Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hot Spot : Franz Lopez

Who is Franz Lopez? Well, let me share to you how I met him...

Nagkakilala kami ni Franz sa isang photography gathering na siya mismo ang nag-orgazine. Siya mismo ang nag imbita sa akin upang sumali sa kanilang photography group na The Helios Project INTERNATIONAL™. Dahil dun, mas lalo pang lumawak ang aking kaalaman sa photography.

Minsan kung di siya busy, nagkakaroon siya ng mini skype session kung saan nagkakaroon ng lecture about photography. Nagtuturo siya ng paggamit ng lightroom at ng photoshop. Magaling siya magbigay ng mga pointers lalo na sa isang katulad ko na di kagalingan sa ganitong larangan. Kung minsan, nagseset siya ng isang mini photowalk sa grupo kung lalong humasa ang aming talento sa photography.

Kung minsan naman, nagkakaroon ng twitter session kung saan nagbabatuhan ng mga tanong tungkol sa photo-crossing. Nangyayari ito tuwing linggo pero naging busy na siya kaya naman naging madalang na ito.

Sa ngayon naging busy na siya dahil parte na siya ng isang online news organization. Ito ang Rappler.com.

Trivia : Sobrang galing niyang kumanta at tumugtog ng gitara.

So paano simulan na natin ang aking munting interview kay Franz Lopez...

Full name and alias: Franz Lopez AKA Keeko
Website/Portfolio: keekolopez.wordpress.com / franzlopez.tumblr.com
Twitter: @keekolopez
Location: Makati
Age: 25
Education: Digital Arts
Genre of your photography: General Photography

Tell me about yourself that people don't know.
Well most people might not know it but photography aside... I cook, paint and I play music! I started cooking back in high school. I tried to discover culinary arts and focused on Mediterranean cuisine. I love cooking pasta.

I can also paint. I started painting as a kid. It's probably the main foundation for my passion for the arts. Most people might not know it but I can also play music. I can play the guitars, some basic drum riffs, percussion and a little bit of harmonica. It's just hard to do them all at once and find time for each one of them.

How did you get started in photography?
I actually wanted to be a film maker as a kid. Thing is, photography was hard back then. You needed to buy film for your camera and cameras were not that cheap. Until the digital age came in 2007 where digital cameras were readily available. As a kid I got immersed with cameras around me mainly because my father is a photojournalist. I used to see different cameras all over the house and when I sneak into his room, I play with them.

Looking back, when film cameras started to go obsolete, I got to use my dad's cam after I mastered his film camera. That was the deal. After I got the hang of it, I started shooting sports photography and so on...

Did you go to school to study photography?
No, I did not. What I learned from my father jumpstarted me. With that, I realized that  creating something from your own hands is worth the effort. Reading books, researching and trying out new stuff will make you learn and make mistakes. You think and begin to take the risks. You then learn to understand that by being a true “Master” you need to strive hard and understand the essence of your craft. Being able to Influence & inspiring others is just a satisfying afterthought.

What camera did you use?
I was able to use different kinds during the whole course of my career. I started using my father's film SLR, a Canon EOS 1n and his Mamiya RZ67 medium format camera. The best years of my photography are with Nikon. I was able to use 3 different Nikon SLR cameras. The image output and the colors are crisp and very sharp! I'm now with the Canon system shooting video.

How would you characterize the style of your photography?
My style is simple. I go for the vibrant colors and make sure that the image is sharp. I make sure that I get to shoot artistic shots during a coverage. Those shots that make it unique and make people think how you were able to produce it.

When did your career start as a professional photographer?
My career as a professional photographer started when I saw the potential of it in earning a profit. I remember my father saying… "You should think of photography as a business not as "just a hobby." If you think about it that way, You can generate funds in order for you to upgrade your system / equipment to provide better service. That way you can enjoy taking photographs and at the same time have a working fund in order for you to level it up.

What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
First of all, a good photographer is also a good story teller. It is someone who can think deep and deliver it illustratively. Second, someone who can manipulate light, learn the fundamentals and use them to his/her advantage. Third, you have to be innovative. You don't need expensive equipment to do the trick. You just need to be creative. Think outside of the box. Forth, be adventurous. Go beyond your realm and challenge yourself to go beyond boundaries. Fifth, share your art. Pay forward the things you have learned to build up a legacy. Sixth, Accept praise but never let it in your system. Always stay humble.

What is the most rewarding part of photography?
Photography helps you expressing your feelings. By producing beautiful images, you begin to influence people. By influencing people, you inspire them to take it higher and go beyond their boundaries. By doing this, you help them transform. Their success stories are priceless.

Here the five exclusive pictures taken by Franz Lopez

Head of Rappler Maria Ressa

Centennial Celebration of La Salle

Worldcup Asia

Strawberry Fields Forever

President Noynoy Aquino

How photography change your life?
Photography changed my life in so many ways. It helped me explore the world around me. Also, with the help of social media, It gave me the advantage of meeting people like me. Photography made me more creative in ways I never imagined. By doing different kinds of shoots, you collaborate. By collaborating with different people, you develop new interesting things that people will enjoy.

One good example is XPC (Xtreme Photo Challenge) I organised this event in order to improve people's skills in photography. We challenged them to go beyond their limits and practice their skills and in a way discover new ones. This event also provides a venue where new talents are discovered. The innovation continues as technology changes.

Here some of the Video Portfolio of Franz Lopez




What tips can you give to someone aspiring to be a professional photographer?
Learn how to take right risks. Measure the playing field. Be open to new ideas and be open to learn. Be innovative and at the same time be constructively competitive. Lastly, learn how to be a good leader. Always stay humble and learn how to give back.

What legacy you will leave on? Any final message?
My photography has been a very long 14-year journey; my gear, already six years old and filled with rust, wear and tear. Yet my journey still continues. More experiences will come my way as I realize the dreams that I was just dreaming years ago.

I started with just a small camera like most people did when they started with photography. It doesn't matter. If you would ask me about equipment? They are just tools. Photographers are just like painters. The cameras, lenses and other equipment are just like brushes and paint. You will not be able to create a remarkable painting without the hand and imagination that guides it. What we see with our eyes and imagination are the real cameras.

If you have the imagination, use your eyes and a camera to record it. Don't be intimidated the same way I did when I did when I started. Photography is not about equipment, this is not about megapixels. It is about you and the stuff you believe you can do.


  1. Naks naman AXL, I've enjoyed reading your interview with Franz. Kakaibang Franz ang nabasa ko dito. Ang dami din pala nyang talents aside photography, magaling din pala siyang cook, kumanta at tumugtog ng gitara.

    Ang dami ko rin natutunan sa journey nya since his humble beginning until now na well established na siya sa kanyang chosen field.

    Ang ganda ng interview portion. Very straight forward lahat ng sagot niya. At higit sa lahat, ang dami ko rin natutunan about photography from him. Naku, pag ako talaga nagkaroon ng isang magandang cam, sa inyo agad ako magpapatutor hehe at sana libre lang hahaha!

    Kudos to you AXL and Franz!

  2. Ang galing, professional looking ang shots nya talaga. Lalo na yung kay Noynoy. I'm envious... He mentioned he shoots videos too. Sana makapanood ako ng samples...

  3. wow, ang cool ng shot nya ahh! gagaling naman ng mga nakikilala mong photographer parekoy

  4. Ito ung tipong ibang level na ...