our entertainment community grows bigger, more and more events start
popping up every month. The influx of concerts, parties, awards, art
shows, festivals, album releases, film premieres and more have
created must-attend events every weekend that everyone just can't be
at. But one local photographer is looking to capture as much of it as
he can for all to see.
Gilbert Garcia, better known to most as “ThatGuyGil” has been taking pictures of it all for almost ten years. Promoting the night clubs and major events via his website, while also capturing moments for local publications. Solidifying himself as a mainstay of local episodes and becoming one of the most prominent photographers of our scene. I got a brief chance to chat with Gil, while he was in the midst of planning and covering events, about his career and random thoughts on our scene. ---
Gavin: Hey Gil! First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Gil: I'm just a guy who likes to take pictures.
Gavin: What first got you interested in photography?
Gil: Don't really know I've always liked taking pictures I've been snapping since I was a little kid.
Gavin: Did you work on your skills in school or college, or was it more of a pastime?
Gil: Naw, I've never had any formal training. Just a pastime.
Gavin: What as your first big break locally into doing it professionally?
Gil: I was doing a Polaroid zine called SayCheese and guy named Lee Williams liked it and hired me to take Polaroids at club Axis. When I got my first digicam I started taking pics with that because Polaroids were getting too expensive.
Gavin: Did you know then you'd be doing it as much as you do now?
Gil: No way! I'm glad I didn't too. I may have quit. Haha!
Gavin: If you can, tell us what a typical night is for you when you're taking pictures?
Gil: Hmm.. Usually I get ready, get my stuff together, go to the place or places, find the people having fun or doing interesting things, take their picture and so on, talk to people, maybe have a drink or two then have breakfast with friends and /or head home.
Gavin: Do you prefer high-profile parties or and average night at a club?
Gil: It doesn't matter. High-profile doesn't mean better to me a good party is a good party, weather its full of A-listers or just us "regular people" 1000 people or 20. What really matters is the attitude of the people if they're there to have a good time it will be all good. I can't stand the "who's gonna be there?" thing. I could go on but I think you get what I'm saying.
Gavin: Going back a bit to your own zine, tell us about it and what became of it.
Gil: Yeah, SayCheese. It was almost all shot with Polaroid! My first love photography wise. l love zines but you can only read what some punk rock or whatever kid thinks about for so long then you need a break. I wanted to give people something to look at. I like looking at pictures so I went with that and I'm stoked other people liked it too. I haven't put one out in a long time I kinda miss it.
Gavin: What made you start up the website, and how have people reacted to it since you started posting pictures?
Gil: I just wanted to start making a name for myself and doing my own thing. I think everyone should share their pics with the world, or at least their friends. You see people with cameras taking pictures all the time but no one ever sees them. I don't get the point of that. The reaction has been been good, the minor celebrity is fun with the exception of the rare "please take that picture down because my ___ doesn't know I'm ___" or "I work for ___ and that would be bad if". But yeah, over all it's been a good time.
Gavin: What are your future plans or goals as far as being a photographer?
Gil: To keep learning, to do better work and finish the book I've been talking about forever.
Gavin: A little state-wide, what's your take on the local club scene, both good and bad?
Gil: Its getting better. Clubs are starting to try different things more (mind you more is a relative term) but its hard for clubs to try different things (if there's ever another "white party" it will be too soon). When the average club goer seems to want the same old thing too hung up on "who's gonna be there" and not wanting to hear anything they haven't heard before.
Gavin: Do you have any favorite stops or places you feel are the best clubs?
Gil: I don't have a favorite, there is no "best", I love 'em all! Haha! I've been to awesome parties everywhere but lately I've been spending more time at smaller places like the new club Edge, W Lounge, Urban Lounge. They've really been throwing good parties and/or concerts, besides those random private events.
Gavin: On photography, do you prefer traditional film or digital, and why?
Gil: I love it all. A good picture is a good picture no mater what you used to get it. I think film looks better I like to use it when I can, but digital is just more practical for the party / nightlife stuff.
Gavin: Do you have any recommendations for people who would want to do what you're doing?
Gil: Just go out and start taking pictures, and post them somewhere people can see them if people like what your doing the work will come. "Real photographers don't wait for the phone to ring; they go out and take pictures." Someone told Terry Richarson that, and I agree 100%.
Gavin: What can we expect from you the rest of the year?
Gil: I've got a birthday party coming up at Club Edge (600 N. 400 W.), with Steve Aoki performing on June 25th. Better work, new t-shirts and stickers, maybe the resurrection of SayCheese and side projects with some local celebrities. You'll just have to wait and see. Who knows, maybe I'll just up and move to Europe and not tell anyone. Haha!