Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Get to Know Jerry Maestas

Hello again!

Today I bring to you another installment in my "Influential People of the Internet" series, which I must admit, I really love doing. Being able to work with the people who inspire me is truly amazing, and I hope you're all enjoying them.

This time, I've had the incredible opportunity to work with someone very near to my heart. For those who don't know, Jerry Maestas is a fantastic photographer and YouTuber. He was absolutely incredible to work with, very down to Earth and humble, even with the amazing success he's already achieved. I followed Jerry back when he had about 1,000 followers on instagram and was, (I believe anyways), 19th or 20th subscriber. His photos were my main source of inspiration at the early stages of my love for photography and has continued to amaze me with his growth. If you have not already checked him out, please do so. He's going to be huge someday. 

 1. Tell us a bit about yourself!
 I'm a photographer and small YouTuber located in Arizona. I'm currently going to school for business, specifically for marketing. I pretty much photograph everything I see and film everything that interests me.

2. What originally sparked your interest in photography? And what has kept that love alive?
I honestly don't really know what sparked my interest in photography. Like I said, I've always been naturally drawn to it. I mean I've always been fascinated by it so maybe my curiosity just got the best of me and its lead me to where I am today. I feel like the main thing that has kept my love for photography alive is that its opened the door for me to meet and connect with so many amazing people from all around the world. I wouldn't have friends in the UK or Australia if it wasn't for my love for photography.
3. As this is a project on influences, who are yours? (Personally and creatively)
Hmm its hard for me to pick certain people or things that influence me because I feel like I'm influenced and inspired by everything. When I say everything, I totally mean it too. I think my biggest influence/inspiration would have to be music and musical artists. I've always been extremely connected to music and it's influenced a lot of my work.
4. You've stated before that you felt the most accepted within the internet. Do you still feel this way? Do you encourage others to find friends on the internet?

I most definitely still feel that way! Everyone I've met through the internet have been such amazing people and I wouldn't trade my experience on the internet for the world. I don't know if I'd encourage others to find friends on the internet just because you shouldn't be in the mindset of, "oh I want friends from the internet so I need to find people who can be my friends". It shouldn't be forced. I made friends through common interests and it just so happened that it was through the internet. I think you can find amazing friends like I have in your city or small town! You just need to find a community of people with similar interests and values and connect with them. You don't really need the internet for that. 

5. How have you seen yourself grow as a content creator? 

Oh man, I've grown so much as a content creator and I can say that because I've been creating for, what feels like, so long now. With my photography, I've grown in technical ways, and even in my concepts. I feel like I truly know how to use my camera now compared to when I first started, but you learn something new with photography every day. With my YouTube channel, I feel like I've grown a lot too. My video quality is better, my set up is better, I understand my audience more. There's so much that goes into having a YouTube channel and I never realized it until I threw myself into it. 

6. Where would you like to be, skills wise, in a year? 5 years? 

Great question, I've actually never really thought about that too much until recently. I think with my photography, I'd like to get a little more professional with it and maybe even start a side job with it within a year to 5 years. I've done senior pictures and family photos for the past two years, but I was hoping that I could possibly shoot some fashion photography for magazines or websites, anything really. In a year, I'd like to see my YT channel grow a little more. That meaning branching out into other types of videos like inspirational videos, maybe more sit down and chat with me videos or even talk about technology. Who knows! Whatever I feel like making at the time. In five years, I'd love to start creating short films and music videos for big music artists. I know that's kind of a stretch, but I'd absolutely love to create music videos. 

7. What's a word/phrase you're currently living by?

I stumbled across this quote on tumblr awhile ago and I've inspired by it ever since, "What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven't happened yet" -Unknown. I just find the thought of a happy day to be so inspiring and looking back at some of the best days of my life that I've had so far and thinking that I might not even consider them to be the best days of my life because of all the wonderful days to come. It just makes me excited for the future, which is really something I feel like I need right now. 

8. What are you truly passionate about?

So much. I put passion into everything I do honestly, but if I had to pick one thing that I'd consider myself to be truly passionate about, it would be music. I have always had a very deep connection with music and I often find comfort in the melodies or lyrics of songs, which helps whenever I happen to have a panic attack or if I'm stressed over something. Sometimes, if I don't know how to deal with a situation, I turn to music because its always there when you need it and sometimes the answers to your problems are hidden in the lyrics you've never paid attention to before. 

9. Advice for anyone who wants to get into photography? 

Just do it. Take photos of everything, whether that be your hands, your feet, your sister, the tree in your backyard, or a random snail on the side walk. Taking pictures all the time trains your brain to notice the little things in the world. It also helps you figure out how you like taking photos and what you like taking photos of. Just shoot until you cant anymore, call it day, and go home and admire your wonderful photos. 

10. Final notes:

All I have to say is that I truly appreciate Kendall for this interview. It really made me think about everything in my life at the moment and I think I needed some forced perspective. Thank you Kendall and thank you reader for being interested in my life, my thoughts, and who I am. 

All of the incredible photos in this post were pulled directly from Jerry's instagram

Have a look around Jerry's life!

Check out my previous interview with Corina Nika

And of course, if you have any recommendations of people I should check out for this series, please let me know!

Thanks again to Jerry for working with me so simply and willingly. I hope we can do it again in the future.


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