Today we’d like to introduce you to Will Garcia.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was always that person in their friend group who took photos of everything they did. Growing up, it was always with a disposable camera or later, my phone (the novelty of those 1.3mp photos from a flip phone has since been lost on me). I never gave any thought to learning how to use an SLR type camera until someone taught me how to use manual mode about six years ago.
From there it has kind of been a whirlwind of always having a camera with me, looking for new things to take photos of. I started going to school at San Diego City College’s photography program, which exposed me to the world of film, and for a while, I was just primarily shooting my subjects using that medium. I also loved how school forced me to develop a style and to look at things differently. Seeing how 20 other photographers approach the same given assignment was eye-opening and provided a creative environment for me to learn by doing and seeing.
I have since been doing alot of lifestyle and commercial work for several businesses in the local restaurant and beer industries. As a photographer in San Diego, you have to be a little flexible so several years ago, I also started doing real estate photos. This evolved into tapping into the vacation rental market and working with those clients to make photos of their listings that don’t just showcase a space, but a home away from home. A photograph is all about emotion for the viewer, and a business owner wants to make someone want to eat at their restaurant, stay at their AirBnB, drink at their brewery, wear their clothing, etc. I am happy to make photos that convey a feeling, whatever it may be.
Please tell us about your art.
Once I started going to school for photography, I naturally started taking photos of the things happening around me. I have always been a gearhead and into fast things with wheels and engines. I have the habit (and misfortune) of compulsively having to modify any motor vehicle I have ever own. About eight years ago, I pissed my parents off by buying a halfway clapped out 1980 Yamaha XS650 with one brake. I was 21 years old, always wanted a motorcycle, always wanted a custom motorcycle, and no one could tell me what to do anymore anyway. Owning that bike taught me so much about myself (patience and frustration) and just like going to school for photography a few years later, I learned by doing. Since then, I have built choppers out of a few perfectly good stock Harleys and dove headfirst into the world of custom bikes. There are alot of subcultures within the motorcycle community, and the people who are into building and riding their own custom bikes are a type that are kind of both loved and hated and not quite understood as a whole by many others both within and outside of the general motorcycle circle.
Alot of my work continues to have to do with the custom motorcycle community and is a way to blend my two passions. Once I was in school, I was shown Irving Penn’s timeless portraits of the Frisco Hell’s Angels from the late ’60s, Bill Ray’s famous body of work for Life magazine he did with the Berdoo chapter, and Danny Lyons’ The Bikeriders. The images captured by these guys struck me, and when I started documenting our love affair with our bikes and riding fast with our knees in the breeze and wind in our faces, I wanted to show people from the outside looking in a feeling and a culture of people they may not necessarily understand or know.
Building, riding, breaking, and fixing your own motorcycle is alot like being in the dark room. It takes many many hours with a vision to learn how to work metal so well that a motorcycle looks like a work of art with seamless lines and a perfect stance, just like it can take many many hours to perfect a single print in the darkroom, or many many hours of setting up studio lighting to perfect a portrait of someone.
Showing the public this creative connection between something they may do and something they may not quite understand and trying to convey a feeling or a multitude of feelings in a single photo is my goal with my photography. Whatever the subject matter is whether it be a series about someone making something else or shooting an ad showcasing a product for people who are doing what they love. I want my photos to create an emotion where there wasn’t one and to allow the public to connect with the subject matter in a way they haven’t before.
Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
The price tag of being a freelance creative person definitely hits everyone who is passionate about their art, but it is part of being dedicated. My advice is just to do it; however, you can with whatever you have. If you’re looking to get into photography regardless of whether or not you are financially struggling, the advice is always going to be shoot as much as you can with whatever camera you can and don’t stop.
School was a nice resource for me. San Diego City College has an awesome photography program with alot of resources available if you are interested in photography. Darkrooms, studios, and equipment checkouts are just some of the benefits there. And because it is a community college tuition isn’t alot compared to other art schools and financial aid is available. Plus, you get the creative support and inspiration from your peers you wouldn’t necessarily get by just doing on your own.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have a website where people can see a little bit of what I do both personally and professionally. I am in the process of updating it with more recent stuff, but I have a wide variety of my work up there for the world to see.
I am available for commercial lifestyle work, and I am reachable through the form on my website or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also have an Instagram @therearedozensofus
Also, I have been asked a few times for prints of my photos, and I can custom print and frame anything you see on either of those platforms.
- Website: www.garcia-photo.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @therearedozensofus
Photo of myself by Austin Bousley