posted it, some of my classmates at the review saw my IG post and they were like:

“OMG! Your feed is goals!”

“Very aesthetic!”

“How do you take pictures? It looks so on point!”

“I like the shoes and the picture!”

And so much more compliments that I did not saw coming. I may not be the best Instagrammer but I will continue on pursuing my photography and post it on Instagram. I am already contented to where I am today. Opportunities will come its way when I deserve it. For now I will enjoy my photography career and of course my blogging career. Why look on what you don’t have when you can work on what you have and create a product out of it. Things will never go the way you planned; it might be better. We can’t really tell. Just do what you want to do and pursue it. Unlikely situations are the new opportunities for new possibilities.