Mauricio Jose Calero is a Toronto based photographer, specializing in event and style photography.
DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF PHOTOGRAPHY.
MC: I describe my photography style as journalistic. The less I have to do post-process, the better. I love documenting what I see in an interesting and captivating way.
WHOSE WORK HAS INFLUENCED YOUR THINKING/CREATIVITY THE MOST?
MC: I learned my first photography lessons from Yousuf Karsh, a master of black and white portrait photography. His work is very simple, yet he knows how to engage the viewer. I try to extend this philosophy to my photography as well.
There is a long list of other incredible fashion and street photographers whose work influenced me. Some of them include Richard Avedon, Bill Cunningham, Annie Liebovitz, Bruce Gilden, Scott Schuman, Tommy Ton, and Mary Ellen Mark.
HOW DO YOU STAY INSPIRED?
MC: To me, photography is about the work ethics more than anything else, even when it comes to my personal projects. I invest a lot of time into making my photography look effortless and cool at the same time. This is how I stay inspired!
I am also inspired by music. I can put on a favourite track and really get into a creative groove. It helps me to focus and relax at the same time.
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE AT PARIS FASHION WEEK.
MC: Fashion. Bright colours. Lots of movement. Running. Photography. Editing. Coffee. Sleep deprivation. Metro rides. Beautiful architecture. Celebrities. Crowds. Smiles. Friends.
WHO ARE THE BIGGEST CELEBRITIES YOU HAVE PHOTOGRAPHED?
MC: There were many, but for sure Drake at the Kanye show in New York City. Also Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid!
WHAT'S YOUR ADVICE FOR TAKING A GOOD STREET STYLE SHOT?
MC: Be honest about the clothing you are photographing. Photograph things that speak to you. Create compositions that make you happy.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE LENSES/CAMERAS TO USE?
MC: I’m a Nikon guy from the very beginning. I don’t have anything against other camera brands, but Nikon has always felt good in my hands.
When shooting on the street, I usually use a prime lens. With the large crowds like in Paris, I prefer shooting with a wider lens. It is a little unusual because the majority of photographers in Paris shoot with a ‘tighter’ (more zoomed-in) 85mm lens.
Overall, I worry less about the technical aspects of shooting and focus more on what I’m shooting.
WHAT'S YOUR ADVICE FOR ASPIRING PHOTOGRAPHERS?
MC: As with any creative endeavour, there is no formula to follow that guarantees success. You need to follow your gut with what you think will define you as a photographer and be persistent when things are not going your way.
If you want to make photography your career, try to learn about the business side of the industry and be prepared to work hard and learn from those who are already successful. Learn the ‘rules’ of photography and break them where necessary.
And most importantly, have fun!