James Reid is a man of passion. At 23, the Filipino-Australian has proven that his young age and equally young tenure in the business is not an excuse to do things half-heartedly, especially not when throngs of supporters are behind him.
Reid was born Robert James Reid in Sydney, Australia, where he grew up for part of his life.
Unfortunately, his Australian father and Filipina mother separated when he was just a toddler, which was neither the end of his family problems.
Financial trouble caught up with Reid and his dad in Sydney—part of his past he never kept from interviews—which forced them to relocate to the Philippines when he was 16.
As it turned out, the move was part of fate’s bigger plan for the young James, which led him to join Pinoy Big Brother Teen Clash in 2010. Happily, not only did the show enable him to help his father bounce back from their monetary troubles, but his daily exposure on TV also opened up endless opportunities for Reid in showbiz.
Reid’s career particularly took off when Viva Entertainment paired him up with Nadine Lustre in the 2014 movie Diary ng Panget. The romantic-comedy struck gold at the box-office with this maiden film, which officially established Reid and Lustre as one of the most bankable love teams in the industry. “JaDine” quickly became a household name, drawing movie-goers from all around the world to see their follow-up films, Talk Back and You’re Dead (2014) and This Time (2016), and fall in love every night with the ABS-CBN hit series On the Wings of Love (2015).
Through all these, Reid passionately lived an artist’s life via acting workshops, Filipino lessons to help him speak the vernacular more fluently and with less of an accent, and also immersed himself in music through albums, concerts and world tours side by side with Lustre.
Busy as he is, however, there is also another passion that Reid makes sure to pursue in his little but valuable spare time, which further brings out the artist in him.
On Friday, Reid openly talked about his young yet deep love for photography.
“It’s pretty recent… I think I started [taking photography]seriously late last year,” said the actor, whose secret passion was discovered by Japanese camera brand Fujifilm, for which he is now the official Philippine ambassador.
Reid explained that his frequent travels for work was what fueled his passion for shooting anything that catches his fancy.
Asked what his favorite subjects in photography are, Reid answered, “Architecture especially while I’m traveling. I’ve been to Rome, and Paris, and its the architecture that really gets me. If not those, landscapes, and of course my girlfriend [and screen partner Nadine Lustre].”
Out of the places he has gone to for work and leisure, Reid divulged that the island of Mykonos in Greece—which serves as the setting for parts of Jadine’s four-day old prime time soap Till I Met You—is by far the most beautiful.
Humble as ever, Reid took a moment during his endorsement launch that representing Fujifilm does not mean he is a pro with the camera.
And even while his 2.6-million followers on Instagram, who have seen his carefully curated photos beg to argue, Reid modestly said, “People say I have a good eye. I’m not sure if that makes a good photographer but I take photos of what I think is beautiful.”
Finally, The Manila Times asked Reid for tips he could impart to budding photographers like him to take the best shots with their choice of lenses.
“There are rules in taking photos,” he acknowledged. “When I just learned to use cameras, I had to research everything there is to know about how to use it and about photography. But there’s also a ‘no-rule’ in photography, which means you can experiment. Playing around with your shots—that’s the fun part. So don’t be afraid to use the manual mode and see what you’ll come up with.”