Photography & Vlogging – Chasing a Dream and Re-Thinking Reality

Are success and happiness one and the same?

Entrepreneurs and people looking to be their own boss often battle the motivations to seek personal happiness versus the craving for absolute success.

Just win baby win!

From the sports we watch to the way in which teachers and parents provide the urge to compete, we are always in state of comparing ourselves with another standard or another person.

With photography, video, and personal media compiling some of the biggest

So readers, we’ve got another addition to our growing segment of local interviews with people trying to make it big on their own.

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This time, we linked up with Allan Ramos, a young dude trying to make a lot of moves in Photography and on YouTube.

Allan is a structural assembler with an Aerospace firm, but like all millennials, he wants to still have an outlet of creativity and an opportunity to create within his own control. With a growing passion for capturing moments and memories on camera and video, as well as collaborating with movers and shakers in this big city; Allan has what it takes to become the very rocketship he probably works on in the daytime 😛

We checked in with Allan to get a vibe for what he does, but also to speak on some of the thoughts that go through his mind trying to grow in a big city, and make some sort of impact on the planet.

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1. Now while the aerospace industry has filled your 9-5, like us you also have some creative interests outside of work surrounding media. The growth of technology and social media is huge to the point where people are being born into a society where they have to be immersed in apps, profiles, and likes. Now take us through you realizing your potential in the field of media, photography and content creation and the realization that you want to be your own boss.

I remember joining Instagram when it was still fresh, and I was always posting pictures. It quickly made me realize that over time, social media has such a big impact on so many different things, on so many different people from the way that we consume news, to how happy we feel in life.

So I’ve always wanted to have some kind of impact on the world, and I guess that’s like my motto for when I pass on – that I want to leave some kind of mark here on this world regardless of the impact being big or small. That’s what sparked my interest in photography and videography, and that’s what is pushing me to continue creating and collaborating in an original way.

I think just the whole atmosphere of photography and videography is addictive because, it feels good to meet new people, make connections, and hear a lot of other people’s stories. It’s an interactive way of creating your own human artifact.

2. Alright Vlogging! Millions of people are doing this on the regular, with industries and careers sprouting from it. I’m completely alien to this so talk to me about your personal view about what vlogging is, so I can get your definition and what makes a good or bad vlog. And give me your approach to creating the vlogs and the video based content. What is your approach, your direction, and your strategy?

So before I started vlogging, or at least getting my face out there, I thought vlogging was essentially video-taping your everyday life. It came to a point where I didn’t understand what the meaning of it was because some people’s lives had naturally more excitement and thrill than others.

So, when I started approaching the idea of vlogging, trying to do it myself, it seemed apparent that the goal was to give viewers a snapshot into my everyday life so that they could identify with the mundane but simple aspects of life that everyone lives. I focused on positive and happy topics, footage, and themes because I assumed that was what people wanted.

After shooting, editing, and publishing a few videos, it became more evident that I wanted to shoot real experiences more than simply everyday life, because while people do look for stories of the emotional ups and downs in life, people are often looking for an escape on the internet. I pushed myself to capture, emphasize, and highlight special events and occurrences in my life in terms of going to cool places, seeing crazy things, and re-telling wild experiences. I assumed that this would help and provide viewers with ideas of what to do, a look into my life, and ensure that my content was interesting.

3. Describe your aspirations and goals around photography, how you perceive Toronto’s roster of photographers and how you hope to separate yourself from the numerous players in the game currently.

Honestly, that’s a tough one – I mean my aspirations were to stand out and what not, but I’m just unraveling how huge it is. It really hit me when I found out that one of my biggest role models, Peter McKinnon, is from Toronto. Another YouTuber that I watch named Unbox Therapy is from Toronto as well. You know a lot of these people that are huge online, are stationed right here from my backyard. This helped me realize that while I do want to stand out, there’s also never been a better time to collaborate and learn from local greats. Maybe that’s a sign of a good leader; to be able to recognize when you can grow from others rather than compete with them. Either way, I always strive to be the best but with so many inspirational and creative players in the game, it would be foolish to just focus on myself.

4. What is your creative process? How do you get in the zone to create and capture emotions, ideas, and experiences?

So I guess I’ll take you through a day of how I shoot, how I edit my photos and how I approach clients. Locations are important to me because they get my imagination going. Before doing a full shoot, I’ll often visit spots beforehand and take some preliminary shots to get a vibe of the scene. Music, local art, and my personal aesthetic, drive my ability to shoot cool images and edit.  Maintaining a passion like this is hard because it takes time Because I work a full time job, and because I work evenings, it’s hard to get into this creative zone especially if it’s that late at night, coming home or if I’m waking up just a little later in the morning it’s hard to get into the zone between those times because you’re just getting into the groove of things, so you’re just simmering down, so it’s hard to just get into it. That being said, once I’m in it, I try to find the best ways to make photos pop, make my videos interesting.

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5. How did Toronto, and of course if you want to be specific, Scarborough, affect the way you perceived the world, created your life path, and became the person you are today?

I grew up between East York and then Scarborough and so I was able to see the drastic shift from suburban white neighbourhood life to a vibrantly multicultural community. I mean Toronto now as a whole is a multicultural mecca, and it’s crazy the variety of different cultures and people you can meet just by walking one block but there was a point in time when you still felt a little out of place in your own skin.

I think this easy access to unfiltered culture has groomed my growth from childhood until now and the most important thing that I picked up was that if you can respect other cultures, there’s a lot that you can learn from that. We can see the borrowing of culture in today’s art and media all the time, and Toronto has been a great place for this.

It really sucks that hate, stigma, and Islamophobia are slowly coming back again, and maybe it’s always been here, but in my opinion it’s up to our generation to let the youth and elders know that we aren’t here for this.

6. Talk about failure, the way in which you have dealt with it, and how it contributes to building character as an entrepreneur.

I think, the biggest L I’ve taken was not being able to finish my E.C.E program in college which was only a 2 year duration took me 7 years to go back and forth, switching to 2 different schools and at the end of all that time not finishing it. That being said if it wasn’t for that “failure”, it wouldn’t have brought me essentially to where I am today. Don’t get me wrong I loved to work at a daycare, but it brought me to where I am today because my lacking urge to complete the program forced me to look at myself honestly and ask myself some hard questions about what I really wanted to do and who I really wanted to be.

In addition to this, failed relationships have played a big factor in questioning my self-worth in this world, because out of all the girls I’ve dated, I’ve always been the dumped one. This has always left me being the one to ask a thousand questions around, was I good enough for this person, what didn’t they see in me, or why did they get tired of me. It got to a point where in college, I got cheated on. So I think that opened my eyes to a whole new level because it  brought me to a really dark spot in my life where I really didn’t have much motivation and lost a lot of self-esteem. With enough time and thought to myself, I was able to grow and understand that I shouldn’t need someone to validate how good I am, and that my self-worth is determined by me alone. This has really helped me stay optimistic and motivated without being obsessed with results.

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7. Do you have any plans to use your platform to advocate for any social causes or local and global issues?

Mental health hits a little close to home. Not necessarily me personally, but like me, everybody has a few people in their family that have gone through it or is maybe still going through it. It’s hard seeing someone go through it regardless severe it may seem to you, because inside them it could be pure torture.

One of the things I wanted to advocate is that, it’s okay to fail because that’s what helps build your character. I think because of the world we live in, we feel pressured to put forward a certain version of ourselves at all times which can affect how comfortable we feel in our skin or how comfortable we feel in trying something new.

Mental health is talked about so much now, and while it’s good that the stigma is leaving, now it’s time to really heal and I hope that my photos and videos can help to do that.

8. What are your goals for the remainder of 2018 and the next year?

At the beginning of the year I already told myself that I’m going to start getting into my building my repertoire in photography and videography more by collaborating with people. I want to start working with people and it’s not about the money; it’s about networking and creating experiences with people in a really dynamic city.

To be asked to be needed for collaborations and to be paid for it is more of a blessing than I could imagine, for both my pockets and my confidence in this game. Regardless of money, I want to continue collaborating, and I want to continue reaching out to those that are just getting into photography/videography.

I’m collaborating with you guys and that in itself is a great thing and again, the fact that we’re not doing it for money but rather out of natural motivation, allows us to create content more freely. So for 2018, the collaborative creation of organic content is going to be my thing.

9. So the Omelette is an extended metaphor for the way in which people in places like Toronto are able to integrate aspects of culture together as various ingredients and seasonings to make one piece of digestible creative experience. My question for you is how you like your eggs?

You know what’s funny? I am allergic to eggs! I’m allergic to raw eggs but if they’re fully cooked I can eat them. The only way I can have my eggs is brown, well done scrambled, over hard, and hard boiled. Good question though!

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It was a crazy experience speaking with Allan because a lot of his words spoke to our own obstacles. Finding confidence and meaning in a city where you’re constantly surrounded by great new innovators is tough. And the ability to harness culture into content is something we always try to do. We’re super thankful to Allan for giving us the time to go on an intimate journey through his work so far.

We, at The Omelette, are more than confident about Allan’s potential to capture experiences, moments, and ideas on his camera and videos that will inspire, brighten, and engage people today and tomorrow. Wishing you all the best Allan, from Scarborough to infinity and beyond!

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