We had the good fortune of connecting with Diego Lapetina and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diego, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is a broad and ever-present factor in our lives. But, often, we believe risk can be managed by careful organization. The meticulous planning of every step can create that sense of security that helps us to understand this fickle thing we call life. But, in reality, we can only manage what I like to call “Perceived Risks”. Perceived risks are scenarios that we can project in our minds, and as a consequence, we can plan for it. A good example of perceived risks is a hiker carrying pepper spray during a hike in bear country. The hiker understands the possibility of facing a bear and has a plan in place for how to deal with that scenario. Our ability to prepare for perceived risks grows as we explore different experiences. But, sometimes, life will present challenges that you would never be able to imagine happening. And those are the moments that make you re-evaluate your existence. Risk can be a powerful driver of change, and is something that I have embraced from a young age. In many ways, living outside my comfort zone has allowed me to grow in manners that would be hard to describe. The most significant risk I have faced up to this moment was moving from Brazil to Canada to pursue my Ph.D. Flying across hemispheres to start a new life would be a terrifying experience in itself, but embarking on that journey without speaking a word of English was really petrifying. After years of living inside my comfort zone, I decided it was time to face a new challenge. The challenge of starting a new photography business was the reason for abandoning my 15 years of scientific training. As an overthinker, I am always imagining and preparing for all sorts of perceived risks that could be involved in this new journey. But, honestly speaking, I’m only worried about the unforeseen risks that allow no time for preparation.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have always being a creative person. Appreciation of beauty has been a constant factor in my life. Over the years, I have realized that beauty can have many facets, and the exploration of those angles often unveils a deeper understanding of life. Despite my early appreciation for art, I was never a talented artist — growing up, all I could create was stickmen drawings and finger paints. This clear inaptitude for art forced me to use my creativity in other ways, and that’s how I started to appreciate the beauty of science. I followed the science path for many years. Eventually, I started to appreciate the beauty of the mechanisms responsible for regulating our bodies’ cellular functions. In many ways, my science background helped develop a keen sense of simplicity, a skill that I still apply in my life. During my scientific journey, I came in contact with photography. After discovering photography, I quickly started to reconnect with my artistic side. The ability to create and share our world’s beauty was an enticing proposition for my frustrated younger artistic self. Over the years, photography became more than a hobby, and suddenly I found my life entirely revolving around photography. For years, I fought against the idea of pursuing photography as a career. But after two stressful years working as a Bussiness Development Manager, I decided to give up on my high-paying job to follow my heart and pursue my photography. Starting my photography business in 2020 has been extra challenging. This year, I have seen all my plans uprooted, and I had to quickly adapt to this new reality – or at least try. It hasn’t been a comfortable journey, but I’m confident this is the right path. This new course presents daily challenges, and I know overcoming those challenges will force me to grow as a person. I firmly believe that embracing new challenges and forcing ourselves out of the comfort zone is essential to create stories worth sharing with our future generations. I try to follow my life’s motto of: – Be brave, be bold, and be kind.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
San Diego is such a fantastic city for outdoor living. It’s hard to design just one perfect itinerary. But, I believe that few places in San Diego are a must-see, independently of age and preferences. To name a few – Balboa Park, Downtown, Liberty Station, and La Jolla. I often explore Downtown, Pacific Beach, Balboa Park, North Park, and Birdrock with my friends who appreciate the city life. For the beach lovers, I usually drive to Leucadia. Leucadia is the perfect place to spend a day surfing and relaxing on the sand. After a busy day exploring the architecture, beaches, and trails, I like to grab a bite to eat at Taco Libertad or Buona Forchetta.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I honestly believe that every person that I have crossed paths has shaped my life. At the end of the day, we are the result of our daily interactions with other people. But, in a more profound way, I would definitely not be here without the support of my loving wife Juliana Capitanio. She is a brilliant scientist and the brain of our relationship. I’m grateful to have someone that supports me in all my crazy ideas and projects. Also, I have to acknowledge the unconditional support from my family – specially Dimas and Neiva Capitanio. My family has always supported and encouraged my adventures. In many ways, I would not be here – exploring a completely new world – without their words of encouragement.