Hey everyone, my name is Anthony and I am new here to Fstoppers. I really got into photography by documenting hardcore shows (as in hardcore punk rock). I first encountered Manny Mares on a message board for this genre of music. During this summer I have watched Manny continuously post images from a series he has been working on called "Summer in America."
I really think that whether you are a full time professional, or working to get there, that the best thing you can do for yourself is to shoot personal work. It helps get the creative juices flowing and helps you to learn new tricks and techniques for your clients, as well as helps to build your portfolio out in a direction you want it to go in. So I emailed Manny and asked him if he would be interested in answering some questions about this recent series of personal work for the readers of Fstoppers, and he obliged.
Fstoppers: What was the motivation for this series?
Manny Mares: Man this is a tough one. Where do i even begin? I would say over the past few years I have always seen numerous people try the 365 day project (which is a little crazy to me). I really wanted to give that project a try but then the idea of just doing a small series seemed more possible. I was at a point where I was trying to take things a little more serious and I honestly think this series helped me a lot. The motivation was to get better and I think the spirit of a summer in America really made it that much easier to be creative.
Manny Mares: I actually started doing photos of everything just red haha. I know it's crazy but red is my favorite color and I wanted to just shoot a lot of people wearing red. I found some friends of mine and actually shot a few photos of that haha. They aren't actually included in the series but that's how it started. After a concert in Phoenix I was actually driving to this pizza spot Hungry Howies when a friend of mine named Tevita suggested it. This was a little bit right before summer so it made sense and since 4th of July was just the next month I wanted to get all crazy American. Plus it was easy to find props for real cheap haha. What I loved about this series is that everyone and their mother owns something American. I literally had people finding coffee mugs, underwear, glasses, lollipops, old budweiser hats, and anything else you could think of. Made it real fun and easy.
Just really hoping i can stay busy this year. I loved this series and really helped me grow as a photographer. The plan is just to stay busy forever haha.