Meet The Artist Behind Meet The Artist

Against every nervous feeling, and the looming intimidation of being on the opposite side of the camera, I decided to start the year by facing my fear… I will now sit in the hot seat.

On this episode, I introduce to you, the artist behind “Meet the Artist”: Yours truly. Myself, Dani Guerrero.

It was not easy for me to be interviewed. But I thought, if I truly want to understand both sides of the lens, I have to be in front of it, as well as behind.

And besides, I think it would be a good idea for you to put a face to that soothing voice. Don’t you think?

I wanted you to hear directly from me why I created “Meet the Artist”, what “Meet the Artist” means to me, and how grateful I am that you are watching.

Hello, my name is Dani Guerrero. I am pleased to meet you…

Click here to view the interview on YouTube.

Thank you.

As the New Year approaches, it is a custom to reflect on what the events that have occurred during the still current year – I have nothing but gratitude.

THANK YOU. Thank you for reading my blogs each week. Thank you for your comments. Thank you for your questions. Thank you for your attention.

It means the world to me – and I say this with a HUGE smile on my face and a VERY grateful heart – that you take time out of your lives to read what my thoughts are, take a look at my photographs, and watch my videos. Your time is one of the most valuable things you have, and the fact that you are here reading this, makes me so utterly grateful to all of you.

I promise that 2018 will be a much better year. One of my main goals it to provide you better content, even better photographs, and better YouTube videos. Your attention deserves it.

Thanks again for being a part of my photography journey.

Until next blog.

With love,

Dani

 

Here are the top 5 post you enjoyed most in 2017:

#5 Back to Basics: Photo Composition

#4 Black & White: Absence of Color Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

#3 Meet the Artist: Shaun J Guzman

#2 Dama Tropical

#1 Point of View: Fitness Portraits

 

 

 

It’s Time to Audit

au·dit
ˈôdət/
verb
– conduct a systematic review of.
If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, then you know my love for audits. Especially when it comes to my work, and my business.
At the end of the year, I do three different audits to help keep a clean and fresh photography business. I audit my equipment, my goals/tasks, and my personal project photographs.

 

I’ll try to keep the examples quick and simple.

Equipment 

(This includes camera equipment, backdrops, and props)

Questions I ask myself:

  1. Have I used this equipment within the past 6 months?
  2. Will I uses it (honestly), within the next 6 months?

If I answered no to both questions, I usually sell that piece of equipment on Offer Up, or Craigslist – and I use the proceeds to buy new equipment.

Goals/ Tasks

Questions I ask myself:

  1. What goals/tasks have I not completed?
  2. Why haven’t I completed them?
  3. Realistically, will I complete them?
  4. Are my goals/task lists helping get to where I want my business to be?

If I answer “no” to questions 3 and 4, I erase that task/goal and I set a new one that I know I will complete. One that will help me get to where I want my business to be. Otherwise, I keep it on the list and push myself harder to complete that goal/task.

Personal Project Photographs

Questions I ask myself:

  1. Why did I photograph this image?
  2. Have I used it on social media, my blog, or to print?
  3. Will I ever use it on social media, my blog, or print?

 

If I answered “no” to questions 2 and 3, I delete that photograph. Keep in mind these are images I took for my personal projects – not for my personal memory vault. Yes, I know. It hurts to press that delete button. How bad does it hurt? Enough that it will prompt you to use and/or share that photograph? Then keep it. But make sure you share it!

I hope this list was helpful to you! As always, I would LOVE to see your work. Please comment below with the name of your website, or your social media handles.

Below are 10 of my photographs that I could not hit the delete button on, and I had to share.

 

Click on the image to view full size

 

 

 

Meet the Artis Ep. 7: DJ Pudge Fifty-five

Welcome to Meet the Artist episode 7! Before I begin introducing this month’s featured artist, I wanted to thank you SO much for an awesome 2017. It has been a great seven months, and I’ve very much enjoyed  introducing different artists from a many varied genres – and I am beyond excited to share with you the stories of twelve more artists in 2018!

