Creative Funk

"It'll pass, it all does." Some days feel as if you have no control over what will happen over the tenuous schedule throughout your day. As a creative; even with all the projects I have going on, you can still fall into a funk. When I was younger I would know I'd be falling into an uncontrollable funk when I'd be dreaming about food even after lunch. Breaking out of habits is what will create a new habit. When I feel as if I've invested my mind and matter into a situation too much I try to find the simpler things. 

No matter what the content is, you may still find yourself in a funk, even if you are not a creative. I rely heavily on two things, my camera and my hobbies. Cycling is one of my favorite hobbies, and taking my camera with me on the adventure is the real plus. Allowing myself to interact with my trip, knowing that there is no time limit just to coast and feel the breeze and know why everyone else is out today; or the real question to ask, what is everyone doing out today? 

Bollipop Los Angeles; ©Sosaphoto,2017. 

Leap into Action! ©Sosaphoto;2017. 

One key to my successes is to be open to ideas and also hopefully others would be open to your ideas. I've had athletes, models, and regular joe's sometimes have some difficulty trying an additional idea for our session. What keeps my creativity ticking is my art for it all. I've always had a passion for sketching and love seeing great graphic design, I'm no graphic designer but some of the concepts I've seen I try to emulate into my photographs. The shapes and forms help me understand the simplicity we as humans must have when we interact with objects and other humans. 

Wine Down

Wind down at the Fess Parker Wine room. After much anticipation the wine cellar and wine tasting has been unveiled. One a futuristic like tasting room, easy enough to get off a cruise on the shoreline of Santa Barbara and have a few tasting of Fess Parker's finest selection. 

I'm granted and blessed to work in a city I went to college in. For the past 6 years I've seen a lot of change happening within the sand and stones that make up Santa Barbara. Fess Parker has let me define my imagery over time. I had the privilege to photograph the Grand Opening of the Fess Parker Wine Room & Tap. It was a long process until it was able to get going and fully finalized for the guests and general public to start coming through. 

Fess Parker was not just an actor but also a wine connoisseur and vintner. The Fess Parker winery is located in Los Olivos and has various choices that were created and aged over time. The most advanced feature that the Wine room has is the electronic wine taps; you could taste various bottles as long as you scan your card it acts very much the same as a soda machine, except with the amenities of alcohol. The time and detail that crafted this space was very meticulous; painted murals on the wall of the Fess Parker winery. Natural varnished wood with iron tables to resemble the same tonality of a winery, two spacious windows created the natural light throughout the day to give in the same greenery that a grape orchard would supply. 

Electronic Wine taps for tasting experience. ©Sosaphoto2016. 

Print layout of Grand Opening from the Santa Barbara News Press. 

Each moment I step foot at this resort I'm never surprised at what's next. What else will adapt the newer crowds, what will bring in new guests, and most important what will keep returning guests. As a creative I know you have to adapt as times adapt, that's the only way to stay a float. One thing is for certain, each job has to be commended to your team, that is what keeps the motor running. From the chef's to the door man, it's all a team effort to create the best experience for any guests, any shape or size. (dog or not).

Images from the Double Tree Employee appreciation day. Never have I ever seen two chef's play ping pong, the opening line for their food was "best served chilled." 

Stay Fly

A picture says a thousand words, so I'll just leave that top image right there. I am lucky enough to get to travel to places I've never explored of even dreamt of. I welcomed this next adventure into my books since I had a lucky assistant and travel companion, my pops. We traveled to New Orleans for a week of voodoo, spirits and an appealing heap of savory treats. Beforehand, I touched base with a few restaurants to create some content for them when I would be traveling to the state of Louisiana.  Being persistent and present is what allowed me to set up some assignments while traveling and some great trade opportunities. 

Today. "Choose a job you will love and you will never have to work a day in your life"-Confucius

Let's talk the real reason why we chose New Orleans. FOOD!! Leading up to this trip every corner I turned to, once I mentioned New Orleans the first thing that came to a persons mind was what restaurants I had locked in and what time was I going to Café Du Mondé! In New Orleans, as Louie Armstrong can tell you, you can not start a day until you've fed the soul. 

Fuel Up!

Steak & Potatoes are good for you right? Well apparently that's what the fable says, steak and potatoes, steak and potatoes, load them up and carry on with your week now let that red meat settle in. In all honesty when is enough of steak and potatoes? This last assignment I had the opportunity created new Advertisements for Rodney's Bar and Grill in Santa Barbara, CA. Thankfully, I was close to sea so it gave me some time to have some freshness from our very own backyard. 

