fotoblog of Daniel Meza

Self Portrait #82

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A lot of times I get the feeling that I need to photograph someone and often times I’m the closest person.  I tend to take a lot of self portraits.


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August 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm

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Scham Wow!!!

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My friend Good Zack came to visit with Charles today.  Why the name Good Zack you ask? Well let’s think about the other Zaq‘s that you may know and maybe you will have your answer.

Anyways, he’s one of those guys that seems soft spoken at first glance and then becomes a little less soft spoken when you get to know him.  A few years ago, I had the pleasure of being featured in a student film done by Charles and Zack called “Piñata”.  Basically, I played a small time thief who accidentally kills a girl while robbing a house.  I got to walk around and be arrogant for a few days while they filmed me and while it felt great to be extra mean to Zack on camera, it kinda carried over to our personal lives for a while. (Not good)

He goes to NYU film school now and before he gets big time, I gotta give him his own blog post so that he doesn’t get too cool for me in a few years.  After some whiskey cokes and a some red wine, I busted out my camera with a my small octabox that i rigged up with gaffers tape.  Points to anyone who can guess what I did.

I have this hat that when you put on, you instantly transform into some type of old time journalist.  I picked it up a few weeks back from an old house in Point Richmond that Angie and I had stayed at.  Thanks Peg.  Anyways, I sat him down handed him a small shovel and told him to look at me like he’s been doing this all his life.

This last photo is most like the Zack that I know.  Just standing there scratching his head uncomfortably in the awkward moments between us.  Although it sounds funny, there’s something really raw about the way he conducts himself around other people.  I like it.

Written by danielmezaphoto

August 11, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Artistic Blood Runs in The Family

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My brother has been painting for a number of years and has always been (since I can remember) the more artistic of the two of us.  He’s just better at visualizing abstract ideas and building subconscious worlds deep down in his head than I can visualize what pink and green might look like together.  It’s not my fault, I was born this way.  I’m a much more inclined on pop culture issues and the instantaneousness of the world we live in.  Instant messaging, Facebook messages, writing on walls, texting, calling, blogging right before going to work, desktop publishing, photoshop; everything is so streamlined in the digital age, and I love it all.  That’s why I think I fell in love with photography.  It’s instant, a press of a button and whatever you saw is burned into a microchip sensor and within minutes can be transmitted to the world.  I don’t have time to think about painting some idea I once had or walk out to a park and paint a pretty picture, I just bring my camera and make things happen.

But Frank is different.  He paints things, he brings things he finds in the trash home and paints them, he would probably paint me if he had a chance.  (Not a representation of me, but physically paint me)

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So here we are now both college grads and both still trying to make things happen.  Small business ideas come and go, job applications and interviews, some quick money on some odd jobs; life’s been a roller coaster and there’s no end in sight.  I like it this way.  It makes me hungry for life because I know that if I keep on pushing my way through all the sludge, eventually I’ll make it.  Wherever that is. Maybe it’s just the journey and there is no destination.

Anyways, Frank has decided to couple his artistic abilities with entrepreneurial endeavors and create a Facebook fan page.  Check it out here.  I shot all the photos for him and even shot this portrait of him to give him some credibility.  I mean look at it.  The man looks like he knows what he’s doing.  And he does.

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July 26, 2011 at 11:40 am

Tony Borrmann

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I always like a name like Borrmann, two unnecessary letters that are just there for fun.  That’s why I’m make photographs, for fun.  Tony had asked me to photograph him welding some stuff to see what kind of cool shots we could get and since it’s summertime and all I want to do is build my portfolio, I happily agreed.

Tony is a guy who’s had a million and a half dead end jobs and has probably met more screwed up people at those jobs than you will in your whole lifetime.  It wasn’t until recently that Tony began to study welding at Cerrito’s College.  From what he tells me, he loves it and has finally found something that has 1.) job security and 2.) held his attention for more than a few months and not to mention 3.) totally badass.  There’s sparks flying everywhere and you gotta wear heavy leather jackets or else.  (Believe me, you don’t want to find out what’s happens.)

