In Awe

It surpassed all of my expectations.

For one thing, I had never before seen any of my digital shots printed on photo paper, or even on any ordinary paper. I always only looked at them in my laptop. Last week when I finally saw them printed on 20 x 30s and 16 x 24s metallic paper by Studio 58, I was stunned. I couldn’t help but stare at them for a long time and smile. I found them so beautiful and artistic. It was probably the first time I actually felt that I could be a real, serious photographer.

Behn, BenCab, me and Willie

The night before the exhibit, The Renaissance Gallery had drawn curtains covering its display glass walls since we were still hanging the pictures for exhibition. There were people passing by–people who came from Araceli Dans’ opening night a few steps away. The white curtain mostly kept them away except for a few people. One woman took a peek inside, liked what she saw and on the spot reserved the Baguio Sunflowers photograph. I was of course delighted. It was definitely a good sign. A few minutes later, BenCab, the renowned painter from Baguio came in with his friend Annie and Willie Nepomuceno, Behn Cervantes and surveyed the few photos hanging on the walls. He pointed out what he liked while we chatted about Baguio. He then took out his camera and had Annie take shots of the group. It was great being visited by artists I admire.

Eddieboy, myself and Lydia and Maruja, my sis-in-law at the back.

On December 8 the next day, even before we had cut the ribbons to formally open the exhibit, people started coming in and 5 pictures were immediately bought. By 6:30, my guest of honor Eddieboy Escudero, a close friend and wedding photographer whom I learned a lot from finally arrived. There were lots of people milling around already. We promptly cut the ribbon and soon after, throngs of more people filled the Renaissance gallery. As the exhibitor, I was of course the second center of attraction next to the photographs, thank God! (If it were the other way around, I would have been devastated). Everyone seemed to want to talk to me, to comment on how much they liked certain pictures (or ALL of them!), to congratulate me or to ask me particulars about the photos. I was floating on air.

It was a great night of being with friends, relatives, patrons, some old students as they had cocktails, food, and engaged in some art talk. John Santos, Lucy and Richard Gomez, fellow APO’s Danny and Boboy, Agot and Manu Sandejas, ace songwriter Trina Belamide and her folks were there. Soon, the crews of GMA 7 and RPN 9 arrived to interview me for their respective channels’ news. As for me, it was a wonderful night of just basking in the glory of being congratulated for pictures that apparently touched the visitors. It touched them so much they bought 21 photos before the end of the evening.

I was glad I trusted my instincts. I wanted this exhibit and I wanted it in a gallery. But even while I was already committed to exhibiting weeks before, I caught myself easily swinging from being sure one moment, and being so scared to even think of how I was going to do it. One day I would be so confident of my pictures, the next I would be struggling with myself on why I was so ‘deluded’ into doing something like this. How dare me! It was definitely my blocks showing up and pulling me back to my comfort zone and preventing me from growing. “Just do it”, I kept telling myself. If I could not believe in my own work, how could I convince anyone else? It was my moment of truth. And I am so glad I did it

I have the gallery till the 15th. Do drop by. I will be posting more pics as I get them from friends. You see, I was not able to bring my camera since I understably did not feel like shooting! heh heh.

This may be my last post for about a week unless I have internet access in Doha, Qatar. APO is off again to another exotic place for a three night gig with Bituin Escalante, and Kyla and our wonderful live band.

Unless you really have to go, you may want to think it over before applying for a visa. Believe it or not, their new regulations are quite stringent and even bizarre. To get the visa we needed, we all had to undergo a complete medical check up which included submitting stool, urine samples and going through ECG, x-ray, blood test, physical exams, eye check and even a dental look over.

But watch out Doha! We will be there to rock you!

I will be back with great stories to tell!

32 thoughts on “In Awe”

  1. No. Sorry, I won’t exhibit them on the internet. Not yet and not for a while. In fact, I can only sell 10 copies of each. If I sell out, I will not be able to print anymore unless it’s a different size which I may not be inclined to do. But it’s hard to print bigger ones since digital shots will pixilate.

  2. congrats Jim! i remember seeing some of those pictures sa laptop mo. mas maganda nga yung printed 😉 next time pahingi po ng tip on how to best print digital pictures. may you have more exhibits to come.

  3. Way to go!!! Wish I could have been there to see the pictures. I eagerly await the lessons you promised me once you get here….. Then maybe I can have an exhibit too!



  4. jim,

    wish i could be there for your looks very impressive from the photos. am real happy for you.

    tawa ako ng tawa sa stool sample requirement sa doha kasi you always joke about it, tapos nangyari nga sa inyo. it’s so funny!!

    more power to you, jim and more power to apo!


  5. monica and lory–you two were missed. It was a great evening. Lory, nakarma yata ako for making all these jokes about having to provide x-rays, stool and urine samples for ‘proper identification’ for any situation. ha ha! Can’t believe everyone hgoing to the UAE has to go through this now!.

  6. congrats, teacher jim! tito noli of renaissance gallery is a long-time friend of my mom’s, and one of my favorite family friends at that 🙂 small world!

  7. congrats jim! it is indeed very exciting to have your prints displayed in an exhibit! very cool! I had that same excited feeling when I had my photos exhibited at the epson epix contest! i’ll try to drop by sometime this week to check out the photos. more power!

  8. hi jim,

    i have all the gallery to myself early friday morning except for the person incharge, hehe. and it was a great experience being there, parang meditation, basking in the beauty and felt great after stepping out. great pictures, great scenes, great moments! i can feel the love and passion extending out. thanks for being and continue sharing your gift and passion. congrats and may you never cease to awe us!

