Today we’d like to introduce you to Afonso Salcedo.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born in San Francisco, CA, but soon, my family relocated to Portugal, where I was raised. When I was 18, I decided to study in the UK, where I ended up living in London for seven years and where I started venturing more seriously into a career in film and photography.
I eventually decided that I wanted to give it a try living in San Francisco, so I quit my film job in London, sold everything I had to help with the costs of relocation, and moved to California without a single plan in sight. It ended up being one of the best decisions of my life when just about six months later I started working at Pixar Animation Studios.
Pixar was already at the time one of my life dreams, and I ended up staying there for seven years working on feature films like Wall-E, Ratatouille, Up, Toy Story 3 doing lighting and cinematography for animation. Interestingly enough, cinematography in animation isn’t that different from my own professional work in photography or live-action, so eventually, I decided to quit my position at the studio and freelance for a while in the Bay Area in a live-action production.
One of my favorite jobs I did was while working at MasterClass as a Creative Producer, developing and supervising all aspects of class production, from the initial pitch with instructors to the creative direction of the look and feel of the class, and overseeing all editorial and color grading.
At the same time, I was doing my usual work in photography, focusing on portraiture, travel, and documentary, working with fashion and editorial clients and steadily growing my portfolio of work.
With the changes in San Francisco from a creative mecca to a technology hub, the work, unfortunately, started feeling too corporate, and I knew I needed a change. Disney offered me recently an opportunity to work in LA for a few months on a feature film, and it finally brought me to a complete move and relocation to Echo Park in Los Angeles, after fifteen amazing years in San Francisco.
I couldn’t be more excited about this new chapter in Los Angeles, and to fully immerse myself in the creative worlds in this city.
Please tell us about your art.
I feel like everything I do; whether I am lighting imaginary worlds in animation or overseeing directing and production in a photo or live-action shoot, it’s all about creating stories that hopefully connect with the viewer in new and unexpected ways.
There are a million variables that go into creating stories, but I truly believe it’s one of the most crucial aspects of being human. We’re driven internally by this desire of sharing stories, of listening to stories, and our own memories and experiences are part of our own life story as we engage in the world we live in.
I love the collaborative nature of photography and filmmaking, and that is truly one of the most magical aspects of working doing the art that I do. Nothing makes me most passionate than taking a portrait of someone sitting in front of my camera or collaborating with production designers, actors, and crew on building a film, a video, or documentary that will inspire and connect with someone in the audience.
Some of the art I do is building large installations at Burning Man for example, and there’s a very tangible aspect to it when you see people immersed in the experience you create, and you observe how life-changing some of that work can be. How people find catharsis through art, discover a new part of themselves, or even get married and find love through it, it’s completely unforgettable and one of the most human aspects of being alive.
I couldn’t love it more.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
Since I moved from San Francisco, the most clear struggle for me is the usual battle of finding enough work to sustain a minimally comfortable lifestyle in what is becoming a brutally expensive world.
And managing that constant hustle, without letting ego getting in the way and keeping your motivation strong is one of the hardest things to do in living a fully artistic life.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I try to keep my website always updated with my latest photography and video work, but sometimes it takes a while, unfortunately, depending on my schedule.
I’m new to Los Angeles, but I’m always looking for new and better ways to showcase my work around town, introduce it to people, collaborate with other artists, or even get new commissioned work and clients, so please never hesitate to reach out, and we’ll make it work.
I am always available for hire of course.
- Address: Echo Park, Los Angeles
- Website: http://afonso.me
- Phone: 415-350-4893
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/afonso.salcedo
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/afonsophoto
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/fonziewonzie