With a portfolio that ranges from stylized fashion shoots to more casual explorations of character, David Cortes' photography exhibits a strong regard for the individual. Since his interest in photography began, the 21-year-old has proven to have a distinctive eye and gracefully executed style. Hailing from Los Angeles but can sometimes be found shooting in New York, David has worked with established brands such as Nike, and an array of bloggers and models including Jenn Im of Clothes Encounters, Olivia Lopez of Lust for Life, Giza Lagarce, Maris Berkowitz and most recently - Lera Pen for Visionarios Magazine. It's safe to say that with his ever-growing resume of achievements and projects, David is well on his way to becoming something truly amazing.

When and how did your interest in photography begin?

 I've always really loved photography. My interest in the medium started when I was a child. It was far before I first picked up a camera. Before my parents had my siblings and I they used to road trip around California together and document their travels. I remember looking through their photo albums and at all the photos they had (and still have) hanging in their house and thinking how pretty they were. Later when I was in high school my brother gave me his SLR and I've honestly been shooting ever since.

Can you tell us a little about your current influences and inspirations?

 My interests are constantly changing. I was in New York from October till December of this past year which was hugely motivating and inspiring in terms of my work. It was such a great experience to be able to shoot somewhere which was completely out of my comfort zone. Outside of that recent experience I'd have to say that music is a huge part of my creative process, along with my friends, family, traveling, bright colours, psychedelics, and the city that I live in.

If you could photograph anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? 

I'd really like to work with Teresa Oman, Maddison Brown, Chloe Norgaard, or Abbey Lee Kershaw.

What advice would you give to someone starting off in photography and wanting to make a career out of it?

I think Tim Barber said it best. "Be kind and work hard at what you love" I've really been trying to live by this lately...

When there isn't a camera in your hand, what are you doing? 

At home playing with my dogs. I'm kind of a home body. I value my time alone.

What are three rules you live by? 

Not to sound pretentious, but I really don't live by any set list of "rules". I don't think that's a very exciting way to live life.

And finally, where do you see yourself in five years time? 

I'm not too sure where exactly I see myself in 5 years. Hopefully living with a nice girl and my 3 dogs here in LA. Working consistently between Los Angeles and New York is a big goal of mine. Hopefully shooting campaigns, editorials, and commissioned work for large companies and magazines. I can't get too caught up and worry about what's going to happen in 5 years though. I still have my rent to pay at the end of this month...

Check out David's website and tumblr

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