The Jay Smith Group

The Jay Smith Group are an extremely talented group of musicians from Bakersfield that have created a unique style of jazz that begs to be heard. There style is can be a bit difficult to categorize since you can hear so many different influences, but if you are a fan of jazz, rock, latin, fusion, or prog, then you will love this group. We spent some time with the guys as they recorded their upcoming album, and it is clear that this group was meant to play together. Improvising any type of music is tough, but Jazz is a genre where improvising can seem messy, however, The Jay Smith Group just do it perfectly & in balance. Currently the guys are trying to crowd source funding for the release of their latest album Too Many Notes. We were lucky enough to be present while these master musicians created this absolutely amazing album, and we are very excited to hear the finished product.

Check out their Kickstarter page and see how you can help:

Follow The Jay Smith Group:

Kendall Sanchez: Fashion Blogger

Kendall Sanchez is an up and coming fashion blogger from Oildale, California. At the young age of 19, she is already making her strong presence known in the fashion community.
We initially discovered Kendall while browsing the street-style website Lookbook.nu almost a year ago. At the time, Kendall had already been successful as she was working with some big companies like Pac-Sun. In the short amount of time we’ve known Kendall, her style & her art has improved quite dramatically. Kendall’s style is definitely a force to be reckoned with, as she is always on top of the game. We see her improving every day, every week, and every month, which is extremely admirable and inspiring. It’s almost rare to find someone so young that has the drive, business sense, and marketing techniques that Kendall possesses. We love that Kendall is not a one-trick pony as she is a person that has range… one day she will be wearing clothing that is pretty and girly, then the next day she will be wearing something that is punk/grunge inspired, all the while rocking each and every look with ease. It’s because of the potential we see in Kendall that we really look forward to seeing what this girl is going to accomplish. Look out world, Kendall has something to show you…

Follow Kendall:


Official Site:
: http://itskendallkay.com/

Photos By: Robert Bejil Photography

The Secret VI

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The Secret VI are an extreme metal band from Bakersfield, CA who are creating a buzz in the metal community. We got to hang with the band during their latest show at Jerry’s Pizza. (See photos from the show here).
While hanging, we shot footage for our interview (obviously), as well has interviews for FuseTV, Driven Inc, and a music video!

We cannot wait to see our work on TV!

After you watch the interview, be sure to like The Secret VI on Facebook to see what the guys are up to.

Follow The Secret VI:

Photos By: Robert Bejil Photography

Jin N Tonic: Model/Actress/Bad Ass

In this murky pool of models in Bakersfield, Jin N Tonic successfully manages to set herself a part from the typical “cookie-cutter” model. Jin N Tonic (Jin for short) is a model with such a unique look & attitude, that you can’t help but fall in love with her work. How does she manage to be such a pro? Well we sat down with Jin to figure that out!

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How did you get the name “Jin N Tonic”?

“I got the nickname ‘Jin’ while dating a guy with the nickname ‘Juice.’ The ‘N Tonic’ was added as a fake last name so people couldn’t look me up on Facebook. Ironic really, that now I spend 99% trying to get people to do just that!”

Where are you from?

“I was born in Bakersfield, CA, but grew up in Nampa, Idaho and went to college in Boise (for 6 friggin’ years) before moving back to Bakersfield. Funny how life likes to come full circle…”

How old were you when you realized you wanted to be a model and/or actress?

“I’ve always wanted to be in front of the camera! When I was 12 or 13 I made my little sister photograph my first ‘photoshoot’. When I was younger I would fantasize about being on set with Brendan Fraser (who didn’t find George of the Jungle sexy?? And don’t forget The Mummy)?”

How long have you been modeling and acting?

“I did some theater in high school, but besides the improv stuff it wasn’t really my thing. I wanted to be in front of the camera! Plus theater people are on a whole ‘nother level. My first photoshoot was six years ago, but an unsavory photographer left a bad taste in my mouth and to be honest I spent a lot of years ‘finding myself.’ It wasn’t until a chance photoshoot 2 years ago that I remembered what it is that I love to do!! Good timing too because after I graduated college, I was in need of starting a whole new career path that had no need for a college degree..”

