12 February 2015

Purveyr Instagramer: Rey Canlas Jr.

Instagram has become a powerful tool for one to freely express themselves through beautifully snapped photos and well thought of captions. It is a simple way to capture and share special moments, to see the world through the eyes of others, and to allow its users to experience other people's lives through photos as they happen. Because of this, we decided to do a monthly feature to showcase our favorite Filipino Instagrammers.

The #PurveyrInstagrammer for the month of February is Rey Canlas Jr.

"I'm Rey, which is actually short for Reynaldo. I'm Pinoy, but born and raised in London. However, I did spend some time in the Philippines (in Pampanga) when I was a kid. My Kapampangan is great, but my spoken Tagalog is rubbish even though I can understand it (almost) fluently. Ha!

Profession-wise, I’m in strategy within the advertising field. I’m currently based in Shanghai - I transferred from the London office two years ago. I love Shanghai, it's such a dynamic city, and so cosmopolitan. You really feel the rapid transformation China is going through right now.

Lastly, traveling, scrumptious food, personal space and nifty gadgets make me really happy!"

Looking at Rey's Instagram feed feels a lot like reading a book; each photo tells a story. His fascination with people in motion against scenic backgrounds and just over-all beautiful places, give so much depth to his feed. His photos provide us a sense of thrill and excitement that make us go, "What's going to happen next?"

We asked Rey about his love for Instagram, and here's what he has to say.

How long have you been using Instagram and what made you decide to give more effort in it?
Good question. I downloaded the app the week it came out, if not the day it came out. However, I was pretty much a ghost follower until early last year when I visited my cousin (@jesso) and her husband (@edwardkb) in Hong Kong. I was truly inspired by what they were doing on Instagram. I went back to Shanghai with this new found excitement for Instagram, and decided to go to an InstaMeet. The rest is history, as they say.

Overall, I find it's an amazing creative outlet for me, and I get to exercise my love for photography and creativity. Also, I love meeting new people, and the Instagram community is just superb wherever you go in the world. Instagrammers are the most welcoming, and they're more than happy to show you some of the best hidden gems their country has to offer. Definitely better than just hitting the tourist spots, I say. Ha!

How would you describe your approach (style) to photography?
Honestly, I'm still finding my feet. But if you look at my feed, it's quite evident that I love shooting people in different places and situations. I like to have a sense of energy and fun in my photography. I like all kinds of styles, from street, nature, portraits, architecture, abstract and lifestyle. And that really comes through on my feed, though, some styles come through stronger more than others. Perhaps one day I'll master one style, but right now I'm just enjoying experimenting with various kinds.

What are your usual subjects?
As I mentioned above, people and places are my main subjects. I like to shoot motion a lot, so the perfect shot for me would be of someone doing an interesting movement, and preferably in a location that helps heighten the context or storytelling.

What makes for a good Instagram shot?
It's all very subjective - it really varies depending on who's viewing the shot. I think anything that's visually arresting, or evokes emotions, or tells a compelling story do well on Instagram.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve done for an Instagram photo?
Playing dead! Ha! I used to get asked a lot to do #instagrammerdown, to the point where a tag was created by my Instagrammer buddies in Shanghai. Check out #reydown - the evidence is all there! And that's not even all of the shots! Ha!

Are your photos on Instagram solely taken from your phone, or do you use other devices, such as SLRs, digital cameras, etc? Do you think the equipment one uses is a big factor in producing stunning Instagram posts?
Despite having a Canon DSLR, and recently a Fujifilm x100t, I shoot everything all on my iPhone 6+ for Instagram. I think the best camera is the one that you have in your pocket - you can shoot something as it happens without worrying about having the right equipment and settings. Also, there's a certain aesthetic and quality about iPhone shots that makes it perfect for Instagram. Of course, there are technical and professional limitations to shooting with just a mobile phone. For Instagram, I think a high-end smartphone is more than enough to capture a stunning shot, providing you shoot in the right conditions i.e. perfect light.

At the end of the day, anyone one can point and shoot, so, it's not really about the lens, it's about the eyes behind the lens and how they envision a composition. You only have to go to an InstaMeet to realise that quickly. You can have 50 people shooting the same thing, yet, the output vary significantly. Sometimes, the mobile photographers outperform the the ones with 'real' cameras. It's all very subjective, really.

All that said, I think I've pushed the limits of what can be done on an iPhone, so, I wouldn't discount using a 'proper' camera in the future for Instagram. I could very well see myself switching eventually, to be honest. In fact, switching (or mixing - phone and camera) is very top-of-mind for me right now.

What inspires you? And how does it influence your passion for photography?
There's not one source of inspiration for me - it comes from everywhere! Instagram, films, music videos, billboards, advertising, art exhibitions, press, and general life on the streets. Of course, what inspires me influences me to some degree. It's inevitable. However, I'm not a fan of imitating people's work, so, my take on a particular style will always be distinctively mine. Well, at least I like to think so.

Often, I lie in bed at night thinking of interesting compositions. Once I have an idea in my head, I would pretty much try my best to go ahead and shoot it. For example, after seeing low-flying airplanes on @marvinconanan's feed, I knew I had to shoot him shooting planes during my recent trip to the Philippines. Luckily, Marvin was game and agreed to do it. At the location, once I knew how I wanted the end result to be, we tried and tried until I got the money shot. As soon as I saw 'that' shot on my iPhone camera roll, I knew straight away it was the one. I was totally elated by achieving what I had in mind. I think I would have been really upset or disappointed with myself if I didn't nail that shot. Ha! Thankfully, Marvin was patient enough to hold the same position for a long time (holding his phone up in the air, pointing at planes flying by quickly).

Going back to the question, I think if you're passionate about something, you'll really go out of your way to achieve what you desire. There's no such as thing as 'maybe next time'. Just do it, and you won't find yourself saying 'shoulda, woulda, coulda' later down the line.

Who are your favorite Instagrammers?
This is a tough question as I have many favourites, ha! I think @nunoasis is always surprising with his architecture photography. After all, he is an architect, so no surprise there. @pketron's travel photography is marvellous - I love her sence of simplicity. She's a lovely person, too, and so smart. I think @NK7's work is fresh - he always seems to find all the cool spots in Mainland China. Meanwhile, I like how @HX1125's fuses white-minimalism with style and sharp contrast. @larkvain offers something different on Instagram with his creative artwork. Finally, @bludshot's urban style is dope, and his captions are always amusing, too - so much attitude! The list is enless.

What do you dislike about Instagram?
I think 'dislike' is a strong word, but there are a few downsides. Though I haven't experienced it directly, some can get territorial about certain spots. I've also seen politics arise when people aren't invited to photowalks. Lastly, when there's a bad shot, people are too afraid to give constructive critism. Personally, I like feedback. On one occasion, one of my followers commented on my photo, saying it was 'too sharp', and that person was right. I took it on board, and I'm now very mindful of it. I do, however, have regular open conversations with my friends and fellow Instagrammers about my work, and I'm lucky that they are forthcoming with feedback. I think feedback is good - it helps you grow and develop further.

What is Instagram for you? 
For me, the very essence of Instagram is social photography. I like how Instagram has positioned the platform: "capturing and sharing the world's moments" - I think it's exactly that. However, I think the concept has moved on a lot, too. Now, many people use the platform in various ways beyond photography. You only have to look at @larkvain's artwork to realise how Instagram could be used differently. At the end of the day, use the platform as you wish, but make sure your work is brilliant, creative, compelling and inspiring - you can't go wrong if you tick at least one of those attributes.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Copyright © 2012-2016 PURVEYR, All Rights Reserved.
Follow us on Instagram