July 25, 1977 – September 13, 2021
Jay G. Amarante was a Negros-based fashion and events photographer and the founder of ICON Photography.
Amarante started his photography career in 1995 as a photojournalist and editorial cartoonist for the Tolentine Star, the official publication of the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, where he finished his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.
Amarante then worked with GMA-Bacolod and ABS-CBN as video editor. He also worked as a studio manager at a photography studio, then decided to establish GMYXX photo studio with his business partners and operated it for nine years.
In 2010, he opened his own company, ICON Photography, which specialized in glamour, fashion, product photography, weddings, and events.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, ICON went digital as it continued to provide services such as studio pictorials and graphic design and layout, and cover major social events such as pageants and fiestas, weddings, birthdays, and debuts.
In 2021, Amarante ventured into vlogging. He started producing short videos uploaded on his YouTube channel called “Layaw,” which documented the journeys of Christian Perez Mariano, a local celebrity who travels around different places and tourist destinations on Negros Island.
“It’s a way of helping local businesses by promoting local tourism in Negros as we feature the highlights of a certain city or municipality,” Amarante said.
In a Sunstar article, Amarante advised budding photographers to “always unleash their creativity, but at the same time be versatile and innovative because the time is changing.”
As a photographer, a friend wrote in a Facebook post, Amarante was someone who “would put a lot of effort in every detail”: “I am sad he is no longer here. Gone so soon. Salamat, Jay, for all the pictures! I know with your craft, you made a lot of people see themselves in a different light.”
Another friend wrote: “The shy guy that he was, he was hesitant at first but eventually gave in. He was always part of my events, weddings, our family reunions, Jollibee store openings, and programs. And he was also a sweet, shy part of my life not visible to the camera.”