The Global Filipino Magazine Issue 22 Former OFW finds deep passion for photography

Former OFW finds deep passion for photography


Timothy Patrick Cortez Ignacio is currently working as a freelance photographer and managing his small ML express outlet in the Philippines. Before settling in the Philippines, the 39-year-old Filipino worked in the Middle East for a short period. 

His very first job overseas was as executive secretary for a now-defunct pediatric association in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2004. After office hours, he would roam around the city centre with his parents to take photos using his first Kodak Z700. 

He realized that his passion for photography would prosper when he won first prize at a daily photography contest conducted by a daily newspaper. He won $100, and that got him more into photography. 

As Saudi Arabia imposed multiple restrictions, especially in photography, he decided to quit his day job and return to the Philippines. 

It was then that Fine Image Studio came about. From then on, spearheading the studio, he faced constant struggles that almost pushed him over the edge–quitting the game. 

In 2009, he thought of resuming his OFW journey in the same city. This time, he got nice-paying photography projects under an agency. 

“Bu my heart and min were in the Philippines. I could not stop thinking about the endless opportunities in our beloved country. So, again, after a year or so, I went back home,” Timothy said. 

In the Philippines, he found love in vlogging. He spends time on album layouting and video and photo editing at night. 

Sometime in 2017, he started a small family business that catered grill street food. It thrived well, but later, he found it expensive due to the tax imposed and restrictions. His heart was aching to go back to photography, so he did again. 

“I specifically enjoy the challenges to excel in a field with a lot of competitions. The challenge to capture every memorable moment in a photograph and be able to impart the message to the viewer,” he said when asked about what he enjoys about clicking images. 

When shooting his subjects, he doesn’t only use his camera. He also uses his heart. 

“I pour out all the emotions stacked up inside into every photograph I shoot. I try to talk to my clients and the viewers through every photograph I create,” he said. 

“The most satisfying aspect is when the viewers appreciate your work and appreciate the beauty of things through every photograph,” he added. 

Timothy said that his influences are Joey Lawrence, a Canadian photographer, Karl Roberts, Brooke Shaden, Kevin Wang, Jophel Ybiosa, and the rest of Team Juan Makasining, Edwin Loyola, Maricris Carlos, Victor Sison, Ador Pamintuan.

“My life is a constant struggle, and there are times when I feel like I am at the end of my limit. But as I trust our Lord Almighty, I don’t allow myself to get tired. I keep on pushing and striving hard, if not harder. And I believe this is the secret of all the successful people in any field… not to give up,” he said. 

This story has been featured in the 22nd issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact Mr. Orli Gayeta at +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email to us at

Ryan Namia
Ryan Namia spends most of his days reading over drafts of new written content and determining which ones make the final cut for online and print publication. He received his Bachelor's degree in Journalism in 2015 and has been writing since 2016. Got a story to tell? Email him at Or follow his IG @rtnamia.

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