Common Ground

Fun In The River

As a teenager, I began taking trips to Mexico to help build houses and was immediately drawn in by how happy, resourceful and loving the local people were, despite living in severe poverty. The children had more fun playing fútbol barefoot in the dirt, then I ever did playing with my 6 foot long GI Joe aircraft carrier. It was an epiphany that would forever influence my outlook on life.

As an adult, I have traveled back many times with my wife, Celia. With every return, we make it a point to explore regions of the country we haven’t yet seen, as well as revisit the places we’ve come to know already. And with every trip, we dive a bit deeper into a foreign culture of which we have limited knowledge but much love for. Some of the most fulfilling days of my life have been spent walking the streets with my camera, talking to strangers and gathering stories from everyday Mexicans. Rarely would I encounter a sour soul. An invitation into their home for a drink and conversation was more often the rule than the exception.

I’ve just completed post production on a series of photographs that chronicle these experiences. I hope to reveal to you the love of this place as it floods the streets everyday, and the common bonds we share as humans, regardless of class or culture.

Selected photographs are regularly posted on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, and VSCO. Limited edition prints are currently for sale, I’ll be looking to exhibit and publish a book later this year.

Mission District, San Francisco

DSC_7197My roots as an image maker began in San Francisco. I grew up in Fremont, across the bay from the windy city. Approaching my Junior year in High School I was finally able to choose some electives. I chose a general art class and a beginners photography course. At the time, photography for me was toting around my dads camera bag during family vacations and trips to the Reno Air Races. Taking the pictures didn’t really interest me too much, don’t remember why, maybe it was the annoyance of having to carry the bag around all the time. Little did I know, it was good assistant training. I don’t remember why I chose the photography class, maybe it was the mysterious revolving door which led into the darkroom or my desire to explore creativity. Either way, my dad was excited for me and immediately took me to a pawn shop and helped me pick out my first camera. When we went to the Reno Air Races that summer we took turns carrying the bag so that I could also take pictures, but I still didn’t really get it. It wasn’t until the fall, when I entered the darkroom, hand processed my first roll of film and custom printed my first photograph that something lit up inside me. Watching that first image appear in the developer was magical and I wanted more.

Come senior year I had been out shooting a lot, and did enough good work for my instructors to take notice. The art class also revealed a nack for pencil drawings and my instructors started encouraging me to attend an art college. They started bringing me catalogs from different art schools around the country. I still remember the feel and smell of the San Francisco Academy of Art University book. It intrigued me most because the school was close and had a reputable photography program. I spent my first week at college lugging heavy bottles of chemicals, boxes of paper, and other darkroom supplies about one mile up-hill from the photo supply store on 2nd street to the Photography School on Powell Street just north of Bush Street. Good thing my parents had given me a strong back pack for Christmas the previous year and good thing I had all that assistant training! That was about 16 years ago, I still have that backpack and still use it.

Recently, while on a job in the Bay Area and staying with my folks in Fremont, we visited the city and took a leisurely stroll through the mission district were I had the opportunity to snap a few.

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Rep for Stills

Impressionist Urban Landscape - San Francisco, CA

Still photography remains a passion of mine and I’ve been organizing my work into collections. It’s been an arduous but exciting task. Most of the images are on film. To meet todays demand for digital content, we have been scanning, retouching, and finishing each image to be considered as part of a collection. The collection is then edited down to the best photographs which share a conceptual theme(s). The first collection that I’m releasing is entitled “Abstracts” and it is currently being repped by Painet, and PI Creative Art. Click on the selection above to enjoy it as a complimentary wallpaper.

Caesar Quintero and Enrigue Muñoz

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On my last day of shooting in PV I found this great little coconut stand. The vendor, Caesar Quintero (on the left) allowed me to take some pictures. As I approached closer, a couple of patrons took interest in my endeavor and we started to chat as I snapped some welcomed portraits of them. The gentleman was Enrique Muñoz (on the right); A Mexican Actor on holiday after starring in a series for HBO called Capadocia. I told him I was a filmmaker and we spent about 15 minutes or so encouraging eachother on our careers. Thankfully for me, he spoke good English. I think the women sitting next to him was his wife, but I’m not sure.