Photographer of the Week: Alexander Saclauso
By Maan D’Asis Pamaran
Drawing was his first foray into the arts. Ilonggo Alexander Saclauso was a cartoonist for the official publication of the Institute of Information and Communications Technology. He was also a staff artist and performer of IWAG, Colegio de San Jose’s Multi-Talent Performing Group during his student years in Iloilo.
Later on, he leaned on photography as a means to further express himself, as he left his corporate work which included a stint in a pharmaceutical company and wanted to find a new career path.
“I wanted to channel my frustrations in drawing and painting into something more productive. At the time, I also had difficulty in finding a job in our province so I created my own opportunity, which is to put up my own photography services company, Aleksu Studio and ArtyPlay Photo.”
With his studio business, he channels his artistic skills that were honed through his years of experience in drawing with a pencil on paper. “I would say, because of my background, I like doing portraits the most,” he adds. “I love taking photos of people. As for style or mood, I like everything, from colored to black and white, from simple subjects to weird themes, from happy candid moments to photo manipulations.”
Alexander is a proud member of the Iloilo-based Panay Digital Shooters and to encourage more of his provincemates to take up the craft, he also founded the Iloilo Photography Market. “This is a group where most of our local photographers get to buy and sell their gear,” he explains.
Photography has enriched his life experiences and he wants to share that with others. “The best thing about being a photographer is that you may be able to see the world in a different perspective. For me, it is about meeting and dealing with people that have different characters and also helping some of them discover their untapped talent.” As such, he is a very enthusiastic advocate for getting more people interested in this visual medium.
For him, art has a deeper meaning. “Photography taught me more about life. It is a journey of personal growth to building a business, to experiencing rock bottom and rising up again.”
“As a photographer, I get to travel to beautiful places just to do photo shoots. My ultimate goal is to travel all around the world to capture different kinds of smiles, moments, and culture,” he adds. “It is a skill that requires the eye of an artist, and the perseverance to learn and test your gear to its limits.” A lensman, he says, has the privilege of meeting new people, traveling to beautiful places, and preserving moments that happen only once in a lifetime.
The hardworking Hiligaynon, whose first job was as a fast food crew at a popular pizza joint, calls photography as an “escape.”
“With photography, you can capture reality and then have the opportunity to make more out of it. I may have varied subjects and themes, but for me, an effective photograph is one that conveys a message that is universal, where only one glance is needed even for someone who has limited knowledge in photography gets to connect with your work.”