  9. deepa–small world indeed!

    scott kho–Please DO drop by

    Joel–if every artist had someone like you to notice the way they do art, then no artist would be frustrated. Thank you for enjoying my works.

  10. Congratulations! Too bad I will not be able to see your exhibit because my flight leaves the 15th and landing Manila 16th. 🙁 A day too late.

    I hope that I would get hold of one of your books though. 🙂

    I wish you well on your Doha trip!

  11. al–Do try to go because they are thinking of extending it. I hope they do. I will be out of the country till the 18th.

  12. sad…pics aren’t online.but it looks really you have a photography book published?i ope you do.cos im gonna buy it ; ) i always read your column in manila bulletin’s picture perfect (although i honestly don’t have a prof camera…id love to have one..but i gotta content myself with my 5mp digi cam.not bad.) =) your passion inspires me more to pursue my dream (although my parents dont agree on it)

  13. congrats po, sir jim!:)

    i saw some of your pictures in one of your sites, sa APO po ata ‘yun galing na link or dito sa blog. hehehe:)

    your pictures are really great. i have dreams of becoming a photographer, too. when i have enough money, i’m going to invest on a really good camera and shoot away.:)

    good luck po sa qatar. i know you’ll have fun.:)

  14. bilang_ako, baby pink–my advice is ‘just do it’. ‘Somedays’ must give way to ‘this day’. If you don’t do something, you’ll never know.

    Buboy Javier–I can’t take a comment from you seriously since your name links to some porno site. You don’t even use an imaginative name. Next time, use “Too Chicken to put my real name” as your identity!

    Sorry, you’ve been taken out.

  15. If I was just able to have ample time last weekend (Saturday was in Tarlac to meet some college friends and Sunday, a workshop under Marlon Despues), I would have dropped by. The first time I read about it in the papers and I said to myself, “This should be a must see.”

    I’m clearing my schedules for tomorrow night. :p

  16. Congratulations on your exhibit Jim,I hope I can find the time to drop by before it ends.Parking in the Mall during this season is murder *sigh*

    Anyways,good luck on your trip.I’m sure your next post about the trip will be very interesting.Am eagerly awaiting it. Happy Holidays Jim. 😀

  17. great pictures Jim! thank you for sharing us your passion! the photos have their own poetry to tell. congatulations! went there last saturday.

  18. congratulations, jim, on the realization of one of your dreams. mariz said opening night was a great hit. my mom is planning to drop by before thursday. i’m sending my relatives and friends on my behalf 🙂

    i hope it gets extended as you mentioned because i’m arriving on the 16th and would love to see your pictures in print.

  19. Wow…the pictures (from what I can see in the background) looked amazing. Great job!

    I’ve been mulling over these past few years to take up photography but always had numerous excuses, i.e. no time, no money, etc. but seeing your art inspires me to just do it and maybe I, too, can unleash the “artist” in me. :0)

    Congrats again on your successful exhibit!

  20. pinuntahan ko po yugn photo exhibit ninyo sa megamall.astig! medyo maliit nga lang yung space pero okay na rin.kakanood ko lang kasi ng isang documentary about James Necthway entitled War photographer tapos yung gallery dun sobrang laki kaya medyo mataas expectations ko po.
    congrats po.
    favorite ko yung “danger.”


  21. “Just do it”, I kept telling myself. If I could not believe in my own work, how could I convince anyone else? It was my moment of truth. And I am so glad I did it

    To get some inspiration, I always try to have a peek on your blog. 🙂 I would also like to congratulate you on your exhibit. I’ve been taking pictures since I was 20 yrs old and in the future I want to have my own exhibit as well and be able to sell my work. But sometimes I’m having doubts about my capabilities as a photographer. But readin ur blog gives me the adrenaline to move on and see my luck, keep up with my passion.

    Hope you’ll have more exhibit in the future Mr. Jim Paredes! God Bless!!

  22. To all of you wonderful people who visited the gallery, or wrote to congratulate me, thank you from the bottom of my heart. May we all someday pursue ALL our dreams!


  23. I was really ‘in awe’ – I’ve been away from home for almost 14 years – but I grew up listening to your music — and now, being introduced to your art works. I’m inspired! Thanks. From what I understood, those were digital shots right? I’ve always loved photography – but can’t seem to move from the regular camera to digital coz I know I will never print them out. =) plus, I love film developing, taught me to be patient…very patient. Anyway, just thought I’d drop by and say hello and wish that one day, I’ll get to see your exhibits.

  24. hi jim,

    was able to drop by and was surely delighted by the beautiful photos you’ve had.

    excellent work. i like the baguio series and neruda’s port. the seascape and passing (flocks of birds) are awesome.

    ang galing!

    i hope to see you on the main gallery na sana next time!

    more power teacher!


  25. bosstsip,

    congratulations on your successful photo exhibit. may you have more shows and way even more photos to your ever growing body of work in 2006.


  26. Hi Jim,
    I’m hoping you can help me reconnect with someone. I’ve been trying to find Maruja Paredes for quite some time now, I think she is your sister-in-law. About 13 years ago when I lived in Manila, I was a Rhythmic Gymnast for the Philippine Gymnastic Federation, Tita Maru was our gym-mommy.

    I now live in San Jose, California and am trying to reconnect with friends from the Phillipines. If you know her, could you please forward my e-mail address? It would mean so much to me.

    Thank you,

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