State / Region
I love portrait, fashion and lifestyle photography. I charge $180 an hour
Hello! I’m Angelo, father of two, husband of hottie. I love my family, nature, nice people, Nutella, travel and photography. I’ve been in the visual arts industry for almost 17 years now, but not always as a photographer. I was an art director for most of my career for many companies. In my early years I was art director of a small design company in Seattle, and was lucky enough to work on many of Microsoft's marketing campaigns. I got to learn a lot about large corporate branding techniques and international marketing. After that, I was lucky enough to work for other great companies such as Seattle Weekly (alternative newspaper), Tully's Coffee Company and a large health system called MultiCare, in Tacoma WA. I left that cushy job and took my family down to Costa Rica for two and half years in 2013, to a small charming beach town called Samara. I started freelancing then with all the companies I had worked for, plus a handful of others - and still do to this day. In these past couple of years my passion of design heavily shifted into photography. I fell in love with capturing moments and authenticity which seemed to naturally progress into fashion and portrait.
I feel my skills, creativeness, and commercial quality standards that I’ve acquired in my design career, have carried themselves over seamlessly into my photography. Photography has been a breath of fresh air for me creatively and literally. I get to spend time away from the computer and be in nature and collaborate and create with other people. It became the prefect mix of everything I love and enjoy in life. I feel that I've learned so much as far as technique and real life composing, but I definitely have a lot more to learn, and I look forward to each of those lessons.
Holding a camera in my hand gives me a little pep in my step. It’s something that I’m thankful for because it helps me to see the beauty that is around us all the time, that is happening all the time.
Would you like to complete our full Editorial interview or skip straight to uploading your photos? (12 more interview questions).
Our readers would love to get to know you more Angelo. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
Being the son of a naval officer and all the moving around I did as a kid, gave me some valuable people skills. I can relate and connect to people quite quickly and make them feel comfortable around me, and we always end up having a good laugh and rapport by the end of the session. With that ease and relaxed mindset, my clients end up being more themselves rather than just a client trying to pose in the right way. Their authenticity and personality come out in their actions they take. I like to direct a shoot in broad strokes. Give them an action to do, and get the shots of them in the in-between poses, where I find the most authentic and natural shots come from. Sometimes, I'll ask them to do an action or try a pose; then I'll say "hold on, I gotta calibrate my camera." and that's when they truly relax, and I sneak a few shots in.
Angelo, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
My number one passion is to create. My favourite outlets for that have been graphic design, building and as of late, photography.
I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for photography but never really got serious about it. My passion was in design, and I was happy with that. These past couple years, to my surprise, my passion took a turn. I bought a pretty decent camera, and I fell in love. I fell in love with capturing moments of beauty and authenticity. I was able to capture it with a point and shoot once in awhile which would stir my curiosity and evoke the idea of being an actual photographer, but it wasn’t until I got a full blown professional grade camera that I realized, “hey, I fricking love this!” I started asking some friends to model for me, and they liked how the photos turned out and that led to other friends seeing them and asking for a session too. Eventually, people just started asking how much I charged for a session. In many ways, following my passion for photography naturally progressed into its own business.
I would hope one day to be well known for my fashion and portrait work, and eventually get into portrait photography for celebrities.
Who is your inspiration in life Angelo? How do you keep inspired?
I don't think my inspiration comes mainly from one person or one place; I love seeing all the amazing stuff that people are doing on Instagram. One day I'll be into the lifestyle because I'll run across someone's Instagram feed that was a pure inspiration, other days I'll be into fashion/portrait for the same reason. I like to think I am adaptable, mostly because I don't like to get pegged into one style and I love the challenge of trying a new style to see if I can replicate the quality and feel of a shot I like.
Instagram keeps me inspired. The quality of work that I see people putting out there pushes me to up my game with every shoot, to try new angles, new props, new ideas. Seeing all these creatives gives me a general idea of which way I'd like to go with my photography, and what styles or field I have fun in most.
We all make mistakes Angelo; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer, you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I am fortunate I guess in that I don't see mistakes as regrets because if you can learn something from them, then they become such a valuable experience and something that you cherish.
Honestly, I haven't had an experience in photography yet, where I thought I had to "handle" or "make right". Knocking on wood right now.
I'm so laid back and a "go-with-the-flow" kind of guy, that not much irks me. I meditate a lot.
Angelo , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
I make sure I set plenty of time for the shoot specifically. I learned in my freelance graphic design career, that when I said yes to any and all projects no matter how many, I compromised my quality of service, time, happiness, and health. I promised my self I would no longer do that. I believe clients, money and what ever else you need, will come when they need to. Clients who truly want to work with you will understand if they need to wait because your schedule is full. In fact, when you do finally get to those clients that have been waiting, they'll be too happy about the quality of service and work that they'll think the wait was worth it.
Please tell us, Angelo, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
I like to talk with the client at least a week before the shoot and go over what it is they're looking for as far as style and look for the shoot. Depending on the complexity or sophistication of the look, I will look to collaborate with a stylist if it's more fashion oriented. When I reach out to models, I have an idea in mind, and I gather or make props myself that I'll need for the shoot.
Angelo, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
I'm a "let's meet in the middle" kind of guy, and I always want both parties to be heard. So in many instances, I will ask or suggest we try both ways. And if things worked way better my way, the other person will happily agree, and vice versa if their way turned out better.
Angelo, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
I guess I'm always proudest when I set out to try something new and accomplish it well. That would have to be my first levitation photo. It was my last idea of the day, and the light was quickly disappearing. I had brought two saw horses and a couple of 2 x 4 to put the saw horses for my model to rest on. Propped them in shallow water, and quickly collaborated on poses, taking care not to strain her. All the technical aspects seemed to flow into my brain as a check list that I had not previously thought of before. Everything for that idea just came together so seamlessly, and fun and the image turned out great in post editing. I've done a few levitation shots since then but still have a lot to learn and experiment with.
Angelo, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I always get to be creative when I assign myself a project. That's the fun of working for myself! The difficulty is always in the gathering of props or equipment that I need because I'm not quite supplied with everything I'd like quite yet. Between my friends and family, I always seem to get what I need.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
Get inspired anyway you can; Instagram, walking, movies...etc.
Don't be afraid to experiment or copy someone else's style, because in that way, you learn a great deal of technique and how to be resourceful. If you're getting into photography because of the money, stop. That goes for any line of work. Be sure to follow your passion. The challenge, the work, the time, you'll be putting in will seem like fun rather than work, and your creativity will flow.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes, I always love collaborating with model talent and stylists. They bring the level and quality of the shoot higher, as well as make the session easier.
Now for the best part Angelo! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Photographer:Angelo Hilton @angelo_chico_photographer