Gabby Cantero’s work revolves around her affinity for photography and her friends. The mesmerizing portraits she takes are adorned with the sun’s lovely streaks and are enamored with moments which are worthy of waiting for.
Tell us something about yourself.
Hi, I like taking pictures, milk tea & brown leather bags. And shoes.
How/When did you begin taking pictures? What was your first film camera?
I had a point and shoot camera. I was in high school and there was DeviantArt. It was fun, raw & emotional—everything that high school should be. But, now, when I look back on it, it is quite embarrassing. My first film camera was a Supersampler. Bright green and all its glory!
Describe your style in photography. What are your usual subjects and themes?
I don’t think I have a style yet but I like negative space. I’m fond of isolating my subject. I pay a lot of attention to detail. I like waiting for moments, may it be at a shoot in the studio, at a gig or just a random night out with friends. But usually I take photos of people, food & things on my desk. Details & moments still!
Amongst your numerous film photographs, which is your favourite?
This is a tie.
First, this was taken in the Incubus concert when they were in Manila for the second time. Got the chance to take photos during the concert and I brought my LCA along with me. I really love how the colors turned out & that there’s this softness to it.
Second, my favorite book in the world. No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July. Everyone should read this. It’s one of those books that keeps on giving. I took this back when I first read the book (trust me, I’ve read this book so many times), it was weird time in my life & this got me through it.
What is the soundtrack for your series of photographs?
The Walkmen’s new album, Lisbon. A hint of The Delays’ song, Long Time Coming. A teaspoon or two of Jose Gonzalez’ Hand on Your Heart. A dash of St. Vincent’s cover of These Days. A pinch of The XX’s VCR. Some Skinny Love by Bon Iver. A little Daylight by Matt & Kim. A whole lot of Foals, Broken Social Scene and Death Cab for Cutie. Finally, some Florence & the Machine to taste.
We all have our idols, which photographers do you look up to?
Locally, Wawi Navarozza & Jake Verzosa. They’re incredible. Then, there’s Brian Ferry, Cass Bird, Lou O’Bedlam & the one and only, Scott Schuman.
If you could take anyone’s portrait using film, can be living or dead, who (would it be), which (camera would you use), and why?
Scott Schuman & Garance Dore, Canon AE-1 Program plus a 50mm 1.4, Ilford XP5. Just because. This does not need an explanation.
Also, Paul Newman. Pentacon Six TL, Kodak Portra 400. He’s gorgeous in black & white, what more in color?
Analogue vs. Digital. What makes analogue/film photography more special than digital?
Analogue. Digital can never compare to the color & grain film can give.
A lot of people are into photography today, what would you say to them to inspire them more?
Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. You won’t get anywhere just sitting there, buddy! The joy in this field is actually being out there. You, your camera & your subject. It’s a tough field but hella fun & definitely fulfilling.
Do you have any ongoing/future projects?
Daylight is still there & it’s summer in Manila, perfect time to bring it back.
You may visit Gabby’s personal site at gabbycantero.com.