Vignette Contrasts

Photographer of the Week: Eduard Yaco

By Maan D’Asis Pamaran

His photography journey began in the high seas. Eduard Yaco, a native of Oriental Mindoro started his career life as a seafarer, feeling the effects of homesickness aboard an international cargo vessel. The views of sunsets on the sea, along with the cultures that he encounters when they dock inspired him to purchase his first camera.

Tabinay Sunrise
You Rock my world
Construction of New Hope (Eduard Yaco)

“When I went outside in the Netherlands, I bought my first digital camera, a very small and compact Casio Exilim that I brought anywhere. I didn’t know anything about photography during that time, this just gave me an idea to capture everything that looks stunning in my eyes. I just captured without having any limitations and boundaries. Working on a cargo vessel is a very lonely profession, homesickness and the idea of being alone will kill you during your 6-9 months contract and sometimes more. With my photography, I felt freedom,” he recalls.

Rise to the Ice
Old meets New
Sunset in Dubai Creek
The Gathering (Eduard Yaco)

A second camera purchase happened shortly thereafter.  “In June of 2012, we were in Ogdensburg, New York and my crewmates told me that there’s a small shop in the area selling a DSLR camera. In my excitement, I went immediately to the shop to buy that camera without second thoughts. I fell in love with it at the first glance even and still without having the knowledge on how to use it. After my crazy love-at-first-sight decision, that camera became my main arsenal. Up to now, I am in love with my Canon EOS Rebel T2i,” he smiles.

Salute to the Hero
Storm Glory

He poignantly recalls another phase in his life that was connected to a camera. “When I was in Grade 4, my father gave me a Canon AF35M film camera that he bought in Japan. Sadly, we sold it because my father got sick and lost his job that time.”  

Welcome to the Future
Soar High

Armed with his DSLR, he took to studying how to use it. “I downloaded my first photography book ‘Understanding Exposure’ by Bryan Peterson and applied its teachings repeatedly during my nine months of contract.” He officially became a serious hobbyist and at the same time a freelance photographer during that period. “When I am onboard the ship, I always brought with me my camera, and when I’m on vacation, I do freelancing and attending seminars and workshops like the ones by the Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation on Basic Photography.

Bracelet and Ring Banner
Ring Parade (Eduard Yaco)

By 2015, Eduard was confident enough to shift his career from seafarer to photographer. After deciding to stop going onboard, he became a Safety Officer for a construction firm in Puerto Galera and started teaching photography in a small private school on the side. The income was not enough, though, and he found a better opportunity as an OFW once again, but this time as a senior e-commerce product photographer and head of the media department in one of the jewelry brands in the UAE. “I am always thankful to the Lord for giving me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in my career,” he shares.

A member of the Litrato Group AE in Dubai, his street photography and landscape works have been featured in several international outlets including the National Geographic Daily Dozen in March 2019, Gulf News, FotoUAE, and Getty Images. The 33-year-old OFW is happy with his job and with his humble achievements.

“My greatest accomplishment I think is that I found my passion and purpose in life. I became a photographer by chance and by choice. I am very happy for what and where I am right now, I can support my family using the camera and this passion inside me,” he concludes.