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Holly Navarro: Redefining The Standards of Fashion Photography


Holly Navarro: Redefining The Standards of Fashion Photography

It’s a common experience to come across people who chase their dreams so passionately. Their stories — from when they discovered their talent to the moment when they finally achieve their goals — are truly fascinating and heartwarming. For Holly Navarro, his success story is just starting; still on the verge of his own breakthrough in fashion photography.

Unearthing his undiscovered talent

This Baguio-based student nurse discovered his niche for fashion photography at the beginning of the pandemic. The lockdown prevented him to do anything outside, just like the rest of us. While we were perfecting our dalgona coffee and ube pandesal recipes, Holly built a mini home studio.

Thanks to his boredom, he realized that he had a talent for photography and continued to learn about it in his own way.

“I watched tutorials on YouTube then I started playing with my camera. Every week, I keep on shooting with models hanggang tumagal na, na-master ko na yung mga tutorials sa YouTube.”

He traces back his interest in fashion and styling, in general, to his younger days.

“High school days in 2012 lagi kong pinapanood ang America’s Next Top Model. I love fashion po talaga kasi.”

In 2016, Holly was introduced to the fashion world after participating in an amateur modelling event in his city. Two years later, he became a creative art director for a local fashion magazine.

“…naembrace ko na po yung work ko. Then na-in love na po talaga ako sa mga fashion outputs namin hanggang ako na nagtry at gumawa mismo, and heto na, I’m a fashion photographer.”

His journey so far

Like any other aspiring professional fashion photographer, the ultimate dream is to penetrate the international scene, whether as an exhibit or on the cover of a magazine. And, at 26, Holly achieved both.

“Last year marks my first International Cover Magazine in National Book Development Board – Philippines for a Fashion and Lifestyle Magazine event in Germany.”

Additionally, earlier this year, his work was used as a cover page for the ASEAN International Fashion Week 2022 Volume 6 in Singapore. The issue showcased the Philippine culture through modern fashion artistry.

Holly, along with a business partner, now owns a small photography studio in Rosario, La Union called Aspéto Studio.

His venture in fashion photography is looking good so far, seeing that his talent and eye for fashion translate to the photographs he takes.

What his dreams are made of

One of his favorite shoots so far is the one he and his team worked on recently. The amount of creativity and passion is visible through the pictures, that even a layman could admit to the amazing body of work Holly and his team produced.

Holly shared that one of his biggest dreams is for people to see his works and appreciate all the stories behind the photos he took.

“There are also those moments that [I] imagine my works [displayed] on different cafes in Session Road.”

But as a fashion photographer, Holly’s ultimate dream is to publish his works on magazines in the country.

“I [will be] beyond happy if I can see my works on different fashion mediums like digital and printed fashion magazines here in the Philippines.”

“I’ve been following Village Pipol Magazine. And by the time I saw its fashion contents for the first time, grabe, I can see myself in one of their pages contributing to their content.”

“Also, [magazines like] MEGA and Vogue Philippines [are included on my list].”

Forging ahead

A dream is only a dream if you don’t take action. As for Holly, he’s determined to move forward with high hopes and solid plans.

“Gusto kong lumabas ng Baguio to share my craft locally and internationally. I will continue on shooting, know more people in the industry by working with them, see more and take risk for all the opportunities that will come.”

He added that he wants to build a fully furnished fashion studio and invite creatives like him.

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His path to success is still a long way ahead but Holly is in it for the whole ride.

“If given the chance, gusto ko sanang maging career itong passion ko, because I’m happy doing this. Whenever the people in front of my camera is happy, kinikilig ako, kasi doing my work puts smile on their faces. If there are people [who] trust me and [I make them] happy, why not [do it forever]?”

Acknowledging his support system and his fellow dreamers

Behind all the photographs Holly has taken, there is a group of creative and passionate artists that collaborated to produce such wonderful pieces of work.

“[Producing] beautiful photos would not be possible without these amazing people. Being a fashion photographer, [I really like that] I work with different [artists] that are willing to share their own crafts to pull off brilliant ideas. I’m lucky enough that there are people who have the same visions like mine. Shout out to my creative team: Ma’am Elaine and Jerose, Mader Paul, Sir Leslie and Elijah, May Ann & Sophia and Jerson for [turning] my vision for the photos into reality.”

Holly’s ongoing chronicle in making it big in the industry can surely be used as a motivation for other aspiring professional fashion photographers.

“Just keep on shooting lang, because when you do that you will learn and grow. Make sure to keep the fire burning in your heart, the fire of passion, desire, and happiness for your crafts. As long as there are people who trust and [like] your photographs, keep on shooting lang.”

On a personal note, to say that I was shocked by the fact that he is new in fashion photography is an understatement. I really thought that he was an established photographer the first time I saw his Instagram feed.

When I reached out to him for this feature, he went out of his way to source a team and shoot exclusive photographs for Village Pipol Magazine. I had so much fun working with Holly and I understood how passionate he really is for his craft.

And for this, Holly Navarro will definitely redefine the standards of fashion photography — all with his profound mind and determined heart.

Get a glimpse of his superb talent with this behind-the-scenes video of their photoshoot.

All credits for the photos and video go to this amazing production team:

Fashion Photography | HOLLY NAVARRO
Fashion Designer and Hair Stylist | PAUL SANGLAY
Photo Coverage | LESLIE REYES
Videography | ELIJAH CALARA

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