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PWL Photo Contest; what does it take to win?

September 14th, 2017

The first step to winning is to get your entry in on time! Entries for the third annual Points West Living Photo Contest close on September 30th. Last year’s photo contest winner, Ira Boromeo, a food services care partner at PWL Heritage House in Vegreville, shares his thoughts on capturing a winning photo.

Square one

Ira took his winning 2016 photo just days after arriving in Canada from the Philippines. A graduate in law and philosophy, Ira had given up a career to follow his heart, “back to square one here in Canada,” and had just begun a new job working in the kitchen at Heritage House.

Willingness and passion to serve

“Before I took that picture, I had the idea of what picture I’d like to present,” says Ira. “Since we are in hospitality in the senior care business, I depict the total image of what our business is all about; not just about the business but the willingness and passion to serve no matter what race or colour.”

Candid camera hobby

Ira usually prefers to take photographs of nature and wildlife, but when he does take portraits, he prepares himself mentally. “I’m putting myself into the person I’m taking picture of,” he explains. “I like taking candids because it shows real reactions and emotions; so most of the time you’ll just see me taking pictures on the spot; I’m not happy asking people to do posing.”

Ira got into photography back in 2007 while working on a book with professional photographers. “It is just a passion, a habit,” Ira says. “I had no formal learning in photography, just reading books and articles, and I would look for good pictures and study how the photographer took that picture.”

Professional camera not necessary

He invested in a professional camera, but says that’s not necessary to get great shots, “Technology is so fresh and effective today, sometimes you can’t determine if a photograph was taken by smart phone or professional camera.”

Composing the scene

Ira says the most important skill to learn for better photos is framing or composing the scene. Learn the rule of thirds to avoid putting the main subject(s) right in the middle. Many other elements come into play with photo composition. Check out these gorgeous photos – with tips – from National Geographic

Ira’s winning 2016 photo is posted along with this year's contest details on the 2017 PWL Photo Contest web page

Photo: Ira Boromeo, proves with this self-portrait that good photo composition doesn't always have to follow the ‘rule or thirds’. Ira, a food services care partner at PWL Heritage House in Vegreville, won the last year's PWL Photo Contest.

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