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The Hustle

Name: Alex Gomez (Freelance Photographer)

Posted By Kendel Burke

Alex Gomez works as a bartender at Thirsty First, but on the side, he's building a name for himself as a photographer. His high-definition, vibrantly colorful photographs capture musicians, artists and the faces behind many local bars and restaurants. Some of Alex's most prominent work features Chelsea Clinton and notable St. Pete suicide awareness advocate Shalia Roland. You can find his work on his Facebook page, Alex Gomez Productions.

Years in Tampa Bay

10

Hustle (job)

Freelance Photographer

What do you do?  

I found myself at the University of South Florida for my first year of college as a mass communications major, only to focus more of myself on freelance media work for local downtown restaurants and up-and-coming artists.

Why do you do it?

Since I was fourteen in high school, I have loved media, photography, and videography. I was first mentored by my AP Photography teacher, Carole Rosario (Canterbury School of Florida) who taught me the basics and helped me find my love for art in general.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

When I was 14, I was given my first camera by my school's varsity softball coach. I ran around for hours at the state championship game in Clermont, capturing as many shots as I could. I decided to enter my favorite shot into The Photographer's Forum magazine national photography competition, where my shot was chosen as a finalist and published in their annual magazine.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

Many people feel as if photography is simply the push of a button. There is so much more that goes into a photo shoot such as scheduling, scenery, lighting, camera settings, and even the subject themselves.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

It is very hard sometimes to find clients when not many people know your name. Creating social media accounts and keeping up with them, on top of working a full time job, can be complicated but rewarding when I do receive a message or phone call about a future gig.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

The best piece of advice I received definitely came from one of my old business partners, Brittany Johnson. While filming an interview about her, she said "The more scared you are of making mistakes, the more mistakes you're going to make." In other words, Just Do It!

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