Ahi Tuna served at the Rodney's Grill in Santa Barbara, CA; ©Sosaphoto2016

Rodney's Bar and Grill; ©Sosaphoto2016. Front seating facing glorious beach views. 

Care to lead a hand or tentacle? Fresh octopus @ Rodneys' Bar & Grill; Santa Barbara, CA. 

Peach Pork chop @ Rodney's Bar & Grill; Santa Barbara, CA. ©Sosaphoto

In some cases I am fortunate enough to taste what I photograph because my food stylist has  created two sets. In this case Chef Ryan had made sure everything looked and tasted well enough for the camera and he made sure to put some Chicago love into these dishes. Chef Ryan is a very talented new and upcoming Chef originally from Chicago but was housed as a top Chef in Atlanta before landing himself and his fiancé in Santa Barbara, CA. 

Photogrpahed & Designed Rodney's Bar & Grill interiors and food items for 2016 Advertisement. 

Behind the Lens: Los Angeles Kings

Brian Kuhlmann is a very talented photographer I had the opportunity to work with. Coincidence or not he's originated from Chicago, IL! This assignment happened right before playoffs were about to begun. I remember walking into the practice facility in my Drew Doughty jersey and my 300mm not ready to mess around; coming out of the tunnel with an extra foot and a half on me in skates and low and behold Drew Doughty himself almost out of kids fantasy. 

Sports have been bled into my life throughout my childhood; however, as you all know it's never about the sport, it's about the people that make us become so passionate about a team. A rivalry is what creates the competitive nature to win to compete, most important to be the very best. This project was top secret for awhile as it played a priority leading into the playoffs. 

Each and everyday I am very gracious for the career I lead, the opportunities it has landed me, the people I have met. The networking opportunities that I embrace and create so that each and every artist I have met along my path is creating the best work they can put together. It's about a bond, a drive, and a goal, the fact that others are helping each day as a team is the key to success; the knowledge of knowing. Photographers, artists, and producers all have a goal and always need a helping hand getting there because it's the fact that your network that you have created is honestly your team. As Marcel Dionne the very great had Charlie Simmer, Rogie Vachon, & Dave Taylor always by his side to help his HOF career shine. 

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Design Entry

I love to create in just about any way possible. Sometimes through design, text, drawing, and so forth. One lesson that has gone far with me as an artist is to always share growth of creativity with other creatives. Photography wasn't my main interest growing up, I loved carpentry and architecture; believe it or not. I've stayed connected with a colleague whom I call my friend; Israel Guevara, I've known since high school & he is currently enrolled at Sci-Arc and is a very talented architect & designer himself. 

Close up for futuristic modern building. 

His sculpture was selected for top design at Sci-Arc as a public space or community center. The craters on the bottom are holes that a hilltop would have with simulated agriculture around the building. The sculpture as a whole is unique and yet using your imagination could be cost effective in the long run creating something artistic and useable for a creative center. 

Another type of design that I fully appreciate and enjoy are through fashion and products. Denim is a good example of something that can have just about thousands of creations and possibilities. The newest item to start a creative trend in my opinion are the flyknit's. Bringing grandma's style back in the coolest way, no she didn't sew my shoes together but I sure like to dream of it in some century that could've happened. 

Nike Flyknits; ©Sosaphoto 2016. 

I've always been keen on showing off my treasures, but to show off someone's else's treasure and masterpiece is what I appreciate the most. The craft to create something and see it from beginning of design to ending where it's fully developed into the baby you have raised into childhood is quite a remarkable feeling. Lately I've had this tone of being hard on myself, hard on the work I create. As an artist you'll always be your harshest critic, to get away from this I like to digest what I've created and let it sit until I finalize my projects. Let's call it the darkroom time. You've gotta wait until your prints are done in the stop bath to fully see the final image you created. No project is ever complete but I'm always growing to become better, just like all of us are growing to become better individuals each and everyday. 

Racing Flyknit; ©Sosaphoto 2016

Back in Action

Coffee is all around being. Café is all around culture in my family. It's hard to have a creative project without getting coffee of any sorts involved. It lands itself as the starting ignition to every beginning or ending if it's in the right dessert. 

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On this assignment, I traveled to Hollywood to photograph a unique way to serve coffee. At Alfred's in the Alley espresso cups on the go are best served with an edible treat. No matter the time of day, there's always a place and time for some recharge that let's you consume each drip to the very essence. 

