Photography is one of the most brilliant and artistic jobs ever … it is something you can show off your talent and feelings in very easily through light, angels, editing … etc. Moreover, it is a vital element in a lot of sectors … if you want to sell anything online, you need it photographed … if you want to write about someone, you need to photoshoot them … etc. In this issue of Victor Magazine, we interviewed one of the most talented photographers in Dubai originally from the Philippine … his name known to most of the fashion industry players due to his amazing talent and work … in the following lines, let’s explore Jef Anog
How long have you been a professional photographer? Why did you choose to be a photographer?
I’ve been a fashion photographer for more than 10 years now.
It was a huge and very challenging career change for me. I left the corporate world as an accountant to pursue my passion for photography. Initially, it was just a hobby which later became another source of extra income. I read all kinds of materials I could get my hands on, studied, and practiced every single day. Eventually, I gained confidence in my ability and realized the business opportunity so when my income from my photography stints gave me a much higher return as compared to my salary, I decided to go for it! I set up my own company as a freelancer and I have not looked back ever since. Now I am fully engaged with this profession, I have experienced the highs and lows but it is all worth it. It feels so great to be doing what I am passionate about and I am proud to be able to share my art with the world.
Tell us about your technique – how do you define photography in your own words?
My style of photography is the totality of combining the real and raw attitude of my subject with glamour and a touch of seduction. I then enhance by making sure that all the details I could see with my eyes are visible, captivating the best angles, expression, and individuality of each subject. What makes my work remarkable and different is how I redefine beauty; I always make sure to boost one’s self-confidence and bring out the best from my subjects/models.
For me, Still Life Photography is about capturing one’s soul and emotions at a certain moment and making sure that it lasts forever. In Fashion, it is more of expressing the dream or fantasy and translating it into one image.
You are specialized in fitness and fashion photography – why have you picked these two specialities?
I am passionate about theatre acting and have dabbled with it in the past, reading poetry and admiring still-life forms of art with a lot of hidden meanings. This is the reason why I’m also fascinated with fashion and fitness images. Looking at the world from an artist’s perspective, I am intrigued with photos, their creation, and the vision behind and this has inspired me to create my very own style in photography so people can also be stimulated and evoked when they witness the images that I create. A photo with unique compositions, beautiful lighting, a bit of drama and multi-layered meaning is always my goal in taking every single image.
What are your greatest achievements as a photographer?
I can say I am proud and have achieved some level of success as a photographer when people see my work on any platform/medium and they instantly recognize it as “Jef Anog” even before they see the photo credits on it. This gives me so much humility and gratitude at the same time knowing that I have carved a niche in this industry with so much talent and competition.
Tell us your opinion about the photography scene in Dubai – how is it like to be a professional photographer in Dubai?
Dubai is a huge playground that is very overwhelming for every artist. Everything here is beyond beautiful either to become a piece of a photoshoot backdrop or even a huge fraction of the subject itself. There is so much beauty, and also so much talent that I constantly remind myself to not be complacent and always make sure to deliver my best at all times. I always make sure to be professional and follow the cultural and religious norms and conduct considering that the UAE is an Arab and Muslim country.
Who was your favourite brand that you have photographed?
Just recently I was offered to do a huge project with one of my favourite international brands but I had to decline. The shoot was supposed to happen in Madrid but due to circumstances surrounding this pandemic, I was unable to go. It would have been the fulfilment of another dream, to shoot for a world-renowned brand which I personally love, but I am confident and hopeful that it will surely happen in the not-so-distant future.
As for my favourite brand in UAE, it is definitely the impalpable Michael Cinco.
What brand and/or model that you wish to photograph?
It’s a dream of mine to shoot a campaign for Calvin Klein & Versace. My style and vision are very similar to what they do, glamorously seductive with soul. I would be elated if given the opportunity to work with these brands.
Do you consider collaboration with other photographers? Have you done it before? Who?
I haven’t had the chance to collaborate with other photographers in the past but I’m very much open to it. It’s exciting to see the outcome of merging our creative ideas and to come up with an extraordinary vision that is part of both our styles. That is a very welcome opportunity and I hope to pursue that soon. As they say, two heads are always better than one!