5 Photographers to look out for in 2018

The Local Music Scene is more than just musicians on stage. It is comprised of Designers, Photographer, Promoters, Venues, Writers, Videographers etc. Today, we bring you the 5 Photographers to look out for in 2018. You might see them working at a EDM Show, House Show, Warped Tour, etc. These are the guys that make your local show look like the “place to be”
Major props to these guys and make sure to follow them on their respective social media. 

1. Zack Perez

Social Media Links:
 FACEBOOK  |  WEBSITE  |  INSTAGRAM

Did you go to school for Photography?
I did not go to school for photography, I am self taught via Youtube University haha. 

What influenced you to get into photography?
Back in 2013 I started booking shows, at these shows a lot of my friends in the scene were getting into photography. Some of which were getting really great at their craft. I approached a couple and received some amazing advice, including the recommendation on what type of camera to pick up. Surprisingly I’m still using the first camera I ever bought, the Sony A6000. Huge thanks to my friend Johann Ramos aka The Work Of JAR for showing me the way and giving me a ton of tips starting out.

How would you describe your style?
I would say my style is very much so a strange mix of old school vintage film with a dreamy type saturated look that you’d see in a painting or abstract art. Many photographers put a lot of work into making their photos look “realistic” or “true to life”. My approach is completely opposite. I want to create art that is both detailed yet gives you an other worldly type vibe.

What is one piece of advice, you’d give, up and coming photographers?
My best piece of advice would be to:
1. Do your research before buying gear. Everyone’s style is different and not every camera fits every type of work. Also remember that you can mostly teach yourself everything you’ll need to get into photographyvideography by doing research online. 
2. Don’t try to shoot/edit your photos/videos to look like everyone else’s. Your work stands out best when you do something completely unique. People will respect your individual style and gravitate towards it, as it is a fresh breath of air.

Lastly, download lightroom & learn to use it well. Color grading/science is possibly the most important thing to master in photography. Using good colors can completely transform an image/video. Don’t forget to have fun & experiment!

2. Kitty Catalino

Social Media Links:
 FACEBOOK  |  INSTAGRAM


Did you go to school for Photography?
Not a whole lot, but enough to get the grasp of it. I took a class my senior of high school where I learned to do both film and digital photography. I also took a semester in college as well while pursuing my Bachelors degree in Graphic and Multimedia Design at DeVry University. Besides from that, everything else I have learned was all done by trial and error.

What influenced you to get into photography?
As mentioned, I took a photography class my senior year of high school, but that was only because I needed an extra class to get the credits I needed to graduate. My parents had bought me a kit that came with a beginner level DSLR and 2 lenses. After that class I never really went back to it until I took a semester in college. I wanted to get back into it but I just wasn’t sure where to begin. It wasn’t until I walked into the back of a record store one day to see my cousins old band perform that I would start a new beginning for myself. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing at the time and that showed in my work. Pictures came out absolutely terrible. At the end of the show, the promoter running the event came up to me asking if I could come back to more of his shows to take pictures. I really did enjoy shooting that first show, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to shooting a few more. After doing a few more shows, I learned that music photography is where my heart lied. Wouldn’t have found my passion if I wasn’t for the promoter and my very good friend Nolan.

How would you describe your style?
Describing what my own style is kind of tough. I like to just tell myself to “Just go shoot.” When it comes down to it, I enjoy bringing things to life. I love making colors pop in my images and enjoy capturing raw emotions. I am someone who just wears black all the time so it is always funny to think that I enjoy viewing the world in color. 

What is one piece of advice, you’d give, up and coming photographers?   
Taking amazing pictures takes time. Photography is one of those things that requires a lot of patience whether you are trying to figure out the right settings or having to deal with the editing software. The more you go out and shoot, the more you are going to learn things. Sometimes you will even learn a thing or two on accident that becomes your go to technique. Things are not always going to go perfectly and there will be times that you are going to have to get out of your comfort zone and that is okay because you will be able to say that at least you tried. I have been doing this for a good while, and I am amazed to see how far I have come. There have been times that I just wanted to quit but I was able to keep going through the help of the people who have supported me. So if you are a photographer reading this, never give up. Keep at it and over time you will surely be rewarded.

