Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hot Spot : Martin Jhudiel San Diego

Martin San Diego is one of the kind, hindi biro lang but seryoso isa siya sa masasabi kung proffesional hobbyist pagdating sa larangan ng photography. Oo aamin ko minsan gusto ko din gawin yung mga kuha niya iba kasi yung timpla ng mga tirada niya eh. Mahusay, malinis at alam mo agad na may mensahe sa mga kuha niya.

Kaya naman naglakas loob ako na tanungin siya kung maari ko ba siya mainterview ng mabilisan sapagkat alam ko naman kung gaano kabusy ang isang Martin San Diego at marahil nakulitan siya sa akin kaya naman napapayag ko siya na mafeature sa aing munting Hot Spot kung saan binibigyan ko ng mga halaga ang mga gawa at kuha ng isang taong nagugustuhan ko pagdating sa mga tirada nila sa photography.

Tara samahan mo akong kilalanin ng mabuti kung sino nga ba si Martin San Diego sa mundo ng photography at bakit nga ba siya napasok sa mundong ito.

Full Name and Alias: Martin Jhudiel San Diego
Twitter: @martinsandiego
Instagram: @martinsandiego
Location: Quezon City
Age: 23
Education: BS Computer Science major in Network Engineering, DLSU-M

Genre of your Photography:
Sports, Events, Music, Weddings

Tell me about yourself that people don't know:
I learned photography by practice. I never took any classes about photography. I read a lot from the Internet especially when I was just starting out.

What is your current state of mind before we continue with the interview?
I'm thinking of what's gonna be my next gig. Need money. haha

How did you get started in photography?
My mom asked her officemate who went to the US to buy a small camera, that was when I was still in second year high school, around 2007. We got a Casio Exilim 7MP camera. I brought it to school everyday even til college, until it got replaced by my first DSLR in March 2010.
I joined DLSU-M's student publication, The LaSallian, and applied as a photo staffer. I learned a lot shooting school events.

Did you go to school to study photography?

What camera did you use?
My first camera was a Casio Exilim 7-megapixel camera
I got my first DSLR in 2010, a Nikon D3000
I upgraded last September 2013, got a Nikon D600

How would you characterize the style of your photography?
Raw. I have a journalism approach with everything I shoot (of course except when shooting food and products). As much as possible I leave everything as they are, the people, the surroundings, and most importantly the emotions.

Who or what influenced you to become a photographer?
I got my first camera during PGMA's time and negativity was all over the news but people seem to care very little. I wanted other people to see what's around the streets - the bad things - and to open their eyes through photos of reality.

Misagh Bahadoran Ankle Breaker
Misagh Bahadoran leaves behind his defender during the championship match of the PFF Peace Cup 2014 between the Philippine Azkals and Myanmar National Team.

How did you become a photographer? And When did your career start as a professional photographer?
I became a photographer when I decided I want to produce quality photos with quality content. Deep.
I started earning with my photography way back in college, paunti unti lang. It only got serious and full-time last February 2014, when I had to leave my job at an Antivirus company.

How did you go about selling your first photograph?
We'll now when it happens. haha

What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
One who is never fully satisfied with his own output. One who never stops seeking guidance of others even if he's already one of the top guns in the industry he chose. And one who has a vision for a better society.

Do You Have A Favorite Walk Around Lens...If So What Is It?
50mm, just because it's light and small :D
I'd bring a wide angle everyday if it were light and small too.

Gloc 9
Gloc 9 invited the Araneta crowd to turn on their phones as they sing along his tribute to the late Francis Magalona during the ICON the concert at the Smart-Araneta coliseum last November.

Which one item of equipment would you say is the most important to you?
The camera of course. A photographer wouldn't be one if he doesn't have a camera.