I couldn’t have imagined what a pain it was to photograph someone welding.  Basically, the arc of the welder is .9 times the brightness of the sun and looking at it with your bare eyes will give you something later on called “sandpaper eyes”.  Apparently, it feels exactly like it sounds.  Tony was kind enough to loan me a hood, so I could shoot from inside the booth.  Wearing a hood which felt like 5 or six stops down from ambient light, I had to shoot blindly with a fairly tight lens (35mm on a cropped sensor) and hope for the best.  I set my exposure with my shutter speed at 120th and slowly crept down to see what kind of motion I could get with slower shutter speeds. I propped a SB-900 (light) on a stand and used it as a rim light allowing the arc’s light to serve as the main light.  Soon the sun started to play a factor in my exposure but everything turned ok perfectly well.  I’m so happy with the results and I’m sure that you will too.  Since I only had a handful of winners this time I decided to do multiple edits.  Enjoy!

Written by danielmezaphoto

July 20, 2011 at 11:55 am

Happy Birthday America!

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For me, 4th of July is one of those holidays where it seems that everyone has something super fun that they’re committed to doing and you get stuck deciding which friend of a friend’s barbeque will get you more “likes” on Facebook.  But in recent years, I seem to have joined the club of people that have something going on and I’ve been getting amped on it for weeks prior.   Allow me to explain.

My 4th of July went a little something like this.  Drive to San Diego, drink beers, go to a gay wedding, drink champagne, go to a gay bar for the reception, drink vodka, wake up feeling poorly, drink beeers, play beer pong, drink beers, go to the beach, drink jaeger, go to a bar, drink beers, watch firewoorks, and finally end the night with a giant maarshmallow fight on the beach.  (In case you didn’t notice, I started to slur my words a little there at the end of that sentence.)  My 4th of July was in no way productive but I definitely got a taste of the life I lived just a few years ago.  You see I’m suffering from a little thing called “getting older”.  It’s a disease where alcohol makes you really sick and you get tired way earlier and start to complain about little things that don’t really matter.

Highlight of the weekend definitely revolves around the über personal Rodgriguez/Tabatabai wedding at Balboa Park,  I’ve never seen a wedding go so smoothly nor feel so welcoming and warm.  I honestly felt that there were only people who had known Marc and Daryus for years prior or their families.  and me.  That last part made me feel really special.

All Star of the Weekend Award goes to Sean, the guy who just moved in downstairs under Stacey in Ocean Beach.  Highlights of his reign of terror include telling me “nice mole, it’s so asymmetrical” upon meeting me,  telling Amber that she seems really familiar cause “it’s hard to forget such a loud mouth” and telling Angie after putting on her makeup “that Wow!, she really did need makeup.”  This kid was on a quest to ruin any good first impressions that he may give off.  The best part was that I kept making fun of a Blue Caddy out front that read “OB JERY” on the license plate.  Turns out it was his car and he has a blog about it somewhere. <–Myspace page.  All in all, he’s actually a pretty good guy who just needs some help in figuring out what thoughts he should censor before allowing them to leave his mouth.  I hope he’s still around next time we stay at Stacey’s place.

I had an awesome time meeting all of Angie’s friends from her past and would do it all over again.  Now for the photos!Fence Behind Stacey’s Place in OB.  Pretty much sums up the OB vibe.

Stephen Taylor Close-up

The Famous Sean Guinn Who Lives Downstairs With His New Friend Drew

“GAME ON!!!!!”

Kid Living The Dream of Dominating an Older Opponent at Such a Young Age – Marshmallow Fight OB

Angie and Steve getting ready to pelt some people

Dog at Dog Beach – California Cruisin’

Sunset over the Jetty at Ocean Beach

Another Shameless Sunset Photo (Yes the light was that good.)


