HI, MY NAME IS JOSE CARLOS.
I'm a portrait photographer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I moved to the twin cities in the Summer of 2023, after living in Tucson, Arizona for 22 years. I specialize in creating captivating portraits that tell the story of your journey.
When you hire me, you're not simply getting a photo shoot. You're receiving a memorable portrait experience from beginning to end. I help you create a concept around your ideas, and skillfully deliver exceptional results.
I love to photograph individuals & couples, maternity & family portraits, business branding & headshots, intimate portraits for individuals & couples, and commercial & editorial work. There's a story to tell in everyone I work with. I am passionate about hearing your story and sharing it through my art.
Celebrate your love, whatever that looks like, everyone is welcome. Celebrate your hard work and resilience in your achievements at school. Or simply come to share your story, your healing journey, your path to self-empowerment, in whatever part of your journey you're currently on. You can put your trust and confidence in me to create a safe space, a wonderful experience, and beautifully crafted portraits for you.
HOW I BECAME A PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER
My interest in photography started at a young age. I remember watching my dad lug around a heavy VHS camcorder over his shoulder during family vacations and trips to the beach, then popping the tape in the VCR and huddling around the living room TV to watch the videos playback. The nostalgic memories created from an early age take me back to simpler times, and remind me of where I have been on my journey. It's safe to say that cameras have always been around me and have been a significant part of my life.
I went through rolls of film from disposable cameras on middle school field trips. In my teenage years my dad gave me a Sony point-and-shoot camera that I carried with me everywhere I went. Through my early 20's I started getting more creative with my photography skills while using my first iPhone. Eventually, I made the decision to purchase my very first entry-level dSLR camera in 2013. From then on out, learning to utilize my camera to it's fullest capabilities became my obsession.
In order to get out of my comfort zone and continue striving to perfect my craft, I began taking portraits. Over time, the lack of confidence, social skills, and belief in myself were replaced by a sense of fulfillment, a spark of joy, and confidence in myself and in my abilities.
Showing people what they look like in portraits, captured from my perspective, and seeing how it affects them in such a wonderful way, has become one of the most rewarding feelings for me.
My Personal transformation
Today, I am a new man. Not only in my physical appearance, but from within as well. My transformation began with a conscious shift in my eating habits. I almost entirely cut out processed foods and sugar, dairy, meat, and replaced them with healthy alternatives in the form of organic whole foods. I didn't do it for the weight loss, although losing 40 pounds was an interesting side effect. It truly surprised me how much inflammation and fat my body was actually carrying. It made me realize how much unnecessary suffering I was putting my body through, as opposed to how my body is supposed to feel.
Gout was one of the main motivators to get my shit together. But why I really did it was for mental clarity. My mind has struggled for years with feeling foggy, with my ability to grasp and remember things, with overthinking, ruminating, and with not having the ability to grow and strengthen my mind alongside the pace of life. Not to mention the lack of energy and drive I suffered through.
Strengthening my mind through mindfulness, meditation, and self awareness has become a daily practice. I find myself being less reactive in turbulent moments, and more responsive. Every day is a new opportunity to learn, to grow, to do better, to be better, and to screw up and try again.
I do slip on my eating habits from time to time. My body immediately knows, as I begin to feel the lethargic, unfulfilling consequences of my decisions. None the less, I choose to give myself grace in those moments, instead of choosing self punishment like I did for so long. That rarely led me anywhere positive. I've been actively working to unlearn that nasty habit, and replace it with self love and acceptance.
As you can see, I also decided to grow my hair out! After 20 years of shaving my head, I realized that damage has been done to my hair follicles. Hence, the balding on top. Granted, it seems to also be hereditary. I've been using essential oils in hopes of healing the damage and regrowing what was once lost. I'm curious to see how that small part of me flourishes, as I rediscover who I truly am. Every day I stand and look in the mirror, observing the stranger standing there, shirtless and looking back at me. A body shape I am unfamiliar with. My face has also changed.. it has taken me a while to recognize it.
I see my brother in me.. I see my father as well. It seems it has taken me 34 years to finally see MYSELF in me.