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

Hi Cayupe, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
The discipline of being self motivated, and putting your heart and soul into everything you do just because doing so makes you feel alive. period. In times where you’ve felt the most successful in your career, and it felt like you have reached the top, or in times where you have doubt yourself, your abilities and why you even do what you do, you must hold on to the discipline of pushing yourself to keep going forward, to keep learning, keep creating and keep doing things as if they were your very last chance to do so. The tricky part in depending on external reassurance is that it won’t always be there. it may be intermittent, but the fire that burns inside us when we do what we love, can keep us going even in the face of indifference, as well as the satisfaction of knowing that every detail was carefully crafted by our impulse to make the best version of it.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The art of being genuine, the art of expressing yourself and inviting others to do the same. Only until I was in a position to be in front of the camera posing for another colleague photographer I realize how much you become one with the artist holding the camera. It’s a magic combination: they invite you into their world and you accept the invitation to see yourself from their perspective. How they see you, and who you are come together in a perfect balance. There’s a fusion that happens and sometimes is just amazing! You learn that you like who you are in their presence, you like your confidence, you like your smile, you like the way you walk, and the way you look, you like the way you feel, and you realize that state of happiness and self awareness is Self acceptance pure and simple. That’s what I’m about. I am about inviting people into my world and asking them to allow me to show them how I see them through my lens, while inviting them to be themselves and just have fun! I started taking pictures for my friends just for the love of photography; I loved directing and making them feel like it was ok to be themselves and at the same time kind of spilling my energy and ideas to create cool versions of them. Fortunately they immediately starting sharing with others their pictures and their experience to a point where I started getting more and more requests to do it. I started as a portrait photographer but I was going to college for photojournalism, so that was the perfect combination, My first request to document a wedding came and I fell in love with telling stories and capturing the essence of people while still being able to direct some parts and spilling my energy and my creative vision. Ever since then I cant quite live without one or the other: Weddings fulfill my need to document and the journalist in me, while doing portraits give me the ability to direct and show people how I see them through my lens when they show me who they are. Whereas I’m teaching modeling, documenting weddings or taking portraits of people such as senior pictures, boudoir which are my are of expertise, the end result is always the same: Reaching a genuine state of mind that allows people to feel natural, raw and eager to create amazing stories, and amazing portraits with an interesting style and perspective. Dance and photography for the last 15 years have occupied my mind in such a way that my ability to direct has grown tremendously, I have fine tuned the intricacy of body movement and body expression, therefore I decided to take a dive into the art of modeling and I have been teaching Modeling for Photography classes amongst girls who have interest in this field and it’s been a huge success. I have learned that everything i do and who I am shapes me as an artist. My love for the outdoors, my love for dancing, my love for not only meeting new people but connecting with them has influenced the way I create art for me and for them. This is where the famous quote by our respected Ansel Adams takes a true meaning for me when he says we not only take pictures with our camera, but we take pictures with the books we’ve read, the music we’ve heard, and the people we have loved.

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?
Well, what can I say, being from Mexico city, the empire of tacos, I would definitely take them to soak in all the different kinds of tacos our culinary patrimony has inherited the world. Being so close to the border with Mexico the traditional tacos are everywhere and Tucson has a great deal of variety for all preferences whether you are a meat lover or a vegetarian. I would definitely take them to my best taco places in Tucson which are Tacos Estilo Cajeme, Karamelo King, BK’s and Taco Tote. Those are a must!, Then for my second tour of culinary experience, I would take them to have a taste of the sea. I lived next to the ocean a good part of my childhood so I was early introduced to all kinds of seafood and fish, therefore, I would invite them to try fish Tacos from Taco Fish, mariscos Baja Mar, Mariscos Chihuahua for the best ceviche in town and for something more on the fancy side El Berraco. I’ve always been an outdoors lover and I grew up hiking mountains so Tucson has gorgeous hikes with stunning views! I’d take them to Romero Pools, Blaketts Ridge, and a must see, our beautiful Mount Lemon and Sabino Canyon.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout goes to the forums and groups where experienced photographers as well as amateurs and every level in between exchange their knowledge, practices, questions and how to’s. The knowledge that is shared in those groups are enormous not only because you learn from the source but because you understand that every source has a different way of doing things and while one way may not be appealing to you or may seem difficult, another person’s way may spark your interest and shed the light you needed to attempt to do things in a certain way or improve the thought process or the actual execution of something you were doing wrong.

Website: cayupe.com
Instagram: @cayupe
Facebook: @cayupephoto
Youtube: MorenaMexico
Other: @Bestquinces on Instagram is my dedicated Quinceañera account!

Image Credits
My picture photo credit : Dominic Bonuccelli portfolio pictues: Cayupe Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.