Full Name: Mark Roa
Home Town: Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
Profession: Territory Sales Supervisor, San Miguel Brewery
“Anyone can take a picture, but a person with a passion sees the picture before it is taken.” This anonymous quote is something that probably best describes this young photographer we are putting under the spotlight. His photos celebrate life and beauty. You can tell just by looking at his galleries of portraits how passionate he is in what he does. Get ready to marvel at the world through the lens of Mark Roa.
“Hello! I am Mark Roa from Bacolod City. I am a photographer, traveler and lover of life. Let me introduce myself to you through my photos.”
What/Who inspires you to take photographs? Why do you say so?
The rhythm of life in totality is what inspires me. There’s just so much to draw inspiration from when you go out and see life unfold. I believe it is all about perspective.
When and How did your passion for photography and travelling begin?
Ironically, my love for traveling started out abroad and not domestically. I remember when I went to Singapore with my best friend for over a decade ago, we got lost in translation. It felt so liberating to be in a totally different environment than with what you were used to. There was innocence because most things seemed relatively new. From then on, I couldn’t stop myself from traveling. Photography, on the other hand, started when I was young. I would normally take photos of my siblings at home and during gatherings. Then I had my first digital camera with LCD when I was in high school. That was “gold” back then; being able to view the image immediately on screen. Hahaha!
What cameras do you use? What do you like best about these gadgets?
I used to shoot with my Canon 7D but not until a friend introduced me to mirrorless cameras. It is difficult to carry a DSLR while traveling because of its weight. It’s a struggle not everyone knows about. So I finally switched to Fujifilm X-series for the main reason that it is portable. I just need an equipment to capture what I see right by the moment. Fujifilm offers way better colors and is very easy to manipulate although, technically, a DSLR offers a wider range of functionality. I also own a DJI drone for aerial shots and my best buddy would have to be my GoPro action camera.
What’s your favorite subject to shoot? Why?
I love to shoot portraiture. When I started out with my love for imagery, people are my favorite subjects – particularly conceptual and fashion shoots. I actually miss shooting fashion now since I got busy with new assignments at work and I travel quite a lot. I am more into travel and landscape photography and I also found a new favorite which is astrophotography.
What are some of the challenges you hurdled when you first started out in the photography? Why do you say so?
Fortunately, I couldn’t think of a specific challenge I came across with while starting out. I am a self-taught photographer. I learned a lot from research and tutorials.
What does your family/friends think of your photos?
I want to believe that my photos are able to convey a message. When random people would send me a message or leave a comment saying that I was able to inspire them, that’s already my validation that I am doing something right. Most of my photos are too personal. I don’t just click the shutter just for the sake of taking an image. I even caption some of my photos with short stories of my experience or realizations. I have been wanting to start a personal blog actually but I just don’t have the luxury of time yet.
Who is the artist/photographer you look up to the most and why him/her?
It has to be BJ Pascual and Sam Kolder. BJ Pascual is a Filipino fashion photographer. He started out so young but he proved that talent doesn’t rely with age. He is behind most of the fashion editorials in our country. Sam Kolder is also a legend in his own right. I followed him on Youtube because of his travel and year-end wrap up videos and he wasn’t even famous then. I saw how he worked his way to stardom at 20 years old. Now he works with Beautiful Destinations and gets paid to travel across the globe and take photos and videos. If that is not your idea of a dream job, I don’t know what is. Haha!
What advice or useful tips can you give to aspiring artists/photographers when it comes to chasing their dreams?
I get this quite a lot now. As I mentioned earlier, there would be random messages saying that I am able to inspire them and some would even go as far as they want to be “me” as well. Haha It’s actually hard to believe most of the time because I am just but an ordinary guy who wanted to go out and see life. So my advice to everyone is to actually live and not just exist. Make something productive out of your time. The world is ruthless and doesn’t wait for anyone. Tomorrow is not promised so do something that would impact not just your life but of others as well. Never lose you fire and focus on your goal whatever it may be. Chasing your dreams may be hard, but is it doable? YES!
What photo best represents your life? Why?
This photo best represents me. It has all the elements of my life. I am an outdoorsy person. I love staying up late at night and watch the stars. I love to spend time with myself a lot but it doesn’t mean I’m lonely because I am alone though. This photo would prompt me of my journey. Roads may be dark and lead me to the edges but the stars are there to remind that I am not alone in this. The summit represents my goal and being able to reach the top of it meant that I have finished the race. I may be just a speck in this world like in this photo but I want to do more than enough to make a huge difference.