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,


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.


Unforgettable Yacht Experience

A check onto my bucketlist. XD

Have you ever wondered what is life inside a yacht? Do you think it will happen in your whole entire life? Or maybe it will always remain a dream for a lifetime? We got the opportunity to experience life in a yacht with the help of our “tito” who is the chief finance officer of a company popular here in the Philippines. This might be a once in a lifetime experience so my family didn’t miss that opportunity.

It was in May 12, 2017 when we went to Manila Yacht Club ( exclusive for members only. wow! very rich.) It was something I didn’t expect during my stay there in the Philippines. lidow_20175139396393-01[1]

As we entered the yacht I was like:

“Woah! Very luxurious.”

“Oh my!”



And so much more exaggerating expressions I said inside my head. It was an opportunity for me to take several pics within one day. I am so happy that I fulfilled my day with photographs.

I took the time to enjoy my eyes with sceneries I witnessed during the yacht experience. It is something to be blessed and thankful of. God really does create beautiful masterpieces.


My inner travel blogger also came out because of this.


The rest was history. We enjoyed every single hour inside that yacht. We ate yummy spaghetti, barbeque, lumpiang shanghai, and fried chicken. Yum, yum, yum!  This experience is something I can’t forget. This is a just an experience on what is like to be rich. But I am not seeing myself owning a yacht because destiny thinks it is not the time yet. And besides I am happy on what I have right now. I just grabbed the opportunity and enjoy while it lasts.

I am thankful of my “tito” who invited us to their yacht. The dream on being inside a yacht finally came true and this will serve as an another unforgettable experience I had for this year.


Unexpectedly memorable,


This is my AHEAD FAM (KSHS1-17) <3. I’ve been with them since April 24 for my advance review for the upcoming entrance exam for senior high school. They are my #squadgoals and my new family! We came from different parts of Metro Manila and some provinces here in the Philippines. We came to Ahead with one objective and that is to pass the entrance exam. IMG_20170510_231852_754[1]

We started the review program last April 24, 2017 with an unexpected, bloody diagnostic exam. I was really shy at that time with no one to talk with. We were asked position ourselves 1 seat apart when sitting in the classroom, you know, the typical exam setup. My professor was kinda strict and serious at that time. I inferred myself that he must be a college student from Ateneo, La Salle, or UP. Upon answering the exam, I was shocked on what I will answer. It was a WTF moment for me because there were some items that I haven’t taken yet. So I just answered with the best of my abilites. Before finishing the 1st exam, time is over! O shoot, i’m not finished with this exam yet! Huhuhuhu.  We had 6 subjects: Reasoning, Language Proficiency, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics, Science, and Critical Analysis. Out of the 6, I only finished the Language Proficiency part 🙂 . It was my first time answering an exam with 285 items! It was a shock for me.

As the days pass by, I started to talk with my classmates and develop a bond with one another. I did not expect the love that I received from them. There were no one sided conversations with us. All of us were talking. 😀 I thought that they were the typical famous people who are not easy to approach with because of their looks. (I know kinda stereotypical tho) I WAS WRONG! I was able talk with most people in our class with ease. All of them were genuine. I listened to some of their stories and told them my story in Saudi in a nutshell. But at the same time I prioritized my review lessons for a better future hehehe. Break time was the best opportunity to hang out with them and chill around.

The fun thing in our review lessons is that we play games! That is one factor why we developed our bond. The games were fun and informative at the same time! We enjoy and laugh during the games we played. Sometimes it gets crazy as the game gets more intense HAHAHA. At the end, we were sports to one another.

The whole course of the review program was spectacular. I recently finished the review program earlier. (May 10, 2017) I have no other words to say during my experience at Ahead and to describe my new family right now. This helped me prepare for my entrance exam, gain more friends, and communicate with other people. My squad will always have a place in my heart! I will remember this experience when I get back to Saudi soon. I hope we will have a hangout together this Christmas hehehehe. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! 😀 ❤ I love you all. ❤

Heavenly Pangasinan

The most heavenly sunset I saw so far.

We visited Pangasinan last March for my cousin’s civil wedding. It was a memorable milestone for our family. (dad’s side) We had family bonding afterwards with a lunch buffet and went to the house of my cousin afterwards. The wife of my cousin asked me if we wanted to visit Lingayen Beach to witness the sunset there. We said yes. We went there before sunset, around 5pm i guess.

When I was capturing the beautiful sunset, this happened…

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I really love the cloud formations on the sky because it is formed perfectly and it blends to one another to create art plus the lovely sun over there. I got a lot of shots from that scenery alone. I was really happy! As we were walking back home, we saw another sunset which I need to capture. It was so PERFECT! I can’t resist my eyes to it. I was really satisfied when we reached home. I have things to post that time 🙂

The sunset and cloud formations are really heavenly in Lingayen Beach. I recommend going there if you’re planning your vacation here in the Philippines especially if you’re into photography. ❤

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.


Desserts, desserts, desserts.

Last April 30, 2017, we had a Sunday family getaway in my uncle’s hometown in Bulacan. Almost everyone from my dad’s side went to his house and spent family there. Everyone got to see each other again after another busy weekday. Family time is not as often as it was before, but other than that, we enjoy each other’s company.

As an amateur photographer I explore on what I could capture. It just so happened that we were outdoors with a white table and desserts were served. The light bulb flashed into my brain and started to come up with another photography project. It’s not just an ordinary capture of the subject and post it right away on Instagram. It should be aesthetic and creative.

To produce the best photographs, never be contented on just one shot only. SHOTGUN IT! Klik! Klik! Klik! Just shotgun it until it will be lit! Take multiple shots of the same subject in different angles. You will know what angle suits best for your subject. And of course, ENJOY! Be creative and be lighthearted when you’re doing your thing.


These were my products after enjoying the photo shoot of these 3 desserts. Some people thought I was promoting for a restaurant and i’m like NO! I’m not having my OJT yet ahahahaha! I just love photography. The long part about producing these photos are the choosing and editing process. I need to check if I am satisfied by it or not but I am also open to opinions on what to improve in my craft. At the end of the day I am no expert. I am just an individual learning his own passion.

Desserts were made to satisfy one’s sweet tooth. In photography you capture the creativity the maker has gone through to produce these tempting and attractive desserts. In that way, you are also giving credit to the makers of these desserts; and at the same time you got something to capture with some creativity of yours. Desserts definitely seduce the taste buds of an individual.