2008 – The Year in Pictures

2008 was truly a learning experience. It was like going back to school except it was the real thing. I kept doing my fashion shoots, but did a lot of weddings this year as well.

Every wedding that I shot this year reminded me that in a few months in the year to come, I would be getting married. So almost every single time I heard a couple’s vows to each other, I was able to soul search and reflect on what I would be vowing to my own wife to be.

Fashion got more interesting as I tried new techniques. I branched out this year to do more lifestyle images and even got to do some interior shots. Let’s start!

[Please visit www.campfiremedia.net]



Early January, I got the cover for NHA Magazine. The cover was shot with model Eileen Hallinan whom I’ve worked with before for another issue of NHA. We shot that in Yerba Buena at the Carousel. I remember our exact conversation during that shoot but don’t really remember how it got started. We were talking about engagement rings and how she didn’t really think engagement rings were practical in these economic times. And I told her that my fiance had the same views. 🙂

The insert picture is of model Jacqueline Sand of Ford. She’s actually sitting on the convertible BMW of good friend/stylist Owen Buenaventura.


Eileen Hallinan / City Models

Jacqueline Sand / Ford


Owen Buenaventura


Kristine Burge’t of Burge’t Salon



When Mimi of City Models called me up to shoot Van Meurs, she said that he was going to be big. I remember that day of the shoot. It didn’t have the promising start of a perfect shoot though – for instance, something came up and my stylist couldn’t be at the shoot, and just dropped the clothes off; it was drizzling (we planned to shoot outdoors). When Van Meurs met me up at the Burge’t Salon, he brought along some clothes that his agency lent him for this shoot (since they thought that the stylist wasn’t going to be able to come up with any looks). While he changed into the first look, the drizzling outside stopped. So we shot quickly outside and got the first image of him sitting on the pavement above.

It drizzled on and off, and we shot when it was clear.  And we got the shoot done in less than an hour.  You may recognize Van Meurs from Abercrombie & Fitch campaigns. I also recently saw a fashion editorial of him in the “Ebony” magazine.



This is a shoot I did for Hyphen Magazine. I talked with Seng Chen and Han Pham of  Hyphen concerning a shoot for their Takeout Section. Our concept for this shoot was a peasant farmer from Japan turned into a Samurai Surfer. As we brainstormed, the shoot seemed to grow and grow in terms of ideas. Han suggested that there be a “sea monster” of some sort like in the original legend of the Samurai Surfer.  In the end, we kept it simple and I think it worked out well.

We shot in Poleng Lounge and at the Ocean Beach for the second look. I worked with Miles Berdache for this shoot and he did an amazing job. The mohawk he did above was actually fuller with feathers when we first started. The sea breeze wasn’t kind at all! (Sand from this shoot still is in my equipment bags I think!). But nevertheless, I love the look and how everything turned out.


Model and businessman Scott Zachary of Ford Models contacted me if I wanted to shoot some suits with a private jet and an Aston Martin as a backdrop. I loved the idea and drove up to the Concord Airport (I never knew there was even an aiport there!) for the shoot. Designer Mel Monroe styled Scott up with his custom suits. I also met Marc Denola who was kind enough to lend us his Aston Martin.

Tonight, Scott opens up the Infusion Lounge ($4.6 Million in the making!) for New Year’s Eve. Check it out (www.infusionlounge.com).



I went to the Philippines to visit my fiance Angelica. We took a bus to Vigan (which was about a 10 hour ride). I always enjoy the culture and history at Vigan. Here are some pictures.

From L to R: Crisologo street; trinkets you can buy along Crisologo Street; an antique house named Villa Angela where guests can stay overnight; a young Tom Cruise with the founder of Villa Angela (he stayed there while filming “Born in The Fourth Of July”).



I was introduced to TV Host/Model Angel Aquino by good friends Royce and Lui. She was genuinely kind and warm. We planned and talked about our shoot at a small restaurant/cafe named Banapple along Katipunan (which I suddenly miss and am craving for…) I wanted to shoot Angel with gowns designed by local designers among some Filipino elements (such as a sari-sari store or a tricycle).

