Julius Andres Manzano (b. 1985; Alaminos, Pangasinan) is a street photographer based in Lucena, Quezon. He is a self-taught practitioner who actively pursues photography alongside his day job, mainly documenting incisive, often tender, instantaneous vignettes on the streets of his adopted city. He moved to Lucena in 2005 to continue his college education and has lived there since, shooting its alleyways over the past eight years. Despite keeping his practice on the side and regarding it as a personal vocation that he does during his free time, Manzano has earned exposure and several accolades abroad since 2014 from notable organizations and platforms for his conscientious and poignant quotidian snapshots of the people and streets in Lucena, moments that he calls “fortuitous and mostly guided by light.”
Manzano bought his first camera in 2010 when he was 25 and instinctively started taking photos, and has never stopped since. He cites the National Geographic magazines sent by their relatives overseas as his initiation to the craft, recounting how much he enjoyed looking at the pictures as a little boy and how fascinated he was by their ability to evoke in him an array of emotions and allow his mind to wander in the stories they conveyed. “I think this became an early visual exercise for me,” Manzano comments on the role of the magazines in rousing his early interest in photographs of people and places. These pictures, according to him, inadvertently taught him to be more curious of his surroundings and see the world anew through a defamiliarizing perspective. “From then on, I told myself that I was going to be a photographer someday and take photos like those in the magazines.”
Manzano describes his body of work as “sympathetic and spontaneous,” and his images appear lucid and carefully composed despite their often unpremeditated nature, coming through as complex tableaus out of incidental snapshots. He claims that photography is his instantaneous response to the variety of emotions that connects him to his subjects while taking note of the formal complexity of the scene. As an intuitive interception of the evocative moments of daily life, Manzano’s photography is marked with an evident and keen humanistic sensitivity that he consciously maintains in his practice.
Manzano has consecutively received international recognition and awards in the last several years from major organizations, which include the Miami Street Photography Festival in 2015, Street Foto San Franciso International Street Photography Awards in 2016, Recom Art (Berlin) in 2016 (Winner), International Photography Awards (IPA) Philippines in 2016, and the EyeEm Awards (Berlin) and the Street Photography International (SPi) Street Awards (London) in 2017. Alongside these accolades, his photographs have also been published and exhibited abroad through distinguished platforms dedicated to photography, such as the World Street Photography (Hamburg), Miami Street Photography Festival, StreetFoto (San Francisco, CA), EyeEm (Berlin), Inspired Eye (US), Best of PhotoVogue in Vogue Italia (Milan), Street Photography International, and the Street Photography International (London).
“Featured Lucenahin: Street Photographer Julius Andres Manzano.” Lucenahin: Lucena City Community Website, 9 January 2016.
Photographer’s profile. Art and Commerce, PhotoVogue.
Photographer’s profile. EyeEm.
Tablazon, Christian. Personal communication, 15 April, 2018.