FAQS

PA310151_editedI saw your pictures, and i would like to hire you. How much is a photoshoot?

Every photoshoot is different and has different demands. That said it is $100 an hour for the actual shot. How many different looks, clothing and background changes is up to you, its time that you are paying for. On top of that its the editing that takes a long time. Actual photoshoots go buy very fast. Many times i’ll do a Real Estate portrait and spend 5 minuets doing the actually shoot, and then spend 2 hours editing the chosen picture. (Real Estate Agents are very picky for example) Other times i have to edit many pictures and spent roughly 30 minuets a picture. Either way, its $100 an hour (which is what i get paid doing my regular job as a graphic designer) If you would like to select a certain amount of images beforehand and discuss a bulk price, that is fine to. But please do not insult me with lowball offers. I take this very seriously and i am way to busy entertain offers from people who don’t respect my time. But i understand most people don’t have budgets for a lot of pictures and would like to figure something out, that is fine and I’m very easy to deal with in those cases. Just as long as its understand my enormous bills which come every month.


I see you do mostly studio stuff, but can I hire you to do outdoor shoots?

The truth is, I rarely leave the house. On average, I work 15 hours day and I barely leave downtown. Maybe I’m a downtown snob or something, I don’t know. But I love my kind of studio stuff I do because it is rather unique and stands out. Nothing is more cliché to me than taking pictures in front of graffiti mural, or some back alley stair case etc…  It bores me to death. I try to do new things every shoot. Not just recreate things which have been done millions of times over. Everyone takes the same pictures outside and I would love to bring my lights with me if I was to shoot outside. Which, unless I have a massive budget and power source, is just not possible.


Where is your studio, and can I rent it to do a photo shoot?

Thank you for asking. Well I shoot from my home studio. I do not have a huge studio with 20 foot ceilings and massive windows looking out on our great city. If that kind of stuff impresses you, then I’m sure you can find many studios around Toronto. How much they will charge you? I have no idea… I am located in a newly renovated house near King and Bathurst.

 

I’m a photographer, and I think your stuff is great! Can you teach me?P7065471_edited_photoshoped

I have gotten this a lot. Sure I’ll teach anything i know to anyone who will listen. I’ve even been debating doing seminars where I teach groups what I know. Furthermore, I have been offered to teach at U of T, Ryerson, York U and George Brown as a special guest. But the problem is that most people are not insane enough to do what I do. First of all, I refuse to shoot with a flash or strobes. I feel flash photography gives people a strange ORANGE colour and I can’t stand it. Second of all i refuse to use anything besides my Olympus Pro DSLR, and 90% of all photographers use Canon or Nikon. (high end photographers use Mamiya or Hasselblad). You would have to custom build your own lights to achieve what I do. To get to that level in just equipment alone, you have to spend at least $15k, so I don’t really see anyone doing that. Then you have to sit for hours while I teach you everything I know about how to use Adobe Photoshop. And I have been on Photoshop since it was first released (yes, I’m that old). On a personal note, I really don’t think I’m that good. I think most people suck, but I don’t think I’m that good. And Ii keep striving to do something better every time. But I am open to teaching people if they’re interested, because I love spreading knowledge. ;0)

 

What do you use?

Olympus e-5 pro with prime lens,  Tristar 750 watt lights, 3 of them, and a custom made ring light. Together my lights are over 3000 watts of constant light. My home has 10 foot ceilings with wood floors, which I love, but my old loft was way wider which I miss dearly. But things have turned out so it’s fine…

 

Hey I love your stuff but I want a different style, can you do this type of style with natural light etc?

1. choose to do my style for many reasons.
2. It’s very difficult and I like stuff that challenges me.
3. Because I have developed it for years.
4. Because no one seems to do what I do. Very few people achieve a look like mine. If you want softer look, or to look like someone else, just show me exactly what you like. ;0)

 

P8269504_editedHey I’m an upcoming DJ / Producer can I hire you to do my headshots?

Of course, I love anyone who has anything to do with music (except for hip hop). I actually have a recording studio in my house as well and I make tons of music. I work very closely with DJs / Producers to develop their image, logo and web presence.


I see you do pets. Can you take pictures of my pet?