I talked with designer Jerome Lorico at the Philippine Fashion Week if he can style this shoot and he agreed! Jerome brought 2 of his pieces and 1 gown by Eric De Los Santos and shot around Provident Village in Marikina. We shot in front of a sari-sari store with the shot of Angel with holding a soda bottle. I loved that shot because of how the gown pops out of the coke-red backdrop. A tricycle driver passed by and watched us shoot at the store which was such a perfect opportunity! He willingly (and ecstatically) lent us his tricycle. Since we were shooting in the middle of the street and I didn’t want the driver to wait too long, I decided to use ambient lighting. Angel rocked it.


L to R: Angel getting her hair done by Candice; Angel with deisgner Jerome Lorico



I tested a lot during July and tried to take advantage of the sunny days. During these tests, I met several people that I loved working with again and again. Stylist Alanna Anderson hailed from Toronto, Canada and was a bit bored by lifestyle work (she’s back in Toronto doing high fashion work). Makeup artist Angela Renee was such a pleasure to work with – she’s always easy to talk to and got on the good side of the models right away. Hair Stylist Samaiyah Warren always made the shoot fun – whenever the models were freezing, her favorite thing to say is, “Ooooh! It’s so hot! It’s hot!”



L to R: Alanna fixing the girls for the money shot; Super Sam!



In August, I met with Nichole Kreglow and Stephanie Bodnar of odileodette at their studio space in San Francisco. I told them a concept I had for a shoot – a woman Robin Hood. They showed me some of their peices which fit perfectly with the theme.

I remember this shoot because I drove our Prius to the shoot. We went to the first location which was at the Presidio in the patch of forest they have there. We shot a couple of looks and decided to change location to Crissy Field. When I got into my car, and pressed the “Power” button of the Prius, and it didn’t turn on. I tried again and again – the model, her husband, the makeup artist, the deisgner, and odileodette’s Media Relations all waiting in their cars. Model Erin’s husband came out and helped.. thinking it may be a dead battery. But since it was a Prius, no one knew where the battery was!

We decided to end the shoot early (since Erin and her husband is all the way from Sacramento). Stephanie and Ahlam of odileodette stayed with me as I waited for the tow truck. Such sweeties of them to do that. When the tow truck came, he told me that the Prius sometimes loses communication with the electronic key. So you need to lock-unlock several times using the key to establish a communication (Prius owners take note). Whatever! And it worked….


I also got to work with the wonderful crew at “The Green Magazine” to work with NFL Legend Jerry Rice. The pictures will be published in the next issue. But for now, here’s a picture of me and the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time).



In September, I had several weddings. One wedding in particular that I remember is Ismerai and David Dominguez’s wedding. I shot their engagement pictures earlier in the year, and had several emails and talks with them about their wedding thorughout. They’re a very sweet couple. And I remember meeting up with David and Ismerai at the Church they attend service in and something David said stuck with me.

I remember jokingly asking him, “Are you nervous?” And he said, “I’m not nervous about the wedding. That’s easy. Everything is set. It’s what happens after is what’s scary.”  So true. A couple can get so involved in preparing for the wedding, that they forget to prepare for the marriage. And David saying that got me thinking about my own wedding and marriage.

Here are their engagement pictures and a couple of their wedding pictures. You can see more at www.campfiremedia.net/weddings


I also shot the Johnson family up in Tomales Bay. Bedar and Oakley Johnson I’ve shot for Baby Couture before. This time, I got to shoot the whole family. I drove up 2-3 hours up north along Highway 1 which was such a scenic drive. When I got up near the shoot, I realized I had no cellphone signal and it was impossible to get in contact with Bedar as I was late for the shoot (since I got lost a little bit). When I got to the area.. I saw her putting on makeup on herself. When she saw me she said, “Jar! I didn’t know if you were still going to make it. I was going to take pictures with our camera. The kids didn’t believe you were going to find this place.”

I look at these pictures and I’m so glad I found that place.



