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Pro Team Antonio Pantoja, professional filmmaker and photographer. 3 Legged Thing Pro Team member.

Published on September 7th, 2018 | by Alison Barclay


Pro Team: Antonio Pantoja

Our Pro Team are a fantastic group of talented photographers, many of whom have used 3 Legged Thing tripods and accessories for several years. In this series of interviews we are introducing you to the different members of the team, using short Q&As to give you some insight into how they work, what equipment they use, and how they became professional photographers.

Next in the series is Antonio Pantoja, filmmaker and photographer.

What is your earliest memory of handling a camera?

“It wasn’t until 2011 until I actually picked up my first camera! I was a super late bloomer!”

Was there a single event that made you decide to become a professional photographer?

“My father passed away in 2009. He was my hero. About a week before he passed away, I had won a camera from the place I was working. I had 2 seconds of video before he passed away and a few photos. I realized at that moment that you live on forever through film and photography. You become immortal.”

Photo by Antonio Pantoja.

What is your favourite location to capture?

“I love working both in-studio and getting out into the world and capturing people in super earthy and ethereal locations like the woods, a creek, or mountains.”

Social media – love it or hate it?

“LOVE IT! I think you should use it as a billboard and not a diary. Sometimes, people don’t engage with you, but they see and remember everything.”

Photo by Antonio Pantoja

Favourite camera you have ever used or owned, and why?

“For video; the RED Epic MX. By far. It’s what I shot my movie on. For photos, the Canon 5D Mark III has been amazing to me so much so that I still haven’t upgraded to the 5D Mark IV. I need to, but I just love the III so much!”

What’s in your kit bag?

“Too much. Way too much. But my single most used item is the 3LT Toolz. I seriously can’t believe how much that has come in handy for me. But other gear includes:

  • CamRanger wireless tethering + an iPad mini
  • Cheap Yongnuo triggers and receivers
  • Microfiber lens cloth
  • Sensor swabs
  • Dust blower
  • Holdfast Money Maker (if I need to act quickly with two bodies)
  • The Canon holy trio 16-35 2.8L, 70-200 2.8L IS, 24-70 2.8L, and I love the 50mm 1.2L
  • I always use ab800 Alien Bees strobes and an Einstein
  • Paul C Buff Vagabond Mini (2)”

Photo by Antonio Pantoja

Name 5 essential items in your photography bag.

“If I could ONLY choose 5:

  • 3LT Toolz
  • Canon 24-70 2.8L
  • 3LT Brian
  • A reflector
  • Alien Bees ab800″

Photo by Antonio Pantoja

Are there any strange/unusual items in your photo bag? Household bits?

“I’m pretty well known for having EVERYTHING in my car because my photos are so weird.

“A spool of thick red yarn, lots of random costume items like masks and wings, a small makeup kit (I don’t know anything about makeup, but yeah…), deer antlers, a prism, and a friggin chandelier (yep. It works awesome in the foreground).”

How would you describe your style of photography?

“I grew up in a really broken home. I was homeless at 14 and never made it past the 8th grade. Most of my photos originate through life’s struggles with a redeeming message. I hope that people get this out of my photos. I’ve repeatedly heard the words “a beautiful nightmare” when people describe my photos and I am so thankful for that.”

Photo by Antonio Pantoja

What is one question you’d like to be asked and never have been?

“No one has asked me “Who do you want to be proud of you?”. And the truth is, I have so many people to list. I owe so many people so much. Even the people who have treated me negatively. They don’t know it, but they’ve driven me more than anyone else. People ask me all the time what my dream is but the truth is, this. I am currently living my dream. Right now.”

All Photos: ©Antonio Pantoja

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