By Elise Gray
LA natives and tourists alike know that Los Angeles culture is dripping with creativity. Take Venice Beach, California for example. There's nothing more artistic than breathing in the fresh air while handcrafted designs line the street. The City of Angeles is held in high esteem because it's a place where even the wildest dreams can come true. Dreams of grandiosity aside, some people venture to LA for the serenity of the scenery. When you or I come to a city like this, we relish in the experience. When a photographer and filmmaker like Irwin Josue Ramirez Marroquin looks at this city, he wonders if he can capture it and keep it forever. Irwin's work has earned him 19K followers on Instagram (jramx5) and countless adventures. His work is both captivating and informative of the gorgeous natural scenery that Los Angeles offers. If you're looking to see a different side of LA, take a look at Irwin's work and fall in love all over again. In the meantime, you can dive into his mind. LA Pulse was elated to have the following Q&A interview with this visual pioneer:
What inspired you to first get started with photography? I am wondering if it was something you always wanted to do, or if you stumbled into it like a lot of people seem to.
I was born and raised in a little town called Jutiapa, in the country of Guatemala. My passion for Photography started about three years ago when I bought my first camera. A terrific friend of mine introduced me to photography. I started shooting cars in the local car meets and car shows, I enjoyed it, but it was until I started doing landscape photography when I really fell in love with it, love to travel, explore, and meet new people everywhere I go. I love to hear the different stories about how people got into photography. I really love seeing the different kind of styles that everyone brings to it. I would describe myself as a Nature Lover and a wandering soul. I'm always thinking about where to go next, but at present, I’m a photographer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles California.
I see your work portrays various landscapes in interesting ways.
Where do you come up with your ideas to shoot? Are you on vacation, or do you wake up in the middle of the night with an itch to go to a specific spot?
Compared to what the naked eye can see, I've always tried to present a different perspective. I’ve shot the same exact place multiple times, and I always find a different way to capture it. I work at UCLA hospital full time, and whenever I have days off, I take trips with friends to these spots. Sometimes we drive four to six hours and come back the same day.
It’s time. Tell me your favorite spot to shoot – I've got to know.
My favorite place to shoot is Yosemite! At the minimum, I visit at least eight to ten times a year. When I go, it's not only to shoot but to spend some time and enjoy the area with friends.
What camera or device(s) do you use to capture your work?
I shoot with a Sony a7s mark II and even my iPhone sometimes.
Speaking of your devices, a lot of photographers swear by Lightroom as their go-to editing tool. Is that yours as well? If not, what editing tool do you prefer and why?
I love using Adobe Lightroom CC as well – it's really easy to use! However, some of my photos are edited with Adobe Photoshop.
What advise would you give to someone looking to pursue creative efforts like Photography and Film?
Everything you pursue in life takes patience, dedication, motivation, and hard work. If you really are passionate about it learn everything you can and try to develop your own style and be persistent.
At present you have 18.6k followers on Instagram alone, how do you feel the digital age has contributed to your success as a photographer? Has the community been welcoming and supportive?
We are lucky enough to live in a time where when you try to create a brand and put your name out there; social media is a huge help. I really appreciate the support I receive, especially from of all of the people who consistently show love to my work. Speaking of consistency, at first it was hard but once I kept on. My photos developed a style that's my own, and people started following me. Then more did. And then even more. Now I am where I am today. I don’t really pay too much attention to the numbers, but if you are trying to get gigs with companies, it definitely helps to have a decent amount of followers.
Are there any outside forces, photographers, artists, landscapes etc. that influence your work?
I am a believer. I believe that my creativity comes from God since He is a creative God. This is the reason why when I dive into nature; I feel connected to Him. I merely capture what He has created with my camera. However, a few other photographers inspire me as well.
Where do you see yourself going with your work?
Even though right now photography is just my hobby, I see myself traveling to different countries around the world to explore. I want to explore as much as I can. I hope to capture those beautiful foreign landscapes someday. I do wedding films as my part-time job for right now, but eventually, I would like to do it full-time.
Can we expect any meet-ups or gallery shows in the future?
Yes definitely, I’m currently starting to print some of my work and display them in upcoming gallery shows.
Lastly, what do you want people to take away from your photography?
I know that there are so many people who don’t have the chance to travel and go to other places because of work. Life can be busy sometimes, but my goal is to bring them the beauty of the world we live in. I want to remind them that we only have one planet and that we need to take care of it.
So there you have it – the wonderfully insightful and thoughtful inner workings of a truly creative mind. If you're looking to have a bomb wedding video or just want to enjoy some good old LA scenery, visit Irwin's Instagram online @Jramx5 or visit his portfolio for professional inquiries and gallery shows!