You Have To See These Photos of Bea, Taken By This Pinoy LA-Based Fashion Photographer
“It was one of our free days in Seattle, and Bea asked me to look for an area that looked very ‘Fall’ with all the trees and leaves,” narrates Pinoy Los Angeles-based fashion photographer Lester Villarama. “It was a challenge because Bea is afraid of dogs, so parks are out of the question. We ended up just driving 30 minutes from Seattle and randomly stopping in areas that looked beautiful.”
Lester is talking about his recent fun fashion shoot with one of local showbiz’s brightest stars, Bea Alonzo. Bea was in Seattle, Washington last October for the “One Magical Night” show. As both have done impromptu shoots together before at The Hamptons in New York in 2015 and Big Bear, California last year, they know better than to waste a beautiful opportunity to do an editorialized photography session.
“Bea knows that I got serious with my fashion photography, and she’s just very generous to let me shoot her to expand my portfolio,” Lester shares with Metro.Style.
The result of their Seattle shoot is a collection of photographs that stunningly showcases both the beauty of the subject and the picturesque setting in which she was photographed in.
Lester and Bea met each other back in 2010 in New York during the “Heartthrobs & Friends” concert that she was part of. At the time, he was working for Berce LLC, a company that brings Filipino concerts/shows all over the world. They have become friends since.
Lester, 33, was born in the Philippines, but his family migrated to Chicago when he was 16. In college, he took up Web Design and Interactive Media at the Illinois Institute of Art, from where he discovered his love for photography. He started out doing landscape photography. “I love traveling so I find it relaxing to explore different places and taking a lot of photos,” he says. “I particularly enjoyed Long Exposure Photography (Night Photography).”
Three years ago, Lester moved to LA, because he felt he needed a change of environment to fuel his creativity. There, he had a roommate who needed help in shooting models for their agency’s portfolio. Lester gladly shared his talent in photography for that project, and in return, discovered his potential in photographing people and doing editorials.
Now, Lester is busy building his portfolio in fashion photography. His works can be seen on the @shotbylester Instagram account which he put up about seven months ago.
Aside from Bea, Lester has also photographed DT Model Management’s top model Charlie Matthews for the cover of Period magazine’s Special Edition (Period is an indie publication focused on fashion and art). “Charlie has done campaigns for Guess, Steve Madden, Adidas, and Moschino, and he’s also appeared on the cover of Marie Claire with Nicki Minaj. It was truly an honor that I was handpicked by his agent, Ricardo Guerrero, to shoot him for this cover,” Lester shares.
Other local stars Lester had the privilege of photographing were Kim Chiu, Xian Lim, Gerald Anderson, Rayver Cruz, and Enrique Gil. Asked about his dream subjects, Lester says, “In the local scene, I would really love to do an editorial shoot with Regine Velasquez. She has been my idol since I was in Grade 6 and she’s also the reason why I stumbled upon my creative side. I would also love to have an opportunity to do a fashion shoot with another good friend of mine, Angel Locsin, Liza Soberano, and Kathryn Bernardo. In Hollywood, it would be Zac Efron and Jamie Dornan.”
Lester believes in challenging himself “to keep my creativity burning.” His constant pursuit for inspiration and motivation is bound to bring him closer to this dream of photographing more stars and putting the focus on them at their best look.
Photographs by @shotbylester