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Meet Tristan Onfroy of TristanVision

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tristan Onfroy.

Tristan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
For the most part, I’ve always felt comfortable behind a camera. When I was a child (in the 90s), my father had this big clunky video recorder. Any time he brought it out to catch some special family moments, I would beg him to use it. My parents are foreign ( from Jamaica) and super old school, so it was often up to me to figure out how new devices worked. I guess this gave me a sense of fulfillment and confidence when it came to handling anything digital.

Later in life, I’d always try to fill the role of “cameraman” with my friends. Although amateur and never quite taking it seriously, I loved the idea of capturing moments and creating visuals whether it be still or motion. After high school. Some buddies and I started working for a progressive hip-hop blog called “Gowhere hip-hop” based out in Chicago. As the founders of the NY branch, I would capture and edit the content for interviews, live shows, and anything to help build the brand.

At the same time, I decided I wanted to get more serious about film work, so I started interning with a director to make an attempt at getting my foot in the industry. From here, I decided to move from New York to pursue freelance videography in Los Angeles (2013). Progress has been slow but quite an exciting experience. Having done a few music videos, shooting a short film, and helping out on a couple of film sets, I’m learning a lot and happy with the work I’ve done. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that photography became a big part of my work.

I never considered myself a photographer, but after being given a few opportunities to help out friends with photo shoots, I’ve begun to make a bit of a name for myself. I now book clients and am often working on shoots with various outlets. I am hoping to do this full time very soon. There is something so special about the moment you show someone a picture of themselves and they love it. It feels good to love the way you look. But until then, I will continue to work with other creatives and work hard because I find I am most fulfilled when I am working with a camera in my hands

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?
Some of my major obstacles have been finding paid work, (go figure, right?). I’ve learned to produce the best work I can with the equipment I have, but with so much competition, it is sometimes discouraging to put out content that doesn’t have the high image quality that others have.

I work a lot, so I have to make free time to shoot which can sometimes be stressful. I guess I’ve only just begun as an independent photographer, so I have a lot more work to put it in before I’m in the position I hope to reach… But I always remember to enjoy the journey and to learn all I can along the way.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about TristanVision – what should we know?
I don’t know own or work for a company. I am a freelance photographer/videographer.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Being personable and genuine with my clients and fellow creatives. Working with integrity. And most importantly, keeping the love for the craft fresh. It is so important to me to love what I am doing. Once I start doing it because “I have to”, I believe I will no longer put out my best work.

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