Thursday, March 07, 2013


In a recent, fun assignment for the Wall Street Journal, I had to photograph a cocktail bar in Makati, the Blind Pig, for an article on speakeasy bars in Asia.

Speakeasies were created during the prohibition in the US. Hidden, you could only access them if you were in the know and  informed about on which door to knock. A slot in that door would then open and a guard would decide if you were allowed into the sanctum or not.

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

Today, some cocktail bars recreate that speakeasy environment. This comes as a nice surprise in a city like Manila -in my view, the noisiest in the world- as clients are also expected to be quiet inside.

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

The biggest challenge shooting this assignment was that the Blind Pig is very, very dark, and flash photography is not allowed (which is, by the way, also a great idea). Therefore I had to go for the blurry and out of focus effect so in vogue these days (the fact that I "had to" try a few of their delicious concoctions may have also helped with the out of focus effect). I blame their fantastic barman, Tog, pictured above.

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