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Blink of an Eye: In a Constantly Moving World, How Do We Capture Fleeting Moments?

BITAGCOL t-shirt and fabric, and HUAWEI WATCH FIT 3. Photo by Danyl Geneciran. Shot using the HUAWEI PURA 70 PRO

The digital age has seen the continuous rise of the phone camera as a tool that not only takes snapshots, but as a democratizer of personal storytelling

“The rise of camera phones signaled a move toward the mass embracing of documenting the mundane,” says author and social media theorist Nathan Jurgenson. For a majority of the general public, the phone camera has become a part of their day to day. “Pics of lunch, pets, your shoes became a kind of ambient metadata of everyday life,” he adds.

This observation, taken from one of his written works titled The Social Photo: On Photography and Social Media, discusses the smartphone in the realm of photography, and how this “ambient metadata” in the form of images has become a large part of modern life, with billions of photos shared across social media platforms.

ANTONINA coat and JOEY SAMSON shirt. Photo by Danyl Geneciran. Shot using the HUAWEI PURA 70 PRO
CALVIN KLEIN coat, BITAGCOL trousers, and HUAWEI WATCH FIT 3. Photo by Danyl Geneciran. Shot using the HUAWEI PURA 70 PRO

From a professional photographer’s perspective, Chase Jarvis remarks that “the best camera is the one that’s with you.” It is a recurring phrase that is referenced throughout his book of the same name, which in essence, details his personal perspective on the smartphone as a tool for capturing life’s movement. 

“Inherently, we all know that an image isn’t measured by its resolution, dynamic range, or anything technical,” Chase says. “It’s measured by the simple—sometimes profound, other times absurd or humorous or whimsical—effect that it can have upon us. If you can see it, it can move you.”

HUAWEI PURA 70 and HUAWEI WATCH FIT 3. Photo by Danyl Geneciran. Shot using the HUAWEI PURA 70 PRO

From the late 90s to the early 00s, photography was not as accessible as a pursuit compared to the present day. Cameras were an accompaniment beyond the average hobbyist, and were often out of reach or too cumbersome for the public as digital mediums have yet to evolve to its current state. The emergence of pocket-sized smartphones have revolutionized the way the world is documented, with its popularity stemming from the need for convenience, portability, and ease of use. In a fast-evolving digital landscape, the smartphone has democratized photography, placing the power of image-making in the hands of the common person.

This shift in the way we document our lives is not just a technological phenomenon but also a reflection of the changing relationship between memory and experience. “To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s mortality, vulnerability, mutability,” as Susan Sontag notes in her book titled On Photography. These gadgets have unlocked a new dimension of storytelling, one that is more candid and spontaneous. They allow each person to take more snippets of their unfiltered and unscripted lives, and empower them to become their own storytellers. 

Photography, Creative Direction, and Styling by Danyl Geneciran. Video by Chapters PH. Makeup by Bea Mocorro. Hair by JA Feliciano. Produced by Bradly Hao. Stylist’s Assistant and Writer: Gab Yap. Multimedia Artist: Andie Quintos. Project implemented by Ian Urmaza. Talent: Vladimir Velgan. Shot on location at Torre Lorenzo Loyola

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