It turns out that Basil is a cousin of Leo Cabal who was featured on RAW last week. Anyway Basil has an unusual favourite lens, something a little different to the 50mm primes we are so used to.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m an 18 year old Filipino American from Carlsbad, CA. I love food, lemonade, Taylor guitars, and playing Kendama (Japanese cup and ball).
I’m currently attending MiraCosta College aiming to transfer and graduate at UCSD with a Communications Major. Afterwards, I plan on doing Photography full-time, going where this roller coaster of a business/passion takes me!
What made you get into photography?
My older cousin Ryan came home one day with a shiny new Nikon D40, and I fell in love with it instantly. I would always grab it from his room and take random shots of anything I could find.
How did you get started?
I first started off as a web/graphic designer in the 7th grade (young, right?). I would design t-shirts, myspaces, and websites for different bands and artists. I would always get tired of old clients sending me shoddy pictures of their bands and I thought to myself “I could probably do a better job…”
After finding out about the d40, I sold my Nintendo DS, Wacom Tablet, and my PSP so I could buy my own d40. From there the rest is history. I’ve been shooting ever since and I love what I do.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I mainly shoot a lot of portraiture. It’s my bread and butter and I will always stick to it. I really want to get more into commercial and advertising work, so hopefully down the road that will become a reality.
What gear are you using?
Most of the shots on my website were shot using my Nikon d40 body.
More recent shoots are now shot with my shiny new Nikon d7000.
Lenses: 35mm f/1.8 & 50mm f/1.4 AF-D
Lighting: Vivitar 285hv 2x, Nikon SB-28dx, Wescott Apollo Softbox, Creative Light Umbrella Softbox.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
I love my 35mm f/1.8. Razor sharp, and great in low light.
How are you marketing yourself?
Social Networking and word of mouth is what gets me around. I recently landed a shoot because someone was a co-worker of someones mom who are friends of my friends aunt.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
Oh man, this is a tough question. I’d say it’s a battle between these two photos here. (attached!)
I had a recent couple shoot with some friends of mine, and I decided to try out the Brenizer Method. Needless to say, I ended up with an amazing 28-image bokeh panorama, and I love it to death.
The second photo was a great candid I caught of a couple I was shooting a few months ago. I really love this shot because I shot it from my hip and I really didn’t expect what the end result was. After I saw it, I did a little victory dance and yelled “OOHHHH WOOW!”.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Two words EVERY striving photographer will hear. KEEP. SHOOTING. Your work will never get better unless you keep taking photos.
Also, please know that photography has no limits. I took a photo class my senior year of high school and I HATED it. All I ever heard from my teacher was “Your photo doesn’t follow the rule of thirds, your photos colors are too blue, this angle is too awkward for MY taste” blah blah blah. From what I see, photography is still an art form. According to google.com, art is “Works produced by such skill and imagination”. Don’t be afraid to go past what others have defined as photography, and just use your damn imagination. Last time I checked, the crazy ones are the ones who get noticed.
Another thing is to learn the business. This is essential if you want this to become your full time job. Organize your files, invoices, CONTRACTS, and model releases.
Do not sell yourself short. Doing great photography for free is like a plastic surgeon doing his work for free.
And finally, take a deep breath, keep it 110%, and do what you love to do. ++