HIS first job when he came to Saipan over 15 years ago involved asking people to take off their shirts, putting on lab gowns and telling them to hold their breath as he conducted lung x-rays at a medical clinic.
He processed the negatives, inserted them into individual folders, and turned the results over to the front desk day after day.
But Edwin Sta. Theresa, production manager of Digital Motion, has one love of his life that he suppressed for his career as a radiologist/x-ray technician — photography.
His affair with the shutter started way back in his teen years when he became friends with a classmate whose father was into photography. Watching his classmate’s father at work, he asked for a chance to try using the camera. As soon as he peered into the viewfinder and pressed the shutter to capture his first subject, he knew his fate was sealed.
But career took over and Sta. Theresa shelved his first love, until finally one day over half a decade ago, he took off his lab gown and decided to pursue his desires. The rest is history.
As one of the island’s popular photography and video services provider covering various events, work for Sta. Theresa is very far from the 8 a.m.-5 p.m. routine.
He is at the forefront of every special and memorable occasion, capturing and preserving every second on camera as each event unfolds. Work is unpredictable and exciting. He is there when a couple exchanges “I do’s,” right from the moment when the bride and groom start to dress up until the moment the guests leave the reception. He is witness to all the happy times at anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, and other momentous occasions.
Sta. Theresa also does television commercials for government and private agencies, television shows and other promotional or documentary videos.
Not everything he captures on camera and video is pleasant though. At times, when the world is still asleep, Sta. Theresa is already out with his heavy video equipment slung over his shoulders capturing each bitter moment as family members mourn the loss of a loved one, or staying awake late into the night when the world is already asleep doing editing work at his computer to catch up on deadlines.
“It’s a very enjoyable yet challenging job. It’s one job where you sometimes find it hard to detach yourself from the emotional outbursts of your subjects but the rewards are great because years later, the results of your effort remain in the shelves of memories in each home for future generations to go over,” Sta. Theresa said.
With the advent of technology, business as a photographer/videographer in the CNMI now is not paved with roses. Along with others in the industry, Sta. Theresa has financial battles to combat as more and more people are learning about photography and basic equipment become more affordable. There are bills to pay and no regular paycheck comes every two weeks.
“Unlike before, so many people now would prefer to take their own photos and videos to save money, but when our clients realize how important these events are, they will come to realize that it takes someone with the dedication and skill to document special events and preserve them for the future,” Sta. Theresa said. He may be tired after a day’s work, but he is satisfied. His love affair with the shutter is finally out in the open.
Digital Motion is located on the third floor of the Marianas Business Plaza in Susupe. For more information, check out www.digitalmotionpro.com or call 235-6603.
(This article was first published HERE)