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What was it that made you decide that you wanted to do be a “Traveling Model”?

“I’ve always been determined to travel the world. Being a “Traveling Model” just kind of happened. I was in Boise and a photog in SLC said, ‘Hey, if you’re out here, let’s shoot!’ and I said “how’s next week?” and it all went from there. Plus this last year I have spent half my time back in Boise for family stuff and the other half in Bakersfield. All the traveling in between has allowed for many stops along the way. Plus, one opportunity leads to another. When I got sponsored on the Select Models Group Shoot/Cruise to Mexico, I met a photographer there who later flew me out to NYC for New Year’s.”

How long did you model “exclusively” from your home town until you started to travel consistently?

“Hmmm… honestly it was only a couple months that I started really shooting in Boise before I moved to Bakersfield. I got side-tracked for a few months with a stressful and time consuming job (silly things, jobs) but once I got my head back together a year ago I remembered, ‘Oh yeah Jin, you moved to Cali for a reason!’ and I haven’t stopped since. (No plans to stop anytime soon either).”

Name some places where you’ve traveled for modeling/acting jobs.

“Between August and December of 2012 I had photoshoots in 9 different states; Idaho, California, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, New Jersey, New York; plus the Mexico cruise.”

So far, what is your favorite place you have modeled/acted?

“I absolutely fell in LOVE with NYC!! It was completely worth the two week East Coast Plague I came back with.”

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What was it that you did while you where there? (theme of the shoot, sightseeing, etc..)

“NYC is HUGE on fashion and even HUGER on fetish stuff! I only do ‘implied nudity’ and typically don’t like strangers tying me up and hitting me with shit, so I stayed away from the fetish (although I love the genre). I did reunite with my cruise sponsor/photographer for a naughty snow bunny shoot, and was part of a Hillary Flowers Masquerade/Lingerie Fashion Show at Gotham Hall on New Year’s Eve… and yes, there was plenty of sight-seeing, and lots of clubs, and lots of bottle service.”

How is it that you are able to consistently book modeling/acting gigs that keep you traveling?

“I am always on my computer. I put out casting calls, I respond to casting calls, and I promote myself shamelessly no matter where I go. I’m annoying as fuck I’m sure, but it keeps me going!”

Do you have a certain modeling style? (example pin-up model, lingerie, fashion, etc..)

“I do it all! Sometimes I wish I had a ‘style’ though, as my portfolio is all over the friggin’ place! My versatility really sets me apart though.”

What is your favorite type of modeling to do?

“I don’t have a favorite, although Pin Up is by far the funnest!! It’s just so cute. Fashion has a BIG place in my life. I’ve always wanted to be more in fashion, but never did my homework because I’m a shorty. I’m changing that now…”

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How many tattoo’s do you have?

“Depends on who you’re talking to, haha! The way I count ’em though, I have 11. Unless I’m forgetting some (which I sometimes do… I’m serious).”

What about piercings, how many do you have?

“I have 10 in my ears, one in my nose, two in my bottom lip, and two in my belly button. So that’s what… 15ish.”

Do you have any regrets in regards to your tattoos and piercings? Do they ever hold you back from bigger or more profitable gigs?

“My first tattoo is a bittersweet memory. I got it when I was 18 and I remember having the thought about it affecting future gigs I would get, but I told myself, ‘Oh well, I’m never going to really be a model anyway.’ So it’s almost like a permanent symbol of me giving up on my dreams! Since then I’ve gotten more, and if I could go back I wouldn’t have gotten any. They are definitely limiting in the kind of commercial (i.e. PAID) work you can get. Sure, you can Photoshop that shit out, but why would a photog take on the extra shop hours when there’s literally hundreds of girls in line behind me with ‘virgin skin’? I’m also sort of limbo with the amount of ink I have. Too much for commercial work, but not enough to lump myself in with the true ‘alternative’ and ‘ink’d’ type models. So it’s like now that I’ve started, I almost have to keep adding on. I have no desire to go spend thousands on a sleeve (or laser removal!) just to fit into a genre though. I’m basically just going to have to go out there and keep breaking all the rules! My advice to any girl with serious modeling goals though, would be to NOT get tattoos. Especially if you are 5’7″+ and want to do runway. That being said though, I definitely know plenty of models that do have tattoos and are very successful.”

