Photographer Spotlight: Brandon Lua
The second photographer that I'm spotlighting on my blog (check out my first interview with HERE with Colin Gordon) is a newcomer on the scene. He's only been at it for a few months, but he's already making a name for himself. I came across Brandon's Instagram account and knew that I had to do a shoot with him. We did our session in the Old First Ward, and as you can see from the photos below, this is the exact type of gritty backdrop that I love oh so much. I got the chance to work with him a second time at a pop-up photo shoot/music/model collaboration party at a local amazing Airbnb. This party sparked the idea to create Locations...a project between Brandon and two other photographers Ryan Kell (one of my besties!) and Alexis Bandera. This is a super exciting project that's totally new to Buffalo and I can't wait to share more details with you all in an upcoming blog post!
I sat down with Brandon after our shoot and asked him a few questions about photography and life in Buffalo...here's what he had to say!
How long have you been doing photography?
I've only been shooting for four to five months. So not too long!
Have you always been interested in photography?
Actually, always. I grew up, my father was always shooting. He wasn't exactly a photographer but he always had a camera on him. He was shooting me, the surrounding area, his friends. And then also growing up I had friends who were into photography, and then I kind of always envied them. But I always felt like I was too old to start, but I don't know...one day I just finally decided to pick up a camera and just shoot, and then next thing you know I was addicted to it.
What do you love most about photography?
Oh man...everything. I like capturing the moment. I feel like every single time I'm capturing a moment, it helps me remember it. For example, I was shooting one of my friends Denzel at an event that he threw, and his mentor that flew out from California, a really well known director, was telling a story and I remember him pointing his hand out towards Denzel and I captured that moment, and that's something that I'll always remember.
Which do you like more- the photography or editing process?
I like them both equally...wait, actually no. I like photography, capturing the moment more so, because I get to interact with the person and socialize. It's just all around fun. I'm more hands on.
Do you have a favorite location where you like to shoot?
I do, it's in front of Shea's at night. On Main Street...I love the lights in the background. I like to work with bokeh. I love to work with lights a lot. I like daytime, but at the same time, night time...there's something about it, it's kind of mysterious and magical.
Do you have a most memorable photo shoot that you've done?
I've had some crazy shoots! I've done some pretty explicit stuff before *laughs* Maybe it's because I've never done stuff like that, it was almost natural, though. I didn't think anything of it until after. My absolute favorite moment was shooting my girlfriend. She never likes taking pictures, but she's very beautiful. I somehow convinced her and it ended up being one of my most noticed photo. It was in front of Shea's, and it was just perfect, because the snow was falling lightly and she was looking beautiful as always and the light was hitting her perfect.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
From my lifestyle...that's why it's hard for me to find a niche. My life is very random. One day I'm doing something that looks very innocent and the next day I'm doing a shoot for a rapper, next day I'm doing something for a model. Basically, I'm not afraid to do anything, so I just do what I want to do.
What do you love most about living in Buffalo?
Most of my family is here. I like how the city is in a resurgence and everything is coming back to life. I like how people are taking something with so much culture and history and bringing something new to it, and not just destroying it. The food here is so good, too.
What are your favorite local restaurants?
That's like picking your favorite kid...that's really hard. I like Pasion a lot...I've been working with them a lot. It's Cuban food, and it's actually my first trying Cuban food and it tastes great. I also like La Divina. I'm there too much. They bring something authentic to Buffalo. They have this drink called horchata which is amazing. Well, that's all I got...I guess I only have one kid. I haven't been trying many restaurants out recently.
Favorite place to grab a drink?
I like Vera Pizza. And Pasion, their bar is great. It depends on the mood I'm in. I like Vera for original cocktails and Pasion has more tropical drinks.
Thanks so much, Brandon, for sitting down and chatting with me! I can't wait to work with you on the upcoming Locations event...it's going to be a blast!
Also, here's a bonus shot of the lovely Caralyn and I!