By Macel Feliciano
Photographer of the week
Gerard del Mundo
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Gerard del Mundo eats, breathes, lives music. Capturing the exhilaration of performing onstage on his camera has enabled him to be part of the music scene from the other side.
“Being a musician myself, I kind of know the thrill that the musicians get when they hit the chorus, or when they land that perfect jump or twist. And being a fan of musicians, I know how the crowd feels when they get to watch their favorite musicians and finally meeting them face to face. Getting those moments and translating that into a photograph is what I live for,” he enthuses.
Gerard is a concert photographer. His main focus is to put his subjects in the best light possible. “I do portrait photography on the side but my main specialization is concert photography. They are similar in a way that you are trying to capture their most beautiful moments as naturally or as raw as possible.”
He is motivated by the euphoria he feels, being at the center of the excitement and celebrating it through his craft. “It’s the rush of getting that perfect shot and the idea of being there for the people that you have idolized for so long—to capture and immortalize moments that you will probably never experience again, not in the same way at least.”
Before focusing his flash on the musicians onstage, he himself basked in the limelight. “I was a musician back when I was still studying high school in Singapore. When I moved back to the Philippines, I tried starting a band again but failed. After a few months of going to gigs and major concerts, I saw all these photographers and became curious with the craft. I tried it for myself, using my dad’s DSLR that I did not know how to use back then. Surprisingly, I loved it! This is as close to the music scene that I can get, and it’s enough for me.”
A former photo editor of The Benildean, De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde’s official student publication, his annual photo book dubbed Dekunstrukt: Deviance was recognized at the Quill Awards. Now 25 years old, he is currently the touring photographer for Nicole Asensio and the Itchyworms. For him, being able to hang out and interact with the artists he admires and he has listened to since childhood is accomplishment and reward enough.
Dynamic, throbbing with rhythm, one can almost feel and hear the beat just by looking at Gerard’s photos. His principle in capturing moments is what makes his images successful. “An effective photograph is one that translates everything that you want to portray or express without any explanation. It has to have emotion that the viewers can feel. For concerts/music, it has to be a photograph that will showcase the artist, making them look good and capturing their wildest, most memorable moments, and make the viewers feel like they are there experiencing that moment themselves.”
His own emotions play a big part in his process. “A photographer’s mood can greatly affect the outcome of the photos. Since you are expressing yourself through your photos as well, a single photo can be taken differently depending on what you are feeling because you are looking for a certain element in that photo, relating to what you are feeling in that moment.”
Gerard dreams of becoming a celebrity photographer capturing celebrity performers, squeezing every bit of fun and fulfillment from every concert and gig.
“My ultimate goal would probably be recognized internationally as a concert photographer and be invited to different countries just to shoot concerts. Money isn’t really what I’m aiming for but to be able to travel the world doing what I love is what I want to do in the future.”
It is evident he immensely enjoys his craft, but what he appreciates most about it is the contribution he makes to music history.
“The best thing about being a photographer is that you immortalize every moment you take that would probably never happen again. You keep those memories with you forever and for others as well.”
He gives this advice for other aspiring photographers: “Never stop growing. There’s always something new to learn in photography. Even from people less experienced than you.”
Truly, Gerard puts photography to good use by conveying his inmost self and by trying to draw out his viewers’ sentiments.“Photography is an outlet for you to express what you feel, want to feel, or what you want people to feel. Whether negative or positive, as long as there is something that the viewer feels about your photograph, you are doing something right.”