How about shoots… Any regrets out there?

“I don’t regret anything, but I have made a lot of mistakes that led to unfortunate instances in my past. Nearly all of these were a result of me being less than smart in who I was shooting with. I had no guide in becoming a model, and went against my better judgement a couple of times. I’m lucky that I am ok, but some gals aren’t! It’s a risky business, and the number one goal should always be your personal safety first – no matter who the shoot is with. I hope though that from my mistakes others can learn too. There’s a lot of bullshit in this industry that a lot of girls convince themselves is ‘part of the biz’ when really it’s not. That’s the unprofessional world: it’s full of sharks and you never go anywhere from there.”

I have seen a few drawings and I believe a painting or two from you… Why do you paint and/or draw?

“I’ve always liked being artistic. Art was the only class I ever enjoyed in school because people left me the fuck alone and I just got to sit and make something maybe kinda sorta neat. What I really do more than anything though is doodle. Anytime I was in class I would have to doodle in order to pay attention, otherwise I’d fall asleep! I think it’s my brain’s need for more stimulation than what the education system ever had to offer.”

Is the rush of finishing an art piece as satisfying as seeing a “post photo” from a shoot you have done?

“Haha, I’m not sure! With the exception of art class assignments, I almost never actually ‘finish’ anything. One day I think I’ll have a gallery showing – “The Unfinished Works of JNT” It is really neat though when I DO finish something and a friend wants to keep it. I have a few friends that have what I call “fridge art” in their homes. It’s not quite art, but it’s good enough for the fridge. There’s a couple of things I’ve made on some actual walls too, which is just a sign of how sweet and supportive my friends really are.”

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Is there an Actress or Model that you look up to?

“The first ‘alternative’ model I ever found was Apnea. I remember being soooo excited to find a model that wasn’t your cookie cutter, fashion type. If she could do it, I realized that I could too! That was in high school though, and I haven’t seen much from her in recent years. Right now I’m totally obsessed with Ulorin Vex, Kato, and Mosh. I think they are all gorgeous and incredibly successful. They’re all very talented, and Ulorin’s illustrations are mind-blowing, and Kato is the creature of Steampunk Couture. As far as actors… wow, a shit ton of names just came to mind. I admire anyone who can be diverse in the characters they play, and I admire any woman who can be funny AND intelligent (go Tina Fey! Way to set the bar high!).”

Who are some of your favorite photographers and/or videographers you have worked with?

“Haha, you?? ;D I couldn’t begin to choose, I have worked with dozens of amazing individuals, and the list keeps growing every week!”

What would you say is your biggest accomplishment so far as a model/actress?

“I would say that finding a sponsor for that cruise was a huge deal to me. I was in Idaho at the time and had a ‘fundraiser’ selling prints to friends to raise gas money to get me down to Long Beach. It really opened a lot of doors. There’s also my first magazine spread in January’s edition of Ladies of Steampunk. My first time in print and a month later that’s already quadrupled. Plus Ladies of Steampunk has already asked me to come back for more! (I can’t divulge too many details there though)”

What are your long-term and short-term goals in the industry?

“Short term is to take advantage of all the talent hidden here in Bakersfield and save up some money. I hope to be moved to Portland by the fall, and then the 3 year goal is to be in LA. From there, who knows! I want to have a successful blog following, be involved in fashion, join a cabaret group, become a yoga master, work in comedy, make and star in hundreds of music videos, and travel the world! All in front of a camera of course.”

Anything else you want to say or add?

“Yeah! Please come stay in touch at www.JinNTonic.com! I’ve just started a blog, a newsletter, a monthly print, and am getting myself set up as a stylist too. I’m just starting out in my career, but in these last two years I’ve already accomplished so much! It’s a snowball effect really, and I have no intention of slowing down anytime soon.”

FULL GALLERY (CLICK TO EXPAND)

Follow Jin N Tonic:


Official Site:
: http://www.jinntonic.com


Facebook:
Like Her Page!

