1. Can you please tell us a few words about yourself, where are you from.
My name is Hector and I’m from Riverside CA, I’d say I’ve been shooting since 2009? Mostly digital then, and I’ve been shooting film since 2013/2014 so it’s been a while now.
2. What is your photography story, how did you start? How did you get where you are now?
I kind of started by accident really, I’ve always been drawn to art and I think I’m the artsy one in the family, well both my brother and I, and I remember my dad ordering a starter DSLR kit to document some of his construction/ remodeling work, and I remember coming home from school and seeing the package and it was a nice canon dslr, I kind of picked that up and my dad never really got to use it. He’s been so supportive since then too so, huge shout out to my dad for that. That kind of brings me to now, I’m really just a hobbyist and I’m just passionate about photography, I stuck with digital for a while but film is really what made me fall in love with it again. These days I’d say I shoot 99% of my work on film.
3. What’s your favourite gear to use (camera, lens, film) ?
This is a tough one! Mainly because I’m a huge nerd when it comes to figuring out how things work and just doing tons of research on things so I’m that sense, I’m a huge gear head, so it’s hard for me to pick one since there’s so many I want to try! But from the ones I own, probably my Pentax 67 with the 105mm & my Minolta TC-1. For film I’d have to go with Portra 800 and gold 200.
4. What do you enjoy shooting the most? And Why?
Portraits. With all that’s going on recently it’s been very hard to do that, so I’ve had to adjust and shoot other things which I don’t really mind, but for me it’s the portraits. I really enjoy photographing and documenting other creatives, and people that are passionate about their interests.
5. How do you educate yourself to take better photos?
Did I mention I’m a nerd yet? Haha. I think research and asking questions is how I educate myself the most, followed by just looking. If I want to achieve a certain look then I’ll start to research things that can help me accomplish that, but most of the time “better” photos don’t come from that, I think they come from just being aware, looking at things, and trusting your gut and taking that shot.
6. Have you ever doubted yourself? And what helped you to overcome that?
To be honest, I’d say this is something most photographers and creative struggle with a lot of the time and I don’t think it ever goes away, so to answer that; yes, yes I have. I think it’s a constant battle rather than a destination. I mean, there are times when I’m really confident and there are times when I’m not so when I’m not that confident I always try to remind myself of the progress I’ve made, I think that really helps.
7. What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer for you?
The connections you make with people. I think there’s so much to learn from everyone, everyone has something different to offer. Whether it’s the people you’re photographing or the people in the community or groups I’ve been lucky to be a part of, I still think the most rewarding thing has been the humans and the human connections I’ve made.
8. Among your works, which one is your favourite? Tell us the story behind it.
This picture of my friend Ari. I think it’s very simple really and it’s something I wanted that way. I didn’t give it too much thought and I know it’s not groundbreaking really, but it’s something that I was able to really create and bring to life the way I wanted to. There’s a layer of plastic that softens the light and the subject and gives it a very “dreamy” look. I think it’s my best one so far.
9.What gives you inspiration?
Movies, music, and everyday things. I get inspired by good light as well, it’s really a mix of things, like colors too. I can be driving home from work and the way the light changes is fascinating to me that I have to remind myself to keep my eyes on the road! But I think a lot of normal everyday things like that keep me inspired.
10. Exactly what it is you want to say with your photographs?
I’m not sure if I really want to say anything with my photographs, at least not at the moment? I think for me the actual act of taking a photo is therapeutic to me, and that’s really what keeps me coming back to it, everything after that is a plus. I see photographs as memories and so I guess that’s what I want to say with them, I want to tell the story of how important it is to document things, even if they don’t seem that important at the moment.
You can follow Hector on Instagram @heccct