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Meet Long Beach Photographer: Sean Armenta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sean Armenta.

Sean, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I originally hail from Vancouver, BC but I’ve lived most of my life in Los Angeles. I spent my early childhood in Manila, Philippines, where I first discovered photography through my mom. Photography was her hobby and she taught me the basics of using a manual 35mm camera. I inherited her camera gear; a Nikon F2 and a number of lenses, which I shot with until the advance lever broke. I never got it repaired and have since lost track of where it all went which is quite unfortunate.

I come from a culture that doesn’t view the arts as a viable career path. Art is seen as a hobby, something you do in your spare time. From very early on, I showed a propensity for the sciences along with a strong artistic inclination. I think my mom definitely steered me towards becoming a doctor, because of the financial stability the medical field offered. I remember wanting to attend Parsons out of high school, but my mom just wasn’t having it. I got accepted to UCI as a Bio major, but since I was a Canadian citizen, we would have to pay foreign student fees which we couldn’t afford. The only solution was to attend college in the Philippines, where the standard of living was much lower. While in school, a friend suggested I become a model, as I am quite tall for a Filipino.  I enjoyed a successful career as a model for a few years, traveling around Southeast Asia. That brought me into the Fashion Industry, and more importantly, introduced me to fashion photography. I had been based in Manila for 6 years now, and at the end of 1999, my mom passed away unexpectedly. Without anyone left to guide me or tell me what to do, I was at a major crossroads in my life – should I continue with my studies or turn around and do something I have always wanted to do? I packed up my bags, moved back to Los Angeles, pursued photography full time and never looked back.

I started out doing paid test shoots for most of the modeling agencies in LA, built a portfolio, and began to book commercial work. Working with smaller companies turned into working with bigger companies and it just blossomed from there. Since then I have worked with international brands and publications across the world.

Has it been a smooth road?
I can’t say it has been a smooth road; I can say it has been fulfilling and enjoyable.

I think coming up with the initial capital to create and maintain my business was tough. Acquiring much-needed camera, lighting, and computer equipment was difficult at first. I literally started with nothing and had to scrounge and save just to get by. I do think, however, that made it quite clear to me that this was something I was going to love doing for the rest of my life. When you’re willing to go through hardship for something that, in all honesty, doesn’t really give a lot of financial return compared to other careers, then I think you’ve found your passion in life.

What’s the hardest part of your job?
Personally, the hardest part of my job comes at the beginning and the end, which is when the business part of what I do comes into play. Constantly having to reach out to current and prospective clients, sending out bids, and negotiating rates are truly the least favorite things I have to do, and this is only second to having to collect payment, especially when payment is overdue. These are the most stressful moments for me.

How do you define success?
I realize that success holds different meanings to everyone, but I’ve never equated success with financial or material standing. Success for me means being able to do that one thing (or two or three things) you are most passionate about and build a life around it. To have something that you love sustain you is really a wonderful way to experience life.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My future plans always include some sort of travel doing photography. That really is the dream for me, to continue traveling around the world and experience it through my camera.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.seanarmenta.com
  • Phone: 310-560-2192
  • Email: sean@seanarmenta.com
  • Instagram: @seanarmenta

0-ARMENTA-150421-0379 1-ARMENTA-131030-1148 2-ARMENTA-110609-0183 3-ARMENTA-130711-0547 4-ARMENTA-140429-0946 5-ARMENTA-150213-0311 6-ARMENTA-140904-0177 7-ARMENTA-150717-0567

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