PHOTO BY JEF ANOG
DUBAI – An accidental photo project for a friend less than a decade ago turned Dubai expatriate Jef Anog from a number-crunching accountant to the rising fashion photographer he is today.
“It’s really funny when you think about it. My background was far from the glamour that I work with now,” he told expatmedia.net ahead of his debut photo exhibit at the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai on Thursday (December 7).
Anog has worked with personalities such as award-winning Dubai-based fashion designer Michael Cinco, and former Miss Philippines Venus Raj, who was in Abu Dhabi for modeling workshops in 2016.
His UAE story started in 2010, when he arrived in the emirate to visit a friend. When he was offered a job, “I thought I was just going to stay here for one to two years, but it’s now been seven years.”
“I remember on my first project I just set the camera on auto mode and took shots,” he said, adding that it wasn’t much about “taking beautiful photos than creating a story through photos” that made his shots stand out and get noticed.
“I magnify their beauty with a touch of drama. That’s how I see my subjects,” he said.
It didn’t take long for him to get a lot of photography projects, he said, adding that it was the push he needed to make the leap from accountancy to photography.
His portfolio now includes fashion brands and personalities abroad and in the UAE. Some of his famous portraits include one he took for Cinco. “That photo has been used for probably more than a thousand times in different publications,” he said.
His dream project, he said, will take him back to the Philippines where he plans to do a fashion photography series featuring local festivities. Locations include Ilo-ilo city and Quezon province, home of the Pahiyas festival where people decorate their houses with candy-coloured fruits, vegetables and handicrafts.
“It’s very colourful and you can feel the vibe. With the model in the middle of those festivities, it is going to be amazing for sure,” he said.
For now, Anog said he is excited and happy to finally debut his seven-year work in the emirates.
“Knowing that I made that mark in fashion photography while I am here is something I am proud of and something that the Filipino community can celebrate,” he said, urging people to visit his exhibit and watch out for the main piece that he describes as a “bridal gown with a twist”.
“Jef Anog is a photographer who puts poetry in his images. He is a talented artist of the 21st century who mixes light, people, fashion, and emotion in his work. The consulate and Filipino Ladies of Dubai are proud to support Filipino artists who embody the creativity of the overseas Filipino and the passion of the Filipino soul.” – Dr Yasmin Balajadia-Cortes, President of Filipino Ladies of Dubai
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