Photowalk in Manila: Tips and Experiences

When a fellow IGer friend (@malignantquiapo) informed me that he’s coming home from Canada after 4 years, we decided to organize a photowalk with other IGers around the city of Manila.  It was my first time to organize such event so I was so thrilled and, at the same time, tense if it will be a success.

So, I searched up the internet for some photowalk tips and I stumbled upon this blog of Alexis Lim wherein he wrote an article that he contributed to about Tips for a Photowalk. And here are some of pointers that I picked up from his post, and added my own take on it:

1. Know the place.

Choosing a location for a photowalk is very crucial. You must be familiar with your destination, how to go around the area, and the do’s and dont’s of these places. So, for our photowalk, we chose the City of Manila. We considered a lot of places like Luneta, Intramuros, Fort Santiago, Binondo, Baywalk. We researched and asked people on what’s the best route, what place should we start. And with that, we came up with a plan. Quiapo to Binondo to Intramuros to Manila Bay then Mall of Asia.  That was our itinerary.

IGM - Photowalk in Manila1

2. Prepare your gear.

Camera, check. Batteries, check. Memory space, check. These are the things that should be ready when doing a photowalk. But not only that, you must also prepare other stuff like tripods, extra lenses, and most importantly, money. Yeah, even if you’re expected to just walk (since it’s a photowalk), you will still gonna spend some bucks for other things.  With me who’s using an iphone camera in photowalk, a battery pack is a must! So I made sure that everything are fully charged and all my cable wires are with me. I deleted some unnecessary photos in my camera roll and unimportant apps to free up more space. These things are my usual pitfalls, and luckily I learned from my past experiences.

3. Be comfortable.

Since it is a photoWALK, expect that there will be a lot of walking. And our plan was a whole day thing so we will be out there under the heat of the sun. So I dressed up with my shorts and light clothes, and a comfortable footwear. I also brought an extra shirt in case it’s a sweaty day, and water to rehydrate.

IGM - Photowalk in Manila2

4. Safety first.

This is one of my major concerns that moment. Since I’m the one who “organized” the event, I was praying that everyone will be safe. There are areas in Manila that are really risky (especially for me who’s only using my phone to take pictures) so an utmost precaution is really needed. So when we were taking pictures, we made sure that someone is checking on us, on the surrounding, and during the walk, we made sure that we’re together.

5. Camera on, and Be Aware.

Never stop clicking. That’s what you should keep in mind when doing a photowalk. Just like what Alexis Lim said in his article, “Perfect moments happen in an instant and it wouldn’t last that long.”. You should have a quick eye on your surrounding to capture everything that looks good, that has drama, that has a story. Be aware.

IGM - Photowalk in Manila3

6. Just keep walking.

Maximize the whole time of photowalk, Alexis says. Unfortunately, we didn’t. Haha. We spent most of our time eating and chilling and chatting. But we had enough walk for that day, and I guess we captured enough photos along the way.

IGM - Photowalk in Manila4

7. Know the rules.

Our first destination that day was San Sebastian Church. We were able to capture a lot great structures and perfect moments inside the church. Then we transferred to Quiapo Church after that. We mindlessly entered the place with our cameras and phones when the guard called our attention and told us that it’s not allowed inside. Only at that moment we learned that there’s such a rule in Quiapo Church. So, lesson learned, always ask permission before you shoot. Not just in places, but also with people.

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8. Just have fun.

Events like these are best to be experienced with friends. Walking around and during stop overs are much fun when you are having a good conversation with people. I’m glad that the people who joined us that day are all fun to be with. We had a yummy lunch at Sincerity Cafe in Binondo, chilled over coffee at Starbucks Harbour Square, watched Pyrolympics at MOA together, and had dinner at Hap Chan after. It was not just a photowalk but also a fun get together or instameet as well.

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9. Share.

Of course, the main goal after this activity is to share all your photos and visual stories online, specifically Instagram.

Over-all, I could say that the photowalk that we did was a success. We captured a lot of great pictures and moments, but most importantly, we gained more friends along the way. Big thanks to the following who went with us from Quiapo to MOA: @malignantquiapo, @dorayg, @vin_aranas7, @jag_013, @tineortiz, @ivanborlongan, @bryantotz, @imalexxe, @fotoniron, @gapz_a15, @christofferking, @egguillermo, and @abcdefgelay. Let’s do it again soon!


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