We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Perez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, what do you want your legacy to be?
We live for a relatively short time, and therefore we need to make sure that we leave a good impression for the generations to come. As a photographer, I don’t care much whether people remember me or not. My main focus is for my pictures to make an impact in the eyes of those who see them. I have a long way to go, but I am certain I can get there. As a person, I would like people to remember me as the one who would always strive to do the right thing no matter what, as a charismatic being who would always try to put a smile on other people’s faces.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
– Tell us more about your work:
I started taking photos around 2014 after begging my dad for a cheap digital camera. As soon as I started working I bought a cheap film camera from eBay. In the following years, my shooting style and preferences in regard to photography changed drastically. What started as a hobby became my second job, and I started taking a lot of clients for paid work. But enough of the past, let me tell you about my current work as a photographer.
I consider myself a film photographer. A few months ago I sold all my digital gear in order to invest more in film cameras and equipment. I shoot 35mm film as well as 120, and hopefully some large format film in the future too. Now, why film you may ask. That’s a question that everyone asks, and with good reason. One may argue that shooting film is more of a hassle for a photographer. First of all, you have to buy the film (which keeps getting more expensive.) then you need to send it to the lab to get it developed if you’re not doing it yourself. Not to mention the things that can go wrong in the process. Accidental light leaks, processing errors, etc. I’ve always argued that it’s all about the experience for me. You’re definitely more involved with the process of taking a photo, and since you only have a certain amount of photos in a roll, you tend to be more careful before you press the shutter. It really isn’t a matter of which is better. It’s all about the photographer and what they can create whether they’re shooting digital or film.
– What sets you apart from others?
I like to be modest and say that my work isn’t special, but I know that this is not entirely true, I just never know how to put it into words. It’s always been hard for me to compliment my own words because I don’t want to seem pretentious or better than others. I’m happy to say that I’m part of a very passionate film photography community. We like to put an extra obstacle when taking photos and that really makes us special. when it comes to me, I think the fact that I like to keep my style super varied. I shoot everything and anything; from simple daily life shots to street photos, to landscape. I’m always in a student mindset.
– What are you most proud of or excited about?
I’m super excited about releasing my first magazine/book! This has been something I had been working on for months and it finally became a thing. I titled it “Nothing Special” and it’s a collection of Black and white images shot during the past year. Even though the images may seem like regular everyday scenes, this project was special to me because it was during the period of time that I decided to work exclusively with film. “Nothing Special” will be up for sale on my newly launched Website! On my website, people can also find fresh film for sale, as well as other cool things that will come in the near future. These two things are what I’m most proud of and excited about!
– How did you get to where you are today professionally?
the way here was not easy at all. I wish photography was my only fours, my only job, but unfortunately, it hasn’t been. During all my years as a photographer, I’ve also had to focus on my main job and also school. There have been times in my career when I’ve been forced to sell my gear just ‘because times were tough. It’s hard to postpone your dreams sometimes, but it’s always for the best. All my struggles helped me understand that life’s time is perfect whether you realize it right away or not. Thankfully, as I mentioned before I’ve been able to launch my small business, and I’m fortunate to also be able to keep working on my main job, on my photography, and school. The most important lesson is to keep working on your dreams no matter what life throws at you.” slow and steady wins the race! and as my favorite quote also says: “when you really want something, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it.”
– What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I started the brand Farlands with great ideas in mind. So far Farlands is how people know my work by, it’s my website and film shop. I also want Farlands to be a space for other artists so their work can be seen by others. this will be one of my projects for 2022.
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.
Houston is such a vast city! There are so many things to do and so many places to see.
I would start the morning with breakfast at First Watch! That’s definitely my favorite breakfast/brunch place and I would love to introduce more people to it. After that head out to the Houston Museum of Natural Science followed by a walk at Herman Park. Lunch will definitely have to be at one of Houston’s famous taco trucks! And to end the day we could maybe have a few drinks at some of the many bars in Downtown!
I’m very spontaneous so I’m sure many more things would come to mind right on the spot!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Countless times I have heard how influential Riley’s Camera and Repair has been to the film photography community in Houston, and this is completely true. Every time I visit them I learn something new, and I’ve made it a thing to go every weekend! Jay Gomez or @iaygomez on Instagram has also been someone who I have been truly inspired by. His passion for film photography is truly admirable and it is truly something to look up to.
Flats Lab, just like Riley made a big impact in my film photography career. They have remained one of the strongest pillars for the analog photography community in Houston and even the surrounding areas. What’s not to admire about them.