Austin M Sosa

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. 

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. 

Forensic Files

To Try is To Do. 

Plenty of people forget this term and are careless about trying the new things given to us. Pizza was never a big thing in my family; however, currently residing in Chicago makes it tough to fade away from pizza. You can throw everything on there even the kitchen sink; but lets make it simple and start off with the classic Sardine

Fish is a great way of finding the necessary protein and vitamins a lot of us can't pick up in our regular diet. The main thing about these little creatures is that they always remember to stay hydrated, that's the key!

Here's another fun shoot that I have done with a food stylist; Jason Wheeler. He has some awesome work and some of the best company to have around as well! 

One heads up though, this experiment of a shoot got to get a little dark, in a Dexter kind of way. 
Viewer Discretion is Advised!  

Prepping your fish is one of the most important parts; you have to lay out which pieces are nutritional and which may just make you sick for too long. We've all heard of the blowfish technique, if not, I advise you to look it up. Don't forget to finish it off Cuban style and knock the head off the hen! 

No matter the gruesome journey that had to be taken to get here, this is the same process with every food we it. May it be a chicken, a cow or even a pea. It's the state of being a man and providing food for the family. 

On that note! Let's see what awesome fun stuff we got to create with these beautiful creatures that gave up their soul for our imagery. Also, big thanks to "Big & Little's" in Chicago. Great food dive, gave me the idea for this dive below! 

Always a kids favorite, dunking the Fish in some batter and oil to make Fish n' Chips! 

Red Snapper placed above fresh vegetables

Community Outreach

I'd like to send a special Thanks to Jeff Turner of "In the Neighborhood Deli". Having donated his time to others, especially reaching out to Food For Friends and getting the Turkeys donated for those several hundreds of thousands of joyful people who walked away from this event more than full. Also, a big shoutout to Grand Victoria Casino, who also surprised us last minute with another dozen turkeys and counting. So much food came out of this day that they had containers for people to walk away with. All I can say to end this session is that I'm truly blessed to partake in this communities Thanksgiving, I'm looking forward to my next adventure. 

Unlike theme parks there is no age requirement or height requirement, just need the good in your soul. The community of Elgin, IL gives back like Wild Fire. It's truly amazing how everyone saves time to give back on this holiday of togetherness. I've made it a tradition of mine to spend some time on Thanksgiving and give back, as others are spending their time to embrace the big support of lending a hand and a meal. Some of us are truly blessed and gifted with open opportunity; however, for those that aren't they all need support here and there. Having lived in this community for a few short months showed me a lot. 

Thanksgiving Jeer is out to spread.  Everyone from the Fire Department Captain, Police Captain; to even the former School Board Superintendent. I had the great opportunity of speaking with the him; Dr. Jose M Torres, it was great to hear that he stepped away to see this community grow and to even see some of his former students out and about lending a hand as well. 

Each individual had stories to tell; may they have been new to the area like I, or even the first African American to live on that side of town in 1960. Either way, I'm glad to say we had our piece of pie and had time to share with each other. Salvation Army, also stepped in and helped donate clothing to the less fortunate to keep warm this cold Winter Season. 

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Where should I begin. It's been an all around adventurous year on this side. From LA to Cleveland, Chicago along the way and wrapping things up with a very blissful shoot in San Francisco. Of course, travel takes a wear on you. It's something to take granted because you only live young once. The best part about travel is meeting all the new faces. It's truly a journey when see the world moving right around you.

From an Ad Campaign in for Fess Parker Double Tree September in Santa Barbara, CA is one of a kind magical. 

My first S'more ever made! I think I've deserved the name "Chef Sosa!"

Everyone is on their own journey, each and everyday. Who really knows if their headed to the same places I'm going to. To find someone that's close to the same path as I am, can be a shot in the dark. What I've learned over time is to never be surprised! There's someone out there who could be your alter ego, just you wait. When I'm traveling I usually stick to my routine; a salad a day keeps the Giants at bay. However, trying something new does build our creative palette. Just like the time I was asked to create my own delicious S'MORE! Yes, I know. "Who hasn't made a S'more!" Mind you, I'm from Los Angeles, we only start fires during NBA Finals. 

Flying High in the sky. 

  I was privileged enough to photograph Fleet Week up in San Francisco, CA! A plane sure was waiting for me. This was near the finale encore! The sun sure was bringing in some magic that day. I was on a boat pushed so far out in the waters, that you could practically leap onto Alcatraz. 

Here are some of my favorites of the Blue Angels from that day!

Bill wasn't the happiest to see "The Rock". You win some, you lose some with a travel buddy. 

The best part about that day was probably be so close to Alcatraz. I don't believe I've ever been so close to Alcatraz. Other than the golden gate bridge; Alcatraz, better known as, "The Rock", is the 2nd iconic symbol I think of when I think of San Francisco. It has held some of the most dangerous criminals in all the west coast because it was known as the hardest prison to escape. A lot of iconic movies and images have been captured here throughout the decades. Nowadays, it's known as a tourist escape. One that day for Fleet Week, it was jam packed with viewers to see the Finale! 

The Finale of Fleet Week, United Airlines Boeing flying over Alcatraz. 

Thank The Genie

Recently just got back from a very unimaginable destination. This last shoot was something like a fairy tale. The location always plays a big part of that, Santa Barbara is one of the picturesque towns around. The Trees, the breeze, and always open arms to any guest that comes by. I'm not used to the small time feel; coming from the big city and all, but Santa Barbara has some charm most cities lack. 

