Eric’s Note: When I was in Manila in January, I met Veejay Villafranca at an exhibition of Carlo Gabuco‘s paintings. I heard great things about Veejay’s work, and when I looked at some of his images on his iPhone I was blown away. Not only does Veejay have a great eye for composition and imagery, but a great ability to connect with his subjects on a deeper and more emotional level. He is definitely one of the finest photographers in Manila, make sure to check out some his work below.
Veejay started out as a staff photographer for the national news magazine the Philippine Graphic before venturing into freelancing. He also worked with several international news wire agencies before pursuing his personal projects, the later on paved his career in visual reporting.
In 2008, his project about the lives of former gang members in one of Manila’s biggest and most dangerous slums garnered him the Ian Parry Scholarship grant in London where he was able to showcase his work in the prestigious Getty Images gallery. He was also an artist in residence at the 2nd Crossing Point Residency program in Perpignan, France during the Visa Pour l’Image photojournalism festival the same year.
He has exhibited widely in Europe and Asia and also a contributor in photography shows at the Metropolitan Museum, Silverlens Gallery, Vargas Museum amongst others.
Veejay is based in Manila doing freelance editorial assignments and focused on his long-term projects, tackling issues on the changing Filipino culture and religious practices, displacement due to the changing climate/weather patterns and his current exploration of Filipino diaspora through different landscapes across the Philippines.
Veejay is currently based in Manila and represented by Getty Global Assignments in London and Asia Motion in Asia and Europe.