Yes of course! I am actually gearing all my efforts towards pet photography because I’m sick and tired of girls wanting free shoots. But, for some reason, girls will pay for shoots of their dogs. So, yes. ;0) Also it is very different from what everyone else is doing. The reaction I get from my dog photography is phenomenal so yes, I am turning that into my main focus now on.

 

I’m a fitness model and I’m in town for show can you shoot me?

Yes, of course. Please contact me to book a shoot. I find fitness people to be awesome and are the type of people who actually respect my time with pay me. ;0) They seem to understand that it’s A LOT of work to edit and set up pics and that is my lifeblood. On a side note, my type of photography is tailor made to show off shadows and muscles. Unless using massive umbrellas which showers you in lights and doesn’t show anything. It also ends up making you look orange which I really hate.


I see you have taken pictures of some fitness champions. Why not do that full-time? You can make lot of money!!!

I have gotten this a lot as well. You see, I could do that, and I would be incredible at it. Even my friend who owns Inside Fitness magazine has told me many times. But that is not my passion. I have the utmost respect for what people who do it, to see how a person can sculpt their body. But my passion lies in sculpting light and emotion in photography. Also, this type of job would involve a lot of traveling to hotels and to front row competitions etc. I make money sitting at home, so traveling to make money –  I would have to charge way more, and that is just not feasible at this point.


Hey I would like to hire you to do my wedding, when can we meet?P3233695_edited_

I have gotten this a lot, but I refuse. I would feel like douche bag being hired to do someone’s wedding who I didn’t know personally. It should be very personal thing and I feel like its invading space. I know that sounds very strange because I could easily make shit load of money doing weddings, especially with my personality, but it’s how I feel. I do not like any type of formal environment at all. I am kind of hippy who likes everyday people and everyday environments. I don’t own a suit, or even have my drivers license and I’m 37. So that should tell you something. Also, I know a lot of wedding photographers and the horror stories I hear about the mother’s of the brides complaining is insane.  As if I want some crazy mother yelling and me to edit an extra 300 pictures of her daughter posing with 200 family members, yeah right… You couldn’t pay me enough… Life is too short…


Your stuff looks surreal and almost painted. How do you do that?

That is great question. Well, I would say its a lot to do with using Olympus (best colours) and a lot of Photoshop techniques which takes hours and hours to execute. Also, I never use Photoshop filters on skin to get that Maxim look. I hate that I can’t stand when people make skin look glowing or too smooth etc… I have seen tons of Photoshop tutorials online and done many myself. Ii notice most do something called the DODGE AND BURN effect this to make make pictures far too unrealistic and just to overly saturated. The style I do involves all hand drawing with light on my computer and is very tedious. It takes hours and hours to perfect. I don’t like making people look fake or glowing, I like making people look interesting. And if that involves me taking hairs out one at time on the face to make it look perfect, then i will do it. Art means everything to me and I don’t care how long it takes.


Your stuff is awesome, why don’t you get into Fashion Photography and make lots of money and travel the world?

I respect fashion photography, I respect any type of photography or industry for that matter… But I have a huge problem with how women are portrayed in fashion. Heroin chic, occasionally. No emotions, almost zombie like etc… That, to me, is not a realistic portal of how woman are in real life. I like taking real life and distorting it. I don’t like distilling already distilled individuals, if that makes any sense at all? Models in the fashion industry are considered CLOTHES HANGERS. And it consists of girls who are extremely thin and emotionless. Almost like zombies. To be honest, most runways model are not attractive at all for the most part. Women, to me, are gorgeous creatures which come in all forms and sizes and express every emotion to a much more extreme level than men. What I attempt to show with my art is emotion. Not anorexic Caucasian girls who stiff to get the latest pair of Manolo Blahnik and Louis Vuitton handbags… If anything, I find that culture much more demeaning to women than anything I do.


You have so many coloured backgrounds, do you Photoshop the background?

No, I do not. I actually have thousands of dollars in backdrops and coloured paper, which I have collected over the years. For some reason, this seems to impress people? Even at Henry’s, Headshots and Vistek, they have told me that I am the ONLY guy in the city who has literally bought every single backdrop colour available. They also expressed that most photographers only buy primary colors. I am an extremely spontaneous person and if you are wearing certain colour clothes, or have certain colour hair, or eyes,  Then I must match the backdrop or compliment or contrast it. Otherwise, I feel I cannot express my vision correctly or get my point across.

