We had the good fortune of connecting with G. Encarnacion and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi G., what do you attribute your success to?
I’d have to say the most important factor behind my success would have to be the passion I have for photography as a whole. Everyone has their hobbies, interests or things they have a knack for. What can separate you from the rest is that desire or the enthusiasm that you hold. As cliché as it may sound – hard work trumps talent. I have only taken pictures for a year now but for many people it seems that it’s been much longer than that.
The amount of time spent exploring all the various things related to the craft contributed to being more knowledgable and well rounded as a photographer. It came easily to me because I genuinely cared about improving and creating quality work. Portrait photography was all I thought I would be doing when my journey started but I quickly realized I could do so much more if continued to learn and apply everything I already knew. I put myself in uncomfortable situations or even did things without pay because I wanted to grow and show my city what I could do.
The passion for the craft helped me understand the bigger picture. It is easy to get caught up in just chasing the money, doing things for reciprocity or for likes. I stood on the idea that blessings will follow as long as I create opportunities for myself, continue to be genuine and make the best of what I have in front of me. I was proud of the work I was doing and trying to focus on the way it made me feel before I let the recognition or lack thereof be my sole motivator.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I believe the versatility that I have, the amount of progress that I have been able to make in the year that I’ve been shooting and my authenticity is what sets me apart from others.
There’s a genuine love for photography as a whole for me, so I saw beauty in all types of pictures. Whether it was architecture, street, fashion or even food. That admiration lead to me searching for ways to learn how to do everything. I started with portraiture outside and now I have the ability to do products, be a creative director in the studio, capture events, sports, street photography and even nature. When you look at my Instagram you don’t see a lot of one thing.
I am proud of the varying looks and types of photography that I am able to provide. That has provided me with the opportunity to work with different people for multiple reasons and has them coming back. I like that my clients want to come to me for their product pictures for their website, the studio shoot for their new collection and also shoot the interactions they have at their pop up shop. But the rapport that is built while providing these services is what brings it all together.
Being honest with those I work with and building that trust with clients is what makes things such a better experience for both parties. I understand that communicating and always trying to be authentic will go so much farther with people than most would believe. This is what will lead to you having more creative control and input for services you have to provide – thus allowing you to show your knowledge, versatility and creativity without having to sacrifice the joy for the craft.
It has definitely not been easy as I continue to struggle with balancing other parts of my life, my mental health and setting boundaries. As a person who is very empathetic and often times is putting others before myself, it’s easy for things to go left for me. It’s even more challenging when you begin to notice when people will try to take advantage of you or even try to treat you as if you aren’t human. The biggest piece of advice I would have to offer is be kind to yourself. You cannot provide the best version of your work if you aren’t where you need to be mentally and you don’t take steps to protect yourself. So be kind to yourself in every aspect. Take the time the time that you need, get help and support when you need it. Trust me, haven’t got it all figured it out either.
My brand and story really centers around the word Occupy. Use and think of that word to fuel you. Literally go out there and create opportunities for yourself. Fill those spaces that weren’t made for you or where you weren’t even considered with your presence. Let the world see and feel you. Take control. OCCUPY.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
To be honest I didn’t go out much until I started taking pictures. If a friend was in for the week, I would just hope I could introduce them to the various events I’ve been able to be apart of lately.
Whether it would be Lari Pati, Sunday Funday, 4PM in Soweto, Grapevine or a GANGGANGCULTURE event. These events show that Indianapolis has a lot to offer as far as creatives, food and just a good time. I would trust that any of these would be a good start.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My origin story is this: I told my coworker Cece that I had wanted to get into photography since high school but never did it because I felt I couldn’t afford it and it would be best for me to try after I graduated from college. She told me that I need to start now cause I could always be waiting for the right moment. I went and got a camera the next day. So without her, I would not be where I am today. Big shoutout to Cece!
Shoutout to Ariana for providing me with support and motivation throughout the entire journey. The Hometeam, my brothers – RJ, Alon and Yancy. Shoutout to Rebekah as she served as a huge inspiration for my photography, a source of wisdom and friendship. Shoutout to Jamal, AD, Vic, Mike G. and Nigel for being among the first to trust the vision and give me huge opportunities to show my talent. Shoutout to Asante for being one of the realest without expecting anything in return.
Shoutout to Jaylah Sibley, Charlie, Airika, Linx, Mikayla, Ariel, Diona, Elgin, Alex, Thailand, Greg, Miguel, Arria, The T-Mobile team, Amber, Mykayla, Jamaica, Shenay, Cobe, big homie Ike and Micheline. Big Shoutout to anyone who trusted me to take pictures of them, who told me to keep going or even just shared my work.. thank you all.