We had the good fortune of connecting with Gonzalo Casas de las Penas and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Gonzalo, what do you want your legacy to be?
Legacy means a lot to me. I want my legacy to be the stories I help tell. I’ve photographed 1000 strangers, each one with a different legacy they plan to give, a completely different story than my own. My legacy is being able to give people a glimpse into their lives and what it means to be them.

I hope that one day maybe 1000 years into the future when someone wants to learn about how life was in chaotic 2022 they’ll check out one of my interviews and understand our generation’s struggles and successes just a bit more. I want people to remember me through my photographs and through the happiness, I try to bring others. For that reason every day I try to get better at asking more interesting questions and at getting others to open up to me more and tell me their story.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I never thought I’d be the creative type, I always considered myself “the business person”. In school when I was asked what I wanted to be I’d always say a guy with a nice suit making a lot of money. I haven’t worn a suit in years (they’re too uncomfy). I now am a photographer that loves capturing people and who they are.

I’m still a little business-minded(you gotta be), I have my own small studio in Broward, but mostly love capturing strangers in the street. Now I want money for the freedom of having more time instead of just to “make a lot of money”.

It all started when I wanted to build my portfolio for photography because I was doing marketing for businesses and wanted to offer it as a service. I didn’t have many friends wanting to model so I went to the street of South Beach to ask people for their pictures. That’s where I realized I liked talking to new people more than I liked building the portfolio. Now I go out every other weekend and photograph people. I’ve photographed 1000 people on the street, heard a lot of cool stories, and made many friends in between.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d go people watch with them, at Lincoln road, Design District, and Wynwood, a lot of interesting looking people out there. At the end of the day, take them out to a cozy bar in Wynwood and just catch up, I’m boring like that :).

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family, my friends and my girlfriend, but most of all my mother. She supported me from the beginning and she let me borrow her camera without even thinking and use it until it was all worn out. I remember when I was in school in Peru, she would read me books because I was too misbehaved to sit down and read. She would ask my classmates for their notebooks so much that I was embarrassed enough to start actually studying at school.

Now, thankfully she doesn’t have to be so hands-on and I love reading books now. Doing all that and not giving up she helped me believe in myself and got me to work hard at the things I care about.

Website: https://gonza.co

Instagram: instagram.com/gonzcasa

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/gonzcasa

Other: Tik Tok: Tiktok.com/@gonzcasa <a href=”https://gonza.co/1000-pictures-of-strangers-what-i-learned/“>some of the pictures of strangers i’ve taken in Miami</a> <a href=”https://gonza.co/portrait-photography-miami/“>book me as your photographer in Miami</a>

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