Damon Casarez (BA 12 Photography and Imaging) Photographer: As being on the right path to achieve goals that you’ve set for yourself. There are always ups and downs being a freelance artist. But I know where I want to go with my career, and I have to figure out how to survive and get there.
DC: I’m currently getting ready for an NYC trip where I’ll meet with mostly magazine photo editors, and I hope some art directors at design firms and ad agencies. I try to go once a year to meet with editors, show them new work and stay present in the scene.
DC: I always charge every battery for my camera and lighting gear before going out to shoot — even when I know they don’t need it.
DC: It’s of a young man in his bedroom trying to tie a bowtie while watching a YouTube video for guidance from a series about boomerang kids for The New York Times Magazine.
DC: That print magazines will be gone in my lifetime.
Everyone has to get a start somewhere, and you have to make someone give you a start by showing your passion and vision.
DC: I love taking drives in the local Angeles National Forest Mountains when I have a few free hours. When I have a few days, I try to go fly fishing at the Kern River near the Sequoia Forest or Mammoth Lakes area in the Eastern Sierras.
DC: Standing in the middle of a stream or river fly fishing for trout.
DC: Forest ranger.
DC: “Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond. It’s a history book I read in college and still love to read every now and then.
DC: Alison Jackson, Alec Soth, Stefan Ruiz, Catherine Opie, Nadav Kander and Pieter Hugo. They’re all photographers who are more on the fine art side with books and gallery shows, but also do assignment work. My goal is to eventually make books and have my work in galleries.
DC: I remember having a Sports Illustrated magazine and seeing this great photo of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman and ripping it out for my wall. I started drawing these photos and getting them as close to the image as possible. My teachers would tell me how good they were, and I think that’s when I knew I had some artistic talent in me.
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DC: I think my friends would describe me as being an honest, critical-thinking, humorous person who worries too much.
DC: Photography is extremely competitive. You have to be all in from day one and prove to people that you’re worth taking a risk to hire you. Everyone has to get a start somewhere, and you have to make someone give you a start by showing your passion and vision.