Wedding season is upon us! I can truly say this is a first for my books. Sadly no animals were involved on this Indian wedding; however, there were the traditional ceremonies and fun festivities going on throughout! Best part about wedding season is that everyone is pleased to be there. To share the joy and happiness of bonding 2 people together for the rest of their lives. It's not just about 2 people, but about bringing 2 families together to be 1 for the rest of time! A wedding is a time to celebrate, party, and embrace the joy of togetherness.

Prized Possession

Happy Independence Day!

Always waiting to get to the next plateau. SUIT UP! 

It's every freelancers favorite holiday. A day to be thankful for where we are. I've had some struggles over my short life but as I've known since Kindergarden, I'm destined for greatness! Well that and I've always been able to wear a damn good suit.  I can't say I've known what I wanted to do in life, I just knew I'd be great at whatever I put my mind to.  

My imagination has always been large and in charge. My grandfather showed me the ropes; from music to cartoons, I was fascinated by a lot. Classic Looney Tunes still guide and inspire my vivid imagination. It's something that will always feel the same for me, as if it were new. 

Over time some things lose value. However, we must all hold value on certain objects. This may take a toll on your heart, loving the tiniest things forever as if it were your child. The greatest thing I've found out about my cuban roots is that they sure can hold onto objects. Why? Because each object; as small as it may be, tells a story. 

 

yearbook.jpg

What's next?

A yearbook is all about memories. This book holds the best memories ever created, it is my prized possession. This book was my first book ever created! I joined the yearbook staff in 8th grade, writing an essay applying for the class, beating out several kids for a unique opportunity that forever changed my life. 

I can't take all the credit, it was a team effort. Bonding with everyone in that class was a privilege. I would say some of them found their careers close to home as well. May it be editing, writing, or like me. Photography. 

That was the first book I created, but it won't be my last. I currently have 2 that I've custom made for my portfolios. Although, one day I'll be on the fine art world creating my own book with a new series to go with it. Either way, I know my true passion in life. Only forward movement now, who know's what's next?

Buried Treasure

Some of you may know I traveled out East! That's a rare find for someone to travel East and not West. Never the less, I still do what I love and let my passion for photography guide my life sometimes. I would've never pictured myself to be a journeyman but that time has come. As a photographer, every image has a deeper meaning than most may think. 

An image truly says 1,000 words. 

When a photographers portrait is taken, some say their soul is captured as well. I try not to think of this image much; however, when the person taking it is no one. Then isn't it almost like fate caught me off guard? I recently got a GoPro and I forgot it was even running when it snapped this picture of me during my 37 hour journey.  After a week's time is when I noticed this image. It is the only image I have of me in my entire trip. 

                                                                                  Are you ready for the Summer Splash? 

Behind the Scenes (©Anibal Sosa) aka Poppa Sosa! 

In March, I embarked on a journey I never dreamed of. Traveling to Santa Barbara, for something more memorable than I can ever imagine. 

My clients have always been number 1 in my life; Fess Parker Double Tree, has been my best relationship in my life. After 4 years I've come a long way and helped their photography grow as a whole. My motto has always been "Never Stop Creating." 

This hands down has to be one of the funnest shoots I've had in my young career. The children that day were a blast to work with! It makes my life easier when the "talent" is very open to many ideas. I can easily say they let my imagination come to life.

 

 I myself have grown a lot with Fess Parker always by my side. From photographing events to producing, casting, retouching and styling. Just about everything for their updated room catalogs to new and upcoming Ad Campaigns. The one rule that has always fueled me is how much I can think out of the box and still find something amazing out of nothing. If you don't know by now after looking at all this Magic, my clients always come first. 

                            Santa Barbara will forever have a big place in my heart. Be back REAL soon. 

Progresiva-A Definition

Orlando Johnson, NBA Guard (UCSB 2011)

Long ago I learned a phrase called Progresiva! In Cuba, "Progresiva" was an Elementary through High School education program that most my grandparents family went to. This also included some college courses as well. Learning is always about progressing, each and everyday. You can never quit learning, even when we turn old and grey there's always something new to learn. All you can do is be open minded and take it all in. Always Progressing! 

I had the privilege of photographing Orlando Johnson during my studies at Brooks Institute of Photography. Orlando is a prime example of "Progresiva". Then he was a top prospect for UCSB on his way into the NBA. Now, the team that drafted him; The Indiana Pacers, are in the playoffs. He got traded in the midst of the season but he helped get them where they're at now. Still to this day Orlando flourishes showing off his talents to the most of capabilities. 

Behind the Scenes, seen here capturing the essence of an athlete (2011) Photographed by Benjo Arwas.

As the saying goes, "All for One, One for All". Progresiva isn't just for athletes, it's for all. Seen below is one of my close friends, Benjo Arwas. He too is another prime example of "Progresiva". He assisted me that day, furthering my series and helping make what it is today. Don't compare us; there's always room for another photographer in this world, as long as we progress with what we love.

Benjo Arwas, seen here standing in for light tests. 

Orlando Johnson, seen here posing at The Thunderdome! (2011)

Orlando and I circa 2011. Photographed by Benjo Arwas.

Sosa 1.0 is what I like to say, in the steps of learning. 

Now you know this saying I live by. Film for me has always lead my path and forever will, it is one way for my soul to speak. Looking into the past just brings insight of what else I need to do to get to where I want to be in life. I've come a long way since then, pushing my career to greater days and even getting a healthy mind on life. Take each day as a new day; a day to learn, progress, and most importantly KICK ASS!