Sai’s World Through the Aperture — Perseverance Among a Diverse Range of Projects

In a world pulsating with fleeting instants, Sai Zacarias beckons us to pause, to immerse ourselves in her kaleidoscopic frames, and to be enchanted by the vivid dreams she captures through her artistry.

When starting a photography business, just like launching any other professional venture, you will need to make a major investment of both time and money to acquire equipment and develop your portfolio. And similarly to Sai, who tends to undertake the majority of the work in a project, she put in a significant amount of time and effort to get to where she is today. Despite how cliché it may sound it’s not the camera that’s the most essential thing; it’s the photographer who’s using it. 

At the age of 19, Sai Zacarias began photographing and filming music festivals and nightclubs. After graduating from college in 2017, she began working as a video producer in the food advertising industry. Since then, she has worked with a wide range of high-profile companies and personalities, both domestic and international.  

Sai excels at creating cooking videos, after-movies, and video highlights for a wide range of events and occasions. Traveling around the Philippines and the rest of the world has been made possible by her extraordinary powers.

In light of this, this week’s segment of UNDERSCORE takes a look through the lens of Sai’s dynamic photography life.

What are some of the things that helped you become such a superb photographer?

It wasn’t an item, but rather a recollection of something that happened. My father handed me a film camera when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. Since that day, I’ve had the motivation to improve my storytelling skills and become a better photographer.

Owing to the fact that you are a one-man operation when it comes to the taking of photos and videos and the editing that follows. What drives you to see the project through to its final result? 

Dedication. In my opinion, you won’t be able to deliver and finish your work if you don’t have it. This is investing whatever amount of time or effort is required in order to achieve the desired result.

What is it like to collaborate with established brands such as Casio and Panasonic at such a young age?

To tell you the truth, I enjoy my work immensely. There is no such thing as a simple or complex undertaking; everything necessitates a great deal of labor and unwavering commitment..

In the event that a client requests changes to your work, how do you handle those demands? Have you ever told a client “no”?

Referrals account for the majority of my business. Having said that, every client is unique, which means that every project must be evaluated on an individual basis. If what they want can’t be done, then I will tell them no. Sincerity compels me to confess that I am indifferent to the production cost so long as I continue to take pleasure in the work that I do.

When you go on a shoot, whether it’s for stills or motion, what are the settings that you always prefer to use? Please share with us one of the challenges you face when working as a photographer. What approaches do you adopt to make progress in overcoming it?

I work on a wide variety of sets. But the photography of food is my absolute fave. During the pandemic, we launched a business that specializes in food photography. It was a success, but it degenerated into a factory since the quantity of work was given more importance than its quality. All my projects are unique in its own way. You ought to be pleased with something like this and feel proud of it. It is not worth continuing to participate in the aforementioned kind of system. I plan to ensure the success of every initiative I do.

How does it feel to travel alone to your allocated project location on a regular basis? Do you get enough sleep, or does your mind wander to the next project? 

Solo travel and working on projects in other countries are always enjoyable experiences for me. The prospect of working in a new nation intrigues me. When I shoot in other countries, I get the chance to learn about their unique cultures, which is another thing that I really enjoy.

What project are you most proud of? Was there something unusual that happened that day?

I worked on this project for Conti’s Bakeshop Restaurant. It was their 25th anniversary. They collaborated with local artisans to make 100 backpacks out of tarpaulins recycled from billboards, streamers, and banners. The bags were distributed to 100 students by a nonprofit that the corporation supports. Being a part of that project is something I will remember for the rest of my life since I was able to tell a true narrative of happiness. 


Hey, I'm a music producer, DJ, and event curator for BASS N' BACON, and run a record label. I can speak English, Tagalog, and Bisaya, and I enjoy writing about music and culture. Whether it's through my music or writing, I bring a unique perspective and lots of experience to every project I do. Thanks for checking out my work!

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