We had the good fortune of connecting with Jerry Silva and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jerry, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
Within the photography community I always wanted to show others that you can make something beautiful no matter the location or equipment. In the photography community most people think you must own the newest equipment and have the perfect location. Some photographers get lost in this and nothing is being created because they are waiting for the stars to align perfectly and wasting time. Depending on how long you have been doing photography planning can be a big part but at some point you have to pick up the camera and take pictures. When I started photography two years ago I lived in north Idaho with a six hundred dollar camera. When meeting others photographers they would make jokes about my camera but I stayed focus on learning the craft. No planning in mind I would ask people to meet me to do photo shoots and walk around with them and if I thought something would look good I would take the picture. The only way to take better photos is to take a lot of awful photos so pick up your camera and start taking those bad photos. In the photography community most people are not trying to help others get better at the craft but I would spend hours on YouTube teaching my self everything. It was frustrating at times when others wouldn’t help but now I make sure to go out of my way to help new photographers because I know how it feels. The impact I always wanted to leave was that there is nothing special about me. I wanted other to feel like if they really applied them self to something and believed in them self they could do anything. I felt like people in Idaho didn’t understand me or my dreams but I didn’t change anything. I believed in what I was doing and I knew it was Idaho not me, so I quit my job and moved my family to Arizona with no job but I knew it would all work out. Arizona welcomed me with open arms and people who lived here really loved my work. When covid 19 hits in Arizona I knew things would really slow down but I couldn’t just stop I have to keep working on the craft. Being locked up in my house I started downloading selfie photos from Instagram and started editing them. It was a excellent challenge because the photos are very low quality but in my mind set I knew it would help me grow. Once again I heard feed back from others about how it was a waste of time but i kept editing selfies, and they got better. People now pay me to edit photos for them because I didn’t listen to anyone and believed in my self. The only thing that makes me different from others is that I never gave up, I heard everything you can imagine about me or my work but kept going.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being a photographer and a digital artists really allows me to create whatever I want. I could take a picture of a model in the desert and when I edit that photo I can put the model in space. It makes the job very exciting because you never know what you can create with the photos. I’m so proud that when covid 19 hit I kept editing photos on photoshop and became a digital artist and now I have a new tool under my belt. Working a full-time job, being a dad and a husband, and then teaching my self-photography was defiantly hard but not impossible. I had to sacrifice somethings like friendships because when I’m not with my family I have to be working on my craft and get better. I toke a couple Ls on the road but once I started viewing the L as a lesson and not a Loss things got a little better. Staying positive and focus on things you have control over like your craft. Stop comparing your self to other because your stories are not the same. Your personality and how you treat people are the biggest things. Doesn’t matter how good you edit a photo, if your not a good person no one will give you that chance to take the photo.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love the big city so Phoenix to me is definitely on top of the list because you have to see a comedy show at stand up live. Then after the show stop by Bobby-Q BBQ Restaurant and Steakhouse if your not a big fan of BBQ and want some tacos I would get stop at Taco Chelo. You must go to Scottsdale and do a little shopping at Scottsdale Fashion Square or go see Wonderspaces inside the mall. After walking around stop and get a big burger from Rehab Burger Therapy or stop at hush public house. The best thing about Arizona is the sunsets so no matter where you are make sure you don’t miss it.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Marlys Silva my mom for supporting and commenting on every photo I posted on Instagram and helping pay for gas for a couple of photoshoots. Keith Silva my dad gave me a hug before leaving Idaho and I told him “wish me luck dad” and he told me “Jerry you will make your own luck”. My amazing wife Bree silva and our beautiful kids Emma and Ryan for supporting me in every move and telling me to edit when I got lazy. Logan Detty for being the best mentor helping getting my mind right. Thank you everyone who said yes and gave me an opportunity without you I wouldn’t be here.