 

Photos By: Robert Bejil Photography

El Paraiso Tacos Y Mariscos

El Paraiso is a Mexican food truck based in the Southwest part of Bakersfield, CA. This town is no stranger to the slew of street style Mexican food trucks, but El Paraiso manages to stand out as being one of the best in town. Not only does the physical appearance differentiate this establishment from the others, but the food is the real celebrity of this unique truck. El Paraiso started its business around 2005, and still manages to provide tasty Mexican food to SW Bakersfield. Upon arriving to the restaurant, you immediately notice  bright yellow and red colors among the otherwise industrial setting. The trailer also includes 4 long tables, plenty of chairs, a TV, and an awning over the seating area so that you may eat your food very comfortably.

Now lets talk about the food! Ever since my very first taste of El Paraiso’s food, about 6 years ago, I’ve been hooked! One major thing that sets El Paraiso apart is their passion for making good food. Everything there is made fresh and made-to-order. It is all made with care and never will you receive a sloppy, greasy, unflattering, or hard to eat meal (which I’ve experienced a lot from other places around Bakersfield). They also make their hot sauce from scratch (one of the best I’ve had), which is amazingly flavorful and spicy. When we sat down with the manger, Jose Contreras said “that’s one thing we really wanted was to provide a really good spicy sauce”. I would say they succeeded in creating a masterpiece of a hot sauce! So good in fact that we suggested they sell a standalone version of it. When you look through the menu, you will notice that they do provide the usual Mexican food dishes. You’ll be familiar with the tacos, burritos, tortas, tostadas, rice, beans, and seafood, but the flavor of all these items will be like nothing you’ve had before. They also manage to consistently provide fresh ingredients for their meals. Everything is colorful, never old, and a big plus for me is that their lemon/limes are usually always juicy.

El Paraiso has remained a hidden gem in the S.W. side of Bakersfield, but that does not stop customers driving in from places like Delano and Shafter, just to get their fix. We are big fans of their food and once you try it, we are positive you’ll be a fan too!
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We got to sit down with Jose (manager) of El Paraiso and asked him a few questions about the business:

How did “El Paraiso” get it’s start?

“El Paraiso started from my dad’s inspiration through his recipes. Whenever we had family gatherings, my dad would prepare ceviche or tacos on his little grill. He would go to the market and buy specific kinds of meats to make the tacos and ceviche. It was mostly through the feedback from his ceviche, my family would say ‘wow, this is good stuff’ and ‘you need to start a restaurant’. They always told us that we needed to start something because the all the other ceviche out there are usually made with lots of vegetables and not enough of the fish or the shrimp, which is mostly what ceviche is all about. After recommendations from family members, my dad started to save money, bought a little taco stand, and from there just started expanding. We got some of our ideas from a couple of my uncles in Chicago who have restaurants over there. One of them flew down and worked with us for two years and helped up expand our menu and our business.”

Did you all start with the truck you have now?

“We first started with a trailer that we had, then later refinanced our home , and used that money to purchase the trailer that we have now. Back at around 2004, we noticed that there weren’t  a lot of taco stands or trailers; street food basically, there wasn’t a whole lot of Mexican street food going on around here. We come from East Los Angeles, and over there you see one in almost every corner, they are well populated, and each bring to the table something that everyone likes. That was another inspiration for my dad, since there wasn’t a lot here, we figured it would be a good idea and investment to start our own street food joint.”

What is your favorite meal to make?

“My dad’s favorite meal to eat are the tacos. He really likes the old-style carne asada with just salt and pepper and grilled onions on the side. He isn’t too fancy on all of the condiments that the other places use. I really the pastor that we make. So my favorite meal is pastor tacos and pastor tortas.”
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So how would you say El Paraiso is different than all of the other lunch trucks around Bakersfield?

“I think it’s different in the way that we are able to customize an order to however our customer wants it. We try to satisfy a person’s cravings no matter how strange an order might be. We are also very simplistic with our prices. We don’t charge taxes and keep everything simple. If a burrito is priced at 5 dollars then, that is what the customer pays. It makes it much easier on the customer and on us as well; with having to give out change and all.”

What lead you to pick that location for your truck?

