30 and Under: Defying the odds

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By Sigourney V. Tulfo

Katrina Ignacio, owner of Mojo Lab Productions

Katrina Ignacio has always loved capturing moments. The 28-year-old owner of Mojo Lab Productions has been fascinated by how a camera can document special moments in people’s lives and the creative interpretations that can be used to tell a story.

This passion has drawn her to photography and filmmaking and eventually led her to take both Media Production in Assumption College and Filmmaking at the International Academy of Film and Television in 2009. Ms. Ignacio was prepared to take her leap into the creative and filmmaking industry right after finishing these two courses but a medical condition presented a temporary halt.

“It’s kind of a long story,” Ms. Ignacio shared in an interview with BusinessWorld. “It all started after my bone marrow transplant back in 2010. My doctor advised me to not apply for work yet so I won’t get any infection from the outside world. My immune system back then was weak,” Ms. Ignacio said.

Her condition called for hospital visits, treatments and strict “house-only activities”. Ms. Ignacio had to follow her doctor’s order to stay at home to avoid situations that may affect her health despite being discharged from the hospital. It was at this point when her friends from film school got concerned and wondered if she wanted to do video editing work. Ms. Ignacio was excited at the prospect and said yes. Her friends brought her the videos that needed to be edited and picked up the finished material from her home.

She edited videos for almost a year until she fully recovered from illness and two film classmates, Christian Patrick Salcedo and Christopher Hettel, reconnected with her and invited her to do photography and video shoots.

Realizing their creative chemistry, Ms. Ignacio decided to formally create a photo, video and creative solutions company called Mojo Lab Productions in 2016. With Mr. Salcedo as writer and producer, Mr. Hettel as writer and producer, Ms. Ignacio registered the business and has been assuming many roles.

During one of Mojo Lab’s photo shoot in Baguio

“We offer the whole package deal from conceptualizing with clients and ideas to build their brand to executing it through photo or video to be used either internally or on social media. The team also provides graphic contents like ads online,” Ms. Ignacio said.

She is the owner, editor, general manager who files the costing and taxes and oversees the operation. Despite her “owner” title, she clarifies that she, Mr. Salcedo and Mr. Hettel are equal partners since all of them put in the time and talent into building the business. 

As their group continues to grow, they have learned the importance of supporting each other and unifying their goals. “Collaboration is very important. We always make sure we understand each other and respect each idea that is presented and come up with one solid plan where the project is heading,” Ms. Ignacio said.

These days, Ms. Ignacio has full days spent editing, meeting and shooting. She also leisurely  takes photos and videos and offers editing services to family and friends.

“Growing up, I always heard the elders say pick a job that you’re passionate about. By doing so, you won’t be working for the sake of having to earn money but because you enjoy what you do,” Ms. Ignacio recalled.

Since its conception, Mojo Lab has engaged in photo and video coverage for events, corporate profiles, personal projects, Web sites, advertisements and out of the box requests.

Ms. Ignacio has an advice for young entrepreneurs looking to establish their photography or creative business: “Make sure that you’re passionate about your work. One thing that I won’t forget that I’ve learned in film school is to believe in yourself. Find your style, be confident and be good at it, and everything will unfold for you,” Ms. Ignacio said.