We had the good fortune of connecting with Jose Musa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jose, what role has risk played in your life or career?
My entire career has been built off of taking risks. I am. firm believer that you should constantly be taking risks because that is the only way you can keep moving forward in life. Back when I was 17 years old thats when I knew I wanted to become a photographer so I started practicing and shooting more, google and youtube became my bestfriends. Began shooting with my friends any chance I got and loved the process. Fast forward two years later, I am in college, for a major that I believed wouldn’t help me achieve my dreams of becoming a fashion phot0grapher only because my parents wanted me to go. After my third semester I decided to take two risks; quit my retail job and drop out of college to pursue photography full time. Don’t get me wrong it was the hardest decision of my life because I felt like I was letting so many people down but I thought to myself, I need to stop doing things for other people and start doing them for myself. I am extremely glad I took those risks because it has gotten me to where I am today and I still continue taking risks. I shoot things and projects I have never done before, nervous that I could completely fail at it, and I have but then I sit back, reflect, and learn from my mistakes. That is the only way to improve your craft especially in this field. Going to work for free not knowing who you will meet at that job that can then land you a paying job, experimenting with different shooting/lighting techniques to continue to push yourself out of the box and push yourself as a creative.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a miami based photographer who specializes in portraits and fashion but do not limit myself to those fields. I have done just about any type of photography out there from food and product to real estate and ecom. I feel like what sets me apart is how comfortable people can get with me in such a short amount of time. I make sure that every person that hires me has an amazing time and is comfortable with everything we do through out the session all the way to the editing. I am the most proud of being able to have made photography my full-time job. It definitely was not easy, there were many weeks to months where I did not have any clients and started second guessing myself on making that choice, but instead of giving up I just let that push me to market myself even more, constantly create and build up my skills. I am actually a self-taught photographer; I have taken two photography classes in my life and in my opinion they were pointless. I learned more through youtube and going out and actually shooting and just constantly practicing which to me is the best way to improve. The most important lessons that I have learned are: 1) Always say yes to any opportunity when you are just starting out because you never know who you will meet through that job as well as it is more practice for you to better your camera skills.
2)Do not be afraid of failing. I have failed may times in trying new ways of shooting and editing but I learned to not let that discourage me and to just asses what went wrong and learn from my mistakes so I could do it better the next time, and repeat that process. No matter how many years of experience someone has they are not perfect, perfect does not exist and everyone has their struggles.
Do not let societal norms discourage you from following your dreams. Ignore everyone else, put in the work and the rest will fall into place.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
So the places I would take my bestfriend: -the beach
-Artec House (super cool art exhibit)
– Bacon Bitch & the Big Pink (really good brunch places)
– Bayside is a great hang out spot
– Thunderbird Drive-in (a-little bit of a drive but definitely worth it)
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my brothers and sister. They have constantly supported me from the beginning, always giving me feedback on all my shoots as well as sharing my work and encouraging me constantly. I especially my “brother from another mother”, My bestfriend Elian. We have known each-other since we were 5 years old which is why I consider him my brother. He was my first model and has given me constant encouragement from the beginning. I definitely would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for him.