This is it; another huge step, another percentage closer to the other end of this loading bar I call life. And wow, what an amazing loading bar it’s been. I don’t even know where to begin… I guess I should start by introducing my website.
Finally, I have my own home online. It’s been a long time coming. My boyfriend (now fiancé) Brian and I rushed to do this in less than a month. I’ve been meaning to put this up even before grafikGiraffe, but it had to wait and I felt like this was the perfect time to do it, when I turn 25.
I put up my own multimedia studio called grafikGiraffe with Brian and my good friends Patrick and Dan. We’ve been operational since March 2016, and we’re doing pretty well for a start-up. It’s been a major learning experience in terms of business development, teamwork, and client relations. It’s been very exciting, and being able to do what we love and mentor our interns? It doesn’t feel like work at all. But we didn’t get there so easily.
First of all, between all our services, we don’t get that many inquiries for photography, and when we do they normally find us expensive. I suck at pricing, I’ll be honest, but I would like to think I pretty much know what the standard rate is, and we don’t want to hurt the industry further by saying yes to numerous layouts for such a small budget. Last year, I had moments where I would envy my partners because they were doing what they loved while I pushed papers for my role as Operations and Marketing Director. I became project head for most projects though, which wasn’t easy at first either. I used to be, and probably still am, an angry person. It started after graduation. So I would beat myself up telling myself I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know how to price, and my works suck that’s why no one is getting us. Yeah, I’m not so into myself. I hid this well though. Brian and my family were my constant victims.
But 2017 changed everything for me. I don’t want to get into specific details right now, but this year has been so good to me so far. I’ve been working on myself (my issues and whatnot) leading to a mentally healthier me. I have learned to identify my weaknesses and know when I shouldn’t hang out with somebody who might be toxic for me right now. I am learning to check myself or take deep breaths before I react to people. I don’t want to be angry anymore. I don’t want to over-react anymore. I don’t want to be toxic to someone else. I want to continue living the positive life I’m slowly making for myself.
The last week of January though, my partners and I experienced a blow. Actually more like a knife stab. It’s April now and we’re honestly still feeling the pain, but we’re no longer bleeding, because it’s going to be a scar that we’ll proudly wear. After facing that stab together, we’ve become a stronger team and really more like a family. I think our interns felt it too.
And now here we are… My amazing fiancé made my website himself. My partners didn’t mind me doing this for myself because they understood how much I needed this. I’ve come to realize after my bouts of sadness when I don’t get photography gigs; it’s okay to treat photography purely as an art form and not necessarily the cash cow from which I will rely on to keep me alive. I love everything I’m doing for grafikGiraffe and if I can get to shoot personal photo and video projects again like I used to then what more could I ask for. And that’s where my website comes in. I now have a place to share my works and a place to finally tell my stories. I also want to be able to share experiences hoping that whoever is reading this… I hope you can learn something from this or this inspires you to do something. I’ve always wanted to write, and I think this will finally push that dream. These are all just dreams of mine coming true, and if I can make that happen, I believe so can you. I never gave up on my dreams since college and here I am now. I worked for an NGO, I put up my own company, launched my own website, and I’m still slowly ticking things off my Bucket List.
I can’t believe I’ve made it this far to be honest. But I guess as long as you remain passionate, determined, driven and curious, then there’ll be nothing stopping you from making your dreams come true. Insert quote from Paolo Coelho’s The Alchemist here.
This site will be dedicated to sharing my works online (personal projects and client works), photos and stories from my travels and of course this blog. I have so much to share – from my EuroTrip adventure to little anecdotes from our studio in Makati. My friends and family always ask to see photos and to share my experiences. I never do so online, so I think it’s time. This is it.
I have done a lot in my 25 years of existence but I still have so much more to do, so much more to experience. This blog, the photos I take and the videos I film, will be first and foremost for me – to continue fueling the passion to create that lies within me, to continue documenting the moments I find dear (which is about every second), and to have a curated, online memory hub of sorts that my fiancé and I can just open anytime to read or look back to.
The Travels section is still empty but not for long, and I will do my best to blog once a week. I’m fixing all my social media accounts as well, but doing all this one step at a time – at my own pace. All commissioned projects I accept will be coursed through grafikGiraffe. I’ll be slowly adding more photos and will launch my new logo soon as well! For now, explore and if you want to get in touch, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thank you to everyone who greeted me today! And to you, who is reading this right now, thank you for getting this far.