On this episode, I feel so happy to have sat down with a beautiful soul who shares his great light with us through the wonderful world of music. His continuously contagious positive vibe is transmitted through the art of mixing music.  All genres of music.

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I have witnessed him excite a room with salsa and cumbia songs; I have heard one of his mix beats of a Spanish ballad with his own twist of hip hop; I have seen a crowd dance their hearts out to the classic hip hop songs he plays at local venues. All using the organic sounds of vinyl records, I might add. When you see him play the beat, you will not only feel his heart beating

 

love for his crowd, but you will definitely enjoy his passion to lift the spirit of all those who enter the room. His love for music is equal to his love for the people. It is through music that he connects with the people. It is through music that he serves his community.


I am pleased to introduce to you, DJ Pudge 55..all the way live! With me, Dani Guerrero, at Meet the Artist.

Pudges’s favorite quote: “Me, we.” – Muhammad Ali

Click here to view the interview on YouTube.

 

You can follow Pudge Fifty Five on his social media:

Click on the image to view full size

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

We’ve all seen it. We’ve all heard it. And, inevitably, it’s here – the holiday rush. It was making it’s way out and creeping through our beloved Halloween decoration isles at the stores. The Christmas carols sneaked their way into the speakers before Thanksgiving. Then, as soon as you were done with your Black Friday shopping, the wreaths and trees appeared.

This leads me to you. Are you ready for the holiday portraits?  Have you emailed your clients from last year? Do your new followers know that you offer family portrait sessions during the holidays?

I know, I know – We are all super busy trying to get our holiday shopping done before the rush. That includes your clients. So it might be a good idea to start emailing them now, at the end of November. Send your clients a quick email or text. Let all your email contacts know you’re offering holiday portraits. And don’t forget to post it on your personal and business social media. It is always a good idea to get a head start on things, and to try to avoid the last minute rush.

 

The Half Dollar/Butterfly Chair

A couple of weeks ago, I had the great opportunity to photograph the exquisite “Half Dollar/ Butterfly Chair”, created by Johnny Swing.  He also played the role of my very own muse for the evening.

Sitting in the lobby of the ever so elegant Sofitel Hotel  in Beverly Hills, CA.,  The Butterfly Chair sits prominently. It is said to be admired by all guests who enter this glamorous art-filled room.

I, myself, admired every curve on this masterpiece. It is constructed of 1,500 US half dollars, and held together with 7,000 welds. This was the third design the artist attempted in 1995, and was finished in 2011.

I was so intrigued by the uniqueness of this piece, and was very flattered to have been given the opportunity to photograph it’s beauty. I thought about the history each half dollar coin had accumulated before all being connected into one mesmerizing mass. The artist also used a Spaniard half dollar coin that you can find in the top center of the chair. Although the aroma that circulating coins tend to have was wiped away by the very recent cleaning of the chair,  you can glide your hand across the chair and feel that cold familiar sensation that every coin has while being held. I couldn’t help but to wonder what was going  through the mind of the artist as he painstakingly welded every coin together.

His essence will forever be among each coin and connection.

 “With furniture, I’m making something you can look at, and if you want to go further you can touch it, and if you want to go further, you can sit on it. By sitting on it, you’re having a shared experience with me and my work.” – Johnny Swing

Click on the image to view full size

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Idle Hands

i·den·ti·ty
ˌīˈden(t)ədē/Submit
noun
noun: identity; plural noun: identities

1. the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.
“he knows the identity of the individuals”

“No one is you, and that is your power” – David Grohl

My hands were idle to write and photograph for a bit. I stopped and took a minute (or a month, if you want to be exact), to examine and audit my craft.

Who do I want to be? How do I want to be perceived by my peers and clients? What is the purpose of my photography?

And those three questions led to: Who am I as a photographer? How do my peers and clients perceive me? Is my message coming across clear?

