We had the good fortune of connecting with Sammy Saladino and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sammy, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I believe any decision that you make involves risk. Most don’t seem like it as they are low leveled risk. For a example say you are going to a grocery store. You have two options. One is a couple minutes away. The other is 10 minutes away. The closer store is bigger and cheaper, but they lack quality. The one that is ten minutes away is smaller, but the quality is much better. However; they are on average 30 to 50 cents more than the closest store. Do you risk quality over quantity? Do you go to school and get your homework done? Or do you skip school and risk extra homework the next day? Do you go to work and earn your pay for the day? Or do you call in sick because you don’t feel like going; risking not getting paid for the day? As an artist taking risk out of our comfort zone is challenging. We are notoriously self conscious and fear letting other people visually see or listen to our work. We don’t think we are good enough. Some artist just do the work for themselves without ever letting anybody in. The ones that succeed are the ones that take the risk to put themselves out there. That’s what I had to tell myself to allow me to even consider the idea of submitting my work to a magazine in the fall of 2012. I had to take a risk and put myself in a position to get rejected. I though nothing off it for a month. Until one day a copy of the magazine with my photo in it arrived at my door step. I was ecstatic as any one would be. That moment of risk came back in my favor. It opened the door open for me to do more. I would not be where I am now if I hadn’t taken that risk. It eventually lead to more and more risk taking, and many rejections along the way. One one advise I would give to any young artist is take the risk even if it means being rejected over and over again.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I feel the one thing that separates me from most as a photographer is that I don’t specialize in just one thing. I Am not just a nature photographer, but I am a people photographer. I have done things from wedding, parties, family, couples, kids, and models. I feel as I have honed in on my craft that portraits have become my bread and butter. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to get where I am. The countless hours of going out and just trying to find something to shoot. While offering many free photo shoots to build my portfolio. It wasn’t easy at first as I had to overcome my own fears. To this day I still struggle with those fears and anxieties everyday, but the more I Have succeeded the easier it has become to block them out. I have been published in magazines multiple times. I have 80 photos accepted to Getty Images. I also have 15 photos that have been in overseas Exhibits including; Berlin, Amsterdam, and Barcelona. Taking risks are essential to becoming successful in the art world. That is the biggest lesson that I have learned along the way.

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?
There is so much to do in Atlanta. I would take them to the High Museum of Art, Zoo Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium,Botanical Gardens, and the Coke Museum. Great restaurants in the area we would go are Uncle Julio’s, Egg Harbor, Ippolito’s, Sweat Tomatoes.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I think that every artist I have ever meet deserves a shoutout. To name a couple that have been in my life for a long time are: Luke Neuhaus (Musician), Brittany Campbell (tattoo artist, and photographer), Christian Mallon (Musician). They have been a big part of my life and influences on my journey.

Instagram: Instagram.com/sammyjr_artist
Facebook: facebook.com/sammysaladinojr

Image Credits
Sammy Saladino