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

Hi Julius, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Personally, I believe taking risks is important in any endeavor, creative project or in your personal life. The beauty of risk taking for me is not what the result is going to be, although that is a part of the thought process, but is the fact of not knowing what is going to happen as you progress through it. It is the learning and the experience in risk taking that excites me; in my creative/artistic career, each progression to the next stage has always been a risk-taking decision. From shooting photos for fun to shooting concerts for publications, to understanding video production/editing to working on music videos.

Each stage was a risk, because in some cases the projects get bigger, not just from a size perspective but from the gravity of who you are doing the work for and/or working with. In each of these progressions the skill, knowledge and know-how must be learned, sometime on the job and very quickly. If I didn’t take the risks, I do not think I would be as far as I am today in my career, especially with how long I have been doing it.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
A big part of where I am today has come from saying yes to the risks, as well as having the patience to learn and network. As mentioned before, each stage of progression that I went through was a pivotal point in my career, as each stage would build on top of another. I started out in photography as most do, just picking up a camera and shooting what was around, whether it be landscape or family events. Shooting with no thought of composition or understanding of the camera, point and shoot basically.

It wasn’t until I immersed myself into photography and started shooting bands that something clicked, and I started thinking of the fundamentals. I never learned about photography or cinematography in school, I learned it by trial and error and immersing myself into it. For me that was the biggest lesson I learned when I started progressing, which was there is not one right way and don’t be afraid to fail; not every shot is the greatest but with patience and the will to learn you can better yourself with each try.

Was it easy? No, like anything there is a learning curve both on the creative and business sides. The way I overcame a lot of the difficulty was to just put myself into it fully, researching what it was I was trying to achieve, learning on the job and surrounding myself with the right people to ask for help or ask questions to.
The main thing I want the world to know about me and my brand is, I am open to new experiences both in learning and working. My story does not just start and stop in the music world but is what most know me for. I will continue to progress and learn, pushing myself to take other risks when necessary. Lately, I have been exploring the greater Phoenix area, capturing the landscapes, cityscapes and structures that make each city unique. I have also been pushing myself to be more creative with my video, photography and editing by shooting outside of music scene.

Opening myself up to different styles of photography has given me the opportunity to practice my craft in a field I am not familiar and gain a greater knowledge of how that field of photography works. For example, I don’t consider myself a landscape/cityscape photographer, but I have explored the craft and what I got out of it was not only the skills to understand what makes for a great shot, but I have also found amazing locations that I can now reference or utilize in future projects. Another example is shooting items or objects that catch my eye, so when I go to edit I not only am looking for a cool shot but also am now looking for something that can be used either as a graphic or to be turned into something else entirely.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Any place with live music is always my go to as you will notice most of the areas that I will mention are or are close to where music happens. One of my favorites is the Yucca Tap Room/Electric Bat Arcade in Tempe, AZ. The combination of live music and a game room filled with pinball machines makes for a good time; throw a few drinks in and you don’t have to go anywhere else. Another favorite of mine which is in Downtown Phoenix is the Stardust Pinbar, a nice hideaway bar with pinball games, great drink selections and great pizza right next door at Ziggy’s Magic Pizza Shop and if you want to catch a show the Van Buren is right next door.

I also enjoy catching a show at the Valley Bar, it just has a vibe when you enter that you can’t find anywhere in Phoenix, and they have an awesome bar area in the Rose Room. For food I enjoy State 48 brewery in Downtown Phoenix they make some amazing dishes and is a great spot to hang and have a drink. Another place I enjoy are pool halls, Jester’s Billiards in Gilbert, AZ has some nice tables and a cool vibe for hanging out.

Outside of bars and venues, I would push to explore areas or drive out to places I have never been. Those types of trips always make for great photography because you never know what you will find.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are three I would have to give a shoutout to, that helped me progress through my career as a creative. The first group is the local Arizona music scene, in the beginning of my creative career I needed a way to cut my teeth and the music scene in Arizona graciously allowed me in, to photograph. Without them I wouldn’t understand the fundamentals of how to photograph bands/artists. They gave me the understanding of how to utilize my camera in different shooting situations, by providing the moments to capture. When starting photography, they were pivotal in my decision to continue down the road of music related photography. The second shoutout goes to Riot Night, a group that not only inspired me to move forward in my photography but also encouraged me to learn video production and editing for the events they put on. They provided me with the playground to learn and push myself into new creative outlets; without restrictions they allowed me to capture their events the way I saw fit. They also gave me the opportunity to meet and work with artists that I grew up listening to so that was a plus.
The last shoutout goes to Live Nation’s Bring the Noise, The Noise for short, publication as they gave me the opportunity to put everything, I learned up to the point of working with them to action with their own events and concerts that they had interest in covering. I also learned a lot from a business perspective on how to work with bigger artists, the artists management, labels, working with contracts, understanding photo/video production from the scale of festivals/larger shows. The Noise has given me the knowledge/experience on how to traverse the music industry from a digital creator perspective and gave me the access to meet people in the industry whether it be artists, bands or other creators.

Website: www.juliusaguilarproductions.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/julius.a.aguilar/

Image Credits
Neil Schwartz Photography

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