DANIEL NARANJO

Born in San Diego, but having majority of my childhood in Tijuana, Mexico, has been a challenge. I am fortunate enough to be an American citizen, as it has opened up an world to my life, but being culturally united to what’s considered a 3rd world country has also given me a different perspective in life, making me appreciate a many things. Being a Mexican-American has shown me that to an American I’m just Mexican, but to a Mexican I’m just American.

Throughout my childhood I was always gravitated towards art even though I was spending all of my evenings practicing on a baseball field, something always drew me back to art. Once graduating high school in Chula Vista, CA I took a huge step and moved to San Francisco, CA attending the Academy of Art University. As I like to say, after “surviving” 4 years in the Bay area I came back home with an associate degree in graphic design. I immediately started looking for jobs once I got to San Diego and was fortunate enough to get a job as a senior photographer for Prestige Portrait from Lifetouch (I was those cool people that went to your school and took pictures of you for the yearbook or for sport pictures).

Close to finishing the year I was told that I had won the Picture of the Year Award and that I was the top photographer in all of San Diego County. The following year, I finally found a new job as a graphic designer just a couple of blocks away, where I ended up having a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday job as a graphic designer. However, I just couldn’t let go of photography. I decided to go back to Prestige Portraits, working after my 9 to 5 with weekends included. I must admit I was completely hooked on photography. Little by little I started buying more and more equipment.

Nowadays, I am stepping up to the plate and have launched myself as a wedding photographer, from time to time doing other side jobs for restaurants or even product photography. For me, photography is about showing other people what I see and how I see things through my lens. In other words, showing a Mexican what an American sees and vise versa. I like not belonging to a certain place at times because it pushes me harder to show others my view- one that hasn’t been seen.