My name is Sam Lim and I’m a Photographer based in Manila, Philippines. Yes, I take pictures for a living. I eat and breathe photography. Pretty much everything I do tends to lean on it.
I tell stories.
A few years ago, I found myself stuck in what other people call “JOBS.” The unavoidable routine one must go through in order for one to survive. I was doing all sort of things. From financial offices down to customer oriented shit load of crap just to earn a few Pesos and get through the week with food in my stomach and hopefully a bottle or two of a decent local beer to get me through the night of boredom. I FELT EMPTY!
I said, “I probably should start my own business. Be my own boss and earn a lot doing what I’ve learned from school”. I took up Hotel Restaurant and Institution Management in De Lasalle – College of Saint Benilde as my first course in College which was a choice that I actually made without even thinking and was just caught up in the moment. After that, I then went to the International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management and took up a Diploma in Culinary Arts and Kitchen Operations. So now, with all that background in mind, I started my business which was a Food Catering Service I named Panache Catering Services. Sounds like a good plan right? I’d say YES. On the first year, sure I wasn’t earning what I imagined I was earning. That was given. But then came in my second year. I sure felt it was a business. I felt like I was on top of my game and it well lasted for 2 more years. But then again, EMPTINESS. There was still missing. I wasn’t doing what I love. Sure, I love cooking and preparing food for other people makes me feel better and it was something I took up in College and I’m probably good at it. But as I said, College was all sort of like a spur of the moment. Thinking about it, I should never have taken up hotel management or culinary arts in the first place. All I dreamed about since I was a child was becoming an Artist. All I want to do was to show the world how I see the world. I want to express everything in a particular medium I know how to handle.
So I grabbed a Camera and used it.
I’ve been doing so for the longest time. I have to admit, with the cost of living going nowhere but up, this is a field not all people would choose. But I have to say, it’s worth it! I’ve never felt better!
WHAT I DO
People ask me what I love shooting. What my forte is or what my favourite subject is. I always tell them my work revolves in Photojournalism. I shoot things the way I see them. I capture moments as if I’m telling a story and I do! Shooting is my way of showing other people how my day went by. How other people’s day became so crazy yet so beautiful.
You may notice my site being focused on food. And yes, some labelled me as a Food Photographer. I’ve shot a ton of food in my career that can probably feed an entire country. Worked with small and big food companies that you may not know of but I’m sure you probably bought their stuff daily. I’ve been to almost all the restaurants and hotels you can probably think of in the Philippines. Shot a profile or two of Restaurateurs, Executive Chefs, Food Personalities / Celebrities, and Hotel / Restaurant Managers. I’ve filled up terabytes of hard drive space doing so. But everything I saw through my camera’s viewfinder was how I saw things the way I want it to appear to other people and that is, how I want to look at them.
I’d say I practically can shoot anything as long as I do it my way. I’ve entered the print industry before and took a job under Hinge Inquirer Publications (magazine leg of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Newspaper) as their resident photographer. My works were published in several magazines under their company and that experience taught me how to be versatile when it comes to shooting.
Now I’m doing things independently.
I tell stories. I shoot. That’s basically what you’ll see in this site.
So what now?
Recently, I have entered the wedding industry. I’ve noticed that weddings are sort of like a very well arranged event. You sort of know what will happen because you’ve been to a lot of weddings before. And yet you know nothing. And that’s what intrigues me. Every wedding is entirely different. Especially nowadays where couples DIY’s almost everything from scratch. I would love to document those details they’ve prepared for that special day. Capture those moments unobtrusively. You won’t see me running around and telling the couple, family members, or even guests on what to do just so I get the shot I want. I won’t tell dad to kiss her daughter before he hands her over to the lucky groom. He would probably do it anyway. And when he does, I’ll be there! I capture events as they happen.
Weddings are already unique and beautiful. I don’t have to stage it. All I have to do is document it!