By Robbie Pangilinan
Vancouver - The newest member of the ETOnline Manila team as its official photographer, is coming to the Philippines in 2018 to launch his coffee table book through a partnership with the Department of Tourism.
“All of his photos for the past eight years will be included in the book. It will also be launched in Vancouver in March,” said Tom Choy, Managing Director of ETOnline Manila.
William Orsua is a respiratory therapist by profession and a photographer by heart. In 2011, he established Soul Mates Productions, a professional photography company that specializes in weddings, events, portrait, and lifestyle shots.
His passion for photography started before he left Prince George, British Columbia, when he sold his car and the person who was buying it didn’t have enough money. The buyer offered his camera to seal the deal and William got curious, researched on the market price of the camera, and accepted the trade.
He then moved to Vancouver with his family, where he has been working at the Vancouver General Hospital ever since.
But Will’s journey began long before Prince George. He worked in Saint Luke’s Medical Center in Makati after finishing his Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy degree from the Emilio Aguinaldo College. At work, he met an Australian who was representing a college in Australia, and he invited Will to a seminar for people who want to study overseas. So in 1999, he set off for Australia as a working student to study Information Technology. For a year and a half he studied, working as a care aide and teacher for children with intellectual disabilities on the side.
In 2004 he went home and married his long-time girlfriend, Vanessa. While in the Philippines, the company in Australia he was working for shut down. Vanessa was pregnant, so Will went back to work at Saint Luke’s. But his salary was low so he sought an overseas job and got one in Saudi Arabia. He was there from 2006 to 2008.
While in Saudi Arabia, William searched for other jobs in other countries. His application as a program manager for the disability programs of the Rising Sun Venture Society in Prince George was successful, and he was in Canada in 2008.
In 2010, he brought his family over to Prince George, then to Vancouver. William and Vanessa now have three children and a home in Vancouver.
When they moved to Vancouver, Will started playing around with his camera, shooting landscape photos and pictures of his kids. Became serious about photography, studying articles on the internet and spending money getting better gear and investing in workshops.
He started doing portraits, and then shooting events, especially weddings which he really enjoyed.
William also connected with other Filipino photographers in Vancouver and together, they have produced workshops where well-known photographers from the Philippines shared their knowledge with local photographers. He took photos of community Filipino events for free. When Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda hit in 2013, Will and his photographer friends organized a special photography session, raising $2,600 for the Yolanda victims.
Will wants to expand Soul Mates Productions enough that it can become his full-time work.
“My dream is that within five years, Soul Mates Productions will be known across North America as an organization that produces exceptional photography,” Will said.
With so many photographers around, Will wants to be different.
“I want to be an inspiration in photography, to be regarded as a great photographer who does an exceptional job,” he added.