FAQ – Nine Lives by Mikko Mahinay


To a certain extent, rather than accumulating a thousand Q&A’s into one painfully long post and the common short attention span majority of the population has, you can all refer back to this page for answers to burning life questions, when you need them most. Ask, and you shall receive.


Apparently, I usually encounter this joke of a question- either truthfully speaking or some sort of millennial joke (often accompanied by a hint of sarcasm)

I’d rather change the question to “how to be an effective influencer or personality.” There’s no secret formula but hard work, really. In this day and age of digitalized media and saturated pool of individuals, it takes an aesthetic unique to your own personal branding and substance in your character that is visibly portrayed in your writing.

What camera are you using?

On lazy days, I just use my iphone 6 +. But when I have to travel, or need to do a particular shot with more attention on detail, i use my Fujifilm XM-1 because it’s lightweight and connects instantly to my mobile phone. There are several apps out there to help you in improving the images to appeal more to the personal branding you wish to have.

You have a very easy job: to eat, look nice, take pictures and get free stuff.

Wait, hold it. That depends on what you are exactly aiming for. If your main intent in being a digital brand is to simply get free items, passes or look cool, and hey, even earn a buck from it. Or if you’re purpose is to establish a public digital brand that helps businesses gain more profit and at the same time, exercise your creativity without compromising your own compensation, well, you be the judge if trying to direct a brand to the unique direction you see it in or the profile that it matches with to instantly give customer recall is easy or not. Throw in the thought that you have to look great as well; no one wants to see anyone looking on fleek online and looking like a zero in real life

What’s your daily routine?

I don’t practice any routine, except plummeting down Wikipedia rabbit holes and finding myself studying reading any article right before bed. I avoid living a routinely system because it does make any individual feel deprived of living in the real world. Although, on a daily basis, I do have to make sure I can look physically decent despite the late nights of working on photographs and video clips, see if my crazy ideas do have any sort of effect (three cheers because 95% of the time, they do!) and try to be as productive as I can and balancing out all the brands that I’m involved with. As long as I have the late nights all to me, to think, read and be alone but with a cup of hot coffee, I’m good.

Who takes your photos?

Anyone I’m with. a hack on how to get everyone to become your photographer is to have a handy camera and always, as in always, instruct them to make sure your feet land at the tip of the camera screen. This way, they’re shooting on eye level and you will look leaner and taller.

You’re good with flatlays. Any good tips?

One, is to make sure every inch of the square is filled. Use coins, rings or anything metallic, to fill up empty gaps in your flatlay. Next is, to make sure that you’re shooting from the top- don’t be afraid to get up on the chair, table or heck, even a ladder if needed. Lighting is also key, so make sure there aren’t much shadows, including your own from taking the photograph, so make sure your light source isn’t from the top but rather, from all sides.

What course did you finish in college?

I actually took up 3 years of information management under the school of business and management (formerly, college of commerce) and took up AB international studies, majoring in French and foreign policies & international law, for another 2 years & a semester. I took both courses at Ateneo de Cagayan University and yes; I have no background or college degree involving the arts. Although taking a course that involves photography, film, writing or arts would be an advantage during job fairs if you intend to work in the field- it doesn’t limit you. Being an artist has always been my nature (mood swings included) and it’s still your portfolio, resume and charisma during job applications that land you jobs.

Any good advice for anyone who wants to step foot in the industry?

Alright, not everyone can understand the importance of how digital branding works effectively for anyone under fashion and/or business these days. Personalities such as aimee song, Nicole warne and Margaret zhang have established themselves beyond the blog and into the multi-million dollar club by simply curating their images correctly, posting positively and professionally, and really creating a difference by simply standing out. Start by making your social media network channels looks more appealing, sound more engaging and the brands and businesses will go after you. The industry in the Philippines is relatively small, so having a good network and referral can suffice- although, relying alone on your connections doesn’t promise longevity. It is still how you present yourself both in digital screens and in real life that determine your success.


© 2009. MIKKO MAHINAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. For inquiries, bookings and advertising email IsmaelLopezMahinay@Gmail.com
Website by Logicbase Interactive