I met a designer that I met at a local fashion show. His name was Preston Doh. He’s Malaysian of descent and studied in Florence, Italy in fashion design. Here are some of his designs under his label Lucio Montana.


I travelled to San Diego to shoot Christian singer Eric Lopez for his album cover (which is due next Feb). Poncho Hernandez helped me organize this shoot as he always does with my San Diego shoots. Poncho brought us to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse in San Diego to shoot which ended up on the cover of Eric’s album.



I did some bridal shots with Paris Connection (thanks to Karine Manookian) and Jinza Bridal Couture. While shooting Jinza’s dresses, a woman comes up to us. She was so curious about the goings on and she had a little camera with her. She didn’t speak much English, but said, “Egypt. I’m from Egypt.”


Here’s the mastermind behind the great Bridal hair – Samaiyah!



Fashion shows got me real busy with the last month of this year. I did Genart and Bacca Da Silva’s Grand Opening the month before. And this month was Marciano at the W Hotel and Girls Town of Italy Fashion Show featuring Joseph Domingo at the Fairmont. I met other photographers during these shows such as Moanalani Jeffrey (who is so chic whenever she shoots pictures! I remember telling her one time that she’s the only photographer I’ve seen that can pull off a digital SLR and a Chanel bag at the same time. hehehe).

I’ve also met some models who I shot at a later date. Here is Monte of Ford. You see her here at the Joseph Domingo show at the Fairmont and you see her at a Beauty shoot we did just a couple of days earlier.


That’s my 2008! Happy New Year to all of you! What’s in store for next year? Mission: Asia!

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16 Responses to “2008 – The Year in Pictures”
  1. christian esguerra says:

    jar, just saw your pics! IDOL!

  2. Kai Magsanoc says:

    Fantastic year with fantastic photos, Jar. Next year, I’d like to be part of it. 🙂 Godspeed, man!

  3. more photos for year 2009!!!:-)

  4. Ann says:

    What an awesome year for you! Love all your work. Can’t wait to see what you have instore for the coming year!

  5. Ismerai says:

    Jar… Good Job in 2008 … can’t wait to see what 2009 brings for you. Hopefully we can work together this coming year! Thanks for everything you guys are the best!

  6. Jo-anne De Guzman says:

    Hi Bro. Jar,
    That’s really amazing and awesome.. soo love the photos! c’,) Keep up the good work..
    Wishing you a more fruitful year 2009. 🙂

  7. Erin says:

    Outstanding Jar!

  8. Angela Renee says:

    Jar! 2008 brought us together for the first time, and to think now in 2009 we began the new year together (even BETTER!)…I can’t thank you enough for your gorgeous images, but of course the most amazing part of it all is just how wonderful a person you are. Kindest heart, and so very patient…I’m blessed to have made your acquaintance. Best wishes for your asia takeover, wedding (Angelica is very lucky, as I’m sure you are equally as lucky to have her), and your move back home. We will miss you in Nor-Cal, but of course, you come back as often as possible!

    P.S. that last statement was a demand, not a request 😉

  9. jeman says:

    very impressive works! i love every bits of it! the lighting, the editing are great! really hoping to work with you on a project soon! i’m sure 2009 will be a much better year for you! congrats!

  10. Venice says:

    flawless, remarkable work of art! good job! Congratulations Jar!

  11. Ben and Amy says:

    weow!! very impressive! =)

  12. jeffrey teodoro says:

    man, you done it again. i can’t believe you took this pic.

  13. chelsea says:

    Jar, i enjoyed your pictures. Thanks for sharing it to the world. You are a very talented photographer. You work magic with the camera. I always knew you were good ever since you showed me your collection back in college…

  14. You have certainly had a fabulous YEAR! Now you can share with us HOW you did it! LOL! Great work!

  15. Agel says:

    Thanks for sharing …

    Good post

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] my year in a nutshell. And how does it compare to 2007, 2008, 2009? I think 2010 proved that I could do a whole lot more, and that I love what I do. I surprised […]

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