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The realization that we are surrounded by photos all the freaking time and the lost emotion of anticipation that comes with film photography are the two basic premises that inspired “I Just Like to Look at Pictures, Pictures,” the latest work of husband and wife photography and graphic design duo Everywhere We Shoot, currently on display at Vinyl on Vinyl on Pasong Tamo in Makati.

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Ryan and Garovs Vergara were stuck in traffic when it struck them: “Puro photos pala anywhere you go,” Ryan tells us on Facebook Messenger, “photos on news feed, Instagram, Facebook, emails, food packaging, interiors, ads! We are oversaturated but we still can’t get enough of them. No escape ka from them.”

But what amazed them even more was the realization of just how powerful photos really were: They have the ability to make you feel something and even change the way you feel. “So yun, we wanted to play with feelings, first time feelings unique to seeing photos for the very first time.”

We speak to Ryan Vergara about ID pictures, the old Foto-Me photo booths, and the many different experiences that come with getting your photo taken.

In your current exhibit, you guys played with the idea of ID photos! Where in the world did you get the idea?
We realized, ang daming photos anywhere we go! Some will make you smile, some will make you mad, some will make you feel nothing, and some will make you take photos of the photos, nakaka-surreal isipin. How powerful photos are na bibigyan ka ng iba’t ibang feelings. Kahit iba yung intent ng isang photo, minsan iba pa dun mararamdaman mo. So that’s what we wanted to do.

So how did you zero in on and land with ID photos?
‘Di ba sobrang saya dati pag na-develop mo film mo? And then your experiences with graduation pictures, class pictures na laging may nakapikit, and finally ID photos na laging pangit, ha ha. Today kasi we don’t get to experience the anticipation of having your photo taken and not knowing what exactly will come out. Everything is done digitally now.

Naalala namin yung FOTO-ME and how wala na siya ngayon. We are also fans of 1×1 photo studios kasi laging may instant barong or collared shirt duon, ha ha.

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So how did you pull it off? You guys issued a call out on Facebook right?
We wanted to take ID pics of our friends. So we put out a call out on Facebook for ID photo-taking session. It was short notice. We were expecting 70 but only 40 people made it. So we did a second day on a weekend and 20 made it!

When we saw the photos altogether, we started talking about the idea of FOTO-ME, where you are most often surprised about what will come out. Most of the time you expect your photo to be unflattering. You see it, and you get disappointed. And then later, you’ll find it amusing when you have to show it to people. Our show is about that feeling. We tried to replicate that feeling by experimenting with the photos we took.

Since you’re fans of ID photo studios, did you apply any of the “rules” they usually have?
Yes! We had a white background on and bawal naka-smile.

Do you have any favorites among these “rules?”
Yung kita tenga and dapat naka-collar! Ha ha, ang nakakatawa dun kasi may instant barong ka and suit!

Did you notice any ticks among the people you took photos of?
When we say “wag ka mag-smile,” immediately, everyone would smile, ha ha! But most of them know how to take a selfie so alam na nila yung magandang resting face nila. Alam na nila yung matang maganda. Yung iba naman parang ID picture talaga — nagpapa-friendly face! Haha, saya!

What did you do with the ID photos?

To present our idea — photos on photos — we digitally and manually tinkered with it. So please expect yung feeling pag nagpa-ID pic ka. Alam mo hindi maganda pero wala ka ng choice!

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