JRP: Please welcome the talented Fashion / Wedding Photographer Pilar Tuason to James Robinson Photography Blog. Thank you Pilar for sharing this time with us.
Pilar Tuason: The pleasure is all mine. Thank you for the interview.
JRP: Where do you call home Pilar? Does this environment play a role in your creative process?
Pilar Tuason: My family is originally from Spain. I was born in Mallorca. We moved to Metro Manila, Philippines when I was 4 years old which is where I consider my home. The Philippines is a very beautiful country, with beautiful warm people. This especially applies when you get out of the city. Simply driving out-of-town will make your creative juices flowing because there are so many unique places to see in the country.
JRP: What led to your interest in photography? Do you have any formal training or assisting in your background?
Pilar Tuason: My interest in photography started as a child. My father had a Polaroid camera and I was always at awe every time that the camera would freeze a moment and print out a photo. It wasn’t until I was working that I was able to afford my own camera and film and take travel photos of my travels to Spain and Europe again that reignited my passion to really learn.
I took up photography under Fine Arts in the University of the Philippines and learned basic and advanced photography. I built a darkroom and spent many hours there with my cat and dog.
Professionally, I started as a child photographer in 2000. I then switched to wedding photography in 2001. I took classical portraiture under Monte Zucker in Las Vegas for 1 week in 2003.
In 2009, I was lucky enough to be noticed by a huge local brand here named Penshoppe. They hired me for their fashion brand.
I now shoot Portraits, Weddings and Fashion.
JRP: Name two photographers that have inspired and influenced your approach to your craft.
Pilar Tuason: I really love the classics so George Hurrell would come to mind. There are so many talented photographers whose work I admire. Helmut Newton, Joyce Tenneson and Richard Avedon are amazing photographers whose work I love. I also love movies with great cinematography.
JRP: Do personal projects figure in the development of your vision and technique?
Pilar Tuason: Personal projects are always what get my creative juices going since there are no rules. You start with an idea and you can go as far as you want without any restrictions.
JRP: Do you have a team that assists you with your projects and if so what roles do they play?
Pilar Tuason: Yes, I do work with a variety of people for personal projects. I have a team at Edifice Studios headed by Raffy Tesoro who is a production designer. We plan shoots and he prepares the set, makeup artist, stylist, and the rest of the team for me.
When I cover a Wedding it is usually just me, a second shooter, and a person to carry and watch over the bags who also acts as a driver.
JRP: What would we find in your camera bag for a typical assignment shoot?
Pilar Tuason: I use a 5D Mark 2 for most of my shoots. My current favorite lens is a 100 2.8 L IS. I use this lens for everything! I have a full range of lenses since I cover weddings.
JRP: Do you prefer working with artificial or available light? What are your most often used light modifiers?
Pilar Tuason: I choose the light depending on what I have planned for the look of the shoot. I always have my beauty dish with me when I plan to shoot with strobes. I am just as comfortable with available light as I am with strobes. So deciding on what to use really depends on what the shot calls for.
JRP: Please describe your digital work flow and the software used?
Pilar Tuason: I download to Light Room, clean up files from there and retouch in Photoshop.
JRP: When looking through the viewfinder what is the most critical moment in the capture of your image?
Pilar Tuason: When I cover weddings, anticipating a moment before it happens and being at the right place at the right time always works. For fashion, when I feel the connection with my subject and we “get each other” is when the magic really happens.
JRP: Name a shoot or project that opened your eyes to the distance you’ve come as an artist.
Pilar Tuason: More than a shoot or project, it was when Canon Philippines recognized me as the first female Canon Explorer of Light. This country is dominated by male photographers so being the first female to be recognized was a real honor.
JRP: In today’s economy what adjustments have you made to maintain your creative standards?
Pilar Tuason: I don’t really take the economy into account for my creative standards. Couples still need to get married, fashion brands still need to update their campaigns, and the demand for great photography is still important to the client. Personally, I just evolve and learn new techniques, and try to reinvent myself.
JRP: If not photography what would Pilar Tuason be doing with her time?
Pilar Tuason: Traveling, gardening, hanging out with my family. Watching my 2 boys grow up.
JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?
Pilar Tuason: Grow with your gear. Really learn how to use what you have in your camera bag. If you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up about it but learn from it.
JRP: What advice would you like to share now with other photographers?
Pilar Tuason: Never claim to know everything or think that you are the best. Never stop learning. There is always something new to learn with photography. It is a never-ending learning experience.
JRP: Thank you Pilar for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been a pleasure talking with you, and we wish you continued success.
Pilar Tuason: Thank you. Anytime 🙂
JRP: To view more of Pilar Tuason’s photography please follow this link: