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Meet Jose Antonio Santana of Photography by Jose Antonio in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jose Antonio Santana.

Jose Antonio, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Thinking back, I can always remember having a fascination for some sort of creative outlet.

Whether that meant putting together a living room theatre moment (sheet costumes and all) – to tearing through a pack of drawing journals in my youth. I avoided taking a sport in high school by replacing it with graphic art and design courses – which only fed into the endless hours of tirelessly updating my myspace profile while simultaneously checking to see who’s “top 8” I had made.

For college, I was set on art school – a four year college wasn’t even an option in my eyes – so of course being an Orange County native, it only made sense to attend The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM).

Post-college life was a juggling act. Between finding a passion for hospitality, falling in love, and desperately trying to support a creative career – my only option was to find the right rhythm.

Growing up in the age of social media allowed me to possess a unique set of skills not many had at the time. I used the skills I learned at FIDM, along with my personal experience in hospitality to market content creation and management to local businesses.

Over the years, it became very clear to me that photography & graphic design, alongside service & hospitality, would be a big part of my creative career. I slowly began to introduce it into a majority of my design work – by approaching brand work through experience, I was able to create an authentic visual representation.

Nowadays, whether I am capturing moments through event and lifestyle photography – or I am creating content for social media – my focus is on the viewer’s connection and experience.

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?
Definitely. 100% there were struggles along the way. At all stages of life.

In high school, it was the separation of my parents. In college, the lack of discipline and pressures of finding the “right” career path. Post-college, it was the reality of life and in all honesty, a struggle with alcohol and drug abuse.

I could go on and on about the mistakes I wish I could reverse – truly I could. But if I’ve learned anything throughout those struggles – it’s that your reaction is what truly matters. How you choose to react to each experience, good or bad, is who you are and how you will be able to move forward.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Photography by Jose Antonio – what should we know?
Yes! My current focus is my photography for lifestyle and special events.

From engagements to maternity, newborn, and everyday life, my vision as a photographer is to capture not only the big & bold moments of joy – but your subtle yet meaningful expressions of love. I am a memory keeper, here to capture and hold onto your experiences.

Although this may not be the first stage of my creative career – nor do I think it will be the last – I truly am proud of my ability to find a focus that fulfills me. I not only get to experience your life stories through a creative lens – I get to be a part of them.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Authenticity and the ability to adapt. To each situation and experience, both good and bad.

Taking each situation and using it as an opportunity to react in a way that reflects your personal values.


  • 45 min sessions start at $250!
  • 30% off a lifestyle session booking if you mentioned this Voyage LA article!

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