austin sosa

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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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.

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. 

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. 

Black & White Lives On!

For every occasion there's a wardrobe that fits it; however, in some cases it's all about Suiting UP! From a Writer to Corporate headshots, each need to be bold in their own way. In some instances; wardrobe, makeup, and all the fun that fashion has, doesn't have to be accounted for! I said it! it's tough for some to hear, but the reasoning behind this is lighting. This next image you're about to see was created with 8 lights back from my college days.  I've held onto my craft for a long time. I'm a master of lighting and I hold that trick hat high and mighty! 

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Black and White for me is a nostalgia feeling. It hurts to say, it really does because it shouldn't be remembered as old time feeling. I grew up with film and grew up with Black and White. It already gives you that contrast you want, it gives you the drama your looking for depending on what film you possess. I am forever grateful for having learned, Ansel Adams, Zone System. I still shoot myself all the time, I just wait awhile to develop my rolls. You look at everything through a different looking glass when you have time to wait awhile. 

My old friend Andrew stopped by my Los Angeles office. Currently, he's landed himself in the land of Music! Check out their site and stay tuned for Reggae Wednesdays!  I knew right away when Andrew told me about his new job this was the perfect look for him, he just supplied the perfect accessory by adding the mighty pen. 

Funny story behind this one actually. Andrew and I played baseball together in High School; however, he attended Clark Magnet High School; they help tap into creative skills; such as, design, editing, and writing. Some may think it sounds just like an X-Men school, when in fact, the real mutants went to public school, like myself. I remember light in spaces like nuns remember the holy bible, sad to say but it's somewhat like a superpower. Super powers or not, his writing and my creative skills are taking us places.  Hopefully we'll be working on more collaborations in the future. Music or not! 

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. 

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!