Tell us a little bit about your background & how you got started in photography.
I guess i can start off by saying I am a person that gets bored easily. After high school I went to a vocational school specializing in minor roles in the medical industry. I graduated valedictorian from my class and started working for a cardiologist and was there for about a year in a clinical setting. The doctor I worked for ended up moving to Hawaii and I started working in a hospital setting, which was not my thing. I left it and started working for the airline industry where I worked for Alaska Airlines, US Airways and Southwest Airlines. After hopping around in that industry I ended up in the construction doing concrete carpentry. Started in flat work and in 3 years I was building high rises in San Diego as Journeyman Carpenter/Forman running my own crew. Moved to Denver from San Diego and started working in telecommunications. After 4 years of that, I took on photography as a hobby. I did it to take pictures of my kids since I felt I could do a better job than some people I would see around charging for it. I bought a Canon T3i just for shits and giggles and quickly became a professional level type of hobby. Quit my day job after 6 months of doing photography and the rest is history. 3 years now as a full time traveling photographer and I don’t see and end to this…
Do you dabble in any other mediums or art forms
I come from a family of true artists, even my kids can draw and paint in a way I never could. Stick figures were the best I could do. My dad went to the Art Institute in Mexico City and paints with all mediums, also is a sculptor from clay to metals. My mother is also a great artist, as are the rest of my siblings. I was the smart, techie, mathematical and logical type of kid. Always messing with electronics since I was a little tiny boy. I would impress my parents with my ability to fix electronics or set up surround sounds and large rack stereo systems back in the 80’s when I was like 5 years old. That carried on with me till I found my true art form in photography. Now, I am the only one with a career in arts from all of them, but only because it’s more marketable than real artistry. I still don’t think I am at their level.
What was your youth like? What inspired you as a child? Your first obsessions?
“My youth was full of love and life. I was always inspired by my family and to this day, I still am.”
I used to be the kid with all the electronics so I always had the video camera and the point and shoot cameras. I never did anything on a serious level, I was just always trying to freeze time to remember later in life. I think that’s what lead me in to photography eventually as a career and passion. I never had the passion for it because I took pictures just like people do now with phones, nothing serious, so I can’t say I ever was a photographer or aspiring photographer. I just liked capturing moments and never in an artistic fashion.
What are some of your favorite photographers and models?
Damn, tough question… I like Victoria Secret models, haha. Favorite photographers… I am bad with names, but Alvarado’s work did inspire me when I was shooting tattooed women for the first time. His work is the only work I could ever put a name to a style that involved tattooed models. I’ve admired the style and name he made for himself. I aspired to do the same and think I’ve been on the right path.
How does fashion transcend into your colorful and playful images?
I don’t know that fashion transcends into my work, but more the fact that I shoot colorful people. Their characters, their style, their tattoos, the art that covers a tattooed model, that’s where I get my colorful inspiration. Tattooed people tend to be colorful people when it comes to personalities as well. Some of the most interesting people I meet these days.
Describe one of your most memorable shoots.
My first big shoot, only about 5 months after buying my first DSLR, involved 15 models for a cosmetology school in Denver. I never have had experience shooting more than one person in a day. Well, this gig put me to the test. I knocked it out and was pretty proud of myself. That shoot was probably the catalyst to my work being what it is these days and who I am now as a photographer.
What goes through your mind (process) from the beginning to end of a shoot?
I draw blanks, then construct from what I have as a model, as wardrobe, as location/setting and use the mood I’m in at the moment to develop shots that make sense to me. I don’t know, that’s a hard question because I never go in with a plan unless the plan was laid out for me before hand. I assess what I have to work with and make it happen as I see fit.
Have you seen any trends within the industry and has that affected your photography in any way?
Yes, there is a trend with everyone wanting to be photographers, but most don’t have a passion or the skill. They want the quick road to the top, they want notoriety and recognition, they want distinguish-ability, they want quality in their work, yet they don’t put in the work and passion that is needed to make something out of it. This business isn’t cake walk, there is so much that is unsaid and untold. It’s not just about the shoot, point and click. There are so many factors to it and people don’t assess those factors to create art. They just want to take pictures of a hot naked women, but have no real intentions in creating something to be admired. Sorry, I said it…
Is there anyone that you have not photographed yet that you wish to?