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Damon Casarez (BA 12 Photography and Imaging) Photographer

profile / alumni / photography-and-imaging
January 23, 2018
By Jamie Wetherbe

He Shoots, He Scores: Meet Photojournalist Damon Casarez

ArtCenter: How do you define success?

Damon Casarez (BA 12 Photography and Imaging) Photographer: As being on the right path to achieve goals that you’ve set for yourself. There are always ups and downs being a freelance artist. But I know where I want to go with my career, and I have to figure out how to survive and get there.

AC: What are you working on right now?

DC: I’m currently getting ready for an NYC trip where I’ll meet with mostly magazine photo editors, and I hope some art directors at design firms and ad agencies. I try to go once a year to meet with editors, show them new work and stay present in the scene.

AC: Do you have any superstitions?

DC: I always charge every battery for my camera and lighting gear before going out to shoot — even when I know they don’t need it.

AC: What’s your favorite portrait you’ve ever taken?

DC: It’s of a young man in his bedroom trying to tie a bowtie while watching a YouTube video for guidance from a series about boomerang kids for The New York Times Magazine.

AC: What’s your most rational fear?

DC: That print magazines will be gone in my lifetime.

Damon Casarez (BA 12 Photography and Imaging)

Everyone has to get a start somewhere, and you have to make someone give you a start by showing your passion and vision.

Damon Casarez (BA 12 Photography and Imaging)

Damon Casarez

AC: Where do you go (online or offline) when you’re taking a break?

DC: I love taking drives in the local Angeles National Forest Mountains when I have a few free hours. When I have a few days, I try to go fly fishing at the Kern River near the Sequoia Forest or Mammoth Lakes area in the Eastern Sierras.

AC: Where is your happy place?

DC: Standing in the middle of a stream or river fly fishing for trout.

AC: If you could trade jobs with anyone for a day who would it be?

DC: Forest ranger.

AC: What book is on your bedside table?

DC: “Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond. It’s a history book I read in college and still love to read every now and then.

Damon Casarez

AC: Who are the most interesting photographers working today?

DC: Alison JacksonAlec SothStefan RuizCatherine OpieNadav Kander and Pieter Hugo. They’re all photographers who are more on the fine art side with books and gallery shows, but also do assignment work. My goal is to eventually make books and have my work in galleries.

AC: Describe a moment in your childhood where you first identified as an artist.

DC: I remember having a Sports Illustrated magazine and seeing this great photo of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman and ripping it out for my wall. I started drawing these photos and getting them as close to the image as possible. My teachers would tell me how good they were, and I think that’s when I knew I had some artistic talent in me.

Damon Casarez

Alumni Q&A

Submit the Alumni Q&A questionnaire to share your story. We want to hear about your accomplishments, what you're working on and your advice for future ArtCenter students.

AC: How would your closest friend describe you?

DC: I think my friends would describe me as being an honest, critical-thinking, humorous person who worries too much.

AC: What’s your best piece of advice for an ArtCenter student who’s interested in following your career path?

DC: Photography is extremely competitive. You have to be all in from day one and prove to people that you’re worth taking a risk to hire you. Everyone has to get a start somewhere, and you have to make someone give you a start by showing your passion and vision.