Rare and exclusive portraits from the Senatorial Forum

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Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile posing for a portrait before the first CNN Philippines Senatorial Forum begins. Photo by JILSON TIU

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — You can tell so much about a person sitting down for a portrait, particularly if it’s someone in a position of power. Photographers who have made sessions with politicians and cultural movers have attested as much.

The New Yorker photographer Platon, who set up a small studio at the UN General Assembly to photograph 50 of the most powerful people in the world, has a few stories behind the scenes, such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying, “Platon, make me look good” or then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad giggling “like a little boy.”

In the tradition of the history-making portraits from the 2016 Vice Presidential debate of CNN Philippines, we also set up a portrait booth during the first CNN Philippines Senatorial Forum. The eight senatorial hopefuls had varied responses while posing in front of the camera for a proper photograph, which is quite a rare moment in the age of instant selfies.

There is so much that goes into a portrait of a person. There’s the stance, their body language, the lines on their faces, or even the way they respond to direction. And combined with the photographer’s approach to portraiture, a simple sit-down could capture a snapshot of history; an image that can be remembered for a long time.

Below are the results of the portrait sessions, just a few hours before each of them went onstage to appeal for the Senatorial Forum.

Gary Alejano - CNN Philippines Senatorial Forum Gary Alejano. Photo by JL JAVIER

Bam Aquino - CNN Philippines Senatorial Forum Bam Aquino. Photo by JL JAVIER

Bato dela Rosa - CNN Philippines Senatorial Forum.jpg Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa. Photo by JL JAVIER

Chel Diokno - CNN Philippines Senatorial Forum Chel Diokno. Photo by JL JAVIER

JV Ejercito - CNN Philippines Senatorial Forum JV Ejercito. Photo by JL JAVIER

Juan Ponce Enrile - CNN Philippines Senatorial Forum Juan Ponce Enrile. Photo by JL JAVIER

Serge Osmena - CNN Philippines Senatorial Forum Serge Osmeña. Photo by JL JAVIER

Francis Tolentino - CNN Philippines Senatorial Forum.jpg Francis Tolentino. Photo by JL JAVIER