CITIES: Born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Raised in El Northside, Houston, Texas.
ETHNICITY/RACE: Mexican-American. Born in Mexico, naturalized American Citizen.
EDUCATION: University of Saint Thomas, Houston Texas.
FAVORITE IG ACCOUNT: @gregnoire - favorite photographer who happens to be based in Houston (but is originally from Dallas) and a good friend.
FAVORITE QUOTE: “Tacos Rule Everything Around Me!” - me
FAVORITE BOOK: The New York Pizza Project.... awesome photos, delicious pizza, and great stories
FAVORITE SONG: International Player's Anthem by UGK and OutKast (all time favorite forever!)
WHAT'S YOUR STORY?
"When I'm not roaming around Houston in search of tacos and graffiti, I point my camera lens toward the vibrant Houston music scene and beyond."
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY & JOURNALISM?
"I have documented my city's rich music and art scene since 2004. Inspired by an uncle who was a professional photographer, I purchased a used camera and promptly began photographing concerts in the Houston area, combining my new hobby with my passion for music. I am now a full-time freelance photographer and music journalist. My photos have been published by the HoustonPress, LAWeekly, Dallas Observer, Texas Monthly, Miami New Times, Vice Magazine, Rolling Stone Magazine, and The New York Times."
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS STARTING IN THESE 2 FIELDS?
"Don't do it for the fame or glory, and especially not for the money. Do it for passion and the love of interaction, and for the happiness that a single photo may provide you or the subject in front of your lens."
FAVORITE PICTURE YOU'VE TAKEN & FAVORITE INTERVIEW?
"My favorite interview has been with one of my heroes.... Carlos Santana. Coincidentally, some of my favorite images that I've ever shot were at one of his shows here in Houston."
WHAT'S YOUR PURPOSE & HOW DID YOU FIND IT?
"After college, I worked in the corporate world for more than 10 years. The money was nice and I miss that the most, but I don't miss anything else about that life. Photography finally provided me with a sense of direction and objective. Capturing emotions and colors and moments in time is both magical and extremely rewarding."
WHAT'S THE BIGGEST HARDSHIP YOU'VE FACED?
"As a freelance photographer and entrepreneur, you play every role... from marketing to accounts payable and everything in between. I shoot, edit, upload, email, invoice, advertise, network, and sometimes have time left over to eat and sleep. Then you have to deal with clients who don't place the same value on your work as is required, those who think cell phone photos are good enough, or maybe paying a photographer $50 to cover an entire event is sufficient. It's a constant challenge to find common ground between getting paid and still showcasing your creativity. But, even with all the obstacles, I'd much rather be doing what I do now than sitting in an office working for someone else."
WHAT'S YOUR CONSTANT MOTIVATION & WHERE DOES IT ROOT FROM?
"My motivation is found in Houston, and all of its people, food, music, and art. I love to expand my horizons by traveling and meeting new people. But most of all, I think about my mom and wonder if she is proud of the work I'm doing and the decisions I've made in my life and career. I do what I do in her memory and by extension to honor my family and city."
WHAT'S SOMETHING WE WOULDN'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
"That I love tacos more than most things and even some people, and even have a Tacos of Texas tattoo to prove it!"
IF YOU COULD MEET ANYONE DEAD OR ALIVE WHO WOULD IT BE?
"Probably rapper/producer Pimp C (Rest In Peace). I'm fortunate enough to be friends with his partner Bun B of UGK, and I wish that I would have seen him perform and photograph him before he passed away."