We had the good fortune of connecting with Jay Gomez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jay, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born in El Salvador, my parents fled a civil war and came to the United States in hopes of a better future. Being a first generation immigrant has had a huge impact on who I am today. We didn’t have much growing up, and seeing my parents come to a new country with nothing and eventually becoming small business owners has really impacted my work ethic and determination to be my own person. My father came first in the 80’s and documented his life with an old canon film camera. He would send photos of his day to day home to my mother and brother. I remember picking up his camera as a kid and taking pictures as he drove us around the city. I found film fascinating and that fascination never left me.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Film photography has always been fascinating to me. There’s a sense of excitement in not being able to see your photos until after you develop them. Did you mess up the exposure? Did you compose it correctly? Did you capture the image and composition you saw in your head before you took that photo? Its exhilarating. Street photography has always been about capturing people and things naturally. I like to capture local neighborhoods and people. The way they live, they way WE live today. Sometimes capturing a moment right before it’s lost to history. Documenting every day life is something I hope future generations will appreciate.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would start our morning at one of my favorite coffee shops and hang out spots. Coral Sword! Great place to go have an espresso, play some board games, and get some breakfast. Then we could hit up the museum of fine arts and finish off with some beers in East downtown, one of my favorite spots to visits is The Almighty Moon Tower, they have over 60 beers on tap and some great game hot dogs! I would also take take them to do some street photography with me on main and have a few drinks at Deans, Bovine and Barley, or the flying saucer!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There’s a few film photography organizations I would like to give a shoutout too and one other photographer whose had an impact on my photographer. First one is Riley’s Camera and repair. What Riley is doing for the film community is absolutely stunning, from bringing old cameras back to life and providing a treasure trove of knowledge to just being an all around good human being. They provides a great service to not just seasoned film photographers but to beginners as well.

Second, is Flats Film Lab, a team of women providing development, scanning, and gallery for local film photographers. They are doing great things over there and I wish them all the success.

Third is another local film photographer by the name of Christian, he goes by _farlands_ on Instagram and has a been a great friend and inspiration. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have been introduced to the aforementioned institutions and I wouldn’t have known how big the world of film photography has become locally.

Website: jaygomez.co

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iaygomez/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iaygomez

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