My name is Carmina and I studied Business and International relations. I worked in the retail industry since the age of 17 starting off as a Model/Brand representative for Hollister Co. and Abercrombie & Fitch. I ended my path in the retail world with Lacoste. I am very familiar with the fashion world, art world, music, and photography.
Utilizing my knowledge of fashion trends through my years of experience in fashion retail, I am able to stay in pace with the continuous change in fashion throughout the seasons as I am very attentive to details. Aside from my background in fashion and retail, I am also an artist and a self-taught musician. On my free time, I take great pleasure in painting, drawing, and playing the guitar. I have great connections with New York artists, actors, and musicians and continue to build my network while being invited to galleries and socializing events. I am a photographer and a co-founder as well of The Unoppressed, which aims to inspire the community to embrace their uniqueness and one-of-a-kind being rather than conforming to society's "standards/norms" and fearing how society will perceive them.
Some notable accomplishments in my photography include photos that have been aired on news channels and/or reposted on INstagram such as ABC7NY, ABC7Chicago, NBC4NY. I personally was featured on the BCBGMAXAZRIA Facebook page for wearing one of their dresses as well as receiving a compliment from Monique Lhuillier on my old Instagram account @carminadevera, for wearing one of her dresses (@carminadevera is my original Instagram that I mistakenly deleted rather than temporarily disabling while I try to rearrange my Instagram layout). My capability to understand and truly appreciate art, fashion, music, nature, and humanity are what makes me a well-rounded photographer as my photos communicate to a diverse group of photographers, fashion brands, musicians, artists, actors, and the general public.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Carmina. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
English is not my primary language. I was born in the Philippines and came to the United States not knowing how to speak a total of 4 languages, one of which is German that I was honored to be inducted into the National German Honor Society. I absolutely LOVE the arts, yet I also love being active and playing sports such as soccer, volleyball, tennis, basketball, and softball.
Carmina, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
My passion and aspiration in life is to inspire others to appreciate the little things in life that may not be too significant in that very moment. Growing up, I see how technology has greatly affected our lives on a daily basis. We have transitioned into appreciating our surroundings and each other, to appreciating a "like" on social media. I'd like to have people pay attention to the wonderful art, nature, and each other that they are forgetting about due to the technologically inclined life we now live in. Take a moment to appreciate and think about the little things in life, whether it's youth, a mural on the walls of a street in the city, or the beautiful person in front of you.
I was always a photographer at heart. As a child who did not understand or knew how to speak English, I found pictures growing up to be a universal source of communication. Everyone is so focused on their phones and with the amount of devastation that has happened throughout the years due to natural disasters or violence, I want to take even more photos to communicate to people the little things they are missing out on and appreciate more of; each other, nature, and art including fashion.
Who is your inspiration in life Carmina? How do you keep inspired?
My inspiration in life is love. My love for my family, friends, photography, art, fashion, music, and nature are what inspires me. I keep inspired by maintaining positive relationships with my family and friends and being supportive of the art and fashion industries by attending galleries and social events.
We all make mistakes Carmina, we wish we could take back. Please tell us about a time being a Photographer , you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
A more recent moment would be the day of the solar eclipse. I was at work as I could not take the day off and I was disappointed I could not take the day off to take photos of the eclipse. A colleague of mine who I was training at the time with photography texted me asking me if I would like him to take my camera and shoot the eclipse for me while I was at work. He had already nicked my camera against the wall the first few times we went out to do test shoots so I feared he would damage the camera again, or worse, the lens. I politely declined his offer due to my fear of him handling my camera, but I regret doing so as I was not able to get a photo of the once-every-20-years or so full solar eclipse.
Carmina ,when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
Prioritizing is definitely crucial when it comes to handling large amounts of clients. You most definitely do not want to sacrifice the quality you are producing by rushing. Rather than rushing, I keep an organized calendar and schedule to ensure that I will not feel rushed, but most importantly so my clients will not feel rushed. Make sure to schedule a comfortable amount of time with your clients; that means include breaks and ensure that the clients don't feel like they are working, but rather feel like they're having fun. Emergencies happen, C'est La Vie, and when that happens, I have to make myself be flexible with their schedule and respect their needs and try my best to fulfill them. Communication is all it really takes.
Please tell us Carmina, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
Scheduling is always strategic. you have to factor in the weather, location, and equipment all at once. You have to make sure you're properly prepared at all times. Adjust your equipment and gear to make sure that everything will be executed at the highest quality. Ensure that the clients are comfortable as being in their comfort zone enables them to perform their best and also makes it easier for you to photograph them.
While shooting, knowing your model's angles and how the light hits their face is important. Study your surroundings and your subject.
Carmina, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
A time when I was able to successfully persuade someone to see things my way at work was when I communicated and demonstrated my ideas clearly to my colleagues. Photography offers varied perspectives. When someone else has a different idea, it takes communication to combine or differentiate which idea would be more successful than the other. So I try to find that happy medium by communicating and trying to take parts, if not the whole, of a colleague's idea that has both pros and cons to making a successful result. I ask others to be patient and try to work with me and convince them that once I show them my idea, they can choose to continue with it if they like it or disregard it. It never hurts to try or to offer, the worst is rejection and everyone can over come rejection and use it to make them stronger.
Carmina please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share to everyone. What is it and why?
One of my most recent and proudest accomplishments as a photographer that I enjoy sharing to everyone is the time that one of my photos were aired on the news while I was on vacation in Chicago. It was a photo of the loop in Chicago with boats on the cool bright blue water lined with the beautiful glimmering towers of Chicago during a heatwave. It was special to me because something as simple as an image of a cool blue water of the city would make the public feel a certain emotion and make their day, especially on a heatwave. The image had comments from viewers saying they love the image and feel as if they are many degrees cooler than the actual temperature outside. Some personally sent me a message and saying how I inspired them and knowing I inspired them made me want to continue to do what I love; to keep inspiring others.
Carmina, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
When I first started editing my pictures for the very first time in my photography career, I was experimenting on how to convert an image to black and white, but keep an object within in the converted black and white image in its original color. It was exciting because I was expanding my knowledge and progressing as a photographer, but it was challenging as I did not have anyone to teach me and was teaching myself. I was able to succeed and the best part about challenging myself is that I was able to discover more things as well.
What advice would you give to the people who wants to be successful as a Photographer?
The most important advice would be to stay patient and keep an open mind. It takes patience to grow and an open mind to improve and become better than what you are; it will absolutely increase your potential so maintaining that mentality is important.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes, I am. I am open to collaborations with fashion talents, brands, creatives, and models from the New York area, to California, to other countries.
Photographer: Carmina Devera @cmdphotography