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Storytelling through snaps: TikTok creator Kelvin Markulit turns to his smartphone to capture street life

By AYIE LICSI Published Apr 08, 2022 5:20 pm

On TikTok, Kelvin Markulit has made a name for himself with his impromptu "Stranger Shoots," where he asks random people on the street to be the subject of his photoshoots. His feed is replete with stories of different people—from a street sweeper and a flower vendor to a skateboarder—told through soulful and honest imagery.

Kelvin has tried different kinds of photography—food, landscape, architecture, events—but he loves snapping portraits the most, as it enables him to let people see there's something special in them.

"Walang perfect subject. Yung perfect photo is about the story the photographer wants to tell," he told PhilSTAR L!fe.

Kelvin typically uses a camera to snap photos of strangers, but lately, he has turned to a device that lives right in his pocket: a smartphone.

@kelvinmarkulit Capturing life of a Skateboarder 🛹 shot on Redmi Note 11S @xiaomiphilippines #fyp #goviral #trending #photokgraphi #strangerphotoshoot ♬ Jazz Funk with a night atmosphere (3 minutes 40)(985096) - Acore sounds
Shaking up Stranger Shoot

Using a smartphone instead of his usual camera initially presented itself as a challenge for Kelvin.

"Siyempre parang may hesitation kasi di ko alam kung paano ma-co-convince yung stranger pag nakita na phone lang gagamitin mo kasi minsan gusto nila SLR or camera," he shared. "Baka iniisip nila na meron din naman sila phone."

But to his surprise, the strangers he walked up to were still game for a photoshoot and were pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

@kelvinmarkulit Happy couple spotted! panoorin ang nkakakilig at inspiring na kwentong ito 🧡shot on Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G @xiaomiphilippines #fyp #goviral #trending ♬ original sound - Mark Kelvin

"Bigla nilang sasabihin 'Grabe, phone lang 'yan?' Then tatanungin nila kung anong brand at magkano. Natututwa na sila," Kelvin said.

@kelvinmarkulit Dogs really know their assignments 🐶 Basta dog owner, sweet lover! 🧡 shot on Redmi Note 11S @xiaomiphilippines ♬ La Vie En Rose - Emily Watts

Capturing the perfect shot

To take amazing shots, Kelvin chats up his models to make sure they feel comfortable and at ease with him, even if it's the first time they met him.

"[The thing with Stranger Shoot] is pano magkakaroon ng common vibe, dapat imaging okay ang teamwork natin para magkaroon ng magandang outcome," he said. "Dapat di sila masyadong ilang. Yun yung crucial part kung paano magiging comfortable yung subject mo."

"Nag-bui-buildup ako ng conversation before ako magshoot. Nakikipagwentuhan ako ng matagal kasi gusto ko maging okay at maging magaan yung feeling ng model," the photographer added.

@kelvinmarkulit "When you believe in yourself, people will get that vibe and they will believe in you" -Viva🧡 Shot on Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G @xiaomiphilippines #fyp ♬ Say So (Instrumental Version) [Originally Performed by Doja Cat] - Elliot Van Coup

In some of his videos, Kelvin deals with subjects who aren't used to being in front of the camera, but he reassures them that he'll help them with posing and finding their good angles.

"Napakafulfilling when you boost someone's self-esteem, trust, and love in themselves," he told L!fe.

One of the shooters in Kelvin's arsenal is the Redmi Note 11S and Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, which boast pro-grade cameras, 5G capabilities, and long battery life for all-day shooting.

The Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G sports a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate for a buttery smooth viewing experience. It is powered by a Snapdragon 695 processor coupled with a 5,000mAh fast-charging battery.

Kelvin with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G

For shooting photos, this device boasts a triple rear camera setup consisting of a 108MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide shooter, and a 2MP macro sensor. In front, a 16MP lens shoots selfies.

Meanwhile, the Redmi Note 11S, with a 6.43-inch AMOLED screen, carries a 50MP main shooter, an 8MP ultrawide lens, and a 2MP macro camera for snapping pictures for the 'Gram. A MediaTek Helio G96 powers this phone along with a 5,000mAh battery capable of 33W Pro fast charging.

These two phones come affordable at P15,999 for the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G (8GB+128GB) and P12,999 for the Redmi Note 11S (8GB+128GB). The Redmi Note 11 Series is available at Authorized Xiaomi Stores and online through Shopee and Lazada.


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