“If you work hard and are passionate in what you love to do, it will all pay off in the long run.”
Can you tell us about yourself and your photographic background? What sparked your interest in photography? Based in LA California. When I was in my 20’s I started my acting/modeling career, and as we all know there are always requirements in having a solid resume/head-shots in order to receive a good representation by a management/agency. I spent over $1000 for a portfolio, but unfortunately I was never able to find a solid photographer that could deliver. The photos always happen to have that missing (POP) that would make it stand out of other competitors. When brought to photographer’s attention, they all had that excuse of why that certain look could not be achieved. Having that experience, and being surrounded by agents/managements and seeing their requirements, and realizing that based in LA California (Hollywood), I wanted to be the one behind the camera providing the BEST QUALITY PHOTOS that (literally) anyone could have in their portfolio. I committed myself to schooling, video tutorials, educating myself & making the impossible that others told me, possible.
What do you like most about your professional life? What I like most about my professional life is loving what you do, and having the ability of carrying out what’s on your mind to reality. Most of all being a published photographer, and seeing your work out in public’s eyes.
A common misconception about photographers is what we? A common misconception about photographers, which I believe is one of the biggest myth’s of them all “professional photographers don’t take bad photos.” Now before I proceed with this, let me start off by stating that if you ever meet a pro photographer that says “a real pro does not take bad photos,” well lets just say that person if full off him/herself. There are no perfect photographers out there.
How would you describe your artistic style? How I describe my artistic style is making sure everything is thought of prior to the day of shoot. Months and months of preparations. I like to sit and really think of locations that have not been used yet, wardrobes that you don’t usually see models wear, shots, and angles that are hardest to capture, but knowing that would the shot that would be remembered. Using certain models that others would think, this person? How? I want to find diamonds in dirt, if you know what I’m talking about. Now I could write a book about this, but I just wanted to get my point across without any misunderstanding.
What inspires you and gives you the ideas to create your beautiful images? What inspires me to do what I do is honestly a billion thoughts that runs in my head. Unfortunately, we all know we can’t promise all, but what I’m able to proceed with, is what gives me the urge to bring out what’s on my mind to reality, and seeing my accomplishments.
From your experience, have your most successful shots come from perfect planning or accidents? Any experience to share? Does the concept come first and then you choose the perfect location, or do you find the location first and build the concept around it? From my experience in photography my shots all come from perfect planning and accidents (both). You can always plan your shots and concepts, but at times doing things in shoots that was not planned is what could makes that shot. Planning is always great. Especially in photography and if you are carrying a story board in your shoot, but you really never know until you start snapping away and then look at your screen on your camera, and it suddenly hits you… Hmm!! What if we do this? I also like to work based on a concept first, and build my location around it.
Tell us why is having makeup artist, stylist or other professional creatives essential to a photographer? Do you have a support staff and what areas do they handle? I think it is very essential for a photographer to have a professional team with them. This would make your job a much faster and easier process, & a huge weight lifted off your shoulders. Imagine not having a makeup/hair stylist and having the model changing her looks for every shot to what you are looking for. This could be very frustrating in both parties. Imagine not having a wardrobe stylist. You having to fumble over multiple clothing locations, webpages, to find exactly what you are looking for, or contacting the model and hoping, crossing fingers that he/she would have the exact piece that you are looking for. Imagine not having a professional editor working on your photos to bring out that pop in them. Having to sit behind the computer screen for hours trying to accomplish everything yourself. Imagine not having the crew for lighting adjustments, and setups. You having to carry and do all set-ups. Believe me I started out doing all this by myself, and it was no joke. It was very frustrating and discouraging. How do think professionals that push out publications bring out these shots that you love in photography and magazines? Throughout my career after improvements, I’m now blessed to be working with a professional editor, makeup, and hair stylist. Now I understand we all could not have that ability, but your love and passion for photography will bring you to that point.
Fashion can be somewhat unforgiving industry with allot of egos, how do u deal with it on set or behind the scenes? Fashion is an unforgiving industry. In-fact that is how I always looked at it at a young age, prior to me pursuing my photography career. Capturing that shot that at times in public’s eyes could be misleading and unforgiving. But you know as the photographer and model what you have. Luckily I’ve have had the perfect crew that was pursing it from loving what they do without any hassles and egos. The only hurdles behind the scenes to prior shoots were location, location, outfits, makeup and wardrobe. Just trying in getting everyone to have an understanding what is running in my head, and what I like to showcase.
