A few months ago, we needed a photographer at Tiburón Golf Club. I did a RFP on Facebook and a bunch of options came across my desk. Eventually we decided on ES9 Photography. The price was right and their work was top notch. When they arrived to take the first round of photos, Adrian Jimenez introduced himself. This guy is dialed in, has the latest and greatest gear, and really knows how to work with a wide range of people. He is efficient and was a treat to work with. Adrian does more than corporate headshots, though. He does audio, video and drone work, too. I was so impressed with him, both as a photographer and a person, I wanted to learn more. I asked for an interview and he was happy to do it. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Adrian Jimenez.
Where did the name ES9 Photography come from? Also, explain the turtle.
ES9 Photography, and the name, became about almost 4+ years ago. E and the S stand for either “Elite Styles” my former DBA or Emma Sofia (the name of my daughter). To date I still have not made the decision on that. The number 9 has been one of my lucky numbers and my jersey number when I used to play baseball. The turtle has to do with my Costa Rican roots. I was born and raised in Costa Rica. During my early years we moved to the Caribbean side and once there I saw a lot of sea turtles. You can say symbolism for my new business, my roots and new beginning in my career. Just like a baby sea turtle I was navigating through this new career.
You recently took headshots at Tiburón Golf Club. Tell me more about that shoot. Is that a typical project for you?
One of the pillars in my business ES9 Photography we specialize in corporate headshots and what sets us different is that we have partnered with makeup and hair stylists in case the client needs them. Like you saw we bring the studio to you. This was a typical shoot for me (minus hair and makeup and assistant).
How many different cameras do you own?
Currently I own thirteen different cameras including sUAS drone. At any given time I carry at least 4-5 cameras with me to all of my shoots. (Back up of the backup of the primary camera.) (Laughs.) Depends on the shoot and budget that number can be more.
You also do drone videos. What sort of drone do you have and did it take you long to learn how to fly it?
I’ve been flying model/toy helicopters since 2007. Moving to the sUAS drone/quadcopter wasn’t to hard. What is hard is to keep up with the ever changing technology. Everything has changed including regulations through FAA. Yes, I’m registered. I fly the DJI platforms. (Phantoms and Inspires).
Within 2 years of me flying sUAS drone my clients have enjoyed the amazing footage videos and photos. Also, I did aerial cinematography work for the independent film “WASTECASE.” The Film world premiered at the Naples International Film Festival 2017 this year.
I’m very fortunate and proud of my work on the film, definitely one off my bucket list. I’ve always wanted to see my name in the credits of a film on the big screen.
People can subscribe on your website. How often do you email your database and what sort of content are you sending them?
This is something that I know I’m not 100% utilizing to the fullest. I currently email my list each quarter about promotions/new events. That’s something that maybe you can help me out with.
You have a blog on your website. How often do you write and what sort of content do you create there?
That’s another one that I’m slacking on. I’ve been utilizing my blog for unique events or opportunities I’ve come across or client shoots.
You also do food photography. I sometimes share photos of my food on Instagram! How does shooting food differ from shooting people?
When you do portrait or headshots, you are dealing with people with different personalities. Like you saw briefly on our 3 days on our shoot, some people were more open to their photos being taken and more relaxed. Others did not like their photo being taken and you can see their tension. It all comes down to trust. I’ve found out once you have built that trust in the process the result is magic. You’ve heard me say some crazy things to break the ice but you know what? It works! Right after usually is the best photo of them. With food the same photo principles apply lighting, composition etc. But how can you tell the story. That’s the beauty. Finding those angles and removing distractions. You focus on the food the hero and the story those ingredients tell. After all said and done the food photography should make you do one thing and that is to make you want to eat it!
Tell me about your relationship with JDRF.
I have been supporting or involved with JDRF for the past 3 years now. Diabetes has struck my family my grandmother passed away due to complications when I was younger. Last year, I helped with the first One Walk and did both of their Hope Gala 2017 videos that were presented at a gala at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples. It’s a great cause something my family and I believe in and this year I volunteered my time and services to capture smiles again.
Have you ever traveled outside of SW Florida to take photos?
I have traveled to the other coast yes and Tampa/Sarasota areas. That’s what I love about the business is worldwide. Is just about budgets and logistics and we can travel anywhere.
You have an impressive website. Who designed that and who manages all of the great content?
Thank you! Believe it or not I created my own website and this is now version 2.0. I shoot all the content obviously and I manage it with the help of my wifey.
It looks like you played Tiburón Golf Club recently. Did you have a good time?
We recently played the Gold Course and we had amazing time. You know is one thing seen it on the Golf Channel or on photos but actually playing the course and playing while the LPGA event stands are up. Oh, man. it was such a treat. Thanks again Tiburón Golf Club for taking care of us and creating some son and father memories!
What are some of your favorite things to take pictures of?
I like people, scenery, architecture, FOOD and nature. You’ll find all of these if you scroll through my Instagram.
Your photos are amazing and you use some impressive hardware. How has technology in cameras changed over the years and what do you think the future of photography looks like?
Thank you. I remember shooting 35mm with my father’s Minolta back in the day and I love that camera all the way back to my first digital Camera RCA 2.3 megapixels lol it was huge back then! Now my iPhone 7 Plus has a 12 megapixels forget my Canon DSLR bodies. Technology has improved drastically in the past say 8 years. Even in the past 3 years prices on cameras/drones etc. have drop cameras have bigger sensors, and drones have become smarter. These tools that we use on our everyday business including the software. I mean you remember a world without iPhone/iPad. We talked briefly about the AOL dial up discs days on day 2 of or shoot. The future I believe is looking faster, smaller and intuitive. It definitely will be interesting to see what my girls will be taking photos/video when they are older.
Did you get any good photos post Hurricane Irma?
We evacuated 11:00 pm Friday night before the hurricane Irma made landfall first in the keys and then in Marco Island/Naples. We were gone 5 days we stayed in a farmhouse in North Carolina. It was the only thing available via Airbnb last minute. You know is a surreal feeling to pack everything that you hold valuable to you and your wife and little one in your car and left everything else behind. I can’t forget that feeling of what we were going to come back to. I was able to take some photos and video aerial with drone when we got back.
Feeling blessed that all damages we endured it could be a lot worse. Nothing that money and time can’t fix.
What about hair and makeup? Do you do that yourself or do you hire that out?
We outsource both hair and makeup. Depends on the client’s’ budget, time for shoot.
What has been your most challenging project to date?
The most challenging project to date was the sea trials of the support yacht vessel “Fast & Furious” at Rybovich SuperYacht Marina in West Palm Beach, Florida last year. I was doing aerial cinematography with drone in this multi million dollar yacht. What was challenging about this was going twenty-one knots chasing the yacht of the coast of West Palm Beach. One of the most amazing experiences and challenging all at once.
What’s next for Adrian Jimenez?
Can’t wait to meet our little baby girl No. 2 in March 2018. As the end of the year approaches, for 2018 I’m looking forward on working on my personal projects and also would like to collaborate on projects with different influencers. Grow my drone training side of the business. My New Year’s resolution for me/ES9 Photography is to take 1,000 headshots in 2018. Maybe we can do a follow up interview see how close I got to that goal.
In all of the interviews I do, I always give the artist the last word. Go.
Thanks again for the interview. This was my first ever interview, by the way. I would like to let your audience know ES9 Photography we specialize in video production, photography and aerials. We are based out off Naples, Florida available worldwide.
And I would like to end it with a quote that really resonates with me. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs