Spilling The Tea On MKEshoots

Iphones to Samsungs to DSLR’s all have/are cameras— and pretty good ones too. But is it enough to just own and use a “pretty good” camera to become classified as a photographer? Well, the answer is pretty obvious— no, no it isn’t. Just like any other profession, owning the tools, does not make you a professional in that field. Hence, the question remains to be answered— what does make one a photographer? The answer to this question is not that simple.

I get asked countless times how I got here today and what made me into a photographer? The answer is hard work, patience, skill, talent, and most important of all, PASSION, PASSION, and PASSION. When I say talent and skill, in no means do I mean to show off. Sure, to succeed in any area you have to have some form or level of skill and talent. However, through hard work, skill and talent, can also manifest on their own. I’ll get more into that later. For now, let’s get back to passion.

Photography is one of the few fields that requires passion— it’s a necessity like no other. Without passion clicking a button on a camera is monotonous and the art; photos; lose their artistic value. Your mind becomes closed off and you no longer are able to articulate continuous creative techniques to photograph different types of settings and events.

For me, it started when I moved to Los Angeles, California approximately 5 years ago. If you know anything about California, you know it’s famous for it’s beaches and endless mountainous terrain. California is beautiful. This sparked the fire inside to explore all the gorgeous landscapes that surrounded me. Everywhere I went, whether it was college or even to pick up groceries, I was constantly enveloped by God’s marvelous creations. As a result, I started hiking and exploring the Los Angeles area and beyond. I would take pictures on my Iphone and then later, bought a DSLR d5300. I learned the inner workings of my first camera within a month and upgraded to a D7200. I know what you’re thinking. There is no way he learned how to operate a d5300 in one month. The truth? I was obsessed. In the beginning I was like, ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, whaaattt? I spent day and night watching tutorials, learning from other photographers and reading books and articles, literally. And then, I would practice everyday the things I learned and apply them to the images I captured.

Later, I decided to change my personal account, where I used to post my poems and selfies to MKEshoots and introduce myself to the world of social media and beyond as another kid with a camera (OH, btw MKE are my inititals, for those that didn’t know). I think that’s when things really took off. I started exploring and going deeper into the world of photography by discovering more places to photograph and more ways to photograph. Looking back, I made so many mistakes along the way, but I regret none of them. It’s all a part of the learning process. Sometimes I look back at the photos I used to take and laugh. Now currently, I am using the Nikon Z6 and have come a long way since I bought my first DSLR. There have been many ups and downs, times when I felt like I wasn’t good enough. However, I never gave up. I am always learning, and practicing everyday. To succeed at anything, you can never stop allowing yourself to grow and I still have a lot to learn.

Photography is not only my profession, it is also my passion. It is not only a hobby but a skill and talent I developed through hard work and patience. As I have learned, the only thing I need to measure myself against is where I was yesterday. So yeah, my awe for the golden state sparked the fire of passion for the art of capturing a moment in time.

Above are some examples of my captures from 2016-2019 and see for yourself how my art has evolved.

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