What is the most rewarding part of photography?
When your subjects use your favorite photos as facebook profile pictures! haha. Seriously.
But you know, we have to earn too... so the most rewarding part has to be the... reward $_$

What is your most embarrassing experience as a photographer?
Oh! When I was attending a wedding at Bohol with my mom. I noticed the main wedding photographer looked famous, I knew his face from one the websites I've been browsing for inspiration. I had a name on my head but I didn't have an internet connection so I can't check if I'm correct. I approached him anyway and asked "Sir, are you P** **?", he said "No. D*** ****".

I messaged him on facebook that night to apologize. I can't stop laughing at my self whenever I remember that moment.

Rico Blanco lights
Rico Blanco paused for a moment in the middle of the stage during the ICON the concert at the Smart-Araneta coliseum last November.

How photography change your life?
I've met many people and covered events I would've missed if I were to be an office worker. Among the high profile events I've covered were Lebron's visit, Iverson's visit, and the IPTL. In the long run, I want to affect the lives of others through photography. Di ko pa alam ngayon kung paano specificially, but we'll get there :)

I know you been working with some of the famous and influential people in the country but may I ask whom do you wish/dream to work with and Why?
Di pa naman. haha. I want to have a chance working with top photojournalists and top wedding photographers in the country, to have a few months as their apprentice. I want to learn how they work to gain an insight to how they've become what they are today.

What tips can you give to someone aspiring to be a professional photographer?
Get the cheapest camera, yung walang live view. Face the limits first, pag nalampasan mo you'll be limitless.

What are the best tools for a beginner to learn on (besides the camera)?
A mentor. Not exactly a tool but yeah, get a mentor. Look for someone whose work you admire, ask him or her for opinions on how to improve yours. He'll be proud if you surpass him someday.

What are the pros and cons of being a photographer? Please be specific.
+ Income in peak months are really high
+ Meet cool people who will eventually be your clients
+ Cover awesome events
+ Your work can be seen by lots of people
+ Get assigned to shoot awesome destinations
- Unstable income
- Tax evaderrrr (sa simula lang naman)
- No HR department to do things for you
- Self marketing

I know you like traveling for shoot or even for chill-out, can tell me where is the best place to be to do some shoot? and why there?
I don't normally go to the same place many times over to shoot because it would be redundant. I want to try walking along EDSA from end to end some time soon. EDSA will show you the highs and lows of our society, from end to end and side to side.

Ana Ivanovic
It was my first time covering a tennis event in my life. I didn't know any of the players were, I just took many photos of who the crowd cheered most. haha. This was Ana Ivanovic during the International Premiere Tennis League's Manila leg last November.

What goal are you working towards within your photography and when will you know you have reached it?
To know what I really want to do. As of the moment, I'm still not sure which genre to pursue.

What photographic organizations do you belong to?
Wala po. hehe.

Name a photographer you would like to take a portrait of?
Wala e. haha. Mahina ako sa mga pangalan. Sabi nga nila, mas magandang maaalala ang gawa mo kesa ang pangalan mo. Pero okay din kung both. hehe.

If you weren't a photographer or a multimedia artist, what would you want to be? Why?
Cyber security professional. It's where my course specializes at :D

How do you see yourself 20 or 30 yrs from now?
Di ko pa alam e. Basta I'm sure I want to be one of the best at something, siguro sports, siguro wedding, siguro events. For now, I don't want to shoot down any opportunities yet :)

Glenn Khobuntin
Natinoal University Bulldogs team captain Glenn Khobuntin cuts the net at the Smart-Araneta coliseum following their championship win against Far Eastern University last October.

What legacy you will leave on?
Bata pa po ako. hahaha

Any final mesage? Its your time to shine.
If you feel working in an office environment isn't for you, go ahead, step out, do what you love. Ipon ka muna pala bago ka mag resign. hehe.

Muli maraming salamat kay Martin San Diego sa kanyang panahon upang sagutin ang ilan sa mga tanung patungkol sa mundo ng photography. Sana nagustuhan ninyo ang aking feature photographer on the month!


  1. He has a great eye for beauty and drama. Ang galing!