“We wanted to find something local, something that was close to where we live, and a place where there wasn’t a lot of direct competition. Our location is in a high-traffic commercial area with lots of space. It was the best area out of about four different locations that we looked at. The property owner there at the time was willing to deal with us and it worked out well from there. Talking again about the space, a lot of truckers are able to pull right in and get out easily. Some of them rather not do that, so they are actually able to park on the street. Since we are right on the corner of Ashe and District, we are easy to spot and it’s easy to give directions.”
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Tell us a little more about the menu.

“Sure! We have all of the typical Mexican quick foods like burritos, tacos, tortas, quesadillas, ceviche, tostadas, shrimp cocktail, we also delve a little into the Mexican seafood.”

Regarding your inventory, do you all shop locally or get your food from distributors?

“Yes, all of the supplies we get are from local vendors and markets. It’s all fresh, so we go every other day and make all of our purchases.”

What would you say are your more popular items?

“Our top selling items would probably be the carne asada burrito, quesadillas, and customers love our pastor tacos! The pastor is basically made from scratch, we don’t buy any sauces from anywhere. All the ingredients are purchased locally and then everything is home-made. We prepare everything at home and don’t have to rely on a third-party to help us get our food to how we want it.”
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Does El Paraiso cater?

“We did that for the first four or five years, but since then have discontinued it. The trailer we have is not really built to be mobile, it’s more made to be stationary. In the past when we’ve catered, we noticed a lot of speed bumps or the truck wouldn’t fit in the area we needed to be. Basically it’s because of a lot of external issues that would affect the physical aspect of the truck. Also, at the moment we don’t have a small little stand that we can work with. When we did cater, often times we would book a client to feed 50 people and 90 would show up. It really just started to become very inconvenient for us. Although we do welcome any large orders, so we can cater in that aspect, but we just no longer go on-location to cater. So if anyone wanted to call ahead of time and order 40 or 50 burritos or tacos, we are more than happy to complete that order and then they can just come pick it up.”

Is there anything on the menu that is a secret family recipe?

“Yeah, our secret recipe would be our adobo sauce which is home-made. I would say the adobo sauce that makes the pastor a pretty unique characteristic of our establishment.”

Tell me, what’s it like to know that truckers are coming from all around the country, tasting your food, and thinking in the back of their mind “man, I cannot wait to get back to California to get some more that food!”

“We have had customers say that they couldn’t wait to get here to eat. I think it’s very complimentary and a nice thing to know that people are anticipating going to our place. It’s not like they are just going to have lunch, they are going because they want to have some good grub. It really inspires us to keep doing what we do.”
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What are some of the long-term thoughts for your truck?

“Well, right now it’s almost going to be 8 years doing this business in the same location. My dad recently has been interested in selling the establishment, although he is not really advertising selling the business, he is just open to the idea. He may be interested in handing it over to someone that wants to take over or expand the business to take care of it. We have received a lot of feedback from customers that say our food stands on it’s own and marks it’s own territory. Who knows, maybe someone would want to be an associate of sorts and someday sell our business. As far as ourselves, turning this into a restaurant would require personnel and much more of an investment. Right now we make enough to cover the bills and maintain a humble living.”

So if your dad were to sell the business, what would you do?

“Currently i’m attending Bakersfield College, but I eventually want to go to a four-year. I have my girlfriend’s full support for that and i’m very thankful that I have someone that encourages me to move on in an academic sense and to continue my educational career. I might be heading into some sort of social work, something involving society. I’m really into the topic of sociology, well the psychology behind sociological elements and social trends; so i’ll probably be pursuing something along those lines. Also perhaps teaching? I follow a lot of my girlfriend’s advise. She tells me that I might be a good teacher, so I might try and pursue that as well. Something that I can do to affect other people in a positive way, affect the community and help make it a better, more thoughtful environment for everyone around.”

Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri, 7:30 am – 3pm

Phone: 661-809-7115

6500 District Blvd.

Bakersfield, CA 93313

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[ln_gallery id=”325″ title=”El Paraiso Photo Gallery”]

Photos By: Robert Bejil Photography

Meditated Assault

We sat down with Meditated Assault (left to right: Micah, Rico, Bryan, and Tony) in their extremely impressive practice studio aka Rented Storage Facility. Our first impression with them was more with their physical appearance… these guys look like they are supposed to be in separate bands.  Upon listening to them jam, it was immediately clear that they all belong in one band together. To hear them play sounds as if the music itself was one instrument that took all 4 of them to play… and they do it extremely well!  During the interview we found that the band members actually live together! Meditated Assault ARE the definition of a band. They are family, brothers, bandmates, best friends, and they play their music with such love and emotion that you can’t help to be moved by it.  Tony said while on stage about to perform at the “Last Show on Earth” show, he realized “if this really is it, if this was the last hours on earth… I could not be happier then to go down with my brothers”. Meditated Assault is a group of 4 guys that are well-educated about their music, passionate people, and funny as hell to sit down and talk with… this is the madness that ensued, enjoy. For Web-13

How would you describe Meditated Assault’s sound?

“(Rico) If Sound Garden got raped by Machine Head… the baby they would give away, would be us! LOL!”

Where are you all from?

“(Rico) We’re all from Bakersfield except Bryan.”
“(Bryan) I’m from parts unknown! BaHaHaHa … I’m actually originally from the Kernville / Isabella area.”

How long has Meditated Assault be a band?

“(Rico) Since about 2006. Tony and I have been in from the start and have seen it evolve… not that it was bad or the people that were in it, but it all seemed forced. Fast forward a little… Brian showed up one day when we were trying out new guitarists, and we knew immediately that we had our man LOL! We called everyone else who was going to try out that day and let them know we found our guy for sure.” Meditated Assault (7)

What are your most memorable moments?

“(Tony) Well fuck… it happened today! We were on the god damn radio! LOL!”
“(Micah) I got mad goose bumps hearing us on KRAB (106.1 fm) Radio.”
“(Bryan) Yeah I sat down in my work truck and turned it on and was like… ‘My shit’s playing on the fucking radio!…AWESOME!'”
“(Rico) That was super cool!”
“(Tony) I was shaking LOL!”
“(Micah) That was pretty rad, definitely was a milestone moment.”
“(Tony) Yeah man, that was pretty titties HaHa!”

Do you guys have any plans on touring in the near future?

“(Rico) YES! Absolutely… for now we are working on some short-circuit tours up and down Cali.”
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Do you guys have a favorite song you like to play live?

“(Rico) I think it changes all the time. We will actually drop a song if we all don’t enjoy it. We want to make sure that it’s always current to what’s happening too, but I would say the most consistent song we play would be The Stuggle Within.”
“(Bryan) Yeah for sure. It was the first song that we all contributed to as a band.”

Who are your personal influences?

“(Tony) Chris Cornell and Matt Cameron.”
“(Micah) Ben Kenney and At The Drive-In.”
“(Rico) Pearl Jam, Machine Head, and Alice n Chains.”
“(Bryan) Paul Gilbert and Fart… ok not Fart but Mastodon”

How would you each define “Music”?

“(Rico) For me music is what moves the soul you know? With music there is no right or wrong, it’s just what ever moves you!”
“(Bryan) What ever mood you’re in you can listen to something… music is everything!”
“(Tony) Music is universal.”
“(Micah) To me music is the rarest form of emotion.”
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What type of music did you start playing?

“(Bryan) I started off  with stuff like thrash, super hard.”
“(Tony) I definitely liked some funky stuff LOL!”
“(Rico) Riff Rock not half as heavy as we get these days, and it was way less diverse.”
“(Micah) Thursday and Thrice are my kind of musical background.”

What is the one place you would want to play?

“(Rico) Rocking Ring”
“(Bryan) The Coliseum.”
“(Micah) Red Rock in Colorado.”
“(Tony) Budokan in Japan.”
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Who would you love to open for?

“(Tony) Sound Garden… pretty titties.”
“(Bryan) Machine Head.”
“(Micah) At the Drive-In.”
“(Rico) Alice n Chains and/or Machine Head.”

As a band, what is your ultimate goal?

“(Bryan) World Domination! LOL!”
“(Tony) Do this as a living… and own a country!”
“(Rico) To be able to survive doing this as a living and not the 9 to 5.”
“(Micah) Yeah I agree, to be doing this as a living.”