G.O.A.T

Remember the memories that created you and stood by you to become the person that you are. I love sports, and seeing your child hood icon close out his final chapter in his playing career is a big phenomena that lasted around the entire NBA. Kobe Bryant will forever be missed and is known to me especially; as the greatest of all time. 

Iphone-ography at it's best 

For this trip, I traveled to Milwaukee, which is about a 90 drive north of Chicago. Growing up being a constant Lakers fan drew me to the obsession of this game. You must find what fuels you and pushes your self motives and inspirations, not just related to your career but related to your life. We live once and we all must make the most of it with the magic we are supplied with; at all costs. 

Stadium Series

This post is all about travel, places and spaces. I love sports more than anything because it's a way for athletes to show their passion for something through their physical strengths and attributes.

 

The Walls of the World Champion Kansas City Royals.

The coliseums, or better known as main stage. Where an athlete steps on to showcase their passion for the love of a game, as I have a passion for my photography. As rock stars get ready to get on stage, an athlete does the same thing day in and night out. Putting all you have out on the main stage for the world to see is what some live for! 

It's stage brings it's own elements to the table. Creating the tone around the environment and drama needed for most sports stages. I have started this series a number of years ago, I would say this was the start where I photographed an MMA fight for Tactical forces. 

Architecture for me is the beginning steps of just about any franchise. Take the Chicago Cubs for instance. Wrigley Field is such a magical place because of the people who have walked through there and the legends who brought the magic back to the ivy. It's the people inside the walls who let the brick and mortar feel so special just by walking through the gates.

Gone In A Flash

Over my years in this industry, the photographer life is one with many avenues. You never know where an assignment will take you in life. My most recent assignment took me to the "World's Largest Corn Maze" which included a run/walk for participants. One of the fastest recorded times was close to 12 minutes. I believe the record was actually broke in seconds, but who am I to judge since no one was quick enough to catch the Flash except myself. 

Richardson Farms; World Champions Chicago Blackhawks CornMaze 2015; ©Sosaphoto2015

Richardson Farms; World Champions Chicago Blackhawks CornMaze 2015. 

Gone In A Flash! ©Sosaphoto2015

Some of the best experiences I get is meeting the people who come to these sort of magical places. For me it's about hearing those stories of why they came out that day and what makes memories like that so special to a family, a child or even from a dogs perspective. No matter the temperature (as cold as it got that day, close to low 30's) there's always a turnout. There's the rest of society who chooses to sleep in and dream a little longer; however, as a photographer I choose to take that reality we have in front of us and transcribe it to create a dream like look. Whoever missed out will feel right in place with the rest of the explorers from that day. No matter the subject, the character or place it's about recreating the dream so that each viewer is welcome to enjoy whatever endeavors they seek. 

Let's Go Run, All Community Events Family Portrait; ©Sosaphoto2015

Pre-Run and race featuring jogger and dog getting ready for festivites. ©Sosaphoto2015

Canada Exploration

Coming from Southern California to Canada! Don't mess with the real life Walter Mitty; aka, Sosa. I had the privilege of meeting with a few creatives at some agencies I truly admired in Toronto. Fortunately, that weekend was a civic holiday so I had an extra day to spare. From there, I made the trek out to see one of the seven wonders of the world; Niagara Falls! it was a first in my book, hence I really was set out to transcribe each and every moment of that weekend. 

Downtown Toronto; August 2015

Lets Play Two! Statue aside Rogers Centre; Home of the Toronto Blue Jays. 

I had the opportunity to catch up with an old cousin in Canada. She got to show me the ropes and Snap my photo! Thanks Danielle.  

I highly don't recommend a lot of you at home to follow what I did unless you're a professional and know what you're doing. I had my rig set up the entire trip on the Hornblower. My hasselblad is meant to withstand just about anything since I was shooting film, there's no electronics required and my GoPRO has a water housing to protect it. All of the images you'll see today however, are digital.

My film is currently being processed, yes this includes post processing folks. I try and shoot film just about every weekend for my personal collection and for stock purposes. Some images I leave undeveloped for a few months, I want to look at the images with fresh eyes when the time is right; it helps curate my ideal design.  

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Exiting my Canada Trip, it was about networking and putting faces to some of those names. I felt as if I had accomplished what I had come, if not it's always a positive to take a risk in life. On the way out of Niagara, we had stopped at the Niagara Fallsview casino for parking.

I pressed my luck that day and slipped $20 in the slots, after 5  minutes at the same machine I was ready to walk away with $100. Morale of the story, it's always good to press you're luck because you never know when that day will be your lucky day. 

