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Art & Life with Efrain Sahagun

Today we’d like to introduce you to Efrain Sahagun.

Efrain, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’m a photographer from Thousand Oaks, California; however, my story started in the small city of Camarillo, California.

Contrary to most artists’ stories, photography was not my first passion. My first passion was soccer. All my life I had dreams of becoming a professional soccer player and becoming the best. I had scouts at every game I played and even got a scholarship from a college in Oregon. Years of hard work and passion were hauled to a stop during my freshman year in college due to an unfortunate in-game accident. I was injured during one of my first games and was unable to compete due to health issues. I felt empty. I’ve always dealt with mental illness, but at this point in my life, I had no reason to live. Days went by where I was in my darkest times. I had lost my sense of purpose. That is until my friend let me borrow his old Canon camera.

I became instantly captivated. There are no words to say other than to say that photography saved my life and I will forever be grateful. The idea of capturing a moment and keeping it forever to reflect on made the career feel like a no-brainer to me. Photography will be what I want to do for the rest of my life. The fondness of capturing moments is simple. I feel like a little kid with no worries when I’m out shooting. It is as close as one can get to going back to childhood and feeling the curiosity of being young again, regardless of how old you are. I’ve realized as time goes on (especially recently) I continue taking pictures because when I’m out there with a camera, I’m totally free from inhibitions, insecurities, and inadequacies. I am driven to get that perfect shot by that childlike curiosity telling me “I can I do it”.

I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason. Perhaps my soccer career ended so I could become the best photographer I can possibly be and truly appreciate the gift I have been given.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My main passion is photography, but I do the occasional video project here and there. In my work, I do a practically every different types of photography. From landscapes to portraiture to weddings. My full-time job is working as a product photographer for a footwear company though so I feel I can specialize with that a bit more. The reason I do this is pretty simple. It makes me happy. It gives me the curiosity that I missed when I was little. I want people to know from my work that most of the times you have to work for a shot. Like how I camped in Yosemite in 20-degree weather then waking up at 5:00am waiting for sunrise just to get that ONE shot. I have so many stories where I had to hike miles and miles just to get that one shot and honestly had fun the whole time since I knew it would inspire people to go outdoors more. What I hope people get out from my work is that the world is beautiful in so many ways. That working 9-5 saving up money with a nice house and car can be nice and comfortable, but there is so many more adventures to be had to not explore this fascinating planet.

In your view, what is the biggest issue artists have to deal with?
In my opinion, the biggest challenge for artists is standing out among the noise. There are about 2 million artists in the United States. Now that’s a lot of people. Artists, mainly photographers, need to find a way to stand above the rest just to get enough jobs for a steady income. That’s by either finding yourself a niche or even combining niches that can be beneficial if done right. Nowadays, I see the same pictures on Instagram over and over again. The same blue a** water, the same railroad shot, the same girlfriend leading boyfriend shot. I can go on. Standing out is very important for an artist it can sometimes be the differential between being a full-time artist or just side money.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
People can see my work on Instagram at @Efron (the o is a zero) or my website

I also have a pop-up art gallery coming soon if you are interested I will be posting updates on my Instagram.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Efrain Sahagun

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