We had the good fortune of connecting with Cesar Valdes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cesar, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
In my opinion, taking risks is a big part of life. There is a thrill to losing control to the unknowns and I’m a big believer that some of my best creative endeavors happen on the edge. That place where you need to come up with ideas and push the limits of what you think you can do. Those projects are the ones that propel your growth and bring out the best of you. Very early on, I said yes to many projects I had no idea how to achieve but every time I was able to pull them off usually exceeding expectations. You could come up to me with some crazy idea and I’d scratch my head at first but then we would find a way to do it. Some visuals and ideas are riskier than others but I welcome every opportunity I get to practice and prove my skills.
I would not be able to pinpoint what my “signature” or style is. However, I’ve had people tell me that they know my work just by looking at it. I think that as you develop your craft, your eye sharpens, and your perspective and way of capturing light becomes more and more unique. From a business standpoint, I’m always looking to have deep intentions when I create, meaning, that each shot should have a purpose and that there is a method to the madness, at the end of the day my work should achieve its goals. It’s oftentimes very easy to fall for trends or just do things because they’ll “look cool”, what’s not so easy is finding purpose on each movement, framing, lighting, and action that happens with and in front of the camera. One thing I’m very mindful of is that I’m constantly learning, experimenting, and walking fine lines. Life’s best creations happen on edge and that’s where I like to live. There are many lessons I’ve learned and some I’ve already forgotten. Life is many things, easy is not one of them. There have been many challenges but I follow a simple rule, do the best you can at each opportunity you get and you’ll never have regrets. I believe that excellence is a habit and that you should aim to be better every day, live in the present and don’t duel too much on the past or future.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Depends on who my friend is and what they are into. I wish I could say that I’ve enjoyed much from the DFW area but the truth is I don’t know it all that well. I would take them to eat Colombian Pandebonos and Almojabanas from El Portal Cafe for breakfast, we’d then go on a bike ride or soccer game. There are a few parks around that have great mountain biking trails and playing soccer is just a lot of fun. I’d then take them maybe to see what’s going on at Klyde Warren Park or maybe visit one of the Dallas museums or the Dallas World Aquarium. At night maybe we can check out the music scene from Deep Ellum. I know there is so much more that DFW has to offer. I have a few things on my to-do list, I just need to get to it.
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?
I’ve had the luck of meeting many incredible creatives throughout my career. First of all my Family, they are all very disciplined and their love for music is one of the main influences I’ve had in life, Specially my brother, Christian Valdes who has been there my entire career and has done nothing but push me to go where I want. There are many other creatives I’ve been able to grow alongside and some who have taken the job of mentoring me on a deeper level.. I’d like to thank Blair Thomas who gives me feedback on almost every project I make, Kasey Parks who I’ve gotten to learn a lot from, and whose friendship is invaluable. Jesse Scofield with whom I’ve gotten to grow and learn and make some of my favorite projects. I could make a huge list of people but I’d like to think that they know who they are. Nevertheless, I’ll still list them with the risk of forgetting someone (Didn’t we say we like to live on the edge?) Christian Valdes Lindsay Davis Blair Thomas Anthony Najera Matthew Borrett Kasey Parks Jesse Scofield Jan Bonugli Priscilla Dasilva Samantha McDanel Priyanka Shah Neeki Bey Henry Lagrone Tony Casillas Carolina Armstrong Thomas Baird Gabriel Bautista I’m sure I’m leaving some outside but I’m thankful to everyone I’ve had the chance to work with and grow alongside to.
Thomas Blair Anthony Najera Lindsay Davis Cesar Valdes