We had the good fortune of connecting with Art Ortiz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Art, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I think like most photographers, starting my own business grew organically. My hobby grew as an obsession. Every part of the photography process was and is something that I can’t get enough of. I genuinely enjoy the process, from developing a concept and idea, taking the shots and spending countless hours in the editing process. The passion I developed for photography continuously grew, so to me, the next step was to expand my hobby into a business. I began networking and started working with a Dallas make up artist that opened up quite a few opportunities for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to start taking on clients and with every session, I feel like I learn something new. I have the opportunity to collaborate with individuals who live in the creative art space and it has been a wonderful experience. I’m excited for the growth of my photography business. I put a lot of TLC in growing it.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The more I experimented in the search of my “style”, the more I realized that I’m biased to the dark, moody and melancholic tones in photography. At least when it comes to my own personal style that I enjoy making the most. Of course I can switch to more traditional images that would be considered more commercial in the portrait photography world, but as far as personal preference, unconventional dark and moody tones. I think like most artist, I overanalyze my work, begin to loathe it, and start questioning whether its any good. There are moments where I’m alone at my desk and looking at the finished product and knowing I’ve created something authentic and true to me and my style. I know I am still growing professionally from a technical and creative standpoint but when I look back on photographs I’ve taken from years ago, I’m proud of my growth. I started to embrace vintage 35mm film photography for some personal projects I’m working on. The process of learning film photography has been humbling but exciting to say the least. Film photography forces you to pick up the technical aspects that modern cameras have all but automated and made easy. It has been a fun challenge that reinvigorated my love of the craft.
Starting out, I used a budget camera that was given to me years ago when I was traveling constantly. Most of the photos that I had taken up till recently, were from that old DSLR camera. I promised myself that I would not upgrade until I consistently showed myself that I had mastered that camera and could create photographs that compete with cameras that mine only cost a fraction of. I’m a believer in the photographer makes the photograph, not just the camera itself. At the end of the day, however the world receives my art. I know in my heart I stay authentic to myself and passionately work in a craft that I genuinely love.

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’m a Fort Worth transplant and have come to love this city. One of my favorite places that has an abundant amount of things to do is Sundance Square in Downtown Fort Worth. I’m personally a huge fan of dueling piano shows. Luckily downtown has an incredible show that is worth the experience. Next door, there is a bar called The Library which is themed as a…..Library. It has a Victorian feel with games from cornhole to skeeball. Not too far away, there is an alley that is host to Scat’s Jazz Lounge with unmistakable neon lights that light up the alley. The lounge itself is home to some of the best live music in the city. Across the street there is a hidden courtyard behind Riscky’s BBQ with Instagramable light up balloons and it is also home to one of the many monster murals scattered along Sundance Square by local artist @redmilkcrone. Some of the best local Mexican food along with some very potent and affordable margaritas is in Bedford at Lupe’s Tex Mex and Grill. It is a spot that I always take family and friends when they fly into DFW. On the far north side of Fort Worth, there is a small hole in the wall ramen spot, Wild Sushi & Ramen that has the best spicy miso ramen in town. Inspiration Alley at the Foundry District is home to some of the best art murals from local artist and has incredible breweries nearby.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Hands down, without question my wife, Jesica. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a partner that doesn’t try to put a ceiling or restrictions on my growth as a photographer. I mean, back when it was just a hobby. She never had issues when I would spend days out taking pictures and learning the craft, hours of editing. Not a dime in our pocket but she knew it was something that made me happy and gives me all the love and support I could ever ask for. She is my rock.

Website: https://www.artortizphotography.com/

Instagram: @artortizphotography

Other: VERO: @artortizjr

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