Today we’d like to introduce you to Bobby Prokenpek.
Bobby, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
As a youngster, I was full of creative energy, physical energy and got myself into trouble more times than I can count. I credit some of this trouble to boredom and the lack of knowing the outlet needed to release this energy.
Into my early 20’s I was fabricating and working at a hot rod shop. In classic lowbrow Southern California style, I was covering myself in tattoos and following a counter culture that spoke to me. Best of all I was working with my hands and creating, it was truly my love until about the age of 25. Of course, boredom and strain of projects going unfinished pushed me away and the passion that drove me was gone.
At 26, I made a huge decision to move across the Country to Atlanta, GA. The gnarliest thing I had done, no friends but close family 45 minutes North of the City. I quickly adjusted but once again found myself bored and lacking much-needed direction. At this time I had been casually shooting for about a year, and I was supposed to be continuing my photography path with a goal in mind, become a professional photographer. The year prior to moving to Atlanta, I was encouraged by my Pop’s to buy a higher resolution camera and take it serious like I had taken welding and automotive bodywork. He saw something in the images I was taking and I for the first time I saw a true outlet for the creative energy inside me.
Kudos to those that get their first Holga at 8 years old and the rest is history, it was a bit more of a journey for me and I knew I wanted to stay the course.
Fortunately, Atlanta has a great art scene and art schools were available at a cost much less than those in Southern California. With my direction unclear I did some research into schools around the Greater Atlanta area. It didn’t take me long to find the right fit, the name said it all… The Creative Circus.
The “Circus” is a 2-year certificate program with multiple disciplines including, art direction, design, and photography. I immediately enrolled and continued my journey with proper guideness, encouragement and most of all other talented, passionate creatives. It was a life changing experience that I hope others get to experience.
After 4 years in Atlanta, assisting amazing photographers, working for a stellar photography rental house and meeting the love of my life (my fiancée) the opportunity to move back to Southern California came up and we jumped on it.
Now living in North Los Angeles for almost 7 years, it has been a journey that comes with many twists and turns, new clients, no clients, to “I can’t believe I am shooting for this client”!
Being that I went to an Advertising school, a lot of the work I get is from the art directors I went to school with. They have built their portfolios and climbed the ranks at high end, boutique and start up ad agencies. Word of mouth has been my friend as well, and of course, just good ole fashion selling yourself. It is a hustle, no doubt, but the benefits are grand and I thrive on set!
I am currently shooting a commercial, advertising work with a passion for photographing people. Editorial fashion is a part of my portfolio as well, a lot of my inspiration and desire to be a photographer comes from the great fashion and editorial photographers of the past and present. Guy Bourdin, David Lachappelle, Mario Testino, Peggy Sirota, and Peter Yang.
I hope to continue my journey, take my lumps, climb the ranks and have a long, successful career that forever satisfies my creative, and physical energy.
Has it been a smooth road?
I wish! Smooth is the furthest thing from the road I have been on. With that said, I have to be honest and say that I am blessed to be doing what I do and make a living doing so. The struggle is real, and the hardest part of my job is staying consistent, relevant and positive. There is a huge market for good photographers and there is also a huge market of great photographers.
Slimmer budgets and a saturated market are definitely at the top of the list of struggles.
How would you describe the type of kid you were growing up?
Growing up was a blast! I was energetic, maybe too energetic at times, I spent hours outside riding BMX, and started surfing around the age of 12. School was never really my thing but I enjoyed the social aspect of it.
I think my personality lent itself to more social events, sports, and fun! I loved bouncing around and trying new things and when I found activities that I really excelled at I would put a lot of passion behind them like break dancing while in Junior High school.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Birth for sure!
That’s a hard question actually… Not sure if one memory stands out.
I had a great home and family life though. I would say having a good upbringing and solid family support is a pretty fond memory.
So, what should we be on the lookout for, what’s next in store for you?
I am not a big plans guys, today is today, and tomorrow will always be there… until it is not. Said without morbid tone. But really, I have a great woman in my life and we work well together. We both put a lot into our businesses collectively. So big plans are, keep working hard, stay consistent and make sure to have as much fun as possible along the way! Also, get a GQ cover in the future!
- Website: www.BobbyDoRight.com
- Phone: 3233560700
- Email: Bobby@BobbyDoRight.com
- Instagram: @BobbyDoRight,