Anything you would like say or add?

“We definitely want to thank Felicia Ponce my sister and best friend takes the crown for most shows attended followed close by Erica Rodriguez, James Whiteside for our amazing handmade key chains and merchandise… Dead and Buried for our shirts, Kenny Williams for designing our logo and first shirt design….and of course you guys!!! We have amazing and extremely loyal fans, and would like to say thank you to each and everyone of them for all of the support, it really helps us keep going strong!!!
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Photos By: Robert Bejil Photography

Vanessa Cabrillas: Fashion Photographer

NES LogoWhen we initially brainstormed which photographers to feature, Vanessa Cabrillas of NES | Photographs was easily a “must have”. Our time spent with NES consisted of long laughs, passionate talk and an in-depth breakdown of NES | Photographs. We were so impressed with Nes, and we cannot remember the last time we heard a photographer speak so passionately about what they do! We left that night re-inspired and eager to continue on our own path to success. NES said something that night that really stuck with us, she said “Being able to SEE is a skill that is crafted over time and gained with experience”… it seems as if this young woman is already well beyond her young years. What follows is our night with Vanessa Cabrillas of NES | Photographs… enjoy.

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How old are you lol?

“15 … LoL! na, I’m 23!”

What is you ethnicity?

“I am full Filipino.”

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What was the first glimpse of photography for you?

“Well it happened in High School, one of my friends was getting into photography. My parents are very traditional and wanted me to have a plan for my life but I really didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do… I did know I wanted to do something in the Arts, so that year for Christmas I told my family that all I wanted was a camera! My grandma and parents chipped in together and bought me a Sony Cyber Shot (yes, I am a digital baby LoL). As soon as I got my camera I started shooting with all my friends and realized, people make a living out of this, why couldn’t I? LoL … So one day I googled Photography Schools, Brooks popped up, I applied, and got accepted. So then I had to finally confess to my family that I was going to do this… and with no “plan B” I was determined to make it work! LoL.”

How long have you been doing photography on a serious note?

“2009 until present time… but all together about 6 years.”

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Who or what was your biggest influence for your photography or in your life?

“James Nachtwey, he is a war photographer that risks his life for the shot. They are very impactful.”

What is it that keeps you motivated to do photography with so many photographers out there?

“Well I am self motivated (LoL) if I don’t work I don’t get paid! Thankfully I have had great referrals and I never stop networking and talking to people! I mean even my mentor is located out of Japan! He is who I talk to about a lot of my stuff.”
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What is photography to you?

“Capturing a moment is so cliche… I would say with what I do is I CREATE THE MOMENT.”

What would be a perfect photoshoot for you?

“I like the imperfections and I run off of stress… but of course I like all my equipment to work right lol!”

What is your preferred camera?

“Canon 5D Mark II, but the most important thing about a camera is to utilize all of it’s settings and use proper lighting. You will be surprised what you can do!”

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What goes through your mind while shooting? (how does “the shot” come together)

“I have a general idea about what I am going to do but I really like to figure out the details once I get on that location and meet that model. (Most likely I haven’t met the model or seen the location until shoot time).”

What is your biggest accomplishment as of yet?

“I got published in a magazine in L.A. called Bunker Hill.”

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What is your ultimate goal with your photography?

“I want to be international!”
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When you are gone what do you want people to remember about your photography?

“I want people to realize my determination, the persistence, and taking risks like a motha fucker!”

Anything you would like to add or say?

“Always have good energy. Don’t depend on your computer for all your networking… get out and mingle with real life people! Make connections and put yourself out there.”

Any parting words?

“My name is NES, go for it Motha Fuckers LoL!”

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Official Site:
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*All images provided with permission by Vanessa Cabrillas.

Save Mable!

Help Hectic Films Production make a real life country western movie! “Mable” is a short film about a Father in search of his daughter (Mable) who has been kidnapped by a gang of cowboys. After many failed attempts to rescue Mable, her father hires a man by the name of Tom Landry to find and rescue her. Tom had grown up near Mable and was always found of her. Tom plans to rescue Mable and make her his wife… but that may not be what Mable has planned.

More info and how you can donate click the link below:
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