We had the good fortune of connecting with Ken Ozuna and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ken, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Impacting my community wasn’t something I necessarily thought about until the pandemic. When indoor dining restrictions were put in place, a lot of food businesses took refuge in online delivery services which required them to take photos. I’d often get called in, and as I photographed, I’d see weary looks about their boarded up and sparse dining rooms, empty in a Friday evening, and I knew that I had to do the best possible job to make sure the pictures are perfect. I believe we eat with our eyes, so if my photos make food look delicious on an app, I think it could really help the longevity of a business in these uncertain times.
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 am a photographer or cinematographer working in the greater Chicago area. I tend to try to create moods, atmospheres, and narratives with still or moving images, using light as a vehicle to create meaning, I suppose. The biggest challenge is finding work in a highly competitive field, but I think perseverance and a lot of luck goes a long way. The biggest lesson I’ve learned that I can pass along would be to ‘Know your worth’, Many people don’t understand the vitality of image capturers in a digital age, so don’t undersell your skills because you’re ‘unproven’. That’s how people begin to take advantage of you. The other big lesson would be to learn when to cultivate relationships. Relationships are more important than money, and if you can do something in a discounted rate for a client that you actually want consistent work with, it’s well worth it over one big pay check. As for the world, I’m just a small photographer and cinematographer, making my way through the world, and translating meaning into visual terms.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love the River Walk in Chicago. Easily my favorite place to photograph. I also really enjoy small cafés and bars. They have such a unique light quality to them that it makes it fun to really push exposure on an image.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am inspired by a lot of content creators on instagram, but I’d love to Shoutout @guweiz on instagram. Their work consistently gets me in the mood to create.