Kaya Ko; Kaya Mo!
If I can; You surely can!
By Marianne Rosal
For kababayan Aris Bravo, passion was not always so clear cut. Aris Bravo is a professional photographer and started Bravo Studio in Edmonton, a professional photography studio.
When asked if photography has always been his passion, his answer is no. “I dreamt to be a soldier,” Aris says. But despite this desire, as Aris grew older, the stronger his passion for the creativity of the photography profession materialized.
Despite this change of heart, photography as a career was not so far off for Aris. He comes from a lineage of professional photographers. His grandfather, dad and uncles are all professional photographers.
Growing up, Aris remembers his grandfather taking portraits in their family studio. In his childhood, he fondly remembers his dad developing pictures in the dark room, when the nostalgic days of film were at their peak.
Aris tried to avoid his destiny, venturing into a variety of careers in the Philippines, the UK and finally, in Canada in fields ranging from healthcare to being a financial broker. Eventually however, his heart found its place in photography, and he opened his studio, carrying the name from his family’s studio back in the Philippines, and Bravo Studio in Edmonton was born.
“I feel accomplished when I see the smile in the face of my clients after they see their pictures. That smile is something to me, my satisfaction,” states Aris. And his pictures clearly show the joy in the subjects of his photographs, emotions which his pictures clearly capture.
Of course, everything is not always picture perfect. He too faced the obstacles of not only starting a creative business, but challenges as an immigrant. In his experience, he reflects that perseverance is key.
“I managed it through determination and perseverance. Just think on what you want and want to be. Then ACTION. You need to do something to attain it,” states Aris.
Despite the challenges he faced, Aris carries the pride of being able to continue what is truly a family master craft. “I’m proud that I was able to continue the legacy of my grandfather and my dad. Because no one in our family on my generation does it,” says Aris. Moreover, to carry the legacy of his family in a different country is an accomplishment on its own, and a true testament to working for his passion.
He leaves with advice for his fellow kababayans with a desire to follow their dreams even as new settlers in this country: “Dream BIG. Don’t let your fears conquer you. Rather, conquer your fear. Look for ways to attain your dreams but don’t rush. Don’t do short cuts. Do it right.”