3. James Gross 

Social Media Links:
FACEBOOK  
|  WEBSITE  |  INSTAGRAM
Did you go to school for Photography?
No, I started off with very basic courses in high school and was self-taught afterwards. 

What influenced you to get into photography?
My father gave me my first camera when I was 15 and I ended up falling in love with the craft.

How would you describe your style?
Dark, moody, cinematic.

What is one piece of advice, you’d give, up and coming photographers?

Never ever give up on your craft. You can always improve, you can always learn. There will always be someone out there that is better than you at any given moment but it’s your job as an artist to adapt, and to improve on your short-comings. Experience is the best teacher and I always recommend just diving in the deep end and immersing yourself in it. Collab with other artists and shoot what you love and you will see your photos improve tenfold.

4. Gene Ramirez

Social Media Links:
 FACEBOOK  |  INSTAGRAM

Did you go to school for Photography? 
I never went to school for photography, I just kinda went on YouTube and read a lot about the terminology and how to adjust to each environment. I think I spent a whole two weeks locked up in my ex girlfriends room just reading and watching and learning everything inside and out before I actually went out and started shooting.

What influenced you to get into photography?

I guess I’ve watched so many bands and played so many shows that I always wanted to know what it would be like to capture those moments, and that energy of a band you know? So I picked up a camera in hopes of learning how to capture emotion and energy and really captivate a viewer and make them think about what they’re looking at.
How would you describe your style?
My style is I guess more old fashioned. I’m not super huge into editing like other photographers, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, however I think a photo should stand on its own and make a statement before you start adding presets or filters(for lack of a better term).
What is one piece of advice, you’d give, up and coming photographers?
A piece of advice I’d give newer photographers is to read a lot about the camera that you have. Learn the controls inside and out and make sure you understand most of the terminology. It’s over bearing at first and there’s a huge learning curve, but once you catch on, things get easier and you won’t spend too much time being frustrated at yourself (although that is definitely part of being an artist).

