We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Norris and Forrest Aguar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle Norris and Forrest Aguar, what do you attribute your success to?
Our strong aesthetic direction really helped us to make it to where we are today. We committed to the look and feel of the work early on, regardless of what genre of photography it fell into. Through that we made a name for ourselves and gave a recognizable imagery that clients knew to come to us for.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The two of us met in art school and started to collaborate and share inspiration early on. After a couple years of knowing one another, we started to date and create together on a regular basis. We both assisted on commercial photoshoot productions when we moved to Atlanta and eventually decided to create Tropico Photo and become a team officially. It was definitely a struggle early on to figure out how to make a living freelance, especially as artists. We did have a very specific style from the get-go that was all about bold and colorful images. That helped us to set ourselves apart and we started to catch the attention of local clients. Once we started creating imagery for clients regularly and sharing our work on Instagram and our website, things really took off. We also traveled often and made work which helped us to stay excited and inspired. Making work for ourselves has been a big part of our success and keeps us passionate about our trade. Now we work exciting national clients making art centered ad work and we love all of it.
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?
Our favorite place to eat is El Tesoro, a local taco spot not far from our place in Kirkwood. It’s mainly outdoors and has a super laid back vibe. We’d go kayaking at McKaskey Creek State Park about an hour away. We’d go grocery shopping at the vast Your Dekalb Farmers Market to make an elaborate meal. Definitely biking on the beltline with a stop at New Realm Brewing to play cornhole. One night we’d see a decidedly bad movie at the Starlight Drive-In and bring a sushi burrito from Poke Burri. To see art we’d visit The High Museum, attend an art party in Cabbagetown, or drive out to Pasaquan to visit a bizarre art compound. Happy Hour and Snacks at Lloyd’s are great any day of the week.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Pouya Dianat is a local Atlanta photographer who has been so supportive of us, especially last year when we were between studios for awhile. He lent us his studio for a huge personal project and then continued to allow us to use the space whenever we needed it for jobs. He’s been so kind and giving at every turn!
Instagram: @tropicophoto @michellenorrisphoto @forrestaguar
Portrait of us: Jason Travis, All other images are by Tropico Photo