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Jonathan Villanueva

Name: Jonathan Villanueva
Age: 21
Location: San Fernando Valley, California

Creating imagery was always a passion of mine ever since I can remember. As a young boy, my school notepads were filled entirely with doodles rather than schoolwork, books I bought had more photos than sentences, and art class was the only class I looked forward to. I wasn't a bad student; "art" was just flowing through my veins. I knew I wouldn't grow up to be a lawyer or a doctor. My heart spoke out, "You're destined to become an artist whether you like it or not!"

Photography began to slowly enter my life in the beginning of high school around the age of 13 when I met a classmate with a Canon Rebel DSLR camera that he would always bring along. I fell in love with that camera as soon as I laid eyes upon it; I HAD to possess such a treasure. I didn't know this classmate very well, so he refused when I had asked him if I could simply hold it for a minute. I thought to myself, "Fine, I'll get my own someday!"

The following Christmas, the spoiled side of me asked my parents for a Canon DSLR camera. That same Christmas, I opened up a medium-sized box and guess what? It wasn't the DSLR I wanted, in fact, it was a small HP point-and-shoot camera; and I was absolutely happy! They (my parents and my oldest brother) always attempted their best for me. I was the type of kid who always understood our family's financial situations and was content with the things I had. Even so, my family always gave me the best so that I could have a happy childhood. I used that point-and-shoot camera like no tomorrow :)

High school was nearing to its end, which through me into panic. 90% of my friends knew what they wanted to do after high school life was over, while I stayed in confusion and anxiety. I remembered thinking, “The only subject you know is art,” therefore, art school is where I headed. I enrolled into the Art Institute a year after high school; majoring in graphic design.

About a year after enrollment, I noticed that I had received a paycheck for $2000 from student loans. You can imagine the face of someone who just received a paycheck you had no knowledge of with that high a number written on it. My mother advised me to carefully spend it solely on school supplies. The next day, I convinced my mother that I absolutely needed a DSLR camera, even in graphic design work. Although true that many graphic designers use photography as one of their tools, I used it as an excuse to finally purchase a DSLR to call my own.

A couple years and a few thousands of dollars spent on professional gear later, I still love photography just as much as ever. I’m currently heading to college majoring business to gain knowledge on how to open up my own photography studio to offer a variety of services on a highest level of professionalism possible. As of now, I run my self-started business focusing in the Los Angeles County, mainly in the San Fernando Valley. I’m taking my dream of photography as far as I can possibly take it, and I hope to meet YOU and a lot of amazing people on the way!

- Jonathan Villanueva

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  • Panorama City, California, United States