5.
ShotsByMatt


Social Media Links:
 FACEBOOK  |  WEBSITE  |  INSTAGRAM 

Did you go to school for photography? 
I actually did not! I originally went to university as an English major. The goal going into university was to land a job with Alternative Press as a music journalist. I originally decided to major in English because I wanted to keep my options open once I got my degree. After talking to my high school Journalism teacher, and a couple of mentors, I decided halfway through my education to go to the registrar’s office and officially swap my major to Communications with an Emphasis in Journalism. It was during that time that I met my good friend Corey who started ConcertCrap.com. He asked me to cover the inaugural Self Help Festival in San Bernardino for his publication. He was impressed with my writing and work ethic that he invited me to join his team.
I was the second member to join his publication and together we have grown that dream to a 32,000+ collective following on Facebook/Instagram as well as 3,200 unique monthly readers on the official site. I will say, however, I took two photo classes in university: Film Photography and Photojournalism. Both classes were mandated by the Communications department of my university so I had no choice in the matter. I had very little experience going into that class. Up until that point, I was still shooting on “Auto” on my family’s Canon PowerShot camera.
My professors was very critical as well. I didn’t like that aspect of my professor at first, however, because of her professionalism and her attention to detail, it helped me become a better photographer once I left her class. I started with Film Photography as my first class and I’m really glad I did because that forced me to shoot manual and learn how to operate the controls of the camera to get desired looks and exposures. Working hard to learn how to operate the manual controls of the camera helped me excel in my photojournalism class I took later on. It got to a point where I developed my skill set so well that friends and classmates were taking notice in my work and encouraging me to apply my photo skills outside of university. That push is what lead me to start shooting shows. Not only was I able to give back to my scene, but I was also able to live out both my passions at the same time.
What influences you to get into photography.
School, blogging and the music scene (primarily the pop punk scene of the early 2010s’.) When you follow certain bands on social media, you typically noticed someone who’s always tagged in their posts as the photographer. The repetition of these tags only promotes curiosity to learn more about these photographers. Artists that initially got my attention and kind of started the flames of my photo passion were Adam Elmakias, Kayla Surico, and Dan Bassini. I really like how intimate their shots were and how they portrayed the bands I was passionate about. I respected the art form, but at that time, never in a million years did I think I could do the things that they did. I initially shot shows because I had to and because being a music journalist means being as flexible with your craft as possible since press accommodates can be slim for independent publications. Fast forward to 2018 and I’m doing all the things I once thought that were impossible for a person such as myself. If there is anything to take away from this is that nothing is impossible if you apply yourself and there are many avenues to success. You don’t have to follow a certain path to achieve your dreams or live the life you always wanted to have. If anything, I encourage the people that follow my work and anyone reading this now to be a trailblazer this year. Dare to go against the grain and march to the beat of your own drum.
How would you describe your photography?
I would say late 80s’/90s’ film inspired. It’s changed over the years, but lately I have been trying really hard to emulate color grades that are reminiscent of different film rolls from that time era. I love nostalgic influences in art. In addition, trying to emulate that style takes me back to my childhood and that in itself makes me real happy. I’ll try to incorporate light streaks or digital textures into my work whenever I can and when it feels appropriate. I also like to put a cinematic feel to my work as well, however, I apply that style more to my video work more than my stills. When I say “cinematic,” I mean a teal/orange color grade combo, letter box cropping and smooth clips. I learned a lot about color grading, color correction and experimentation from my friend JAR (Johann Arteaga Ramos) and studying his work. Definitely check out him and his work out!
What is one piece of advice, you’d give, up and coming photographers?
As cliche as it is, my advice is to truly never give up. If you go down this path, you will eventually doubt yourself and become your worst enemy. It’s happened to me, it’s happened to other photographers I care about and I’m sure a lot of professionals go through the same valleys as well. In these times, you’ll find very reason to give up. However, if you truly love photography/videography and you really want to pursue you passion, I urge you in those trying moments to endure and to keep shooting despite how difficult it may be.
I also encourage aspiring photogs to always be hungry for knowledge. There is so much to be learned in this field, and the more you learn, the more skilled of an artist you’ll become. One of the best ways to learn is to find a mentor in your area and “shadow” them whenever possible. Most professional photogs will be open to helping you out because they too once were beginners and remember how hard it was as well. Aspiring photogs occasionally message me for advise and I always do my best to help in anyway I can. In addition, I encourage both bands and photogs to remember the ABCs’ of networking: Always Be Communicating. If you’re not taking every chance you get to market yourself and your craft, you’re slowly pushing yourself away from your goals.
Make it a constant goal to always network with industry professionals and to always put your craft/portfolio “out there.” We live in a very fast-paced and ever-changing world. If you’re not keeping up, you’re being left behind. It’s tough to say, but it is the unfortunate truth. My friend Chris Anderson of In Urgency once told me, “As long as you’re inching toward your goals each day, that’s all that matters. Even if it’s a small task like going to the store to buy gear, that will help your overall goals by being efficient with your time and being more prepared overall.” “There’s no such thing as ‘spare time,’ no such thing as ‘free time,’ no such thing as ‘down time.’ All you have is ‘life time.’ Go.” -Henry Rollins. Today’s your day. You have 24 hours. The question is, will you invest your time to get closer to your goals or will you waste the time you currently have? Rest is important and of course I advocate for a healthy balance of work and rest, however, even when you’re resting, I feel it’s critical to always be planning ahead so you can get to where you want to be.

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