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Meet Gabriel Lucido of Studio XMI

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gabriel Lucido.

Hi Gabriel, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Creativity has always been a big part of my life. In my schooling, subjects like media and graphic design grabbed my interested and allowed me to express myself artistically while also stimulating a more technical part of my brain. At the beginning of my career, I started off working as a freelance filmmaker working on films in Los Angeles. While this work was informative and the experiences irreplaceable, something felt lacking. Independence is important to me and working freelance in the film industry is anything but, despite what freelance implies. However, it was here that I met a dear friend who dabbled in photography and begun working with him on some projects. Immediately I felt a sense of gratification from the work. I had more control over the work and was able to be at the helm of my own creativity, but most importantly, it was the direct relationship with the costumer and seeing the joy my work brought them that made me make a career switch. It was around this time my father, who is the CEO of his own food marketing company, was lamenting about how expensive and impersonal it is to work with food photographers. Not knowing the complexities of shooting food, I offered to take some photos on spec, curious if I’d be up for the challenge. While the shoot itself was filled with minor mistakes, our final photo was more than comparable to the competition. It was immediately following this shoot that we both saw a huge opportunity and I decided to make food photography my career and craft.

Alright, 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?
In the early years of Studio XMI, we, like most businesses, had limited resources. The very first studio space we worked out of was a tight fit. In fact, the space was so small we couldn’t fit a studio stand in it, so instead, we attached rails to the ceiling in order to get our camera directly above our subject. There were many of these workarounds in the early days. We worked extra hard and had to get creative in order to compensate for these limitations without making the work feel compromised even if we had to compromise in the way we worked. It was tough while going through it, but in retrospect, these years challenged me and made me a better photographer.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Studio XMI?
I created Studio XMI for the purpose of providing our clients with expert photography at a lower cost. We are a full-service studio that utilizes the latest photography and lighting techniques to create food, product, portrait, and e-commerce images that set our clients apart from the competition. We have just completed our new state of the art studio in Foothill Ranch, CA featuring a fully functional studio kitchen designed to inspire creativity and breathtaking imagery that will bring my client’s products to life. With over a decade of self-study, working countless hours practicing the craft, I have taken on projects with some of the most well-known leading brands in the food industry, providing them with images used in nationwide consumer goods packaging and ad campaigns.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I think we’re in a moment where the traditional “way of doing things” is changing rapidly. One of the major reasons for this, in my opinion, is the internet. Information, pre-internet, was often kept in compartmentalized boxes and the only way to learn a craft was to go to school or get a mentorship. While these methods work, not everyone has access to these opportunities or thrives in those environments. I found that the internet was an incredible resource for photographers at every level. I would find professionals who shared their set-ups on blogs or youtube channels and started recreating their work. As I’d advance to more complicated shoots, I’d find myself starting to make small tweaks based on my personal preference which then bloomed into my own style and “way of doing things”. My main advice for young photographers is to never limit yourself and to never feel like you need someone else to show you the way. Anyone can do it. You just need to put in the time.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

All photos taken by Gabriel Lucido

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