May I indulge in a post which is all about me and images that I love for one reason or another?

It’s been one of the strangest years ever. Stressful? Yes. Unstable. Certainly. One of the most testing. Absolutely.

The life of an artist…. Or is it?

The Big Testing Time

I’m a holy man. Well, I try to be. And every difficulty is a test to prepare me for something and something bigger. That’s what I believe. That’s how I look at it. I love challenge. Absolutely. I love the feeling of grabbing a challenge by the horns and wrestling it to the ground. Love it.

But the constant challenges can be so exhausting. I’m super-positive which helps with the energy. But you can only keep that up for only so long.

I just need a vacation. A real one. I visited family in San Francisco while I was in-between homes. But I was working, a lot, while I was there. I didn’t even get to see everyone I wanted to.

Handling Difficulties

Part of the testing time is to strengthen my resolve for bigger and bigger difficulties. It’s not to say I didn’t have any before moving to New York. It’s just that I’m dealing with completely different challenges since moving here. But the fantastic thing is that I’ve become much better. Recent events have proved that. I’m really happy about that.


It’s not faith when you believe when things are going well. Faith is when you believe when things aren't. You work hard and let God take care of the rest. You let go. And when you’re a Type-A like me, that’s extremely hard to do.

Remember when Yoda told Luke that there is no difference between levitating stones and his X-Wing Fighter? You can hear people in the audience say: “What’s so hard about that?” I debated to say this, but these are ‘regular people’. These are people who say:

• “That’s impossible”

• “He/She will never accomplish that crazy goal.”

It’s one of the reasons I rarely watch comic-book/hero movies. Seeing someone portray courage on the screen is one thing. And maybe that’s why these movies are so popular. But real courage, courage in life, that’s a whole other matter.

And that’s what about faith is: having the courage to let go. But when you can do that….

So now, the fun stuff! Pictures!

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The Panasonic Leica 10-25mm f/1.7. This may seem like your regular everyday image. But it's special. I had just the Panasonic Leica 10-25mm a couple of weeks and decided to put it through a good test by going through Central Park. I can't articulate how blown-away by the performance of this lens coupled with my Panasonic Lumix G9. While I could get the colors and sharpness with my Nocticron, which is a prime at 42.5mm, this shot is done at 18mm. No way I could get this quality shot with any other m43 lens.

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The Panasonic Leica 10-25mm f/1.7 lens. A damn impressive lens. What's even more amazing is that I didn't have to wait 10 years to get the lens. Like what normally happens in my case. I got this lens about 2 years after its release. That's special. Thanks to B&H credit too!

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This may be a "What's the big deal?" shot. It's not. I took this picture at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens and did a shoot in this specific location. With a 50mm or 80mm, I could only get about a foot of coverage above the person's head in this shot. Which is not bad. There's just not enough room to get back far enough to get any more background in the shot. Being able to get the entire length of the bamboo would add a whole other look to a fashion shot. I could do that with he Panasonic Leica 10-25mm f/1.7. Again, the damn amazing quality....

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Another "What's the big deal?" shot? Again, the 10-25mm f/1.7. So, what's the big deal? It was quite dark. I didn't use a flash. I shot this at f/1.7, ISO 800 and 1/100. Normally at ISO 800, the color and sharpness starts to degrade. Maybe it did here. But it's damn good. The sharpness is vicious. This shot would've been nearly impossible with a zoom at f/2.8.

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I started the year after my last birthday with my THIRD beauty shoot. Ever! It has been a good 5 - 7 years since the last beauty shoot.

I have some issues with beauty photography. Even with my first shoot, I tried very hard not to go too far with retouching. In fact, I think when I did my first, was the beginning with more 'realistic' retouching in the genre. Thank goodness. The previous style of retouching freaked me out with how fake and strange it looked to me.

EMG model Kelsey Butler did a fantastic job. Makeup Artist and Hairstylist Anna Posokhina did a great job. I was using my brand new-never tested Mola Rayo light modifier. It was hard as that modifier is another level of anything I've ever used previously. I can't wait to use it again!

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Tashi. I hadn't done any pro-level photography for a couple of months and with the last one, it was so short, I felt rusty. So I asked the amazing Tashi to do a shoot with me. Something super simple and easy. Mind you, this is what I said the last time I worked with her and many images of that relatively inexpensive shoot made it into my printed portfolio. She came through again!

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Of course, there's the big fashion editorial I wanted to do that I was planning for a good year. It turned out pretty much exactly as I had envisioned. Inga, from State Management in New York City, was perfect for the shoot. Inga in that blue Marchesa dress, I had envisioned from day one for this shoot. Makeup Artist Veronica Gaona and Hairstylist Daniel Lutz did a fantastic job making this a realization.

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So, why did my hobby, street fashion photography, make it on this page? One thing: New York is back!

When I went to visit my family in San Francisco in early August, New York street fashion was still nowhere to be seen. And it's been like that for almost two years. Not having really great street fashion, especially in the summer in New York, is really strange. New Yorkers love to put time into their style.When I returned from San Francisco, I was shocked! Something happened when I was away! And I loved that. These ladies...  I was so happy to photograph them! Same day. Within an hour of walking around SOHO.

To me, this sense of normalcy is one of the things that made me incredibly happy in the last year. Totally.

The storm is not over for me. But instead of feeling I was built like a 20' sailboat, I'm feeling more like Coast Guard ship. Look up on Youtube what these folks and ships go through on the open seas. It's seriously scary. But they come through it.

And with God's grace, so will I. Smarter. Tougher. Stronger!

Ricardo Gomez Photography

Originally from San Francisco, Ricardo is now a New York-based photographer specializing in editorial and commercial photography.
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