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Life & Work with Mark Rodriguez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Rodriguez.

Hi Mark, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Well, my photography journey started on accident. I was gifted my 1st DSLR camera because I didn’t want to pay someone to shoot a music video (for me) at the time no one had the style I was looking for nor did I have the funds. And yes, I used to rap. It then turned into more of an obsession than a hobby. I spent hours and hours reading blogs about settings and watched videos of some of the greats shooting street photography pics… Fast forward and I met a friend at work and found out he was a local rapper and needed someone to shoot pics for his concert after the shift. I had barely met him that day and later was on my way to shoot pictures of his concert as he was opening up for THE GAME. My first gig was a HUGE one I had barely figured out how to shoot in manual mode and had no idea how to shoot concert pics because I knew it would be dark and lots of movement. With a shitty DSLR that meant bad pics and lots of noise. Welp we somehow got some of the best pics I’ve ever shot that night. I was completely blown away at how hard and how much work it truly was…

We always see these awesome concert pictures of our favorite artist on stage and it gives a sense of feeling as if we were actually there. It’s like a pause on life, at that very moment we knew what song was playing, we could feel the loud music and our ears still ringing. I knew it was something I had to do for as long as I could. Once I got home, I stood up till the sun came up looking at the pics while editing them, reliving the moments and writing side notes of how I could do better and how I can be at the right place to capture certain moments of the show. S/O my boy @ KXNG D.O.P.E for trusting me and allowing me to capture those moments of his life. Now we fast forward a couple of months more and I’ve managed to network with other artists in the music industry. I’m shooting pictures for record labels doing singles and album covers! I honestly never stopped reading those blogs or watching those videos about photography because I feel I’m not even close to calling myself a professional photographer. I still have so much more to learn and experience. I still take shitty pictures every now and then but like anything else we all have good and bad days.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Some struggles for me in this field of work was that there is waaaay too many photographers in LOS ANGELES. But after I stopped paying attention to the “other photographers” I felt as if I leveled up so how I started to get better. Being a husband and father of four beautiful kids, I knew I had to prove to them if you work hard and ignore everything else, you’ll eventually get what you really want in this world. If you put in the work. Smooth road it will never be but it’s how you bounce back that defines you. This isn’t a hobby anymore, for me it’s my life now it’s how I feed my family and what’s going to set us free from all our financial struggles.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I’m a photographer, well actually I’m an artist photographer. I specialize in BTS photos of artists at music videos, as well as singles and album covers also EPKs for artist streaming platforms such as profile pics for their Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music accounts. I’m most proud of being able to see my pictures all over the internet and the streaming platforms and billboards. What sets me apart from others is my raw style of photos, I hate modeling my subjects it’s something about natural pics that just show the actual character of people.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
Plain and simple Shoot me a message on IG. I reply to EVERYONE there isn’t no question or remark I won’t respond to. When I was starting this, I messaged soooooo many “local photographers” and believe it or not there was a lot of peeps that wouldn’t respond to my questions. Whether it be how to do long exposures or where is this certain location at so I could shoot something there. A lot of photographers act like it’s some sort of secret knowledge to this game. But now I know they were actually just holding out on information to keep other photographers down. But jokes on them now because they still take pictures of LA skyscrapers and make no money. It’s still their hobby whereas I feel I passed them up and now made it an actual paying job.

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