The Chef.

LRG Clothing as we all know is one of the biggest and most successful companies today. I was introduced to the company in the late 90’s going into 2000. And have done many ad campaigns for them since. This here was a shoot with Raekwon the Chef of WU-TANG featured on LRG’s “Throwback Thirsdays”. We first started shooting photos of regular poses. Jonas (co-owner, RIP) bought a couple of bottles of Moët to have at the shoot for all of us to drink and celebrate with. I asked Jonas if we could take one of the bottles and have Rae pour it out while we shoot. Well when we asked Rae, he was all about it and I started setting up the camera and he literally started pouring it out all over the place, it got all over the backdrop, all over my feet and I got maybe 10 shots because he started before me. So I turned to Jonas and said “yo we gotta do it again, I didn’t get shit”. So with a little hesitation because we wanted to drink it and they weren’t cheap (well to us at the time) we went for it. We cut the backdrop, put a bucket in the area for him to pour it in. We got the shots we needed and came out great. There are 2 things I will always remember.
1. When Rae first got to the location he said “Oh shit, we doing a shoot at the Cheesecake Factory house?” a little blunted with Cali’s best.
2. One of the boys asked “yo you think we could drink that shit out the bucket?”
Great experience for sure!
LRG til I DIE.

I love my city.

I’m originally from Jersey (nowhere close to the shore). I moved to Oceanside, California in ‘94. It’s about 45 min north from San Diego and an 1.5 hrs to L.A. Any Oceanside native knows about “the deep valley” and that’s where I lived. It is about 15 min from the coast and the staple Oceanside pier where all the tourists these days go to check out. But the deep valley at one point was rated the highest in crime with gang wars, race wars and cops vs everyone. I remember hearing gun shots while watching TV and have been shot at a couple of times just for being from that area. Nowadays it’s not as bad but people still hesitate to drive into that part of Oceanside. I learned so much growing up there and basically help make me who I am today. No matter what people may say about the “O” it’s where I’m from and I love my gritty city. This is a little teaser for my book / project to show the area no one sees, the place that we know as Oceanside. There’s more to this place than just the beach.

As a kid going to Disneyland it’s about seeing and meeting all of your favorite characters you’ve watched on television in real life. As a growing teen it’s a place you and your friends can go and scream at the top of your lungs on the extreme rides and try to get on every ride more than one time. As an adult it becomes this place you remembered as kid, all the characters and movies you loved is re-visited. A place you and a loved one can enjoy and act like children for a day or a place you can show how much love you have with one person in front of thousands of people. A place to remind yourself how it is to feel like a child running around in the happiest place on earth.
Being an artist this place can create magic, imagination and inspiration for your craft or next project. Every time I go I come back with a great amount of ideas. When I feel like I have a creative block, it’s this place that saves me.
A couple of years ago I had an experience where I was doing a job for a client and I absolutely had no idea what I was going to do because everything I created was either not good or not to the likings of my client. So I decided to go to Disneyland. Take a stroll and appreciate the art, colors and design. After that day I got inspired by what I saw and got back to the drawing board. That visit saved me, I was happy and my client was extremely happy and satisfied.
2013 I’m pushing myself to be a better artist than I am by creating more work, revisiting my roots and staying inspired. Many people have different things they do to keep themselves motivated, this is my way.

Victory Lap.

I found out about Macklemore & Ryan Lewis last year. They’ve been around forever but the first song I heard was “Wings”. I actually watched the video, loved the concept and the cinematography. I never seen a music video filmed the way it was and heard a good hip hop artist in awhile. After buying the album “The Heist” I was hooked. Every week I picked a song and played it like crazy. Then I realized I was a huge fan for their music. This coming March I get to watch them perform. The closest is six hours from where I live so it’ll be an interesting road trip. I guess it’s like how people used to watch their favorite band perform like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones.  Well my tickets came in for the show and I am super excited!

Designer vs. Client.

Being a designer you have to put your foot down and let your skills speak and stand out. Sometimes I’ll get clients who try to tell me exactly what to do. If I’m hired to do a job or a project I let it be known that they are hiring me because they want my design style not because they need someone to do the work for them. I’m good at what I do because I take the time to understand my clients needs and provide the edge they strive for. I have made a choice for my career as an artist to only accept jobs from those who trust me to do what I do best for them. At no point will I be a pixel pusher. Every true artist is passionate about what they do, so why try to take that from them? Any person who tries to have someone create art for them because they don’t have the skill to and call them self an artist should really think about what it takes to do it themselves and wonder why they are having someone else do it. Designers are designers and clients are clients.

Be selfish.

Everyday I wake up or before I leave my room I look at 2 things before starting my day. 1 to remind myself to go a little further or do a little extra for my career and life. The other to remind myself to accept that I am good at what I do. Sometimes we have to be selfish for ourselves. If it’s to go for greatness that is. We as people for the most part want to do things for others. I always think of others first, but sometimes you have to think of yourself to get to where you want to go. At the end of the day it’s really up to you, if you want something done, you have to do it yourself.

