With a passion that comes alive in front of the lens, Studio 7 is a creative force to be reckoned with.
A magazine cover or an editorial spread is never just about the clothes or the makeup looks being printed on a highly glossy page. It always tells a story whether it’s about celebrating art, documenting the trends of the time, or even contributing to a societal shift. And while only a few can sometimes relate to fashion, millions consume the pictures. A reason why it can take an entire village and a whole sum of money to make that one shot that will be worthy enough to be printed and eventually live eternally online. But there are those rare chances that when a small group of like-minded creatives come together, all it takes is passion to create iconic imagery– the exact story of how Studio 7 came to be.
Studio 7 is composed of Seven Barretto, senior photographer and a favorite MEGA lensman, junior photographers Claude Villahermosa and Dariel Miraflor, and set designer Erwin Botin. “I wish I could tell you a more challenging story, but to be honest, it always feels like everything seems to go to plan,” Barretto admits.
Endearingly humble as he tells it, their studio that once only fit seven people expanded due to friends sharing that they want to live out their craft during drinking sessions. “From the very beginning, we know our place and we trust each other. Maybe the main reason is that if you love something, you don’t focus on the challenges, but instead, you focus on making your craft better. In short, we just enjoy the process,” he says.
Mostly known for their clean, sharp, and high-octane photography, their team’s great efficacy in producing photos of the moment is rooted in equal collaboration Barretto explains, “I think it’s beautiful that you have someone that you can throw ideas with and will help you make your vision come to life.” Anyone who has worked with them will notice that they have a language of their own. From gestures to simple phrases on which lighting to use or to adjust something on set, they work completely in sync. “We may be a small team, but the passion for what we do is bigger than what you could ever imagine. What people see on the final product is not just me taking the photo, but a collaborative effort of the team. Accepting inputs from all the members is the key to producing spectacular photos,” he shares.
A highlight for the team was when they shot the noted actor Piolo Pascual in a rain-drenched set. “I’ve always wanted to work with him because we all know that Piolo is one of the most sought-after artist in the country plus the nicest,” Barretto remembers fondly. Not only did the team capture the emotional frankness of the actor, but the team was also able to make a thunderstorm happen right in the middle of their indoor studio. A testament to how committed they are to making a vision come to life and ultimately making a signature Studio 7 image. “We always make our photographs our own and it shows. We also retouch our own photos because we want to give all our works our signature from start to finish. We want to make sure that they take a piece of us in every work that we produce,” Barretto says.
Although they have photographed A-list stars, beauty queens, and top models, this is only the beginning for Studio 7, because for them success means to never stop learning. “Passion attracts. Choose to be with the people who will inspire you and will help you grow as an individual and artist. Always learn and be inspired because the moment you think you know everything, that’s when you will stop growing,” Barretto claims and while there are bigger plans on the horizon for their studio, one thing will always remain–the same passionate minds. “Hopefully, by doing what we do, we will be able to touch more creatives and leave a mark the Studio 7 way.”