What a start to the year right?
2016 was a whirlwind. I know a lot of bad happened, even to me, but a lot of great happened as well. Although, looking back, it was absolutely not a bad year for me. Sure I suffered some losses, from deaths to heartbreak, but I am not really going to focus on the negative. I traveled all over the world, visited seven countries, photographed the most incredible people and stories of love. I threw myself into new ventures, took photo assignments I never thought I would be offered, and I got to visit my hometown and family more often than ever before. Also, my sister and best friend got married and it was absolutely death dropping drag queens incredible.
One regret is that I didn’t really take the time to write about all of it. My blogging took a step back. I got lazy. That’s it. No other excuse.
So with all that, it is time to head first into 2017 with hearts a blaze. I feel like it is a year where a lot of us are going to face quite the storm, but DAMN do I feel like we are prepared to weather that storm. No doubt about it.
So with new beginnings, comes a new website! A new look. A new me. My name is my brand, and I had to find something that fits that brand. Before this new website, I had two. One for my portrait work and one for my weddings. A lot of photographers told me I needed to keep them separate.
“Brides don’t care about your fine art or celebs you shoot” and vice-versa. So I kept them separate. And after a while I thought…..
I’m not buying it.
(Also, if cussing bothers you, please let me know so I can kindly tell you that I don’t care).
I don’t want people hiring me because they search “LA portrait photographer”. I don’t want brides that go on The Knot and search LA Photographer. I don’t want someone that will just think of me as a service.
I want people who respect my art. I want people that know I do both great portraiture and can capture a wedding amazingly. I want people who seek out photographers who know what they are doing and aren’t google searching for someone random to capture them. I want them to look at my pictures and say “yes, I want Gabriel to photograph for me.”
So many peers have told me “you need a consistent look”, “You need two sites” “ You need to play the game” “you need to do this” “ you need to do that” “you need you need YOU NEED”.
All I need to do is keep being me.
And I’m gonna be keep being me. I won’t stop that. Promise. Time to take my business to where I want to take it. Time to explore. Try new techniques. Be braver with what I post and not apologize for the art I want to create. Heck, if I want to do a nude shoot, I am going to do it damnit.
“Fear is going to be a player in your life, but you get to decide how much. You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about your pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here, and the decisions we make in this moment, which are based in either love or fear.” – Jim Carrey
I am going to keep traveling and seeing the world. I am going to keep doing what I love. Keep taking photos of amazing smiles and stories. Keep creating amazing things I am proud of. I am going to stop looking so much for something that isn’t there and just LIVE. I am doing what I love. I am so lucky because I know not a lot of people can say that.
So take a look around! Welcome to the new Gabriel Gastelum Photography!!
(There are still a few kinks to work out, but they will be fixed in the upcoming weeks. Lots of my old blog posts are missing and the images are all funky. But no worries! All will be fixed soon)