We have selected New York-based Instagrammer, Jose Silva, along with Scott Borrero, as the hosts for this week’s Niche Hashtag Project! Tag your Instagram shots with #NicheSummerLight from now until Thursday for a chance to be featured on @niche’s account.
Read on to learn more about Jose and why he selects photography as his medium of choice…
Hi Jose! Tell us about yourself. Where are you from, what are your passions, what do you do for a living?
JS: I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela and lived there until the age of 13, at which point my family decided to move to New Jersey to provide me with more opportunities for a brighter future. Since then, I have lived in West New York, NJ, a small and densely populated town near the Hudson, and the place that I still call home. After high school, I attended Rutgers University where I majored in English and Philosophy, and a minored in Ancient Civilizations. Now, I work at Memorial High School (my alma mater) in the special services department, specifically with 11th and 12th graders.
Aside from photography, I am passionate about cosmology (I’m obsessed with anything related to the study of the universe), cinematography, philosophy, and literature. For fun, I love to play sports (mainly basketball), and also enjoy video games, ping-pong, billiards, chess, bowling… the list goes on and on!
Why do you take photos?
JS: I take photos for many reasons, but mainly it’s to help me remember and understand my own human experience. Retrospection and introspection are huge catalysts for growth, and I feel that photography, like no other art, allows you to not only capture a moment, but most importantly it allows you to later reflect on it… I think that’s priceless.
What are some of your favorite photographs that you have ever taken?
JS: one, two, three, four, five
How quickly do you post photographs after you take them?
JS: It really depends, sometimes I’ll shoot something and love it so much that I’ll process it and post it within a few minutes… but most of the time I like to sit on an image and see how I feel about it after a few days, weeks, or even months!
What are some tips/advice you would give to yourself if you started your account all over again?
JS: When I first started, I used to over edit every single photo, so my first advice would be to take it easy on the heavy saturation and sharpening haha… Aside from that, I’d tell myself to be as consistent as possible with the quality of the content, but at the same time post things that resonate. Sometimes it’s easy to post what you think people will like instead of posting something that you really love, but know it won’t get as much engagement.
Also, I’d tell myself to go out and start meeting and shooting with more people! It took me some time to realize how incredibly supportive the Instagram community is, and my experience with the platform has been indelibly molded by my interaction with other photographers and image makers.
Follow Jose on Instagram, here, and Scott Borrero, here.