WHAT started as a hobby evolved into an extra source of income for Dunhill Johari Dayap Talpis as the eye behind the freelance photography outfit Djtalcore 1.2. He hails from Pagadian City but is now living in Cebu.

While high school boys were busy with teenybopper activities, the teenage Talpis was excelling in art via drawing, painting and photo journalism. It was only years after he graduated from nursing when Ralph Emerson Iligan, the husband of his sister, and the owner of Picxels Event Photobooth, saw the artist in the young Talpis and lent him a gadget and absorbed him in the business.

It was his birthday three years ago when Talpis received an amount from Iligan and discussed a deal—that is to purchase his first digital single-lens reflex camera and pursue creativity. For an amateur, it was the glorious present ever.

Now a one-man band at 27, Talpis has progressed from point-and-shoot to entry level outputs, with emphasis on music, yes. Because he’s both ends of the ruler—punk, hardcore, metal, ska, bio or non-biochemical (whatever is the name of these genres are in chemistry)—he plays at both ends of the ruler; meaning, he shoots anything under the sun. But then again, the focus is music because he’s a sub-definition of a musician. He wants music to be his signature. He shoots music.

Through his lens, every growl seems to be “echoed” in all corners, every riff, every low pitch amplified—giving a “live performance” feeling through still photos.

“If you’re a good photographer, you don’t just take photos. You make photos,” Talpis said with conviction.

Since anyone can own a DSLR, Talpis emphasized the crucial degree of how a photo is crafted so the photographer can end up with a story not as a by-product of technology.

Talpis does post-processing with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, habitually before and after his regular shift of taking calls.

By capturing live, uncut emotions, Talpis justifies music, most of the time pro bono as he understands (an artist’s) good old struggle for exposure in the local music scene. He’s currently working on collaboration music video projects with YTV Cebu, a non-profit team which also moves for the benefit of local musicians and artists.

Because learning escorts an artist to his dream, Talpis admires how his mentor (his brother-in-law, of course) and the likes of Jason Magbanua, Christopher Colinares and Red Rivera create life with their cameras. Ideas from these icons supplement his education in photography aside from print manuals and YouTube, as he is partially self-taught.

A piece of advice from Djtalcore 1.2 for noobs or wannabes: Keep taking photos, anything that captures your imagination and if possible, don’t put too much weight on the monetary value of your purpose. Keep those shutters clicking!