The one answer that stood head and shoulders above all my questions was that I want to create raw and organic, unforgettable images. And I want to inspire other photographers. Whether it’s with this blog, or through my images, I want to encourage and inspire other photographers to create.

Yes, in a world filled with a massive multitude of other photographers, I want to inspire and encourage you to go out there and shoot. Why? That’s where David Grohl’s quote comes in: “No one is you, and that is your power”.

You are, in and and yourself, a unique universe with so much to give. And making time stand still is a great way of doing just that.

So please, go out and create. Don’t think. Just do. I promise to do the same and share what I create with you.

Meet the Artist Ep. 6: Chef Turok

Welcome to Episode 6 of Meet the Artist! On this episode, we’re taking the interview to Holbox, a great seafood restaurant  located inside Mercado La Paloma, in South Los Angeles. It is within that kitchen that our featured artist creates his magic.

I’ve been following this artist on social media for quite a while, and what intrigued me the most aside from his delicious creations,  was his humble demeanor, his assiduous character, and his ability to be persistently innovative. When I sat with him, I realized my opinion of him was not at all far from the truth.

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Chef Turok is known for his ever so delicious Mascarpone Cheesecakes.  A creation which he has shared with the public as of 2015. Ever since, he’s been featured in Los Angeles Magazine, he’s served these gems at such events  as LA Weekly’s Tacolandia and Burgers and Beers (among many others festivals); Restaurants such as Primera Taza  in Boyles heights and Tlayuda LA;  And as for my personal favorite, hwm019e even donated his creations and participated in AltMed East LA Meets Napa.

There is a reason why Chef Turok’s cheesecakes are so popular – they are absolutely amazing! I’m not very big on sweets, and that, is the reason why the Mascarpone Cheesecakes are perfect. They are not too sweet, and they have a light, creamy texture that will leave you wanting more. I have to admit, they really are the BEST DAMN cheesecake that you’ll EVER try! If you’re in the LA area, please make sure to stop by Holbox restaurant, where you can enjoy a great seafood meal and end with any of the delightful Mascarpone Cheesecakes for desert. Or, if you’re feeling naughty, just have the Cheesecake first.

Now, without further adieu, please allow me to introduce you, Chef Brian “Turok” Menendez.wm009

Click here to view the interview on YouTube.

You can follow Chef Turok on his social media:

 

A special Thank You to Chef Gilberto Centina Jr. and the whole Holbox team for allowing us to film on location! Please follow Holbox on social media:

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What are some of the qualities you think every chef should have? Comment below! We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Click on the image to view full size

Meet the Artist Ep. 5: Kelyla Nelson

Welcome to Episode 5 of Meet the Artist! On this episode, I travel to Ventura County to visit Kelyla Nelson at her dance studio, KPAC (Kelyla’s Performing Art Center).

Who is Kelyla Nelson? Well, she is a dancer, a dance instructor, and a mother of a beautiful baby boy named Zion. It’s important to mention all three roles because it was this video of her dancing her heart away (at five months pregnant!), that caught my full attention. That, and the fact that she radiates a beautiful light aura and great vibes.IMG_7710

We were greeted by Kelyla and her family with a warm welcome at her dance studio. As we were setting up, her mother told us the story of how they opened: Before KPAC, Kelyla taught the neighborhood kids how to dance out of her garage. Until one of their neighbors called the police on them, and they had to shut down. Not letting her daughter give up her dream, Kelyla’s mom helped her open her very own studio. From finding a location, to items gifted to build the studio, the road was paved for Kelyla to fullfill her dream to dance. And this allows her to teach others the beauty of this performing art.IMG_7578

It was such a great experience to capture Kelyla in her element as her son watched her from across the room.

That is why I am very excited to share this video with you, so you can see for yourself, who Kelyla Nelson is.  As a person, and an amazing artist.

Click here to view the interview on YouTube

 

Kelyla’s favorite quote: “Fake it until you make it”

 

Click on the links bellow to see more of Kelyla’s work:

 

What are some of the qualities you think every dance instructor should have? Comment below! We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Click on the image to view full size