What do you consider as a successful project? What is your goal from the beginning to the end of the shoot on set? What I consider as a successful project is having everyone understanding your concept in the shoot and everything that involves in it. My goals that I set in all my shoots are having an understanding/comprehending with all parties from beginning to end. I like to build a solid foundation so we can build off, so therefore at the day of shoot it all goes well.
What is going through your mind when you are on set behind the camera? What goes on in my mind each time I hold a camera in my hand and get ready for a shoot, is God willing images come out great. Hoping the model I’m shooting will have great images and he/she is completely satisfied, having their best shoot in their portfolio.
What tips can you recommend to models looking to expand their portfolio? What tips I can recommend to models looking to expand their portfolio is always being in a hunt to look for a photographer for trade in prints. Working on your posing depending on career you choose to have. Doing as many shoots as possible to get yourself used to be in front of camera, and getting comfortable with your own body of what you can, and what you can’t do. This will show within time huge improvements in all aspects, and therefore will lead into a solid portfolio.
Can you name a collection or single work that you have created that has resonated with you the most emotionally? What is your biggest success or thing you’re most proud of? I’m proud of my collections/work. I have had many restless nights having to plan all my shoots, and that’s what makes me really love what I do, and not just looking at a certain project I have accomplished.
You bring a very high production value to your work. What is your retouching/production philosophy? Is it fair to alter reality by adjusting images in post-production? What do you think it delivers in the final image? My thoughts in retouching/adjusting images in post production delivers high quality photos at its finest. I believe that’s a form of art by itself. Having that vision and idea of what you can do to complete an image or images.
Do you feel Photoshop has created a skewed perception of the ideal body image? There is not a right or wrong answer that Photoshop has created a skewed perception of the ideal body image. Although some editors do proceed with excessive false perception to the public. I believe it should be used for basic, minor adjustments to make your work pop. Overdue in Photoshop could at times make the photographer look bad as well.
How do you choose which images you ultimately provide to your clients? In your opinion, what makes the good picture stand out from the average? What I ultimately choose on a photo/photos to send to clients depends on various factors in the shot that makes it stand out to me. Quality of shot, lighting, posture of model, location, hair/makeup, and so forth… All these depend on what exact look I was going for as well.
Any cool project that you are working on or have coming up that you don’t mind sharing with us? I have recently accomplished a shoot that includes of high fashion editorial in the fitness market. Months have been put in place in planning this shoot, and locations have been changed multiple times, including in models, and wardrobe stylists to accomplish all goals necessary.
What are your thoughts around social media? What role does it play in your photography business? Social media plays a big role in my business. It helps me advertise my work/accomplishments. Not only that it helps out with my work being noticed by the public’s eye, that always attracts a positive crowd, that always pushes me to climb my ladder even higher, and accomplish bigger goals.
Can you name the most important lesson you have learned in running a business? Most important lesson I have learned in running my business is understanding views and concepts of others inputs and opinions. Being able to work as a team to accomplish our visions.
Where can our readers get connected with you and see more of your work?
My readers/viewers can locate my work at Webpage: www.pjspics.com
One thing that bugs you about humans is that? One thing that bugs me about humans are shooting down your dreams, and feeding you with negativity of how some things could not be possible to achieve. You at that point have to block that negativity and focus on what you do best.
Any final words of wisdom you would like to share? My final words of wisdom are: “if photography is your passion, always pursue that no matter what.” Don’t let others affect your visions and goals you like to achieve. If you want something bad enough, pursue it PERIOD. And I promise you, if you work hard and are passionate in what you love to do, it will all pay off in the long run.
Please tell us one surprising fact about yourself. One surprising fact about myself is not being able to look at my own shots after completed in several weeks. Now this might be a shock to some viewers, but I pick out LITTLE details that I did wrong, or could do better, and being the strongest critic over my own work. It’ll be to the point that would literally drive me nuts.
Thank you, Pierro.
Published 2017 January VOL II: BUY NOW