I am a man full of passion to tell people stories. People from all backgrounds, colors, and situations. Just last week I was thinking to myself why I feel so impelled to tell stories about the underdog, the black sheep, the misfortune. This really got me thinking and I can remember when I was a news photojournalist pitching stories about the less fortunate. I wanted to hear their side of things, how I could help them get their message across. Well if you know news, it doesn’t lead if it doesn’t bleed. In other words, the news tends to run stories about crime, and disaster and nine times out of ten my story ideas went to the curb. This is one of the reasons why I am glad I am no long working in the news business. I wanted to tell stories about individuals who have been ostracized by society, these are the stories that need to be heard. I get a great joy telling stories about nonprofit organizations, shooting public service announcements for nonprofits, and promotional videos for start-up companies. I concluded on why I feel the way I do towards the underdogs of our society…. I am one of them.
Not too long ago I wrote about how I was abused and neglected as an infant and was given up for adoption. You can read about it here http://bit.ly/2g0wfMX. I felt alone and isolated as an adopted child. In elementary school, I didn’t quite fit in, and I was emotional as a child. The doctors said my speech impediment was due to my lack of nutrients as an infant. Not only was I neglected, but I developed a problem with speech. So, in elementary school I had to go to speech class once a week. How cool is that…having to leave class to go to speech? When I wanted to say words like church you actually heard me say turch. Kids would ridicule me and make fun of how I would pronounce words. I overcame my speech impediment with hard work.
My adopted parents split up when I was four. My mother and I moved about 150 miles away from my adopted father. I can remember a time when I went to visit my adopted father and he gave me a small wallet picture of him. When it was time for me to go back with my adopted mother I held his picture in my little four-year old hand, while tears filled my eyes and ran down my cheeks. I loved this man, and I wanted to be closer but I couldn’t because of the distance we lived from one another. I can remember like it was yesterday. They say, that you remember your most traumatic experiences and this was one of them. Damn, I really wish I could have had more interaction with him as I was growing up. This man is a genius when it comes to fixing practically anything. He can build cars, and is highly intelligent. After a a few years, my mother remarried, and I received my third dad in my life.
As a young adolescent, I hung around mostly with minorities. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I felt most comfortable with those who too were not completely accepted by society. My friends were a mix of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Portuguese (which I am ) and Salvadorian. I don’t know the true reason, but I do know they accepted me for who I was even though I was the white dude in the group. I loved to go to the clubs when I was younger. There were several times I was the only white guy in the club. I would tell my friend Rafael, that I was representing for my people. In high school, we would pack up in our friend’s regal to go to lunch. I mean we were stuffed in that car…and guess what, I was representing. If I had a chance to go back in time I would not change a thing. These friends and moments helped define who I am today. I had great times with my friends from the Bay Area. I keep in contact, but now with a family it becomes harder and harder to get back there and reconnect with them.
My background has a great deal of influence on how and why I choose to tell stories. I get excited to when I get the opportunity to showcase people and organizations that can make a difference in our community. Sometimes I will edit the whole video in one day, because I want to capture the rawness of what I just shot while I am in the zone. Creating for me has a lot to do with being in the moment and if I am in the moment I do not want to leave, (can we all say obsessed)? The feeling I get when I get behind a camera and or edit is like falling in love. You know that honeymoon love that makes you feel good all over? That emotion you feel when you first meet someone special. Well, my honeymoon isn’t over yet, and I am so glad it’s not. I hope to continue this passion for several years to come.
My friend Steve's wedding.
I have been working in television and media for over 18 years. My experience includes news photojournalist, editor, producer and storyteller.