Today we’d like to introduce you to John Herrera.
Hi John, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
So it all started when I was a sophomore in high school, where I was hugely inspired by the YouTubers “MrBenBrown” and “FunForLouis”, who created daily vlogs and also shared their passion for photography. I was amazed by how they were able to create all these daily vlogs, and someday in the future, watch every single highlight that they’ve filmed. Soon enough, I was recording every single highlight of my life with a group of my friends who I met in high school, of us doing so many dumb and funny things that your average group of friends usually wouldn’t be doing. I started recording everything from my old iPhone and I would keep them in my gallery. Eventually, I started to take landscape and cityscape photos on my phone which I posted all on Instagram, and it just suddenly turned into second nature of me pulling out my phone and capturing any kind of highlight of my life, whether it be a video recording or a photo, you’d always catch me holding up my phone capturing everything. Soon enough, I graduated high school and posted a whole compilation of videos from high school which everybody seemed to enjoy.
After the moments of seeing everybody sending me their reactions to the compilation video I made, it made me realize that there was a lot more for me to seek out within this whole filming and photography passion that I developed in high school. Soon enough after graduating, over the summer I took my mom’s mirrorless Sony camera, and instead of recording every highlight, I decided to take photos everywhere I went with friends and family. Eventually, I started taking photos of people I knew just for fun, for birthdays, proposals, and so much more, which led to my mom buying me my first dslr canon t6i camera. Never did I imagine that doing this for fun would allow me the opportunity to start making money, and not only to just make money but to also meet so many new faces and learn so many new stories. This essentially helped me break out of my bubble. I was always an awkward introverted kid, so the opportunity of meeting so many new people really helped me develop social skills not just with meeting new friends but also approaching business opportunities. As I kept scheduling more and more photoshoots with friends, word got out to friends of friends which essentially helped build my network and my craft. I never realized how serious this was getting until I started to get paid gigs for events and so much more photoshoots.
So I soon invested in my first camera which is a Sony a7iii (which I still shoot with). And next thing you know, I was able to help start up a media company (XCreatives Media) with my partner and friend Dre, where we get to be able to create content not only for local businesses in the LA, Long Beach, and OC areas but also to shoot for big events such as birthdays, weddings, etc. and also create documentaries for those who want to share their life struggles to the world to bring awareness to certain things and also to bring hope to those who can relate. Not only do I co-own XCreatives Media, but I also had the blessing to come across an opportunity to take up the position as a creative director for Compassion Geek. Nowadays, I still do what I do, and I enjoy and love what I do. And as of now, I have a special new project I’ve been working on for over the past year, which is my new brand, The HUSL Brand. So stay tuned for that. Also, stay tuned for a brand new podcast that me and a couple of my photography buddies started, which will be aired soon on twitch and uploaded via YouTube. Check us out “Creative Haven Podcast”.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road at all. Starting up, I had to hustle to get more models/clients to work with, as well as grinding everyday to build my craft to where it is now. I had to find out the hard way that nothing in life will come to you easily, you gotta work for it no matter how hard it gets. If you truly want it, you will put in the work to get it. Not only did I face hardships with building my photography business, but I also struggle with generalized anxiety disorder, and with that, I struggle taking a lot of opportunities that comes my way, as well as performing to the best of my ability. Of course as of recent, I’ve been making progress, but looking back, I wish I had the courage and strength to push through and take those opportunities to be able to grow in every aspect of photography and videography.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
So I mainly pursue portrait photography, but over the years I’ve had the blessing to be able to practice photography and videography for birthday and wedding events, as well as product photography and videography and much more. Other than my personal work, I co-own XCreatives Media, and I also do social media marketing and managing for clients over at Compassion Geek. Something I’m proud of would definitely be the amounts of photoshoots I’ve been able to schedule in 2019 and being able to meet a huge group of people which is something I’m really grateful for. As well as the business opportunities that have came which I never expected to happen when I first started.
What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
Something that I like about the city is that there’s always something interesting and fun to do. There is never a dull moment. Not only that but also the huge amount of people you can meet in this huge city is amazing. Also, the endless amounts of spots you can go to for photoshoots is insane. Something I dislike about the city is all the traffic, and sometimes when you want some peace and quiet, it can sometimes be hard to find in such a busy city but honestly the likes overweigh the dislikes.
Models; Erin Villegas @erinxxmalaya / Samantha Saenz @samanthascienz / Sugar Gonzales @sugarbeezy / Christianne Limon @cxxtrbl / Clarissa Vazquez @hunnieclaire / Erin Datuin @erinbianca_