Photographer Erick Madrid started shooting regularly for the Santa Barbara Independent earlier this year. This week, he manned the lens behind most of the Home & Gardens special cover story, starting on page 17. He tells us a bit more about himself below.
Where are you from? I’m originally from rural Central Valley, 20 miles east of Visalia, right below Sequoia National Park. My parents were farmers, so I grew up and worked on 30 acres of oranges. I came to Santa Barbara in 1997, via Mammoth Lakes, to get a surgery on my shoulder and ended up staying here.
How’d you start as a photographer? My career started at 17 years old when I scored a freelance gig with an Australian skateboard magazine called 540. I covered the Visalia YMCA skateboard camp at Sequoia Lake in the summer of ’89. Shortly after moving to Santa Barbara, I took some classes at Brooks Institute to learn digital photography. Then I left early to be an assistant for two of Sports Illustrated’s staff photographers. That was the best education in photography and life I could have ever asked for.
How is it being a photographer here? Santa Barbara is a great place to be a photographer. I shoot whatever moves me. I love the nuances of light and people. I currently have an ongoing project called #thisisyourcitysb and you can view my work on Instagram @erickmadrid43.