In November 2018 Pinball Photos LLC was born—my first venture as an entrepreneur.
My initial shop offerings were metallic and museum grade canvas prints of my photos. Then my creativity took a swing and many other products joined my collection. I honestly was hesitant to introduce new products to my shop as I’m very keen on unique goods and the mere thought of slapping my pictures on anything and everything has never been an option for me.
For this reason, I have invested a great deal of time in creating new offerings for my shop which meet my personal standard. The first products I offered outside of my metallic and canvas prints were my stone coasters made of natural marble and slate. These served as a distinctive item to gracefully showcase my photography in a most unusual medium.
Following this path, I introduced my collection of placemats. I have always been amazed by the lack of creativity in the current tableware market. Why should we be limited to simply polka dots or stripes? I couldn't accept the conventional, simplistic offerings anymore, so I created my own designs to add something fresh and new to the market.
Art has gone from being something special and unique that defines you as an individual to now being a mass-produced commodity that everyone shares. It sometimes seems like there is nothing noteworthy about it anymore. We all own the same array of patterns, colors, and concepts. Our spaces are now a cookie-cutter version of each other. I can’t seem to find anything special when I shop for everyday products like coasters, placemats, and shower curtains. They all look and feel the same.
It’s hard to buy unique and memorable gifts for friends and family these days. Expressions such as: “Oh I’ve seen these before”, “didn’t those go on sale not too long ago”, “I have the same ones already” are expressions that you just don’t want to hear when trying to give someone a special gift. Quality has also suffered in order for brands to provide a “variety” that in reality doesn’t exist. Nameless products with no passion, no artistic effort, and very low quality are merely designed to fulfill a basic need. I couldn’t take it anymore.
This is how my journey started.
MEET THE BRAND
BORN FROM PASSION
Pinball Photos began as a result of my love for photography and my passion for pinball.
It’s incredible how a recently acquired hobby has evolved into a fully developed business, exploring my creativity and entrepreneurship.
I come from an island in the middle of The Caribbean called the Dominican Republic. I was born looking at the turquoise waters of the sea with no contact or knowledge about the world of pinball. I only got to experience pinball when I moved to the United States after completing my college degree in advertising.
I started visiting the arcades on the boardwalk in both Delaware and New Jersey beaches. I grew intrigued with the look and colors of these extraordinary machines. I remember, it was 2013 when I played my first game on a pinball machine. The two games that I played were Lord of the Rings by Stern Pinball and South Park by Sega.
My world would never be the same after experiencing the adventures and thrills on these fascinating machines.
MOVING & GROWING
The next step in this journey came when I moved by myself and had the opportunity to create my own space. This allowed me to start materializing my dream of owning my first pinball machine. I researched how to obtain one and found several offerings through Craigslist.
I was fortunate enough to find not one but two machines to start my collection. Twilight Zone by Bally and South Park from Sega were my first games which made my love for pinball grow deeper.
I haven’t found another hobby outside photography that inspires joy and enchantment like this one. This also led to wonderful camaraderie with the pinball community which I greatly appreciate. I’m lucky to reside within the tri-state area where I can easily share my passion with others who feel the same.
BRINGING IT ALL
During the process of discovering the history and amazing mechanical wonders of these machines, I also continued to explore photography as an artistic medium. During this time, I created several photo series of self-portraits inspired by the decades of the 30's and 50’s. I have always had an appreciation for the past, from the clothing to the mechanical revolution.
My second photo series of self-portraits leaned towards fine art photography, experimenting with lights and shadows, and special effects. Then one day, my two worlds collided and a desire to explore pinball photography grasped my curiosity.
I had just graduated from my MBA program here in the states. Both my imagination and entrepreneurship collided slowly fueling a new chapter in my life. As a project manager for an international organization for over ten years, it was time for me to work on my own venture. I researched to see if other photographers had pursued the same concepts I had plastered on my imagination. I looked for others who had created what I envisioned and to my surprise, I couldn’t find any. I then found myself dedicated to capturing the pinball world under the glass of these incredible machines. I reached out to individuals within the pinball community to set up photoshoots of their games. I experimented with lighting, different camera lenses and shutter speed, originating my own style—a style that celebrates my Caribbean heritage with the bright colors that represent my life experience looking out over the sea.
Once my technique evolved, I was ready to show it to the world.
Full Circle. It Always Comes Back to the Art
Whether it’s a coaster or a portrait print, my work is always about art and expression. My art celebrates the color and happiness of my Caribbean roots and honors the entrepreneurship path of my ancestors. I come from a self-made family with a long history of creating independent businesses ranging from restaurants and gift shops to hardware stores. I proudly represent my Hispanic heritage as I strive forward, building something special.
Something else wonderful happened along my journey. My images grasped the curiosity of the Jersey Jack Pinball company, the producer of some of the most beautiful and technologically advanced pinball machines currently on the market. I had the honor of photographing their machines for their marketing needs and personally worked with founder Jack Guarnieri, a veteran in the amusement industry. Additionally, my journey was captured and published by GameRoom Magazine for their 2019 issue which was an experience I couldn’t be more thankful for.
These experiences have taught me that every individual sees the world differently. One reason I created Pinball Photos was for the opportunity to showcase my own vision. I hope that you can see the artistic beauty from my perspective, and I hope that my products can bring a smile to your heart and inspire you to follow your own dreams.
"Welcome to my world"