Photo samples.
DC shoes sent over some shoes for me to take some shots of as well as a couple of pairs for myself which I’m super stoked about.
DC is probably one of my first skate shoes I started to wear a lot when I skated. I remember going to the big warehouse sales they had. A bunch of my friends worked there and some of my all time favorite skaters were on that team. And now I get to contribute what I love to do. The best part about being a size 9 is the fact that I fit sample sizes and I get dibs on shoes before they hit the stores.

Get it done right.

Head shots are very important. It’s what gets you jobs. I love doing these shots because it’s a style of portraiture. Being able to capture the right angle, the right distance at the right moment is key.
I’ve had many contact me and say “all I need is a couple of shots”. Which is very true, but as photographers we don’t shoot just a couple of photos. When you hire someone you’re hiring them for their time and skill.
Diana is a great person who is into modeling and acting. She contacted me because she needed some new shots done. The shoot went great, as always it was fun and we had a ton of laughs. I’m sure we will see more of this girl.

Let it Be.

Today and tomorrow the Supreme Court addresses the issues of same sex marriage. I am definitely a supporter for equal rights and I believe everyone should be able to love and be with who they feel without having to hide or fight for it. I don’t understand what the big deal is, apparently there are people out there who have an issue with this topic that doesn’t effect them when there are bigger “problems” that do. What I do have an issue with is treating people a certain way or taking away their rights because they are “different”. And having children picketing for an issue they don’t understand. Let the children be children, let people be people and love be genuine. Let it Be.

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Beautiful inside & out.

  I have known Joanzie for a long time.  And for as long as I have known her she has always been this beautiful person inside and out.  We have always planned to do a photo shoot together but the both of us have been extremely busy.  Finally we found some time to get together and create some great photos.  It’s easy when you have a model that’s a natural.  Not much direction was needed, I just let her do her own thing and I just snapped away.  We plan to do more work in the future and you’ll be seeing more of the “duo”.  Nothing but love, laughs and great photos.  That’s how every job should go.

Hella Clips.

  Grandeur is my local shop and one of the illest street wear shops around.  I’ve known Jason (Owner) for years, even before he opened up his first shop.  I did my normal visit and we got into talking about making some teaser videos for the shop to get kids to skate more and people to want more of Grandeur.  We came across a clip of one of the shop skaters “Jermaine Wright” and decided to start with that clip.  We sat down for a couple of hours editing this little clip.  While I was creating the titles I heard a song playing in the store, I asked Jason to find out who it was.  Downloaded the track, imported and boom we ended up making a cool 50 sec teaser.  The next day it was featured on Hella Clips (one of the best skate blogs) and got over 1,000 views within the first 2hrs.  I’m super stoked it went up because Josh Kalis of DGK and DC Shoes is one of my favorite skaters and it happens to be his site.  Thanks to Grandeur and Hella Clips for getting my video out there.

Stay hidden…But stay visible.

I’m the type of person who likes to just chill and relax. Maybe go have a drink with friends here and there. I am fortunate to know a lot of people but sometimes it does get hectic. It’s always better for me to just run into people on random days than to always be out. I rather have my art out there and have many see it. So keep your art in their face at all times even if they don’t see you personally.

Free Mumia.

In school I always tried to do things out of the ordinary, stay away from stereotypes and go beyond what everyone else was doing. Photography students have a tendency to shoot what’s close or typical like taking photos of their home or family or the beach or even sunsets. Me, I couldn’t do it. I always wanted to be different. I shot this photo at a rally in downtown San Diego. Activists gathered together to express their feelings about police brutality and political prisoners. This person holding the sign saw me taking photos and once I turned to him he put the sign in front of his face a took the shot any way. My teacher at the time saw this photo and suggested that I should turn it in a contest the school was holding. So I did and I ended up winning first place. The big talk about my photo was the fact that the man’s beard lined up with the man’s beard in the sign. It was like 2 people becoming one and you become who or what you believe in. This is my first winning photo and my first contribution to “throwback Thursdays”. We’ll see what comes up next week, I have a ton of work to go through and choose. Enjoy.

A Voice.

Just did a photo shoot with the beautiful and talented musician Linda Maily. This shoot was fun, a ton of laughs for hours and listening to her music and a mix of Taylor Swift which was a first for me. The best part of the shoot was when she pulled out her guitar and started singing. Catching people in their element and getting those natural candid shots are the best to me. Be sure to check out Linda, very talented and one of the the most awesome people you’ll ever meet.

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City to City.

  Went to visit my boy Moses at his shop in Vista, CA.  To go over some details about a project we have coming up.  I’ve known Moses for over 10 years and til this day he’s still on the grind making his music.  Never gave up.  Now him and his business partner opened up a shop, a graffiti supply hip hop store.  It’s great to see more independent business owners, even better when it’s people you know.  Be on the lookout for our upcoming project, I will keep you posted.

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