How do you balance commercial and personal work?
Eriberto: I don't. This is what differentiates me and my beloved son, Estevan. He can work comfortably on both sides of the fence. He is an entrepreneur as well as an artist. Andy Warhol said something about it being great when art is commercial and when commercial is art. Me, I'm still working on this one, but like the turtle, I'm not about being first, but about enduring.
Estevan: Thats easy - I shoot some personal stuff every single day. It might be 1 shot or 10 rolls, but i make sure I do something. I have presently shot over 300,000 photos and my goal is 1,000,000. When I'm not doing that, I'm hustling my ass off thinking of ways to get commercial work to pay all these mother fuckin bills.
Any words of wisdom for aspiring photographers?
Eriberto: Just do it, as the saying goes. Don't worry about all the technical shit. Go with your gut and trust your eye. If you saw what most of my photos looked like after a shoot, you would say, like I do many times, “You screwed up.” But at the same time, I don't want everything to be just right. That's boring to me. My photos come alive in the darkroom or in photoshop. I don't take pictures, I make them. Anyway, you can always hire a tech or hustle one if that's a call you need to make.
Estevan: Be original! Get ready, because taking a picture is the easiest part. The rest of it is hard.
Favorite photograph taken by your father/son?
Estevan: I like a lot of them: The Thinker, America's Most Wanted, The Miners, shots he took of the underground metro in LA being built, his downtown street stuff...
Eriberto: I don't have a favorite. I gave that one up quite a while ago and that's because I have several and this works for me. The universe is not one thing; it is a multitude of many. I don't believe that you've got to put your all into the one. For me, that's tunnel vision and only takes you down a one-way-street.
Favorite photograph of your own?
Estevan: Impossible, I like so many of them. The street stuff, music, women, traveling, celebrities...
Eriberto: Same thing applies here. I have no one favorite. Since I mostly shoot the streets and the people I encounter there or bring there, all of this spices life and is the richness of Los Angeles. The grotesque, the beast and the beauty all of these various elements feeds and expand my horizons. So each image unfolds itself before my eyes as does a garden of roses.
Estevan Oriol, 76 Caprice Scraping, 1997. (c) Estevan Oriol.