This online shoebox contains random pictures, notes, whatever. I've been a professional writer-photographer for so many years now. It's a damn good excuse to carry a camera around.

Posted By Lester V Ledesma

My colleague Jane, deputy editor of Tiger Tales Magazine, does a stand in for my portrait setup while waiting for our subject:



Posted By Lester V Ledesma

Yup, that's the April 2013 issue of Smile Magazine, cover shot by yours truly:




Photographer: Lester Ledesma

Art Director: Anthony Gonzales

Model: Inna Gorelli

Stylist: Jof Sering

Make-up: Elaine Wong


Check out this lovely mag online at

Posted By Lester V Ledesma

#2) The Magic of Bhutan




August 1, Bhutan: "A few kilometers north of Paro town stands the Taktsang Palphug. Built on a cliffside some 3,000 feet above the landscape, this ancient monastery is accessible only via a robust, 2-hour trek. I trudge up the steep slope, stopping regularly to catch my breath in this thin mountain air. The knee-busting hike takes us from pine forest to rock face, the trail dotted with numerous shrines and lookout points."


"By the time we reach the monastery I am thoroughly winded, yet elated at reaching Bhutan's most venerated landmark. Prayer flags flutter in the breeze as I look down at the picturesque valley below. To my side I see a flash of crimson as a pair of monks appear. Behind me I hear the sound of spinning prayer wheels. Once again I smell incense in the air. A place like this doesn't need a tourist come-on. Bhutan works its magic simply by being itself."




#1) The Geylang Photo Shoot


November 18, Singapore: The concept board said it all for this very important pictorial:




Location: Geylang Road

Wardrobe: Street clothes, bright colors

Mood: Happy-smiley, a hint of romance

Concept: Location shoot, couple along Geylang Road's historic shophouses. Both are photographers, hanging out on the five-foot-way, playing with the camera. Also, try cafe and flower shop setting. Use natural lighting.

Notes to Photographer: Thanks for doing our pre-nup shoot, Jay Basco! Can't wait to get married in 10 days!!!!! - LESTER AND JOANNE



Posted By Lester V Ledesma
Models Dasha (left) and Sonya (right) try out for the next cover of Smile Magazine:

and Sonya

Posted By Lester V Ledesma
Can't believe I haven't updated my blog for this long. Now that work has settled down a bit, I can sit down and ponder the year that was. Yeah I know its a bit late, but experiences like these deserve to be told :)

So here's my best of 2010:


There are few things as moving as an F-16 on full afterburners making a low pass over the ground. It rattles your ears and numbs your brain - and that's just the sound you're hearing. You look up and see that familiar silhouette twisting and turning amongst the clouds. It's a thing of beauty; a thing of power. That airshow turned me into a kid again, and I went home dreaming of sitting in that cockpit - and blowing things up :P



Sunrise in Thailand is always met by a legion of Buddhist monks begging for alms - its their way of sustaining themselves after vowing to live a life of poverty. Though I have photographed this tradition many times before, this silent line of bareheaded, orange-robed individuals never fails to fascinate me. In the city of Sukhothai, in Thailand's central plains, I woke up early in the morning to capture the serenity, the spirituality, the timelessness of the pindacara ritual.



Sure, the spectacle of thousands of men clawing their way through a crowd to touch a sacred statue is indeed a joy to photograph. In fact, shutterbugs throughout Manila all flock to Quiapo every 9th of January to capture this bizarre event. To the older photographers, however, the Feast of the Black Nazarene is more than just a photo-op. It's a reunion of sorts, where bros from the same circle get to meet and talk shop and catch up with each other.


Usually this happens on some high-up position overlooking the procession route - this year it was the waiting shed at the mouth of Quezon Bridge. While waiting for the Nazareno to arrive, I shot the breeze with photographers Veejay VIllafranca, Luis Liwanag and Jake Versoza. Across the road was Chito Cleofas and George Tapan, among others.

Photographer Val Rodriguez must have been up there too, because the next day, he put us all on the front page of The Philippine Star


These are the dancing stars of that viral video that swept through the internet last year.


The may be all good-looking, but none of them were models. Yet they projected like pros, and they exuded the confidence of movie stars. And none of them showed any prima-donna attitudes during our Cebu Smile Magazine cover shoot, which we did in Manila with photographers Nikolai and Caroline. The 10-hour shoot was grueling, but they breezed through it with bright smiles and uncanny stamina - even after dancing their now-famous "safety dance" a dozen times over on an airplane reserved just for us.

Click here to see the result of that shoot.



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