Why is everyone having so much fun in your pics?

Yes I have noticed that as well. I have a rule, if I cannot make you laugh, then I failed. And I have made literally every single person in all my shoots laugh and smile and have fun. The reason for this is because I am extremely good in social situations. I assume doing nightlife photography for 10 years has developed my social skills to a much higher degree than most. Back in the days when photographers would do 1 club a night. I would do 7 and even check my heartrate in between clubs and plan out efficient passages way in order to get the most pictures and the most attractive people in the club. My work ethic is of an extreme nature, I think about things extremely seriously and dive in headfirst. I don’t dabble in anything, I do it to the extreme. I am a rare individual who revels in being in position of power. Doing art with a person or animal excites me, I see it as a party and you must join the party or else I’ll stop the shoot immediately and quit. If something is not fun I will not do it.


Ok Arturo you have ruined me!!! After shooting with you it was so much fun, but then I went and shot with other people are they were creeps and it was so awkward and terrible, why are so many photographers creeps and not fun like you?

I’ve heard this a lot as well. The answer is, I don’t know. I mean to be honest I consider myself normal and I thought every shoot should be fun and exciting and be full of creative ideas. But the truth is most photographers seem to have zero personality or vision or even technical skill. I also make huge points to set up a huge mirror for models so they can see what they look like and put on their favourite music. This also seems to be a practice that almost no one else does? Well I don’t know what to say….


I have children can I hire you to take pics of them?

This is a touchy subject. You see i don’t want to be THAT GUY who only does child pics, even though it can be very financially lucrative etc. I want to be that guy that does GREAT PHOTOS. Not of just one kind of subject. I am actually extremely good with children and pets, they love me. I am kind natured and and very funny. But its just something that doesn’t interest me really… if I grew up with you and was there when you child was born, then maybe… And even that is a maybe…


Hey I’m really famous and I will give you lots of exposure if you do free shoot for me, lets do it!PB029700_edited

Well i would like to congratulate you on your success. But the problem is that I have never heard of you. Also, if I may blow smoke up my own ass, I have been in over 30 documentaries and in every newspaper and magazine across Canada for my Graffiti art back in the days. Even radio, MTV and Much Music etc.. So, your so-called fame doesn’t really impress me. I’m not being an asshole, I’m just telling you that I’m not a little kid, begging for so-called FAME. Because I’ve experienced it a for while now. But I’ll tell you what does impress me. It’s paying bills, rent and my out of control Visa bills. So I cannot validate whether this free shoot will garner me any business. Also, I have found over the years, that if you have to brag that you are well known then you don’t really amount to anything. You likely just live off of bragging and eating free shit. The people that have helped me the most have never ever said they will promote me. It was just very obvious and then business started coming in. So action speaks louder than words.


Me and all my girls are celebrating a birthday at a downtown nightclub and we want to come by your studio to do a shoot before the club. Is that possible?

Sure, sounds like fun. Everyone can pitch in and do a group rate.


Wow, you’re really honest! Why not be less honest and just take pics of anyone and everything and make lots of money?

I am, and always will be a very simple person, and I do not live for money. If I were to care about money, then I would go get an agent, start doing graffiti canvases, sell them to art galleries and make tons of money and fame (which I can do very easily). But money has never been my main objective. Alas, I live in Canada and need money for rent, food, bills etc.. Other than that, I care not for it. I care about expressing myself through art. That is my only obsession and the reason I work 15 hours day ever since I can remember. Especially since 2000 when I moved out and started my own business, maybe that makes me a bad person. But for some reason, I only follow one rule. “Do something so good then people will pay you for it” and that has worked out. Stuff that I put my energy into is stuff that I have passion for. I have no passion for making money. Just doing good art, which in turn, makes me money. ;0)


This FAQs page is really entertaining. Are these really questions people have asked you, or is it all bullshit?

YES! These are all real questions and these are my answers. There are even more, but these are just the main ones which I feel need to be addressed because I get them asked so many times…