The radiant realism in Miguel Miranda’s photography

miguel 1 By Cristina DC Pastor

Miranda: ‘Behind every photo is a story worth telling.’

Miranda: ‘Behind every photo is a story worth telling.’

For a photograph to be able to express a thousand words, it needs a good eye, a patient mindset, and a willingness to explore.

Miguel Miranda, 38, has all that and a discipline for details, diligently making sure each image is, in cliché parlance, “picture perfect.”

This practice of being meticulous is developed from many years of taking photos in different settings, and producing pictures flawless in its resolution. Is the baby’s dress the right shade of pink? Is the model’s complexion the correct tone? Miguel’s photography is not meant to flatter but to present the subject with realism and unambiguity.

Miguel has been a photographer almost 13 years from the time he got his first job taking children’s portraits. A disposable camera given by an uncle in the Philippines sparked his interest.

“I started going around our neighborhood taking pictures of girls,” he said, recalling how he was a shy boy growing up and the camera became his best buddy.

He grew up in Makati City and went to a private school, De La Salle University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Arts. He worked for the family business after graduation, but that didn’t last long. He quickly found a job taking children’s pictures.

“It was my first photography job, it was a great experience,” he said.

In time, he began to explore other subjects, such as fashion, portraits, nudes, man-on-the-street, nature, which got him working with other photographers specializing in these genres.

“I was very raw,” he said. He discovered from his experience that he loves fashion photography and taking portraits of ‘real people.’

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His talent as a photographer loomed early on. He participated in numerous group exhibits, leading to a solo show in 2011 called “Spotlight” where he showcased his portraits. The reviews were encouraging. Writes one magazine critic, “The tasteful visual imagery is a play on shadows depicting a variety of moods portrayed by each subject. Overall the arresting pictures showcase the photographer’s artistic sensibilities exploring the range of his talent.”

The following year, he was the featured photographer for the provocative “Unfurgivable” exhibit. It was organized by the organization called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Miguel lent his talent to the campaign to end cruelty to animals. He took photos of 15 models — undressed but accessorized — his black and white images making the campaign even more inciting.

In New York, he worked for renowned photographer Steven Klein celebrated in the fashion world for his advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein and Louis Vuitton.

“I was assisting one of the top fashion photographers,” he noted. It was a tough job, and his stint with Klein taught him a great deal about the virtue of patience. “Sometimes we would go shoot 23 hours straight.”

Miguel believes that behind every great photo is a story worth telling.

He said, “As an art, I always believe that the narrative is more important than everything else. While the elements of lighting, proper styling, and composition are equally vital, the story is the one that holds everything together to create the perfect picture.”

Miguel is currently alternating as photographer and digital capture technician for clothing retailer J. Crew. As a profession, photography has opened doors for him to work with all sorts of personalities all of them creative and passionate in their own unique ways.

“These people I’ve worked with, every one of them are artists who are good at what they do. We all come together, we bring in our individual talents, and together we create something that is amazing,” he said.

© The FilAm 2018

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