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Meet Christian Bondad

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christian Bondad.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started my photography journey in May of 2018. I just quit my 9-5 a month prior. I knew I wanted something different, but I just didn’t know what it was, exactly. I was applying to jobs everyday. You start losing hope after dozens of applications, and at the moment I thought I’d have to go back to a job that wasn’t something I wanted to do.

One day my cousin sent me an Instagram story of a basketball trainer in Los, Angeles looking for a videographer for his session that evening. I didn’t know anything about video, but being a photography hobbyist, I asked him if he could use a photographer, and he was willing to let me come through. My prior experience with photography was just taking photos of shoes and portraits of friends, taking photos for fun, but never anything in sports. But I love basketball and enjoy taking photos. So why not, right? He ended up liking the photos, which led me to reach out to other basketball trainers to see if they needed photos as well. I didn’t realize how many people actually wanted and needed photos, let alone answered IG DMs.

I ended up networking, meeting several trainers and athletes. I met some of my favorite athletes, shot in places I never thought I’d be. I ended up taking photos everyday that summer, which then led me to meet the creative director, Chris Harrelson, at MusclePharm. He offered me an internship, turned into a full-time job, and here I am now.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It was definitely a tough journey. At first, it was the switch of career paths. Doing something completely different, learning along the way, you’re bound to run into some bumps. You deal with a lot of rejection. A lot of unanswered emails and messages. Dealing with self-doubt. Am I good enough? How can I stand apart from everyone else doing this? Can I turn this into a career? Also, finding a balance of doing “free” work and booking paid gigs. And I say “free” because although you aren’t getting paid, you are still gaining experience, building meaningful relationships, and networking. So there is always something to learn from every experience. I’m still learning today and dealing with the struggles, but I think it’s all part of the journey. It’s how you come out of it that will really show if it was all worth it. I’m blessed to have a lot of people who believe in me and keep me in check.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Currently, I work as MusclePharm’s Social Media Strategist and Photographer. I also freelance on the side, mostly doing sports and fitness photography, but getting into other avenues as well.

I’ve always wanted to be involved in professional sports but never knew how it was going to happen. I was lucky enough to find a path that I really enjoy and am excited to see where it takes me.

I love interacting with athletes and capturing a more personal side of them not many people get to see. For them, they get to share their journey’s with their fans and being a part of that journey is definitely really special to me.

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