The Sugboanon: 20-year-old Student Learns Photography to Fund His Picture-perfect Education

Photography is more than just “picture picture lang.” What we don’t know is that it opens doors for those who dream of turning their life around. 

Photo from Charles Nuñez on Facebook

Take this college student, for example; through his passion, he is able to earn and build his dreams from the ground up. Let’s take a look at this incredible story of a 20-year-old student who learned photography to fund his picture-perfect education. 

The Sugboanon: Charles Nuñez Story

Photo from Charles Nuñez on Facebook

Charles Nuñez is a 20-year-old college student who is pursuing Criminology. He wants to become a police officer because he wants to help and give service to the community. Ever since he was a kid, he admired those in uniform and wanted to become like them someday. 

But what’s even more impressive is that he funds his own education through photography. 

Photo from Charles Nuñez on Facebook

According to Charles, before he stepped into the world of shutters and lenses, he had no plans or goals. His world revolves around games and fun. It was not until such time that a friend of his, Jed, introduced him to photography and videography. 

Photo from Charles Nuñez on Facebook

Once that young man held a camera for the first time, he was instantly hooked. Moreover, his first gig was a birthday, so his love for photography sparked. 

Lights, Camera, Rent

Charles did not start with his equipment. He shared that he would borrow a camera from his friend or rent one. 

“Wala ko naghuna-huna sa akong ma kuha nga fee, ang ako lang jud kay gusto ko makat-on ug photography”

Charles mentioned that many professional photographers allow people to rent cameras, which is why he started from there.

Tearjerker Films can happen in real life, too

In a chapter of his life, Charles’ parents separated. His dad stopped supporting him, and not soon after, so did his mom. It happened between the 6th grade and the first year of junior high school. 

He thought negatively about the situation. He thought he would never be able to finish school and achieve his dreams. But, just like a camera, a thought flashed through his mind, 

“What if gamiton nako akong skills sa photography aron maka human ko ug skwela? What if ipadayon nako akong goal nga mahimong police.” 

And thus. His words turned gold as he became an on-call photographer for  But that came with the price of balancing both his studies and his part-time job. He even questioned if he will be able to pay of his tuition fees just with his part-time gig alone. But, in God’s grace, he was able to work it all out in the end. 

“Basta ganahan gyud ka, buhaton gyud nimo tanan. Maong ako gibuhat tanan para sa akong kinabuhi ug akong future family.” 

His Very First Camera

Photo from Charles Nuñez on Facebook

We asked Charles to tell us about his very first camera, and he revealed that the people who gave him a camera, which opened many doors for him, was his girfriend’s parents. They saw how his photography gig earnings mostly go to his camera rentals, which left Charles with little savings. 

Because they saw his talent and perseverance, they offered to buy the camera for him and have Charles’ mom pay them little by little. However, the young photographer stated that his mom abandoned him.

You would think the camera would be forfeited, but no. His partner’s parents still bought him the camera and gave it to him. Charles was eternally grateful for their kind gestures. 

Photo from Charles Nuñez on Facebook

“Gusto nako pasalamatan ang family sa akong partner kay sila ang nisalo ug nitabang nako. Sila ang nagsilbling pamilya nako. Ang kuwang sa akong parents, sila ang mao’y naghatag. Sila ang nakapa feel nako ug love.”

He also expressed his gratitude for his girlfriend, Zoe, who is always with him every step of the way.

Photo from Charles Nuñez on Facebook
Photo from Charles Nuñez on Facebook

“Siyempre sa akong girlfriend. Everyday ko niya sultian unsa akong dapat buhaton  ug unahon.” 

From One Photographer to Another

With his experiences, Charles has something to say to fellow photographers or those who aspire to be photographers but don’t have their own equipment. 

Photo from Charles Nuñez on Facebook

“ Sa mga photographers or gusto gyud mahimong photographer nga way equipments, sama nako before, there are a lot of professional photographers who you can approach to rent out a camera from. Just make sure na kahibaw ka mu amping sa equipment. And, don’t expect your first gig to earn big bucks, we all got to start somewhere.”

He also expressed encouraging words to those who support their own dreams.

“Push lang jud Train yourself to be confident and show what you have and what your skills are.”

Photo from Charles Nuñez on Facebook

What wonders photography does. It allows you to capture moments and memories that you cherish. And for Charles, photography is more than just a click, it allows him to get a snapshot of his future, one shutter at a time. 

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