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Meet DTLA Photographer: Eric Cacioppo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Cacioppo.

Eric, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve been really focusing on photography now for the past 5 years, but its always something I’ve done since I was in school. I went to College on a painting scholarship though, I mostly painted portraits. So for me the transition into photography was simple… composition is composition.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s been an interesting journey so far. I’d say the hardest part of being a photographer in this day and age is to get someone to pay you for it… at least fairly. But creatively it’s been a great ride. Over the past few years, I feel that I have really started to find my style. I have been pushing myself to create images regularly and that helps me hone my skills. But as far as making a living at this? Yeah, that’s been tough. I still bartend as my main income but I do work regularly for a few clients.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Over the next 5-10yrs I see maybe… hopefully… mobile photography will be taken more seriously as “real” photography. I really believe in the quote that “The best camera is the one you have on you” and for just about everyone that’s their phone! Yet for some reason, it’s not considered a “real” camera. Now I know it will always be a limited camera but working within limits only makes you a better photographer. I did a whole series of bus portraits all taken on an old Galaxy S3 to prove that it doesn’t matter what camera you use. a great moment captured makes a great shot that tells a story.

Has there been a particular challenge that you’ve faced over the years?
My biggest challenge has been finding a way to balance the work I do for me with the work that pays.. and figuring out how to make those one in the same.

Let’s change gears – is there any advice you’d like to give?
L.A. is a really crowded market for photographers. My advice would be this… find your own style.. something that makes you stand out. Then, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of offering your services for too cheap! The more photographers that give away their services for $50-$100 lowers the value of what we all do and makes it harder to make a living in this city. Let’s all raise the bar and realize that our services are worth more!

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