One Direction

One Light Direction

The Everlasting One Light Portrait 

In this excerpt I'm talking about One light imagery. I've been doing a lot of it lately and having the pleasure of keeping it simple. We all need some other pieces every once in awhile, my favorite piece is the all around edge light. It creates drama, mood and most importantly; direction. 

The Goalie

Some of the most dynamic images; believe it or not, are one light scenarios. To see how the environment is used to supplement that scenario helps as well. It adds character and dimension to the subject matter. May it be as above the hockey player on a high key background, I wanted to add the story element as if he were on the ice getting ready for the game to start or at the end when there's nothing left the protector of the net. 

Another example; as we're getting ready for the 2016 primaries, I wanted to create a dramatic one light image for the GOP. Giving the edge light the only attributes for our future candidate above. I let the flag create the direction for this image; since it is after all the subject in this one. It plays more of a key than the silhouette of the role player, seeing the our country makes us understand what we're going through right now with our GOP debates underway. There is no clear front runner so yet it is quite mysterious and ominous. 

BBQ Season

Let's celebrate, it's BAR-BE-QUE SEASON! 

Someone remember to supply the bar and we can last all day and night. This last idea popped in my head one day. Drinking alone is always a bad idea, so in that instance you are alone on fourth of July weekend for instance. First find a damn good 6 pack or be the american you are and grab some Millers. Next find a chicken and let him be the guest of honor! 

As crazy as it all looks, it's more fun than you can imagine. Just think of it as if you're pouring one out for the homies, this ones for you Herbert. (Yes, I also named him Herbert). It felt fitting since Herbert Hoover was in charge of mining and creating the hoover dam. Hence, I excavated his mines to store this national treasure. God Bless America! 

Well now that we got the fun out of the way, we can't forget about the sponsors. Thanks to Upland Campside, made a delicious counterpart for Herbert, I believe he fully supported this message. 

Thanks to all the outdoor fun I'm having this summer, I hope everyone at home sure gets adventurous with what you cook and what you eat. Don't ever forget to have the tradition items as a back up for those picky carnivores out there. 

Independence

Currently, in this Chapter of the Sosa Chronicles. Chicago has been feeding me with a lot of regulatory inspiration which leads to creating fun imagery on the go. 

Catching my Hometown Heros; Los Angeles Dodgers, as Ernie Banks silhouette looks on.

This past month I had a few friends visit me; including my photographer friend, Matt Douglas. It's somewhat interesting to see how people take the tourist approach on a lot of the cities most iconic monuments. 

The selfie game is always a fun way for most people to do it, I would rather be the observer and see how some things play out. During the summer while everyone is out, I get to people watch on my breaks from Commercial Advertising with select companies and as my mind wanders, so does my camera. 

The Land Of The Free 

The Home Of The Brave

Know Your Presence

Outside of my studio environment I must always have my special hats on. No I'm not talking about costumes, I just mean my hat of presence and of heightening my senses to notice the details of my surroundings. 

I've been a man of many hobbies and interests. Yoga is a greater form of stretching to me; however, to many others it is a spiritual task and a greater understanding of ones body. Breathing alone is the key to being a yogi. This is where you need presence the most, where you tend to find the composition around the environment to create the story. 

Always remember to smell the roses 

And breath the air around.

Distant Traveler

Travel assignments can be some of my most creative projects. When I'm out and about it gives me time to fully express myself as a photographer but most importantly, as an artist. Even in between assignments like stopping for coffee at the airport can sure turn interesting. 

For some traveling is one of the most stressful times. I am thankful, I am more patient than when I once was. We all would like to get to where we would like to be, but we have to know there's never a rush just a sense of urgency. 

Testing 1-2-3

Testing is all important in the life of a photographer. Everyday, I'm testing something new. May it be new locations, new models and most importantly new gear. 

WARNING! Be cautious while location scouting. 

For me, when I'm location scouting I'm trying to see how light reacts and how nature reacts to it. Usually I'll keep a scouting camera in my car; for instance, a GoPro does so much justice on the road. 

Selfies are just a set of an example. 

Be prepared for bailing models, it happens. Have a friend ready for adventures, if not be prepared to to snap a selfie. Your just seeing how skin reacts to the lighting set around you, in this case it was a glorious day and the overcast works brilliantly with skin tones, yet the harshness of the Sun gives a natural edge light. 

Last but not least, test your equipment. My favorite thing is to bring my little GoPro buddy with me on assignments. From this editorial, I created a promotional video showing the creation of one of Acadia's newest dishes. Testing my video capabilities on my GO helped to show the client an understanding of what direction we could take when we do bring the full production in.