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Meet Sherman Oaks Photographer: Adam Arnali

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adam Arnali.

Adam, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I got started working with cameras when I discovered an old 8mm camera when I was in middle school. It still had film in it and I found an 8mm viewer in an antique shop and was blown away by the look of it. I saved up my money and got a digital camera from a local Walmart and filmed little movies with my friends. Growing up in a small town, in the middle of Florida, before the internet, there weren’t many resources to learn from. I taught myself how to use cameras and how to make films. Since there weren’t many photographers or filmmakers where I grew up, I faced a lot of scrutinies choosing a path that seemed out of reach for many of those around me. I had to break out of there in order to find my way.

I always shot 35mm still film just for fun and the love of cinematography. Later, with the advent of the DSLR, I decided to start shooting pro photography along with video. The transition was instantaneous, people started to see the difference between my work and many of the photographers in the area at the time. I like to paint pictures or craft a scene or have a creative concept going into a shoot. I first started working with Musical Artists shooting promos for their albums and or websites which was a perfect fit at the time with my focus on conceptual photography. When I started working with Models I wanted to bring my conceptual approach and in the area, which was heavily bikini beauty based, my work stood out.

Currently, I’m focused on bridging the gap between my stylistic approach and the current fashion trends in Los Angeles. I’m excited about the creative process stemming from it.

Has it been a smooth road?
It hasn’t been a smooth road by any means, growing up in a small town in the middle of Florida, I was the only person in my school interested in films and photography. My parents didn’t know how to support me. It wasn’t until I escaped that I was able to surround myself with like-minded people that allowed me to grow as an artist.

Being self-taught has had its challenges, but also it’s blessings. My approach leads me to different work than the average photographer and yet there are many things to learn from others who may have had a more formal education. However, my drive for excellence has helped me find the knowledge that I need to hone my craft.

Has there been people or an institution that has played a pivotal role in your career?
Being a self-starter, it’s difficult to pinpoint a single influence that catapulted my career. Instead, there are myriad of projects and collaborators that helped shape where I am today. In photography, a moment that really opened doors for me and allowed me to be where I am today was a chance shoot with Brink Magazine. My style caught the eye of Model/DJ Whitney Costner and she requested me. At the time, I had been primarily working as a music photographer and my first shoot with a model was published. Previously, hadn’t considered editorial as a path but fell in love with it. It was different, new and exciting. It led to me branching off into shooting models and delving into fashion projects. It allowed me to expand my horizons and branch off into aspects of photography that truly inspire me.

What kind of work do you look forward to most?
A shoot that truly inspires me was the Diesel Island campaign by Diesel. A whole campaign centered around models stranded on a deserted Island wearing Diesel’s current line. The images are incredible and are a genius blend of grit and beauty. This concept and imagery really spoke to me. Campaigns for fashion brands that combine creative, story and fashion that push boundaries is the type of work I am looking forward to shooting on the most.

What have been some of the most important lessons you’ve learned over the course of your career?
Life is the voyage, not the destination; however, my hunch told me that destination is very critical. Like so many others, life gets in the way and for me, it was a love story. So many talented artists chase life instead of their dreams and sometimes chasing both at the same time can misguide you. It takes dedication and discipline to narrow your focus. If I could begin again, I would have escaped the small town I grew up in, hitchhiked to Los Angeles if I had to, and got settled here much sooner. It’s been a quest to voyage to Los Angeles where I call home and If I would have found my way sooner I believe it would have been very impactful.

Contact Info:

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Image Credit:
Adam Arnali

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