To be a part of the Asian Archives mission and community is honestly a dream come true. From being able to share work alongside other talented artist and to have a community of supporters who all share the similar passions makes me so happy.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area! Growing up in the Bay Area introduced me to so many diverse cultures and really created the foundation for who I am today. I come from an immigrant family where tradition was highly valued. Both of my parents being Filipino I was always told to follow a traditional career path and become a nurse but as I grew older I realized it just wasn't for me. I decided to go against the grain and follow my heart towards a more creative life/career and until this day I am still the only one in my family who decided to break tradition. My family has come to accept this and I have absolutely no regrets with my decision.
My mom was a huge polaroid shooter! Birthdays, holidays road-trips you name it! My mom always had her Polaroid with a few extra cartridges she picked up fresh from Walgreens in her bag. I remember taking her camera and shooting packs of polaroids and shoving them into family albums. Something about peeling off the thin plastic film and sticking the exposed polaroid to the page and sealing it back made me so happy. I only realized later on this is where my lover for analog photography started.
Jollibee spaghetti and chicken
I am a Street Photographer. I have a passion for capturing random moments out in the world and turning them into their own miniature stories. I also make YouTube videos on Film Photography and literally anything photography related. I created the channel initially to be a resource for new film shooters to refer to help them through their process of learning the craft. From then on it has snowballed into something much more and now I upload three times weekly documenting my photography adventures, thrifting and educational film photography videos.
A perfect day would be waking up to explore a new city or country I've never been to with my camera. Completely immersed making photographs.
My Filipino Culture is very unique mostly because of history. From being colonized by Spain, Japan and the U.S. our culture has been stirred up and it's often difficult to pinpoint exactly who we are sometimes. But there are a few constant traits that we often carry that I believe defines who and what our culture is like. We are very welcoming, family oriented, selfless and have a lot of pride. We don't get a lot of representation with only a small handful of Filipinos becoming household names like Manny Pacquiao, Jo Koy and Josh Delacruz so we often embrace and lift one another when we can. One of the first things we ask other Filipino people when we first meet them is "are you Filipino?" And if the answer is yes, a bond is immediately made. We are known to be great at karaoke and have an amazing cuisine with popular dishes like Adobo, Ube and Sisig to name a few.
I was born here in the United States making me a Filipino-American. But I was raised to speak Pangalatok (a Filipino dialect), Tagalog and THEN English. So I'm very in tune with my culture and I love it so much. From the food, music to the traditions we follow. I am proud to be Fillipino.
My first Film Camera was a Minolta HTSI Plus.
What excites me about the craft is mostly the process. From planning where to roam with my camera to the split second before snapping the shutter and seeing something happen before your eyes like magic. Photography to me is very imaginative. You have the power to take what people usually see as a random moment out on the street and turn it into a story. Using your eyes to identify and your imagination to create, making photographs out of nothing is one of the most rewarding experiences you can ever have.
Interested in learning more about the people in this piece? Check out their member bio by clicking on their name below.
My name is Jonathan Paragas and I am a Street Photographer out of the San Francisco Bay Area. I am of Filipino descent and I was born in 1998.
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