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Meet Brian Diaz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Diaz.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Brian. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have always considered myself a photographer. Ever since high school classes on Long Island where I grew up, where I learned to shoot on film, develop, and print. The interest for me was always there, but my journey to where I am now has sort of twisted and turned. Music has always been where I saw myself landing career-wise, and for many years I saw myself solely as a musician or an audio tech or guitar tech. Bringing cameras on tour allowed me to document not only the bands but daily life in the cities around the world that I visit. I always try to tell the story of every city I’m in through capturing everyday life. Being here in Los Angeles has allowed me to expand the narrative in a place that I call home now.

These last few months have been particularly interesting because we’re all experiencing this massive change to our daily lives and sweeping social issues. I want to be able to document that and preserve that.

Has it been a smooth road?
Nothing comes without its share of struggles. For me, it has been a personal thing. I feel like because this wasn’t something that I was doing professionally, and that photography was something that started off a “side gig” for me, that I wasn’t good enough. Also, there’s just a glut of content out there, so how do I stand out? I’m not formally trained, so is this something that I’m “qualified” to be doing? Those are all thoughts that I had to cast aside.

It’s a wildly competitive field, just like everything in the art world. It’s still an uphill battle for me, but between my documentary-style photography and my live concert photography people started to take notice.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Brian Diaz Photo – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I have been making photo prints, almost entirely from home for the past three years. A lot of my process starts with me loading film into a camera, getting my shots, developing that film, printing it at home, packing it all up, and shipping it out to buyers. I am completely in control of all the elements of that and being able to have 90% of my business completely done independently – I am a one-man operation – definitely gives me a sense of pride. I am thrilled when someone wants a piece of art or a documentation of something from me that means something or speaks something to them. I am trying to tell the story of my city and the world, frame by frame and when it resonates with people it makes me realize that the efforts I put into it were worth it.

Most recently, I have been working on a series of photos from the first 100 days since the start of quarantine and the “stay-at-home” order. I have been selling prints depicting various scenes from the protests and have been able to donate thousands of dollars from the sale of those to Black Lives Matter Global Network and BLM in Los Angeles. That has definitely been something that makes me extremely proud. Not just in my own work, but that I’m reaching the kind of person who appreciates the documentation and wants a way to contribute. I’ve also recently been contacted by a gallery downtown to work on an upcoming group show, so I’m very much looking forward to going ahead with that as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I used to passionately dislike Los Angeles before I lived here. Not gonna lie about that. As a native New Yorker, it’s sort of ingrained in you to have this misconception about what LA is. Luckily my job traveling afforded me the opportunity to be out here enough to fall in love with the diversity of this city. I love that I can go from landscape photography to gritty street photos in one afternoon, and stop and eat my way through the various cultures of the city. There’s so much life here and so many hidden treasures. Every time I go somewhere new, it’s like I can’t believe this is also part of Los Angeles.

It was an adjustment for me not being able to hop on a subway any time of the day or night and do whatever I wanted to at 4am, but I have a vastly greater understanding of how this city works and the things that make it tick.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Personal profile photo by Elliot Ingham

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