Questions and answers with Irvin Rivera.

{September 2020}

Title: Mission: Her.

Where was the final image from this photoshoot featured?


Give us a bit of background on the photoshoot concept.

The general concept of the shoot was about an empowered, independent woman. She is bad-ass, unapologetic, owns her sexuality, and knows herself. The whole idea came together when me and my stylist Monica Cargile brainstormed about doing a fashion story using mainly latex pieces mixed with different textures. Also, the location itself (Madame Siam in Hollywood) added layers and dimensions to the story as we move along during the day.

Why did you/your client choose the final image compared to the outtakes?

After doing several side by side image comparisons, I selected the final images based on its strength on its own, based on its flexibility in terms of variety of posing, movement and style and if it works with the flow of the layout as a whole.

Any cheeky moments during this photoshoot that you'd be willing to share?

Nothing really cheeky happened, but there’s something creepy shooting in an empty, dark, underground bar even in daylight.

Have you ever experienced a fanboy/girl moment?

I did. But not on this shoot. It happened with a shoot with singer Sara Bareilles where I literally froze in front of her, and all of a sudden got quiet and lost composure during the shoot. Good thing she was very sweet and nice about it and just asked me if I am okay. I just told her I love her.

Shed some light on how you got involved in photography.

As far as I remember, my fascination with photography started back in college when a classmate lends me her camera for a week. I was able to play and explore different ways to create using the camera and I never looked back.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Beautifully lit and composed films excite me. Photos from other photographers inspire me. Music and literature fuels my imagination as well. I draw inspirations everywhere.

What's it like being on set with you?

Being on-set with me is like being on a Filipino household. It’s definitely fun but I have to make sure that everybody is well-fed, is taken care of, that everyone’s needs are met, and that we get shit done.

Do you prefer photographing with a big or small team on set?

A small and intimate team that trusts your vision where everyone just allows the flow to evolve would always be magical.

Describe your ideal photoshoot.

An ideal photoshoot would be working with people, fellow image-makers, who are aligned with your vision. For me, an ideal photoshoot is where you have creative freedom and flexibility to execute your vision with your team.

What makes a photograph special, in your opinion?

If any photograph makes you feel anything, even the slightest bit of feeling, then there’s something special with that photo. If it speaks to you and inspired you to take any action at all, that photo is special.

Express what photography means to you.

Photography for me is an extension and a reflection of myself looking to others looking back into me. It’s more than a passion and a job, it is life. I wake-up to it, sleep with it, I breathe it. Photography helps define me in the various stages of my life and still keeps me connected internally and externally.

Do you photograph full-time? If not, what helps to pay the bills?

Yes. I’ve been doing photography full-time for 6-7 years now.

Instagram and photography...need we say more? Give us your two cents.

It’s a symbiotic relationship. Despite of the loopholes within Instagram’s terms policies, it is still an undeniable and valuable free marketing tool for photographers. It is a valuable an extension of your main website portfolio and a good platform to communicate with friends and potential clients.

Do you have any suggestions to budding photographers out there?

Just keep shooting, as long as you’re satisfied and happy, go for it. Don’t even bother about worrying about anything else. If you decide to turn photography into a career later on, materials are everywhere but take them with a grain of salt. Different ways and methods work for different people. We all evolve differently.

Any additional info you'd like to share about yourself and/or your photography?

I do creative fashion editorials and portraits. I am also running an independent Arts and Culture magazine called – A BOOK OF where we highlight and showcase different works and projects of various artists worldwide.

We obviously believe this outtakes concept is brilliant, but why do you think it's important for outtake photographs to be promoted in the industry?

Presenting outtake photographs could provide a different perspective, and hopefully present a deeper understanding of the story of the shoot itself.

Anything you're working towards with your next move in photography?

Due to this pandemic, the landscape of the creative industry has evolved into something vague. At the moment, while everyone is still adjusting and figuring out how to get back into the groove of things, I am taking things slow, reevaluating and re-aligning my goals, while also reaching out to my network, and figuring out ways on how we can all help each other.

Share a quote you live by.

“Give before you take.”


︎Next feature

︎see the outtakes
︎follow Irvin on Instagram

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