Vancouver-based Allan Florendo became a professional photographer by accident.
He was already dabbling in photography when his friend and former editor-in-chief of a leading fashion magazine in the Philippines asked him a big favour by taking the place of their wedding photographer who backed out at the last minute.
The results amazed his friend who in turn gave Florendo many editorial and fashion photo shoots with the publication. This marked the beginning of Florendo’s journey to becoming a distinguished photographer in the Philippines.
Florendo’s skills in photography developed further over time. After years of doing commercial photography and being an active member of the Zone V Camera Club, he attended a workshop led by Rommel Bundalian, a well-known street photographer. Bundalian took the members of the workshop to a photo walk in Quiapo, a popular district in Manila. After that, Florendo was hooked on street photography.
He traded his commercial camera equipment for mirrorless cameras and roamed around the streets of Tokyo, Bangkok and Hong Kong and snapped away.
“If you do street photography, you need to be a fly on the wall, you can’t be a part of the scene,” said Florendo. “When you are taking photos of people and they see, you, they change their reaction and I just want to capture what is really happening.”
Florendo further enriched his skills in street photography by attending the APF Art of Visual Storytelling workshop led by the famed Vohra brothers in Bangkok back in 2014. The APF is a leading magazine in the world of street photography.
The workshop completely changed Florendo’s perspective on street photography. “The workshop led by Vineet and Rohit Vohra was such a big influence on how I shoot,” explained Florendo. “I learned the art of storytelling through my photos.”
His big year was 2016, the same year he moved to Vancouver, a city on the west coast of Canada. Before leaving Manila with his wife Anna and kids Anton and Alyssa, Florendo spoke at and did photography workshops in the Philippines. He was invited by the biggest Apple retailer to use the iPhone for street photography.
It was also in 2016 when his book Crossroads: A Street Collection was published. He donated all proceeds to UNICEF.
It was bittersweet to leave his very well-established career in marketing as well, but he wanted to see where his skills can take him in Canada. “I want to show Vancouver that we are world class citizens,” he said.
Florendo took a step back in 2017 to settle down in his new home, but he is now ready and getting back on track with his beloved hobby and passion. He realized that street photography isn’t that popular in Vancouver and wants to change all that.
“I want to take what I’m passionate about to another level,” said Florendo. “I always have this mentality that you should use the gifts that are given to you for something good.”
Check out Florendo at www.allanflorendo.com.
Below are some of the snapshots taken by Florendo in different places of the world.