Why do you take and create images?
I take photographs because I would like to preserve a certain moment in time. Taking photographs for me is all about preservation. Like a time capsule saying, ‘yes I was here, I existed!’ For me to know that there is a medium out there to communicate with the people of the future, inspires me to go out and document the world.
How do you define your photographic/artistic body of work? What subjects do you often explore in your work?
I would like to think that I am still at an experimental stage. For now, I base my shots on emotions or feelings that would be otherwise hard to express with words. I would like to explore more mediums like large format and black and white photography.
What motivates your work?
Nature, History, Architecture, Raw emotions, Interesting stories, Ansel Adams,
What relationship does your work have with reality?
I mainly do film photography as a hobby or when I’m going on an epic adventure somewhere. I think that the shots come more naturally when you’re not thinking of it as work. You develop a more personal approach to your camera and your subjects this way.
For you, what is the purpose of art?
I believe that art has no purpose nor should it have one, just like life and existence is the greatest art yet we don’t know why it happened nor do we have to. It just is. I think art is for sharing and everyone can be an artist.
How do you want the public to respond to your work? Do you have a particular audience in mind?
I would like them to feel inspired to go out and take pictures. I aim for a certain, ‘visual meditation’ wherein the audience feels relaxed and calm when looking at my stills. I like to keep it simplistic and minimal yet dramatic.
What is your training? Were you trained as a photographer?
I am currently studying multimedia arts. Basic photography class was the only class that was given to us. I mostly learned on my own from experience and shooting out in the streets.
How do you define your actual professional situation? What are your expectations?
I don’t have any expectations towards them, but I am very enthusiastic about it. For now, I just enjoy what I do as a hobby and if a situation arises for me to practice and hone my photography, then I would gladly take it as an opportunity to grow as an artist.
It’s hard to live off art. Does this affect you and your work?
Yes, the art world is very demanding and at times, (most of the times) it can get into my life, (stress, anxiety, etc) and affect my work. I become unmotivated to shoot because of the pressure it puts leading me to have creative doubts/blocks but I do not let it get to me because I know that is the struggle of every artist.
Have you worked with gallerists, curators, institutions and other art professionals? Can you discuss more about this particular relationship?
No, my work was never curated nor have I been associated with any galleries or professionals.
In your opinion, what is the current state of contemporary photography in the Philippines?
I find that the contemporary photography here is very progressive however, I do see it being driven more by advertising rather than art. People like to see their brands or products advertised and I think that photography as an art plays a major role in that but I think that it loses its true essence in the process. The economy demands so much that it forces technology to constantly replace itself and for photographers, it’s hard to keep up!
How do you want contemporary photography to develop in the Philippines?
I guess a certain awareness for the self, like why does one take photos and not just for the sake of taking photos especially now that we have all the available technology to do so. From the millions of data being uploaded everyday plus all the digital manipulation tools and free platforms for file sharing, it’s hard to tell a genuinely shot photograph. I guess I would like to see more contemporaries exploring the roots of photography like shooting with analog cameras and experimenting in the dark room. I think it’s a very humbling process and it would force them to be more mindful of their shots.
Name: Gregory Jaeger
Location: Manila, Philippines
Grade 1-11, University of Saint La Salle, Bacolod City
Currrently studying Multimedia Arts at the College of Saint Benilde in Manila