Community Spotlight: Simon Diez
GETTING TO KNOW PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER SIMON DIEZ
Simon Diez is a Peruvian portrait photographer based in the greater Seattle, Washington area, originally from Lima, Peru.
His work combines a classic, painterly aesthetic with modern sensibilities to create timeless portraits.
Some of his photography idols are:
- Annie Leibovitz
- Chris Knight
- Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk
- Jan Gonzales
- Barbara McFerrin
- Jonny Edward
- Lindsay Adler
- Sue Bryce
- John Gress
- John Cornicello
When I asked the PRO EDU Community to suggest our Spotlight Photographer, people couldn't wait to suggest PRO Team member Simon Diez. Simon is still early in his career, but already making great strides toward making a name for himself in the industry.
If there is one thing clear about Simon, it is his passion and drive not only to grow as a photographer, but to be a force for good in the community. He is committed to learning, to growing, and taking the time to help other photographers.
In this Community Spotlight series, we'll ask photographers a series of questions, and share the answers so you can learn more about them. Here is what Simon had to say.
It was by accident. I've always had a camera in hand and I love taking photos, but I never thought of making a living as a photographer.
I bought a camera from a pawn shop a few years ago and at some point, thought about returning it. My wife was the one who encouraged me to continue and we started looking for videos on YouTube to learn at least how to use it.
One thing led to another and now I know that don't return that camera and to give it a chance it was the best decision I made in my life. I learned to tell stories without using words but with lights and shadows, I discovered that there is so much beauty in those imperfections that makes us unique and I love that intimate connection that is created with the people I photograph that helps them reveal, empower and celebrate that super model they never knew they were.
Which non-photographers inspire you the most?
I love Rembrandt's work. The way he manipulated light, the very harmonious color palette and the overall exquisite composition have been the constant source of inspiration in which I have developed most of my work.
If you could assist one photographer, living or dead, who would it be?
That's a great question. Even when I would like to say Chris Knight, Annie Leibovitz or someone I admire, my answer is to any photographer who needs my help to make that journey as beautiful as mine.
Do you have any funny habits while you shoot, or any pet peeves on set?
Listening to random music that can range from 90s hip-hop to Taylor Swift. It's hella fun. I also put 2 lines of neon green tape on the floor to mark the place where no one but me can be while I'm shooting
Most memorable photography experience?
This! I wasn't expecting to be featured here with you. Feeling the love and support of the community has always been the best part of my journey and I can thank them enough.
Life was meant to be beautiful, not easy.
— Imelda Vasquez--Simon's Grandmother
What is your favorite PRO EDU Tutorial
There are 2. Dramatic Portraiture with Chris Knight and Fine Art Portraiture with Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk
Anatomy of a portrait by John Cornicello
1 piece of gear you can't live without--but it can't be your camera or a lens.
Is there a photograph you haven't taken yet that you dream of taking?
Yes! I would love to be able to photograph my favorite band at my studio. What band? The hottest band in the word... KISS!
Since joining the PRO EDU community, Simon has been one of the most visible members, sharing his work, encouraging other photographers, and learning everything he can.
With his modern twist on traditional portraiture and a determination to succeed, Diaz is certain to go far.