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Meet Fat Tony of Fat Tony Photography in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Fat Tony.

Fat Tony, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in a small town outside of New Orleans. As a kid, I was obsessed with BMX (freestyle bicycle riding) and fell in love with photography in fifth grade. By the time I graduated high school, I set a goal of combining my passions and working for a BMX magazine. The problem was I didn’t know the first thing about the BMX industry, and I was an extreme novice behind a camera.

I went to college at LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for graphic design and started working towards my ultimate goal. I worked for our campus magazine, took photography classes, taught myself digital photography and off-camera lighting techniques, and started traveling around the country to meet people in the BMX community. I also created a lot of my own BMX content like a self-published magazine, a BMX DVD, and a state-wide community-based website. I even organized and hosted a regional BMX event that got international recognition from the BMX media.

A month before I graduated college, I got a call from the editor of the world’s leading BMX magazine based in Southern California who asked if I wanted to work for them.

I had made my dream come true. I moved across the country and worked for Transworld’s Ride BMX Magazine as the online editor for more than five years, and it was amazing! However, during that time I got a taste for traveling and wanted more.

With no other gig or work lined up ahead of time, I quit my dream job to pursue a more free and flexible life of traveling while doing freelance photography and video production. That first year on my own I worked about 120 days, traveled about 200 days, and made more than double what my salary was at the magazine.

A few years into doing freelance work in the BMX industry my passion for the sport and culture began to fade. I found a new flame in health and fitness as I transitioned to a vegan diet and started doing CrossFit. (Yes, I’m the kind of guy they make the memes about!)

As my passions shifted, so did my work. Instead of shooting photos at X Games I was shooting photos at the CrossFit Games.

I also found a new avenue for my photography by the way of architecture and real estate, which is what I am currently enjoying. I love the beauty in details of a fine home, and learning to capture and edit interiors and homes has been a completely new challenge that’s really exciting.

Has it been a smooth road?
I’m really driven when I set my mind to something, so I tend to make things work out. However, if things don’t go my way I look at it as a learning lesson and move on without dwelling on the “mistake” or “failure”. And because I don’t harp on these setbacks or detours it never really feels like I’ve struggled when I reflect back on my past. It all just seems like part of the process and never-ending journey.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
My brand is a content-creation company with an emphasis on photography and video production for marketing purposes.

In the past my specialty was BMX, then fitness, but now I don’t have a specific niche, although I’m really pushing architectural and interior design photography at the moment just because it’s what I’m having the most fun with.

For example, one of my recent clients is an architect and home builder who hired me to shoot photos of a house they just remodeled. They used the images to market their company and already drove new business because of the photography.

Another big client of mine at the moment is a brick and tile manufacture here in the LA area. They’ve hired me to film and edit a series of videos that will serve as educational tools for their dealers and distributors.

What sets my company apart from others is I am a one-man team that can provide a wide range of services. This means I’m fast and nimble, but I still understand all aspects of the creative and marketing process, which makes it much quicker for clients to get the results they want with a lot less hassle when compared to dealing with large teams of people at a bigger company.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Absolutely… The Southern California area is so densely-populated that it seems like it can support everyone! No matter what you’re trying to do, you can do it in So Cal. There are endless opportunities here!

Having said that, I wouldn’t mind if half the population moved away so it would clear up some of this traffic!

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Image Credit:
Fat Tony

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