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Dreamy Pre-Debut Portraits Shot in Cebu

‘When you envision your pre-debut shoot, let your imagination run wild’

Leila Danielle B. Ramos did not intend on doing a pre-debut shoot to commemorate her eighteenth birthday. She simply wanted a birthday lunch or dinner with her family and for things to be fuss free. But thanks to her family’s prodding, the debutante organized a shoot with Leftfielder Photography where she enjoyed posing in fron of the camera.

“The amount of dresses I had to wear and sample was shocking. I had to learn the basics of how to pose in front of the camera, as expertly instructed by the photographer,” Leila recalls. Her vision revolved around her keyword “dreamy“ and the location, Sirao Garden-Little Amsterdam, was the perfect spot to realize their idea.

Below, Leila talks more about how she planned the shoot, made sure it was safe, and why she is glad to have pushed through with her pre-debut shoot amid the times.

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What are your plans for your debut?

Initially, I was quite skeptical with the idea of doing a pre-debut shoot. I wanted a simple birthday lunch or dinner with my family; I wanted it fuss-free. But once my family pitched the idea to me, it just happened. Their reasoning was, “Sige lang, you only turn 18 once.”

Tell us about your pre-debut shoot. What was your concept or idea?

The keyword is dreamy! I spent a lot of time mulling over what I wanted to capture and to see reflected in the photos. I communicated my ideas to the professionals, and they sent me photos as suggestions, which would inspire the shoot. We ended up with a magical and dreamy garden theme. Located in Sirao Garden-Little Amsterdam, it was the perfect place with its scenic views and colorful landscapes.

How did you successfully execute your pre-debut shoot? What made you decide to do a pre-debut shoot?

It took a lot of coordination and planning. The amount of dresses I had to wear and sample was shocking. I had to learn the basics of how to pose in front of the camera, as expertly instructed by the photographer. Hair and makeup was planned thoroughly, as well. Since this was an outdoor shoot, we had to coordinate schedules to get the prime time for shooting underneath the sun. Altogether, I was lucky to have a set of professionals who made all this possible; the magicians behind the magic.

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I was lucky, too, that my family convinced me to go on with the pre-debut shoot at all. Like I mentioned, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of having my pictures taken and I had my reservations about it. I’m so glad they persuaded me, though. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have this great opportunity to commemorate my 18th birthday. It’s quite the special event, I realize now.

What is your advice for ladies who are planning their pre-debut shoot? How about for ladies planning their debut celebrations at this time, during the pandemic?

When you envision your pre-debut shoot, let your imagination run wild! Take inspiration from everything around you, as long as it’s true to who you are. Try to think: “In ten or twenty years, will I look back at these photos and remember what it was like to be 18?” And when preparing for your debut celebrations, be mindful of what quarantine restrictions are implemented in your location. It can be special just as much as it is safe!

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What’s your personal highlight as a young lady turning 18 years old? What are you looking forward to?

Turning 18 marks the end of a chapter for me. I realize my childhood has come to a full stop, and it will all remain as memories in my mind. But looking forward, I’m excited for all that is to come, like going to college and building a future for myself. In all honesty, it’s quite scary. I imagine the

adult world involves making a lot of hard decisions and being confronted with difficult situations. Still, I’m lucky because I know my family prepared me well.

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The Dream Team

Photography: Leftfielder Photography | Hair and makeup: Emi Ayag, Gino Fonghe | Stylist: Style Like Ai