The other day Alex contacted me for a few professional headshots to update his LinkedIn profile while he was on vacation in Manila. It was my first time as a professional headshot photographer to shoot a second officer wearing the official sailor’s attire, including the epaulets.
I had no idea what that meant, so I Googled the term:
“The second officer plays a crucial role in ensuring smooth sailing and maintaining the ship’s navigational integrity. They are the go-to person for all things related to navigation, charts, and software management. Their primary responsibility is overseeing the navigation systems and radio equipment, ensuring everything is in working order.”
Table of contents:
Alex’s initial email was brief but polite, expressing his interest in a professional headshot. Here’s what he wrote:
Hi will you be open in Manila in May? I need a professional LinkedIn photo doing. Thanks.
When Alex contacted me, a few trips were already set, and one was due to go to Dumaguete, one of the many islands of the Philippines. Here’s my answer to his request:
Thank you for reaching out. I’m hoping you will have a great time here in Manila.
I will be available for most of May, except from the 5th to the 8th, when I will be traveling. Availability is subject to change, depending on the projects I must complete, and I offer limited daily headshot sessions. Note that you’ll need to pay a deposit to secure your booking.
Please note that I shoot studio portraits in my living room at the moment (and probably in May, too). Don’t worry; it’s a prime location near the Bonifacio High Street (Bonifacio Global City), on the **st floor.
What dates are you going to be in Manila? I’d love to know how did you find my website.
I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Because of our schedules, the only fit was on his departure day to Palawan(it might have been Cebu, but who keeps the chronological order?).
Considering that he was a tourist here, I advised him to schedule the headshot studio session a couple of hours earlier to have some time to spare for the hazardous traffic in Manila.
Having previous experience sitting in the car for one hour and a half on the way to Ninoy Aquino International Airport, it was crucial to set the photo shoot in a manner that Alex would have time to reach his flight in time.
Helpful tips for tourists and travelers while in Manila
Since I knew that Alex is on vacation here, I thought it would be helpful to share a few tips to stay safe while here, especially tip #10:
- Safety: Manila is a large city with some areas that can be dangerous, especially at night. It is essential to avoid isolated areas, not carry valuable items(watches, bracelets, etc.), and be aware of your surroundings.
- Traffic: Manila has some of the worst traffic in the world, especially during rush hours. Plan your trips carefully and allow extra time to get to your destination.
- Weather: Manila has a tropical climate with high humidity and frequent rain showers. Wear lightweight clothing and an umbrella to prepare for hot and humid weather.
- Food: Manila has a diverse food scene with local delicacies such as adobo, lechon, and sisig. Be adventurous and try the local cuisine, but avoid “cheap” places if you have a sensitive stomach.
- Currency: The Philippine Peso (PHP) is used in Manila. It is advisable to exchange your currency at authorized money changers or banks and have change and small bills most of the time(sometimes people will not have “change” for your big bills 😉 ). Card payments are usually acceptable at shopping malls but be prepared for payments not to go through for various reasons.
- Transportation: Manila has various modes of transportation, such as buses, jeepneys, taxis, and ride-sharing services. You can negotiate the fare before you get in a cab or ride-sharing vehicle. Avoid taxis and use Grab instead (similar to taxis, just with better conditions and safe to use). Grab is available to order via the Grab app, or the hotel/colleagues could help. Payable via cash or through the app.
- Attractions: Manila has many tourist attractions, such as historical sites, museums, and shopping centers. Research and plan your itinerary.
- Etiquette: Filipinos are generally friendly and hospitable people. Show respect for their culture and customs by observing proper etiquette, such as saying “po” and “opo” when speaking to elders and using utensils during meals.
- Hygiene: Be mindful of hygiene practices, such as washing your hands frequently and carrying hand sanitizer. Tap water is not always safe to drink, so stick to bottled water.
- Review my services: I would love it if you could leave me a review after you receive the photos.
As a professional photographer based in Metro Manila (NCR), I offer a range of photography services for families, individuals, and companies, including vacation photoshoots and professional studio headshots.
Are you traveling in the Philippines, and is the only “spare time” you have? You are lucky: I’m based in Bonifacio Global City and can accommodate your studio session even on short notice. Contact me now, and let’s create your perfect LinkedIn profile headshot.