Man of the Hour: Andrei Suleik

Interview by Kolleen Feria
Photography by Jonas Tamayo

Aside from elevating the local indie scene, Purveyr and Sakaling Hindi Makarating have something else–well, someone–in common: rising photographer, Andrei Suleik. For someone used to being behind the lens, Andrei seems just as comfortable being in front of it.

Andrei 3

What’s a day in your life like?
I wake up, take a shower, and then check my schedule. Minsan kasi nakakalimutan ko may shoot pala ako. I also check editorials everyday for inspiration, and then I spend the rest of the day with people in shoots or just hanging out. I love people. My Instagram is full of them–a good mix of close friends and those I just see in the Explore tab of Instagram.

Andrei 1

Andrei 1

You randomly look for people to shoot on Instagram’s Explore? How does that work?
I send them a direct message first and establish a friendship. It’s weird if I just ask them right away if I can shoot them. I only get to do that in real life. Occasionally, I’ll be people watching and when I see someone who looks interesting, I’ll ask them if I can take their picture. Most say yes. I feel like it’s because I look young and harmless.

What makes a person look interesting to you?
When a person wears clothes together differently or if it’s a look I haven’t seen before. These are the kinds of pictures I like sharing with others on @visualbasick, a platform I created because I feel like there are many of those who want to experiment and try things out but are unsure. They’re just waiting for someone else to try it first.

What about you? Is there a look you’d like to try?
I’d love to mix up a suit with a bomber jacket or maybe a windbreaker. Perhaps in the rainier months.

Andrei 2

What’s your personal style like?
I feel like all artists have a certain look. ‘Yung di maarte. Kailangan comfortable kami lagi eh. We have shoots that often last the entire day. For me, it’s the shoes. Mine are always dirty, and I like them that way because when shoes are too clean, they attract too much attention. I don’t like standing out, but I also don’t want to look like everyone else. Nothing too trendy. Ayoko lang manggaya, pero alam ko rin naman lahat may pinanggalingan. I look a bit out of date, like Marty McFly.

Do you achieve that look consciously?
Nah, I don’t intend for it. I don’t even look at the mirror when I get dressed! I just wear whatever I think looks nice. Sometimes, I’ll see myself in pictures, and I’ll realize, ay hindi pala maganda! But it’s okay. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, then there’s always next time.

How does your personal style translate into your photography?
I always try to capture a person’s best when I take a portrait. It’s about the subject. Kung may Andrei man dun sa picture, hindi ko pa alam. Right now, I’m just striving to explore more, and when the time comes, get discovered.

Andrei 4

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