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PPCR through the years…

Who would have thought that a simple realization from Fr. Morrel Querickiol will bring in so many Filipinos together through photography? He witnessed how Pinoys love to take pictures, and observed many owns a DSLR camera already. As a photo-enthusiast himself, he realized that it is a chance to start a group that will give Pinoy photographers a chance to learn more, together.

It was on October 22, 2010 that he created a group in Facebook called Pinoy Photographers Club in Rome. He added few friends and posted few of his photos. After two weeks, with 15 friends who joined already, he set a meet-up.  It was the start of what will become the biggest PPCR. There was the election of officers of whom Karen Joy Tañac was elected president then followed by the laying down of the foundation.

Its objectives are to help those who are starting to explore the exciting world of photography by organizing learning means like photography workshops, photo walks and photo shoots; so that members can learn the basics, as well as, the advance techniques of photography shared by fellow members or by invited professional photographers; to promote a friendly, non-competitive environment where amateurs can grow and humble professionals to learn more; to develop each members’ talent, encourage creativity and fuel their passion for photography; to provide a venue to 'breathe' and 'break free' from the usual routine schedules of work; to promote PPCR to other Filipinos and other nationalities; and to provide a venue where members can acquire equipment and information related to photography.

The first activity after its formation was the Christmas Photowalk.  It was successful that after the event, there were more of the same events, organized.  Friends of PPCR members, who have DSLR cameras and who saw photos posted on the Facebook “wall” from various events were enticed to join in too. This paved way to the increase of memberships. The events are photo walks, photo shoots, basic photography and post-processing workshops, excursions and exhibits.  

We noticed the overwhelming increase of PPCR from the first year of 150 members to 584 members at present. The PPCR membership has expanded, majority in Rome, all over Italy, around the world and few honorary members and non-Filipinos. We can attribute its rapid increase to the influence of social media networking we find in Facebook; affordability/accessibility of digital photography equipment; sharing of resources; the balance between different age levels among members; the spirit of service and the common passion in photography that bond them together.

The photos posted on PPCR Facebook wall since 2010 will reveal a gradual enhancement of talents and improvement of technical skills of the members. For two years, we have conducted 56 official events of which there were 5 basic photography workshops, 3 post-processing workshops, 1 basic studio lighting and conceptual workshop by Niccolo Cosme, 5 photography exhibits, and the countless initiatives by members to small group photo walks and photo shoots.

PPCR has helped many Filipino OFWs by giving them a good avenue to express themselves through photography, thus providing a healthy diversion from the routine of work. Some have confessed they have cut their vices because of their new found alternative hobby, some felt personal satisfaction having to produce amazing photographs, while some feel the sense of belongingness in a group who share the same interest with them.

Several PPCR have already gone far as making photography a profession where they get extra income from covering events.  To name a few Lim Laurente Agaloos, is now covering debuts, weddings and baptisms. Same is true for Rem Amboy, Bushe dela Cuesta, Darjuan Cruz, Rafi Santos, Reinhart Aquino and a lot more. Couple Marlon and Roschelle Isla are layout artists and photographers in the quarterly Filipino magazine called AKIT.  Xian Gallardo, a contributor in OFWorld and Boyet Abucay in Ako ay Pilipino Newspaper. On the other hand,  Celso Gorospe Jr., Albert Dolor,  Mark Mejia are runners for Portrait and Glamour photography; while Fr. Morrel, Erik Uy and some others submerged themselves to natures beauty in landscapes and street photography.

PPCR has marked several milestones like winning in the Gawad Layag Award as one of the most Influential Filipino Groups in Europe on the day of their 1st Anniversary Ball in 2011; 2nd Place in the Philippine Independence Day Street Dancing Parade in 2012; Official Photographer in the Binibining Pilipinas Italy 2012; and their recent 2nd Year Anniversary Ball last October 27, 2012.

A new dawn is breaking for PPCR this December 1, 2012 as they start their new calendar year. With their growing numbers, they have re-elected Karen Joy Tañac with Salvador “Jun” Dones as president and co-president respectively. They will be joined by the PPCR Monthy Coordinators with the guidance of Fr. Morrel Querickiol.  This year several basic and advance photography workshops, photo-excursions are targeted along with the selection of the Photo of the Month, Year 3 Most Improved Photographers, Year 3 Best Landscape and Street Photographer; Portrait Photographer, Still-Life and Macro Photographer, and Photojournalism Photographer awards. Plus more workshops with professional photographers are expected.

The realization of Fr. Morrel, from which it all started, has come around by every Pinoy Photographers who joined in “clicking” with the group. They have not only captured beautiful photographs through the years but also made lasting memories as a group. All this and more, makes PPCR unique.

Truly, “Photography captures beauty!”

The Pinoy Photographers Club in Rome is OPEN for all Filipino aspiring enthusiast, budding amateur and humble professional photographers, who are living here in Rome or in Italy. The membership is absolutely free. The club is to be the avenue where a Pinoy photographer can: LEARN-GROW-INTERACT-ENJOY and BELONG. To become a member, simply search “Pinoy Photographers Club in Rome” group in Facebook and ask to join.

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