We had the good fortune of connecting with Christopher Sabo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Christopher, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
If You Work Hard, You Can Be Anything You Want To Be

I find this piece of advice to not only be very poor, but steer people in wrong directions in life. Yes, hard work is valuable, but most people cannot be anything they want to be. I originally wanted to work in animation, and be a character animator, but I was absolutely terrible at it. I spent on average 5 hours every night practicing and practicing, and still never got “good enough.” It lead me nowhere, and the moment I stopped doing what I wanted to do, and started doing things I was actually good at, that’s when my life was actually getting better.

In college, I was actually really good at Accounting and Writing, and the more I pursued those ventures, the more enjoyment I found in life. It is actually what lead me on the path I am now, and I would argue I am quite successful where I am now. I also find the term “want” to be very selfish. It idolizes this idea that if you “want” something enough, you will get it.

A better piece of advice? – If you find something you enjoy… keep doing it… Somehow, Someway… It all works out.

I think people should find things they enjoy that they are good at; even if it doesn’t make they money in the beginning. If you enjoy it, you will keep doing it, and if you really are good at it, someone will find it and appreciate it.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When I was in community college at College of the Desert, I took almost every Art class the college had, except for Film Photography. My friend Skips took Film Photography, and it was his favorite class. Film Photography was always a form of Analog Media that I was interested in (similar to how people fall in love with Vinyl Records and VHS Tapes).

I then had the opportunity to go to California State University, Monterey Bay to finish my Bachelor’s in Financial Accounting. While I was in Monterey, I found a small FIlm Camera shop selling a Pentax K1000 SE with a 50mm lens for $100. There was nothing wrong with it, it worked, and was completely fine. It was affordable at the time because Film was still kind of nuanced. I had $100 in my pocket, and quickly bought the camera. The shop owner was nice enough to throw in a roll of film. The rest is history, I fell in love with film!

I started just taking random pictures of almost anything and everything. The real beginning was when my friend Skips and I began going to local events in the Southern California area. Events such as Arcade Meetups, conventions, and video game tournaments. We had a website called NightAtTheArcades.com where we would post pictures online from these local events. Our website got so popular, we started applying for Press at more exclusive or paid events (Such as Anime Expo, Electronic Entertainment Expo, EVO Las Vegas, and San Diego Comic Con), and we actually got in. We also took our job seriously, but it was quite expensive. On Average, an event would cost about $100 a ticket ($200 for two people), and we would get in for free. However, by the end of the event, we would end up with a bill of around $200 for the film we bought and development costs. However, it didn’t bother us because we were getting into events we otherwise would not get into, so the development costs didn’t bother us.

When COVID hit, everything changed. All in-person events were canceled, and they did not start picking back up till almost 2 years after the pandemic started. I was still interested in Film Photography, so when I was able to go back outside, I began taking pictures of the outside world, the environment, forests and beaches, and cars. I created an instagram account where I began dumping pictures I was taking, and I’ve slowly been building an instagram photography presence. I think many people resonated with the pictures I took because it reminded them of how beautiful the outside world is, and that is something important to remember.

A lot of people ask me why I do Black & White Photography, and the simple answer is that B&W is cheaper, running at almost half the price compared to color film. Meaning I can take almost twice as many B&W Pictures than Color Pictures. However, the B&W Aesthetic has grown on me and in my artwork that even if I have the opportunity to shoot color, I still prefer shooting in B&W. I remember a Science Article talking once about how before Color TVs, humans used to dream in Black & White. I think looking at the world in a different light is valuable and reminds people to look at the world in different ways.

Earlier this year, a friend of mine found out I was a Film Photographer, and asked if he could pay me to do a photoshoot with his car. It was the first time I was actually paid for my work, and it wasn’t the last. I never thought I would actually get paid for my work. I’m technically at the beginning of my Professional Film Photography career, and it’s not my day job, which is exactly what I wanted. I enjoy my day job where I wake up, go to an office, and work with my family (most people don’t, but I do), but I am also able to have my own career with something I love. If someone messages me for a Photoshoot, or invites me to an event, I am able to work it in my schedule, and have the best of both worlds!

I wouldn’t say it was hard, more that it required patience, I was already loving what I did, and now I am able to continue doing what I love. Events are starting to pick back up in 2022, so I’ll definitely be blasting through more rolls of film. I would like people to know that you can do cool and amazing things in the world, just doing things you love. I would encourage people to find things they enjoy doing, and keep doing it. You never know where you will end up!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, it would depend on which city? I currently live in Palm Springs, California; a city I live, but is generally normal. There’s a nice pizza shop down the street, and a semi-cool bar. However, if it’s like a week-long vacation; San Diego is the place to go.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE SAN DIEGO!

I’m personally a big fan of Downtown San Diego, lots of great food, pubs, and fun shops. I go to Downtown every year for San Diego Comic Con, and it’s easily one of the most fun cities in California. I can go to almost any restaurant, eat good food, and have a good time. The beaches of San Diego are also nice, I love the beaches down by La Jolla.

My friends and I enjoy just hanging out, and San Diego is a great city to hang out. As well, outside of the Interstate 5 North, I don’t recall San Diego having a lot of traffic. If someone reading this says “There’s traffic in San Diego,” I’ve driven between La Jolla and Downtwon many times, and the traffic is nowhere near as bad as Los Angeles or Palm Springs traffic. I also want to say, driving on the San Diego Freeways and Highways are very fun simply because they are organized very well, maintained, and easy to understand where you need to go.

If you’re ever in San Diego, I recommend San Remo for Pizza, Bang Bang for Sushi, and The Whiskey House for a good drink!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would not be anywhere without my Mother.

My mother always supported me every day of my life. Not only did my mother work hard to put me in good schools, teach me proper etiquette, and show me how the world works (both good and bad); she was always there whenever I needed help.

I take a lot from my mother, from her determination to her strong will. I feel my hard work mentality comes from her because my mother was always a hard worker. I currently work with my mother in the Accounting Department of her business, and am still always amazed how hard she works at her age.

Website: https://www.nightatthearcades.com/

Instagram: instagram.com/sabo.film

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.