07 August 2015

Purveyr Instagramer: Franco Borromeo

Instagram in the Philippines has seen and experienced a lot of growth during the years. But in this growth comes a little setback, more and more extremely talented photographers are being under-appreciated, not only because they have an absolute unusual style but also because there are just too many good-looking accounts out there now. One account out of the few that comes to our mind whenever we talk about unconventional Instagram-style, imagine a New York-based urban Instagramer wandering the streets of Manila, and you get the dark but very sharp feed of @pxnch. So we asked him the usual things we ask a featured Purveyr Instagramer, let's see how different or similar his views will be compared to the other talented Instagramers we've talked to.

"Hello, my name is Franco. My parents gave me the nickname "Pancho" later shortened to "Panch" Now you know, it's not "Punch" okay?"

How long have you been using Instagram and what made you decide to give more effort in it?
I've been using Instagram for about 5 years now, I think? It used to be your typical account. You know, the "this is where I am" and sh*t. I also used to post my drawings and paintings. But I was and still am surrounded by friends who are really into photography. (@itsadoborat, @martinvcruz, etc.) So me being an art student with a smart phone, I started snapping away. I got serious with photography when I lost (or someone stole, I don't know) my favorite Moleskine with all my best sketches and drawings. I just loved the instant satisfaction you get from taking photos, what more editing.

How would you describe your approach (style) to photography?
I really love street photography. I really wouldn't know how to describe my style, because I really do not have a consistent edit or consistent colors. I just edit the photos the way I'd like to see them individually. My approach would be.. patience? Because there are times wherein you can't get that photo, so you'll have to wait for it to happen again. 

What are your usual subjects?
I love cities. Any kind. First world to third world. I just love all of them. But developing third world countries is what I really love because of all the character they still have. I'm just fortunate enough to have been able to travel and see a lot. That's what always kept me hungry.

What makes for a good Instagram shot?
Any photo composed well is better than the best edit you'll see. But if selfies are your thing, just smile yo.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve done for an Instagram photo?
The most unusual thing I've done for a photo? I gave a street kid a cigarette. I felt so bad but that's what he asked for. I've stood on rooftops but the cig had to be my personal worst.

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?
I dont think any good photographer would care what camera he/she uses. It's all about how you compose your photos. I've done the whole #iphoneonly thing, but then I started loving photography so much, I decided to invest in gear. From #iphoneonly & #vscocam to DSLR's and #vscofilm. You get there when you love it. 

What inspires you? And how does it influence your passion for photography?
The things that happen around me inspire me the most, because nothing you see now will happen later or tomorrow. From friends drinking in local bars to shooting on the streets of Japan. Everything will always be interesting.

Who are your favorite Instagramers?
My personal favorite grammers would be @13thwitness (OG grammer and son of one of my favorite artists), @kostennn, @insighting, @evidence... There are too many, I swear.

What do you dislike about Instagram?
What I don't like about social media, in general, is that a lot of people post for the likes. Social media was made for sharing experiences and for socializing, of course.

What is Instagram for you?
Instagram for me was a gateway drug into the world of intense observation. You just see more things when you're into photography. I was diagnosed with ADD when I was in grade school. I used to take pills for it, I hated that. That's why I wear sunglasses a lot, because I look weird most of the time constantly shifting my view. That's why I love photography, I can be distracted and observant at the same time. I was able to embrace and conquer my defects. And I thank Instagram for that.


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