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Meet DTLA Photographer: Anthony Anastasi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anthony Anastasi.

Anthony, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I began my love affair with photography in high school, and shortly after graduation decided I wanted to pursue photography as a career. After fumbling around for a few years at OCC, I eventually transferred to San Francisco State University, where I received a B.A. in photojournalism. The following few years were spent being a “starving artist.” I picked up what freelance work I could, had my hand in some art shows, interned for LASF Magazine, and enjoyed being a street photographer. I’d often grabbed my camera with no real goal other than having fun, and hit the streets to see what I could find. The architecture of the city, the strange mismatched or ill-fitting colors of the victorian homes, and the people embedded within the streets always made for interesting imagery. I tried to capture the every day in the most interesting way I could simply to do it. After I exhausted my fascination with

After I exhausted my fascination with exploration of the city and people with no goals, I realized it was time to take my craft seriously and go compete with the big boys in Los Angeles. Since my move to LA a year ago, I’ve focused my photography towards Portraiture, and seeing how it bleeds into fashion/editorial/commercial work. Though I studied photojournalism and still enjoy documentarian work, I’ve always been drawn towards a more controlled environment because of the complete artistic control it allows.

Has it been a smooth road?
I’m still fairly new to the industry and feel my biggest struggles are ahead of me. The biggest struggle so far was simply making the decision to leave the life I loved in San Francisco to compete with the world’s elite photographers in Los Angeles.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
My first solo art show in San Francisco held at Dada Art Bar in the downtown area, where I sold nearly every image on the opening night. All the images were shot on the streets of SF with subject matter that seems mundane to explain; walls, stairs, pipes, but showed how beautiful and inspiring the everyday in San Francisco can be if your eyes are open to it – In addition to a great turnout of friends from the area that showed up, family members came all the way from LA and Orange County to support me. Witnessing how many people genuinely loved, supported, and believed in what I was doing made me quite proud and fueled my fire even more.

Tell us more about the struggles you’ve faced along the way.
My biggest struggle has been self-doubt. Many people have had great things to say about my abilities over the years, I’ve won awards in college for my work, and I’ve been incorporated in multiple art shows, but at the end of the day when I look at the best of the best photographers, I’m still intimidated. This struggle has been with me always. Though I’ve helped curb this intimidation in two ways. One, work really hard and grow as an artist every day. Read books, research techniques, get outside my comfort zone, and shoot shoot shoot. Secondly, I realized I’m not going to be the best overnight, The people I look up to have been at it for years, if not decades. I now look to the elite as inspirations of where I can be one day if I retain my focus and never stop growing as a photographer.

What’s your outlook for the industry in our city?
I believe Los Angeles is the best place for me to be, career wise. There’s an unbelievable amount of opportunity here and everybody seems to be doing something. Not a day goes by when I don’t come in contact with, or overhear people talking about the projects they’re working on and succeeding at. Whether its writers, actors, musicians, or photographers, the mentality of Los Angeles is very driven and rubs off on you quickly. When you see great things happening before your eyes every day, you realize it’s all possible.

I got my chops up in San Francisco which was a great place for a budding artist to discover the world, their voice, and interact with other creatives. But if someone has the drive and willingness to put in the effort, I think an artist can create amazing things wherever they are. With that said, it’s Los Angeles; everything anyone needs to succeed is here.

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