Today we’d like to introduce you to Farah Sosa.
Farah, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a photographer based in Los Angeles. I was born in Guatemala and when I was a teen, my father bought me 3 film cameras that someone sold to him on the street for very little money, they still had film inside; he said he would get them only if I used them so I did. I originally studied film photography and in my adult life self-taught on digital.
I find music inspiring and believe is an element of unity amongst humans. We don’t speak the same languages but we move to the same sounds and we can see the same images without using words. At the end of 2010 I started the music photography archive FarahStop, documenting global and not so global music scene in Los Angeles and surroundings. I shoot bands, DJs and live events from a visual anthropological perspective. I favor the non-mainstream although I recognize the importance of those influencing the sounds of today, therefore, the content in my archive may have the underdogs and the famous. Bands that I shot in the early stages of FarahStop are now on worldwide tours and some remain nonmainstream and community based. I’ve become a live event photographer and currently shoot many dance happenings with diverse, multicultural, multiethnic audiences. At a live event, I feed of the energy of the audience. I aim to be unseen and allow the audience to be themselves and capture the reality of the events vs the posed Hollywood glam that people misconceptually think LA is. These images are documents of our current history and future generations will look back at the archive and see how it all went down.
I am also an event and experience producer working with Subsuelo, an artist crew bringing sounds from the world blending the traditional with the electronic influences contemporary to our times. I don’t want to keep it only within our community, but I wish for our vibe and collective sounds to expand to those who don’t listen to our worldly music or who think that top 40’s is all there is. My images help support this experiences, once people in my events understand that the spaces we create are to “dance like nobody is watching” they are free to be themselves and that reality becomes part of the archive.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When I moved to LA almost 12 yrs. ago I did not know what my future was going to be. I left my photography equipment behind and started from zero… but you cannot deny your calling. Once I heard the music and got a camera on my hands, the music history documentation started. Nobody knew me, I would show up with my camera and people appreciated the attempts. I was not versed in digital photography so my original images are pasty and raw, less delicate and poorly framed.
Understanding your technology takes practice and then you get there. I am kinda shy and very respectful so I always asked if it was ok for me to document an event, promoters always said yes and a couple took me under their wing and supported my work even when the quality was not the best. Nowadays, the legacy of the work is known, I have learned my techniques, my colorful contrasting style has developed in a unique way and I make a living with my trade.
I am petite, therefore I developed a unique perspective on my images. I am a female growing in a man’s world where women are not out late nights carrying their photography gear all alone in dark streets, so I must be extra careful and aware. Consistency has been my shield, is easy to give up when the competition is fierce.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Farahstop– what should we know?
FarahStop is now a company, yay. I provide live event photography services to music producers, non-profit organizations bringing music to communities, companies working with children music programs and other needs of collective growth such as better food in our neighborhoods, better water consumption, health conferences, entities teaching women how to lobby for their own communities, etc. Documenting work that gives back has made my photography even more fulfilling.
I also shoot love. My path has been driven to do what I love and when you do that, people see it and trust you. I am not a wedding photographer, but my audience requests that I shoot their love stories, DJs in my communities ask me to shoot their pregnant wives and later their babies, chefs want me to shoot their food, my music people and their referrals ask me to shoot their unions and I gladly do it upon request. I take these love request with utmost care and professionalism and morph into what my clients need to fulfill their wishes.
I am proud to do what I love.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Time matters in this digital images age. I work a bulk volume of images every time and deliver quality in a timely fashion. Because the type of documentation I do is noninvasive, being a fly on the wall is important. I like it when my clients get the element of surprise on their images and I get the “I didn’t even see you getting this photo!”.
- Website: www.farahstop.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @farahstop for the music @farahsosa for the love stuff
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/farahstop
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/farahsosa