Roy Sabay

From ordinary fisherfolks to media personalities, Roy Sabay shoots portrait that are classic and timeless. By capturing an emotion and paying attention to the smallest of details—vibrant eyes made bright with catchlights, crease-free clothes, and delicate poses—Roy allows his portraits to become skillfully captured photographs to last for a lifetime.

His curiosity about the lives behind every individual has led him to do mostly portraits. This interest has brought Roy, who is a graduate of mechanical engineering, to a different line of work that revolves around photography.

Through the portraits he captures, Roy aims to tell people’s stories and not just to show us how they look. Like in his portrait of a fisherman from Cebu (above), Roy didn’t want to take just another snapshot of a fisherfolk; he wanted to capture a striking portrait that projected an image of strength and determination.

To nail the shot he had envisioned involved careful planning and execution. Roy had to be mindful of the time of shoot, lighting, angle, pose, and facial expression.

02_i-mag photography magazine_roy sabay_bride portrait

Timeless techniques

For Roy, it is of utmost importance to study a lot about posing and to make his subjects look their best in photos, hiding or exposing physical characteristics as necessary. “The client’s favored angle is not always the best angle, and being able to explain that to them is essential,” asserts Roy, who opts for poses that are as natural and comfortable as possible and within the character of the subject he is shooting.

When he’s not shooting at the studio, Roy can be found down the aisle, venturing into wedding and bridal photography. Roy believes that proper lighting is most essential in taking the perfect bridal portrait, “I am a photographer more concerned about light, whether artificial or natural, which, for me, what photography is all about.”

Roy is keen on making the subject look natural, unlike in the past, when he used to do a lot of heavy post-processing when he first used Photoshop. Today, he veers away from too much post-processing and relies on lighting and posing to do the trick.

For Roy Sabay, a modern portraitist with a taste for time-tested photography techniques, a great portrait is not one that is taken for granted, but one that unfolds from the artist’s point of view and his conscious effort to capture personality through photography.


Want to see more of Roy’s photographs? Check out i-Mag Photography magazine’s issue 45. Order your copies at and like us on

Do you think you have what it takes to be featured in i-Mag? Send us your best shots here: or join our photo challenge here:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)