Detroit Photographer turns side hustle into full-time work

Gabriel Guzman shares his growth as a photographer and how business has been thriving

Photographer Gabriel Guzman (Gabriel Guzman, Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

Since his youth, Gabriel Guzman, 33, has always had an eye for creativity; starting off drawing and practicing graffiti in high school, then taking an interest in photography when transitioning into college.

When Guzman graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2011, his family offered him a graduation party, but he asked for an introductory camera instead.

Quinceañera photoshoot with lowrider. (Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

At first, his eye was caught by urban settings, murals, and graffiti throughout the city. After a photo session with his sister and cousin was posted to Facebook, he started getting requests to do photoshoots.

“For a while, I was curving people left and right telling them, ‘No, I’m not a photographer, that’s not what I do, that was a single session, I’ve never done anything like this in my life, I don’t even know what I’m doing with a camera,’” said Guzman.

Guzman would eventually say yes to clients messaging him directly on social media, and found his platform growing more each year.

While working for a local newspaper in Southwest Detroit, at an Elementary school, or doing construction, he was always doing photography as a side hustle. Now he finds himself in a position to pursue photography full-time.

“I asked myself, ‘Why am I looking for other jobs when I’ve been doing photography this whole time but I never really focused on it?’, Once I had focused on photography, the love grew after that,” said Guzman.

Being bilingual in English and Spanish, Guzman finds it easy to serve the different communities, especially the Hispanic community. Clients call him an easy-going photographer and he finds himself growing his clientele outside of Detroit and being requested in Waterford, Novi, and more.

Since coming out of quarantine, Guzman has seen a growth in sessions as parties, graduations, and other special events are no longer on hold. He has realized the importance of capturing a momentous occasion for his clients.

Maternity Photoshoot (Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

Although he’s easy-going, he still calls himself a perfectionist in his craft.

“My overall style is timeless,” said Guzman. “They will be good today and look good 50 years from now.”

Whether it was drawing, graffiti, or working a camera, Guzman’s creative drive keeps him going.

You can find Guzman on Facebook and Instagram at Gabriel Guzman Photography to request a session and take a look at his work.

Gabriel Guzman Logo (Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

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