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By NalaWoman Online Shop Philippines

@dearmanila,Count The Moments In: How Photographer Jill Gaerlan Makes Each Shot Count

Written By: Tiffany Jillian Go

“With product photography, you don’t just capture a moment, you create that moment,” This is the philosophy Jill Gaerlan of @dearmanila Creative Studio stands by when asked about her pursuit of the craft. “And I find a sort of liberation, a freedom and power when harnassing the reins of free-flowing creativity.”

Her photography style clearly defines who she is: vivid, stand-out imagery starkly exhibited on monochrome backgrounds. “My goal with every shoot is to create powerful images that are able to speak for themselves. Who doesn’t love clear and cohesive photos?”

It is clear her vision is shared by the up-and-coming brands she worked with, the likes of which include Drink With Dose, Black & Brown, Saipo Soap, Candles at the Cabin, and Nala Woman to name a few. 

Creative origins and paying it forward

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Her choice to pursue photography lied in her love for art direction. “I’ve always been a fan. I love looking at different mediums of art and seeing the work of other artists.” Inspiration hit her instantly, and she decided to go for the craft, specifically in the area of product photography. 

Helping brands tell their stories contributed to a satisfying fulfillment. In fact, she is one of several photographers who offers a photography package specially catered for small businesses. Entitled Small Business Saturdays, she explains the importance of good photos to boost branding.

“They set brands apart, create impressions, attract the right audience, build credibility, generate revenue, and so much more.”

She goes on to explain that while photography does come at an expensive price, she understands the financial limits small businesses work with. 

At a starting rate of Php 2,000, she produces simple, powerful images to kickstart small brands and get them running. Brands who wish to participate in this initiative can send over a moodboard to her and the partnership begins from there. 

But should brands wish to upgrade their content with customized props and set designs, they can opt for her regular creative photography services. 

Her muse? Creativity, of course

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Paying it forward may have given her great fulfillment, but ultimately, she credits her success to embracing her creativity.

“It all comes down to embracing and believing in my creativity. My creativity is not hindered by what is normal or status quo, because I don’t gravitate towards that anyway. I don’t like limiting myself to A or B.”

In the same vein as her convictions, she carries her beliefs into the work that she accepts with and admits that she is very careful with the projects she brings in. 

“I only accept projects where I know I can bring value, because to me it is the entire process that matters. I want to be proud of the work I do. I don’t want to produce images for the sake of it.” 

On what composes her self portrait and loving herself is

When asked about how she would direct a self-portrait, she shares three key elements: light, location, and anonymity. 

“When I think of self-portraits, I don’t necessarily think of myself or a specific person. Rather I would like to think of them as pieces wherein most people can relate to, and where they can picture themselves in that situation or emotion.”

This belief extends to loving the self and accepting what is of the being we are born with, including talking about periods, which she wishes was normalized in conversation.

“Too many things are made taboo, which should not be the case. Periods are natural and should be normalized. I’m glad that Nala Woman makes an effort to educate and involve the community. They don’t just sell products, they sell an idea and movement.”

More than a love letter to photography, Jill shares the sincerity and her self most in what she loves. She invites potential partners with a spirit of gumption and bright, vivid color. After all, she’s always down to create standout visuals, and in turn, we always look forward to witnessing the passion behind them. 


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About The Writer:  
Tiffany is a freelance content creator and storyteller who aims to spark conversations and dialogue, with five years of hotel PR and communications under her belt. When she’s not looking out for the next story to write, you can find her reviewing films and television, experimenting in the kitchen, and talking about periods (because they shouldn’t be taboo).
Follow her on Instagram


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