You can never go wrong with the Hoopty Trailer/Vespa Combo

Sean Having the Time of His Life Taking a Photo (This a real expression)

I Scream for Ice Cream

Satan’s Guard Dog – Nicest Ugliest Dog I’ve Ever Seen

Me- Steve on the count of 3, I want you to hit Stacey in the face.


Steve – Can I be drinking my Smirnoff Ice at the same time?

Stacey – Owwwwwwww!

Too Busy to Pose For The Camera

Seriously, Who Has A Pet Duck?!?

Happy Husband, Angaface and StaceFace

I Thought About Photoshopping My Face Over Marc’s Body

The Beautiful Centerpieces At The Wedding

European Girl Trying to Cool Off Without Parental Supervision

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July 6, 2011 at 10:02 am

Portrait of The Midway

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I’ve been going to The Midway ever since I turned 20.  It’s that place where nothing’s expected and anything can happen.  Sometimes, there are women there, but most of the time, there are not.  There are esé types, sketchy drug people, younger kids (like myself), older Bellflower locals who ride bikes to the bar and just about every other type of person that may live nearby.  It’s place for everyone to have a beer and try to keep the drama to a minimum.

Sometimes, I ride my bike there and catch up with friends over a pitcher of beer but most of the time I drive.

Monica, who basically runs the place was nice enough to let me set a date and take photographs of the people that come to the bar.  I want to capture the essence of the Midway.  The photos are not flattering, they are not meant to be.  They are meant to be a raw representation of the people that make up the Midway family.  This is the first set of what I hope to be many sessions of portraits.

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June 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm

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Jesse Chapo of Chapolito Graphic Design

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I met Jesse a few years back when we were both still in college.  We had tons of mutual friends but we never really got to know each other until recently.  He DJs with some friends and together they are known as French Kiss Collective.  Recently I had the joy of photographing an event they held in downtown San Diego at the El Dorado Cocktail Lounge.  It was super fun and tons of friends and random people turned out making the night a definite success.  You can view the photos of the night here!

I digress.  The point of this blog entry is to put the spotlight on Jesse and his immense creative talent.  Years ago, I remember hearing about this graphic arts guy who went to Australia on a study abroad and ended up making money doing designs for Tiger beer and some T-shirt company.  I remember thinking that this guy had to know somebody with a hookup or something.  Maybe that was true but if you meet Jesse, you’ll know that he’s the real deal.  He’s all business and ready to solve all your problems.  He’s got a style all his own.  Anybody can use every color of the rainbow in a design but not everybody can make it work like he does.  His personal art is just dripping with saturated colors and fictional beings.  All these creative juices permeate into his professional work and make him stand out amongst a sea of wannabes.

Jesse had contacted me a while back to see how much I would charge to shoot him and create a more professional avatar for his web presence.  His avatar at the time was a photo of him sporting cheap wayfarer knockoffs standing in front of brightly colored streamers with a look like he just came down from a gnarly acid trip.  No offense to the photo nor photographer but it was looking tired and amateur, definitely not what you want people to think about you as a working professional.

We ended up settling on a brightly colored mural at a scooter dealership near his house in North Park as the backdrop for his creative genius.  Luckily, both of our girlfriends had decided to ride their bikes over and check out the shoot as it happened.  I say luckily because lucky for me they were more than willing to hold a reflector and flash for me despite the onslaught of wind.  Without them, I’d risk losing another battle of my flash versus the ground.  A price that I’m currently paying.

I love the way that the photos turned out and we were able to settle on one perfect photograph that said it all, “I’m Jesse Chapo, I’m creative, confident and professional.  What more could you ask for?”

You can find Jesse’s website here.  I guarantee that you’ll spend more than a few minutes cruising his site and looking at his work.

For the record, the photo above was never in the running for serious use.  I just love the expression and cockiness that he exudes.

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June 7, 2011 at 8:44 pm