We had the good fortune of connecting with Tony Aragon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tony, what do you attribute your success to?
I think the most important factor behind what I do is the intention and eye for the shot I am capturing. It took me a couple years to realize this. When I say “intention”, I mean taking the photo with an intention to tell the story I see, and capture the emotion in the landscape in front of me. I used to just go out and take hundreds of photos without this mindset of intention, but I noticed that those pictures just didn’t have that special element that provokes the emotion. I often ask myself “ What is your intention with this shot and what story does this photo tell?”. The pictures that are taken with a purpose are the ones that mean to most to me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, I can’t give away all my top spots here! Some I will have to keep to myself, to preserve the locations from littering and overcrowding. Having been born and raised here in Tucson, I feel like I have some pretty solid answers for this one. It goes a little something like this: First stop would be Eegees for an Eegee and some ranch fries (if you know, you know). Mt. Lemmon would be the next stop to escape the heat and take in the views, while hanging out in a hammock and drinking some delicious beer ( responsibly of course) from Pueblo Vida Brewing Company and MotoSonora Brewing Company. Next stop would be The Hotel Mccoy, to show off my photo installment on display for sale in the lobby, along with many other Tucson artists and muralists featured throughout their property which just screams “Tucson” everywhere you look. Rollie’s Mexican Patio would be the next stop for some delicious food and a concha ice cream sandwich, before heading to Gates Pass for a short hike to one of the best views of the sunset here in Tucson. For dinner, The Parish would definitely be the destination for some amazing eats and craft drinks. In a world without the current pandemic, the night would most likely continue downtown where the stops would include Che’s Lounge, Ermanos, Hotel Congress, Independent Distillery, and Tough Luck Club in the basement of Reilly’s craft pizza (which is also one of my top favorite restaurants in town). Other notable spots that would be visited throughout the rest of the visit would be: Pop’s Hot Chicken, Tacos Apson, Obon, Kazoku ( my favorite sushi spot in town),Blue Willow, La Cocina, Charro Del Rey, BK’s for some Sonoran hotdogs, Barista Del Barrio, shopping at Why I Love Where I Live, Popcycle, Tiny Town, and for sure looking to buy some Qmulative pocket tees and masks which are sold in numerous locations throughout town. A visit to San Xavier Del Bac, Catalina state park, Saguaro National Park, Sabino Canyon, riding in the Tuesday Night Bike Ride, and Sabino Canyon.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are four very important people I want to give recognition and thanks to, for helping fuel my passion and keeping me inspired. When I first got the spark of interest in photography, it was when I was about 17 years old. My friend Rolland was a film photographer and his photos always inspired me. He really knew how to capture a mood and provoke emotion with his work. A few years later, my Dad got into photography and I always loved his photos as well. When I had my first camera, a cheap digital Kodak camera, my Dad would encourage me and compliment my eye for composition and detail. At that time I was only taking pictures for fun, and to fuel my creative mind a bit. That would always make me feel so special and proud to get his compliments and approval, and it still does to this day. Someone who really was an important support, mentor, and inspriation to me when I first started doing landscape photography and putting my photos out there, was my good friend Harrison. I have always admired his eye for attention to small detail and unique perspectives. Harrison and I have spent so many countless days adventuring outdoors, and many of the most unforgettable sunsets have been witnessed with him. He and I both share a love of exploring and capturing the dramatic landscapes and skies we have been blessed to have experienced. Last but certainly not least, I have to credit my wonderful girlfriend, Katie Wisdom. Katie has been a photographer much longer than myself, and before we started dating or really even knew one another, I would always admire her photos. She is always my biggest fan, best support, and most honest when providing constructive criticism. These days we work together shooting weddings. By watching her work, and working with her, my wedding and portraits have really improved. I was never that confident in my skills when it comes to this aspect of photography, but this has completely changed thanks to her. I can’t say enough great things about her, and I am truly fortunate to have such an amazing human in my corner.
Facebook: Tony Aragon Photography
Other: Select prints also available at Hotel Mccoy (720 W Silverlake Rd, Tucson, AZ 85713)
Personal picture credit: Katie Wisdom