On this episode of the podcast documentary filmmaker Joe Salinas talks about what it was like growing up as a skateboarder in a small town in Texas, his years as a touring musician, how he ended up working as a corrections officer and in gang intelligence in the prison system for years, and how acting would finally lead him to his current roll as a filmmaker. Although Joe was influenced at an early age by skateboard films like the Bones Brigade and John Hughes films at his local two screen theater, it wouldn't be until years later that he would find his way into the world of directing and getting behind the camera himself. He spent his early years chasing the dreams of fame and rock and roll, but when he was forced to mature a bit faster than most by having a child and getting married at a very early age, he soon found himself in a career path he would have never dreamed of. It would be years later, on the suggestion of a friend, that Joe would give acting a try and suddenly find himself as a character in national commercials and on the sets of films like Machete. During that time he realize he tended to hang out with the crew more than the actors and became fascinated with filmmaking. Before long he was directing and filming music videos for some of the musicians he had toured with earlier and getting the chance to even meet some of his heroes to work with them as well. Since 2014 Joe has been working on a documentary film about the iconic and influential punk band The Big Boys. During our conversation we get to talk about the process of making that film and when the world will finally get to see it, how he got hooked up with companies like Vans, Black Magic cameras, and Goal Zero, a very honest look at his experience with years of sobriety and advice he gives to to others who might be battling addiction, and how the first step of making a film is to just start doing it.
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Photographer, writer, conservationist, National Geographic explorer, and many other titles, Becca Skinner joins the podcast to talk about how she went from aspirations of a life in climbing, to chasing adventures behind the lens, to settling down in a sustainable lifestyle in the mountains of Montana. Growing up in Colorado to a family of climbers, Becca was no stranger to living an outdoor lifestyle and adventures into the mountains, but it was when a tragic accident with her uncle happened and she decided to move to Wyoming to help out her aunt, that her life would really begin to revolve around climbing and the pursuit of adventure. It would be this life of adventure that would soon lead her to photography and working with companies like the North Face. After getting accepted for a grant to go document post Katrina New Orleans while still in college, Becca began to settle into a groove of writing and taking pictures and before long was honored to receive a National Geographic young explores grant. During our conversation we talk about what it's like to be a young creative working with an organization like National Geographic, living a rural sustainable lifestyle and our mutual love for gardening barefoot, the transition from adventure photographer to visually showcasing a more accessible journey, how she became an ambassador for Orvis, and our thoughts on putting too much of your identity into one passion.
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Photographer, entrepreneur, and mastermind behind the Plotaverse Troy Plota joins the podcast to talk about how he went from being a sought after photographer in the fashion world and running a top dollar studio, to becoming a tech entrepreneur and creating what would become known as the plotagraph. From his earliest beginnings as a beach kid in Florida, Troy had a love for photography. After convincing his Dad to give him his camera so he could use it in a school class, Troy fell in love with the creative possibilities that the still image brought him and the access his camera provided. We talk about how that humble yearbook start grew into a hugely successful photography career, working with magazines like Vanity Fair and GQ and shooting advertising campaigns that many dream of. Although Troy came up in the professional world of shooting medium format film, he was a quick adopter of the possibilities that the digital format could offer and before long became known as one of the go-to photographers who truly understood digital technology. He continued to constantly try and evolve as the technology did the same and was soon experimenting with early VR technology which would lead him to finally making the decision to step into his most current roll as a tech entrepreneur. During our conversation we talk about what the future of photography might look like, the roll that animated motion art might have in commercial work, and the advice he would have given himself all those years ago when he first had the idea of trying to make it as a working photographer.
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Photographer, instructor, and Sigma ambassador Meg Loeks joins the podcast to talk about how she reinvigorated her passion for photography with the birth of her first child and how, as her family grew so did her desire to archive their daily existence and find her voice as a photographer. It would be her ability to capture those everyday moments in an artful way that would soon lead her to working with companies like Sigma and Profoto and building a loyal social media following. During our conversation we talk about how to create art out of the everyday moments most tend to overlook, some of the tricks she uses when working with small children, how she manages to stay inspired to want to create so frequently, and the advice she gives to others who want to archive their lives and chase the dream of photography.
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Lifestyle/advertising photographer, and all around nice guy, Jake Stangel joins the podcast to talk about growing up as a creative kid in the suburbs of Maryland and the early influence photography had on his life. It was an 8th grade general art class that Jake discovered a passion for photography that would set him down a path to enrolling at NYU's Tish school and continuing his education in fine art and photography. But after growing up in a small town, Jake was overwhelmed by the energy and life that New York City offered and soon realized he was interested in more than just taking pictures. He switched his studies to focus more on economics and marketing, but after a while found that he needed to find a balance in his life that could also include photography and creativity. Before long he was working as an assistant and taking the hard earned path that so many before him have traveled, moving up the ranks in the competitive world of photography. After graduation, he decided he had had enough of New York and needed to re-ground himself closer to nature and moved to Portland where he would begin building the photography career he has become known for today. During our conversation we get the opportunity to discuss the ever challenging pursuit of finding the right work/life balance, the dangers of comparing yourself to other photographer's images and work ethic, and the importance of establishing and nurturing relationships throughout your career and treating others as you would want to be treated.
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