Photographer, stylist, model. Nesha Torres is all of those and makes it look effortless and beyond fun. From traveling to tropical Puerto Rico to screen saver worthy White Sands, New Mexico and everywhere in between, Nesha is a always working while on the go.
I discovered Nesha through her Instagram and instantly kept up with her travels and work she was pushing out. I fell in love with her style and her personality through the photos she posted and the little snippets of her life I saw through her Instagram stories. When I had the idea of creating the “Living as” series, Nesha was at the top of my list on who I wanted to feature. I sent her a DM (direct message) on Instagram outlining what I was doing and patiently and nervously waited for her reply.
Fast forward a week and a half later we met on a very busy Tuesday afternoon at the cutest little cafe in Ocean Beach, San Diego. I was instantly greeted by her with a hug and smile from ear to ear.
To the Good Stuff
When did you get your start as a photographer?
Nesha: “I came to San Diego in 2009 and started talking pictures in music. I would shoot shows and a lot of my friends were in bands, so I was always in that scene. They would be like “You should come and shoot our show and check out our set!” Along with that my teacher in my school asked me “What do you wanna be known for?” And I was really inspired by her because even though she was a wedding photographer, she was still making money off of taking pictures. I though that was cool. So when I had to create my final art show I did everything based off of my music photos. I would shoot for random local smaller magazines and then it expanded into larger magazines and cooler things like that. I was starting to recognized and when I finally graduated high school I told my mom “Bye I’m going on tour.”
Here are some of Nesha’s Music Photos:
Where do you get your drive from?
Nesha: “I’m a very competitive person. If I see something that’s really cool that somebody else created I’m like they created this and it’s really cool but I know that I can do it three times better or just step it up just a little bit or make it just a little bit more weird. Weird to where people are like “What?” I always think that making things weird is what questions people and makes them remember you. If you just touch base with weird people have probably seen it before but if you take it a little bit over that’s what’s going to get recognized.”
What do you enjoy most about being a photographer and stylist?
Nesha: “The freedom to create. I’ve been really really lucky to work with an amazing list of brands and that give me the creative freedom to do the shoot the way I want to, where I want to, use whoever I want to, and style how I want to. I’ve had brands that come to me and are like “We like your styling, you have a really strange eye” and I pride off of that.”
What advice would you give to someone just getting starting or aspiring to be a photographer?
Nesha: “Don’t let other people discourage you. You have to do something that is gonna set yourself apart from the other people and just because someone says “I don’t like that.” you still have to push forward and do it. If photography is your art and passion then just go with it and stick to your gut. People are gonna say “No, I don’t like this,” but at the end of the day it’s your work and your name that’s on it. You can do work for brands but in the ends it’s you that created it. You really have to be ready to HUSTLE because everyone has a camera these days. You can’t rely on setting yourself apart with film like photographers used to do and now anyone can buy a 5D Marc II or III and take killer photos. Something that’s gonna set you apart from other people is your style, your eye, how you shoot, and where you go. I always have my camera and what ever project I’m working on or company I’m working with is in here. *lifts up her backpack.* (This day she had some Life Clothing Co. canvases with her to shoot when she found time after our meeting.) You can’t be afraid to just take out your camera and shoot what ever you need to shoot. It’s all about the hustle, you have to push forward from what other people are doing. You always have to be two steps ahead and if you have that mentality then I feel like you’re unstoppable.”
To stay up to date with Nesha and see her badass photography be sure to follow her!
A few days after we met up, Nesha asked me if I wanted to do a shoot with her. I couldn’t pass up that offer so I did even though I have ZERO experience in being a model. Throughout the shoot Nesha was patient with me and was helpful on how I should pose. I was comfortable throughout the whole shoot and it was so much FUN! Below are some of the photos from the shoot.
I hope you enjoyed the first post in the “Living as” Series. Next up in the series I will be highlighting Cortney Wood of Alvarado Creative Co. Stay tuned for the post up soon!