Ariela is a photographer based in the unceded land of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations (also known as Vancouver, BC, Canada). She was born and raised in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.
She has an affinity for tinkering with things, mostly because of her genuine curiosity about how things work. She grew up with a notoriety for being a chemist-in-the-making, as her mother would always catch her red-handed flushing shampoo and toilet cleaner down the drain.
Many years later, she goes on to pursue a variety of things (yes, Chemistry being one of them) but her first love has always been the camera. From taking secret selfies with her parents' point-and-shoot as a little girl, to saving up for her first Lomo-style camera in college, Ariela always had a deep and profound love for cameras. And for her, film photography is where science and art intersect in the most perfect way.
Ariela has been photographing for as long as she can remember. Even back in high school, she wore a camera around her neck almost everyday. But it wasn't until 2019 when she got her first film SLR that she started taking pictures more regularly. When the pandemic happened, photography embedded itself into her daily life. Without any formal training, she delved deep into the world of analogue photography: she has since acquired a collection of small, medium, and large format cameras and has put together a make-shift photo lab at home. And for several years now, her vegetable crisper has always been packed full with film.
After working in food safety and building a successful food business in Vancouver, she is currently working on personal projects and letting photography fill her day-to-day. Ariela is also a proud member of the Vancouver Street Photography Collective.
I'm a young artist from the Philippines, now living in Vancouver. I specialize in documentary and street photography, using film photography as my medium. I capture candid moments to tell stories of people and places. My work celebrates diversity and the beauty of everyday life. I aim to amplify underrepresented voices and provoke conversations about our shared humanity and cultural complexities.
Ultimately, my art is an expression of love for the streets, the faces, and the stories that connect us all, transcending geographical boundaries and revealing the shared humanity that unites us.
- Casual Photophile: Five Female Photographers to Follow in February 2021
- Jamie Maldonado: Women With Film - Film Photography recommendations for Instagram ft. Girlwithtoomanycameras
- Stir Magazine: 3 artists on works at BIPOC Foods Van's online holiday market
- Photography Chat with Merlin DB, S02 EP23
- All Through A Lens, Episode 69
- Sunny 16 Podcast, Episode 320
- Northern Film Collective Vol. 1
- VanSPC Photo Zine 3
- VanSPC Photo Zine 4
- VanSPC Photo Zine 5
- There is nothing remarkable about this place, self-published
- VanSPC Photo Zine 6
Exhibits / On Display
- C41 Film Photo Contest, "Community" March 2021
- C41 Film Photo Contest, "Music & Dance" November 2021
- VanSPC, "Streets, Seen" December 2021
- VanSPC, "Follow the Rabbit" April 2022
- VanSPC x 560 Gallery, "Capture, Print, Frame" June 2022
- C41 Film Photo Contest, "Experimental" July 2022
- VanSPC, "Collective Encounters" September 2022
- 24 Hr Project 2022, digital art exhibition, Goethe Art Institute Hong Kong December 2022
- Blackbox Gallery, "Taking Pictures" April 2023
- Glasgow Gallery of Photography, "Story / Reportage" May 2023
- VanSPC, "Urban Gaze", September 2023