Interview: Photographer Oliver De La Cruz
Where and how did your interest in photography begin and develop?
I was 22 years old when I became interested in photography and I was dealing with anxiety at that time. I began to take pictures around my house with a smartphone and it became my escape from all the anxiety that was crumbling my world. I became so obsessed with taking pictures that it turned into a daily ritual. So, I decided to purchase a Fuji-Film bridge camera to start with. I mostly photographed landscapes and still-life and never had much interest in portrait photography. Until a friend of mine that used to model in Denver reached out and asked to shoot with me. I had no idea what I was doing at the time but I took a chance and went with it. I shot with her for a whole year until other people started contacting me to shoot. So, one thing lead to another and I was hooked on portrait photography and slowly started moving up the ladder beginning with models then boutiques, organizations, apparel brands and finally being published.
How would you distinguish your style?
I would say my style revolves around urban/ street fashion with a hint of alternative edge. I was heavily influenced by brands like Ruckus Apparel and P&Co. I’ve also started using little gadgets like prisms and metallic spinners to add some creativity to my work. Along with creating my own presets that make my images authentic and unique to my brand.
What makes you feel at your most content, creative, and inspired?
I find inspirations from YouTube photographers like Jessica Kobeissi and Jessica Whitaker. Every time I watch their videos I get so pumped and my imagination starts to run wild and I come up with a variety of ideas and shoot concepts. I also find inspiration from music and lyrics depending on what mood I’m in and how a certain song makes me feel. If I come across a verse that gets my attention I’ll use it create a concept and tell a story for my next shoot.
How would you explain and describe your connection with photography?
Ever since I became a photographer, it has become more then an obsession — but rather a lifestyle. It’s like breathing oxygen; you can’t live without it. Same concept applies to my connection with photography and I cannot imagine a world where there is not a camera in my hand. The world of photography allows me to escape and feed my imagination to create artwork that I can be proud of and call my own.
What are you looking forward to doing and/or achieving?
Ah, there’s so many things I want to do and achieve in life! But if I had to narrow it down I would say I wish to continue perfecting my craft as a photographer and get through grad school for the next two years.
Anything you’ve learned or picked up from fellow photographers?
I have learned a few tips and tricks from local photographers when it comes to posing models and learning how to orchestrate collaborations and having more effective communication with clients.
When and how have you developed your approach to creating the work you do?
Oh, that’s a tough one! I would say last year during the fall semester is when I finally had a break-through with my photography. I began to experiment with different shooting locations and creating my own presets. I felt stuck and I wasn’t progressing or creating work that was distinguishable or authentic. I poured all my efforts and energy into making my work unique. I spent so much time editing on my laptop that I eventually had to get glasses due to my vision wearing down. Eventually all the hard work paid off and now I can look at my photography and say with confidence that it is “Revilo DLC” material.
What has your experience in the photography community been like so far?
So far it has been spectacular! I have met some talented photographers and rad models that are very down to earth. The photography community is like a big family and everyone is learning and helping each other out to progress and create art. Being a part of this community has helped me develop my communication skills and overcome my fears and take life head on.
Any memorable or particular experiences being a photographer has brought you?
Dang, there are too many to mention! I would say my most memorable experience was when I got published this year in Mad Sounds Magazine based out of L.A. I was shocked to receive a response back from the editor with good news of my acceptance for the editorial submission. I was so happy that day and I blabbed about it to my friends and family. It was such an honor and even now I still have a hard time believing it actually happened!
Is there anything, anything under the sun, we didn’t ask about that you’d like to share?
Other than photography being a huge part of my life, I am a devoted Christ follower and obsessed with anime!