2007 Artistic Guild Photographer of the Year - Dino Lara

Dino Lara, Phillippines

Sometimes photographer and place are a perfect match. The exotic Philippines brings out the best in AG|WPJA photographer Dino Lara, who is a native of the multi-island nation. A lush, romantic and picturesque country, the Philippines inspires Lara and provides a sensuous backdrop for his award-winning wedding photography.

Celebrating his 10th anniversary as a wedding photojournalist, Lara was awarded the AG|WPJA Photographer of the Year (POY) title in 2007. He credits hard work for his award-winning style. “I do a lot of preparation before I photograph a wedding so that I’ll be able to react quickly when a rare moment comes,” says Lara. “One way I keep myself ready is by feeding my eyes and mind with visual art. I watch a lot of movies—about four or five a week—read books, go to art galleries, and look at magazines and web sites.”

In the mid 1990s, Lara dabbled in watercolor and oil painting. But he had always had a fascination with photography and eventually it overtook his passion for painting. Embracing his artistic side came a bit later in life for Lara. He worked a decade beforehand in the telecommunications industry doing product development and management. For Lara, photography is a perfect blend of technology and artistic sensibility, he says.

“I shoot a lot of pictures and I never stop looking for something new. One of my primary objectives every time I photograph a wedding is to look for at least one award-winning photograph. It helps keep me motivated.”

– Lorna Gentry / For the Wedding Photojournalist Association