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Conversations with Adrian Medina

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adrian Medina.

Hi Adrian, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.

Hello, my name is Adrian Medina and I was born and raised in Los Angeles (LA), California. Growing up in such an iconic city like LA has had a real impact in my life, from the historic palm trees, beaches, and traffic to places like Hollywood, Disneyland, and the celebrities. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a passion for anything artistic, in fact, back in high school I took a photography class as an elective and found it to be very fascinating. At the same time, I was obsessed with the show ANTM, which is what ultimately made me want to pursue photography. My favorite aspect about ANTM was when the photographer would reveal the finished product of the model. The reason for this is because it demonstrates the beauty of photography, such that every photographer will capture someone or something in their own individual and artistic way. Additionally, the fantasy of it all, and how one’s reality can be created with a camera and editing is what I loved the most.

During my time in high school, I had a photography teacher by the name of Mr. Redfox, who sparked an interest in me due to his passion for teaching. While I was attending college I was working at the same time. I ended up dropping out of school to fully dedicate myself to my accounting job. As time passed, I realized that the “normal job” life was not meant for me, so I began shooting family & friends with my iPhone and beginner camera, because it fulfilled me. The idea of shooting and creating a world that I could escape to with something as simple as a camera is what made me realize how much happiness photography brought me. As a result, I decided to upgrade my camera and go back to school to further expand my knowledge. Although I was familiar with the basics of photography, I always felt that if I want to become the greatest version of myself, then I have to master the basics before moving forward to the more challenging, artistic and creative stuff. This idea of mastering the basics was ingrained in me when I began watching the sport of gymnastics as a child. I always knew that it was extremely dangerous to try a new skill without mastering the most basic element, therefore, I applied that same mindset towards my career in photography.

Upon returning to college, my professor, Alejandro Sanchez, noticed that I had a certain way of shooting my assignments. He advised me to reach out to modeling agencies and ask to shoot with some of their models to elevate my photography. While I felt confident in both my fashion and portrait photography work, my hope in contacting modeling agencies was to gain knowledge in body movement. Therefore, I started calling and emailing every major modeling agency in LA and asked to shoot with their models. I was excited to hear back from a major modeling agency, LA Model Management, that took a chance on a college photography student like myself. For that, I am and always will be extremely grateful to Blaise Petrullo & Jarrod Purifoy, for helping me jumpstart my photography career. On November 9, 2019, I did my first test shoot for LA Models with model/actor Zack Nelson. Fast forward to today, I’ve had the privilege of working with most of the major modeling agencies in Los Angeles, such as FORD, TWO, NEXT, Wilhelmina, DT, and many more. My long term goal is to continue to grow as an artist, expand my relationships in the modeling/fashion industry, discover new talent and create beautiful moments through photography.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?

With life, nothing comes easy. I had to work hard to keep the creative fire inside of me burning. All the while, I was juggling a full-time job as an accountant, taking college classes, shooting with models, editing, attending my religious obligations, and finding some time for myself, family and friends. With that being said, the biggest challenge for me was efficiently managing my time. For example, editing is an extremely time-consuming and underrated process, as well as very isolating. To be focused behind a computer making creative decisions can be draining, but in the end, I do it for the love and passion of my art. I’m such a social person, so being behind the computer for so long is a huge struggle.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?

I’m a photographer that specializes in fashion/portraits with male models. My goal is that people see my passion for photography through my work. My images are intended to convey drama to the viewers, which can vary from the posing and landscape, to the fashion, lighting and editing. For example, whenever I’m searching for a location, I only take into consideration those that look dramatic because it’s just as important to me as the model. I’m very proud of the growth I’ve seen in my work, because that is something I’ve always strived for as a photographer. I constantly find myself wondering how much more I can accomplish to avoid being stagnant. My fear is that by getting too comfortable in one place, I’m missing out on greater opportunities.

A memorable quote that inspires me every single day, is that of the famous drag queen, actor, author, recording artist, and comedian Katya Zamolodchikova who once said, “if you’re not embarrassed by your previous output, then you’re not making any progress. If you don’t ever look back and cringe; maybe people are cringing right now.”

While we have so many iconic photographers from all around the world, living and dead, I believe what sets me apart from other photographers is my unique personality. I want people to see me for who I really am inside, which is, photographer/artist aside, a genuinely kind, humble, honest, hilarious, and hardworking human with a huge heart, and personality. On many occasions, I am complimented on bringing light, happiness, and providing comfort to the models. To me nothing is more beautiful than someone who has a beautiful soul.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?

Besides photography, human connections are what bring me happiness. Nothing is more satisfying to me than getting to know the truest version of someone. What brings them joy, pain, sorrow? What drives them? What life lessons have they learned? I believe it’s important to put yourself in other people’s shoes because it allows you to truly understand who they are as a person. I really love learning about people, it’s very fulfilling to me.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Andrey Kupchenko GENETICS, Richard & Christian Ochoa (friends), Taylor Miller RAW CONNECTS, Matti Ceulemans LA MODELS, Mark James David ONE MANAGEMENT, Jason Koko DT, Caston Granger AIG/WILHELMINA, Cole Etgen NEXT

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