Today we’d like to introduce you to Lorenzo Contreras.
Lorenzo, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up I was always into cars and I wanted to just take photos of cars I would see that gave me ideas or inspo for my own car. I ended up buying my first DSLR a little over 2 years ago and haven’t stopped shooting since. I started by doing automotive photography, taking photos of friend’s cars, cars at shows, out at local gatherings, etc. My friend’s wife was modeling at the time and asked me to shoot and little by little more girls started to notice my work and wanted to work together to create! I was hooked and loved to create so I would shoot as often as possible, after work, on my lunch break, days off pretty much whenever I wasn’t working or had free time. Social media helped a lot, it gave me a platform to show others how I viewed the world, the people and places in it and my love for anything with a motor.
Has it been a smooth road?
No, it’s had it’s ups and downs. Taking a leap or stepping out of your comfort zone is always a little hard. I left a stable career in chase of a “dream”. I wanted to create. I’ve done freelance work for a little over a year and it taught me a lot. Getting away from that comfort of getting a check every Friday was hard and sometimes thinking where that next check coming from was different feeling, but you don’t think about too much, just put your head down and work.
When you look back, what are you most proud of?
There’s been a couple, each publication I’ve had, every time the person I shoot with sends me a text telling me they love their shots after they receive them, getting new gigs based on my work. I think so far making into last years top 40 photographers to shoot within LA in 2015 was my proudest moment. There’s A LOT of photographers in LA, there’s A LOT of talent, there’s a lot of guys and girls that I know who shoot and kill it! So, to be even mentioned with and in the same group of some guys that I’ve looked up to since the day I picked up my camera and people whose work I’ve admired was a trip. Definitely made me feel like I’m heading in right direction.
Tell us more about the struggles you’ve faced along the way.
Back to what we discussed earlier, I quit a career, a secure and stable job, a stable paycheck and took a leap. Looking back at it, it was a struggle because I was so comfortable collecting a paycheck every week, I enjoyed what I did, but I wasn’t happy and I felt I could do something more like I was wasting away. So to go to something where I’m not sure where I might end up, plus the constant comments from some friends and family didn’t help. “What are you thinking?” “soo you don’t have a job?” “what if it doesn’t work out” “you were doing so good. what happened” .Hearing it a lot kind of makes you think. I remember I kept telling myself, “you’ll be alright” and “things will work out” . it was definitely a struggle or a rough patch.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
ABSOLUTELY! LA is a melting pot of cultures, there are so many different markets. There’s always something to do or something to shoot. I feel like so much comes from LA, The Scenery really lends for different looks and different “feels” too! Drive an hour and you’re in the mountains, drive 45 another you’re at the beach, another way for an hour and a half and you’re in the desert(all times based on driving on the weekends at 3am with no traffic lol) with so many different locations within a good hour drive it would lend to any kind of creative ideas you might have. I’d recommend it, There are so many people here each trying to do their own thing you never know who you could meet or what relationships you can form and where that can take you in the future.
- Website: illuzionz.media (it’s in the middle of a renovation)
- Phone: 562-292-9818
- Email: Lorenzo@illuzionz.media
- Instagram: @itszo
- Facebook: Lorenzo or “zo”