We had the good fortune of connecting with Allan Gonzalez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Allan, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I just loved taking pictures, and as I did more, I realized that it was something that I really loved doing. My wife always asked me what I felt like I was meant to do, and I don’t know if photography is a calling, but it sure is fun! Because it was so fun, I thought that I could start doing it for money. It took a lot of work, and my work has improved so much since I just began, but as I watched more tutorials and did free shoots with people, my work and my professionalism became more fine-tuned.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It’s been a journey, but I feel like my art is different in many ways. I strive to make it different, unique, and special for customers. I like to involve the people that I take pictures of, and I love to make them feel comfortable while at a photo shoot. I’m very detail-oriented, so I focus on the little things that make a big difference. I feel like my professionalism sets me apart as well. I strive to make sure that I am on time, that I do what I say I’m going to do, and I am efficient. My journey has not been easy. I started taking photos about 7 years ago on a more serious level, and I was just excited about doing all types of photography. I didn’t really have a niche that I felt was mine until about 3 years ago. I wanted to do a photoshoot with dancers. I have always grown up dancing, and I love to watch it and do it, but I wanted to take pictures of dancers in an urban setting. I just loved the idea of the mix of those two things. I reached out to a few girls who were ballet dancers, and we set up a shoot, and from there, I just loved it. I feel like I have learned so much, and I am so grateful that there was one main studio that really gave me a chance and helped me grow immensely in the last few years. They needed someone who was just starting out, and I needed someone who had the patience to deal with a new photographer, who didn’t have a lot of experience. I’m so grateful for them. My greatest advice would be just to keep taking pictures. Keep practicing. Keep improving. Keep learning from mistakes. Don’t be scared of mistakes either. They are going to happen, and it just makes us better. Reach out to people and collaborate with other people.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love Klyde Warren Park area and all the landscaping near the art museum! It is so pretty over there. I also love the Opera Theatre area as well! The architecture of the old churches there mixed with the modern is so beautiful. I also love the reflection pool that is over there too! After that, I’d go to all the museums. I love the Perot museum and the aquarium. I’ve been to the Holocaust museum too, and that was very touching. I still haven’t been to the 6th Floor Museum though! I’d take them on the Dart rails to go to as many places as we could downtown, but then I would head out to Deep Ellum and Bishop Arts and Uptown Dallas as well. There are so many great places to eat there too that I wouldn’t be able to pick one!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Definitely my wife! She has always supported me in my journey (even when I had to buy equipment that was expensive, etc.). She has encouraged me and offered advice and not just what I want to hear, but advice that will make me better. She has held flashes for me. carted equipment while holding a baby, walked miles… all to help me be the photographer I am today. I couldn’t have done any of this without her.
Photographer: Allan Gonzalez-DFW Dance Photography Dancers: Kendall Lockhart, Hannah Fisher