We had the good fortune of connecting with Jorge Parra and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jorge, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
I have been working as an Advertising/Commercial and Fine Art Photographer way before I moved to the USA, and ever since those days, I have always volunteered my photographic services to non-profit organizations and humanitarian causes I like. Basically, the idea has always been to give back something in return to a community that has helped me grow and thrive. For this reason, I have done full Ad campaigns, portraits and calendars for the Breast Cancer Organizations, AIDS prevention groups, Organ Donor Transplant Programs, and I have also provided assistance to state groups and non-profits that deal with kids waiting for their adoption process, as well as a very impactful set of portraits of kids and teens in terminal stages of cancer. I would like to do more, especially I would love to photograph the American Soldiers and their families upon their return from those thorny and horrible scenarios they have to endure and go through while doing the job of protecting our freedom back here in the Homeland. As a photographer and a human being, I pledge and invite any organization which have humanitarian causes I can join and help with my visual work to simply contact me and start collaborating.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have always been a firm believer in personal visual projects, and I feel that those who REALLY believe in their work, their creativity, and their commitment to the craft will always be hungry to finish one project and start another, or even run several projects at the same time ( as I do), independent of the commercial ups or downs of the market, something all of us freelancers experiment in our professional lives. Then, the amazing satisfaction of finding Creative Directors and Clients from different areas of the market realizing my personal projects work as a good starting point for their commercial campaigns they need to do to run their own promotions. This is the IDEAL situation, where you are having the fun of turning your commercial work into an extension of your own personal vision. Many shooters totally forget to keep working their personal views of the world, all the more so if the commercial projects are taking a lot of their available time. Here is where I differ from many others. In my personal opinion, giving up personal projects will eventually lead any creative person into repeating themselves and even getting bored of their own work. Also, the process of producing and executing your own projects leads to an enhanced creative process that eventually helps you so much when you get stuck with complex commercial/advertising productions, so this creative outlet becomes the solution for many unexpected situations, that always show up when working with people, locations, picky clients, demanding celebrities, etc. etc.
In short, the core of your personal projects is actually the core of your creative vision, so, don’t ever stop feeding it!!
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 really enjoy camping outside the city, as I have found it very liberating and a perfect way to break the routines of the city. Call it Conscious Distancing. Most of the time I go to the amazing camping sites and parks in Central Florida, so I do plenty of hiking, kayaking in rivers, and riding bikes. Meantime, while in Miami, I am still kind of a suburban guy. I love parks like Morningside, Enchanted Forest, and Virginia Key, where I can still hike, row, bike and work on my Taichi and Meditation practices.
For food, I LOVE almost every style of culinary dishes and this time, I will refer you to the not-expensive-ones: If you like to try Cuban, you gotta go to Havana Harris and Little Havana. If you like Vietnamese food, you gotta go to Miss Saigon, for Mexican, go to Talavera, for Peruvian visit Delicias de Peru, for Japanese go to Suma, for Chinese do Salon Canton. For Thai, do Ricky’s Thai Bistro, for Venezuelan food, visit Doggies and the cool food trucks around Miami.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to shoutout on behalf of two of my new friends here in Miami. Professional shooters that I met when I moved here and have eventually become very good friends. They are Matthew Pace and Paul Morris. They helped me a LOT when I moved to Miami in 2005 and gave me a true sense of belonging that really helped me settle down very fast and blend easily into the Miami community. Many thanks buddies!!