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Daily Inspiration: Meet Caleb Aschkynazo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Caleb Aschkynazo.

Hi Caleb, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I was hired to work on the Optical Special Effects for what was at that point; a campy little space movie. Star Wars; Episode IV “A New Hope” I bought a camera and the Visual Efx Supervisor (John Dykstra) and the Director of Photography (Richard Edlund) took me under their wings and mentored me.

I never considered myself creative so for the next 36 years, I continued to work in the industry while getting married and raising a family, taking pictures of family and friends but never thinking anything of the photography of it. When digital photography reached the point where it had become the standard and, I traded my film camera for a digital one and made a photo of the Santa Monica pier that I couldn’t believe I had made. I found a mentorship program and soon had my first show. Being a yoga teacher for so long has influenced the way I see the world. I have always been a seeker of truth. My focus is to find it in my photography. It forces me to be present, to immerse myself in my subject no matter what or who that may be.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I’m a householder. That means that my photography needs to take a back seat to family needs. Not to mention living during a pandemic without income flows is nerve-racking. Nowadays, everyone who has a phone/camera is a photographer. Stock photography, which used to be a huge source of income, is now non-existent. So if you want to create income from your passion, you need to carve out your niche.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’ve always been a seeker of truth and that’s led me to many disciplines. Photography is the sweet science of light. I define “spirituality” as the willingness to change. The world and everything in it is in constant flux. To capture a defining moment, you need to be present. Photography for me is that meditation. My goal with my camera is to capture that unique “isness” in wherever, whatever, and whoever is in front of my camera.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
I make photos because it requires you to authentically show up! That’s really the fun part. Being there. When you’re fully present, you feel all the awe and love of where you are, who you’re with, and the interaction becomes a flow, a dance, a meditation.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Santa Monica Pier Richard Edlund working on the original Death Star model in 1978 Vernal Falls Yosemite Jasmina Hdagha, the ultimate yogini. (Signed release available)

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