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Cowboy Boots and a Camera: The Story of Friendship

Welp! It's Wednesday again, and if you're feeling a little low this week, let me tell you: same. The hustle is very real and very exhausting and I feel it in my tiny bones this morning. But today I am also feeling very proud. I am feeling very inspired. And maybe it's the 6 cups of coffee that I've had, maybe it's the fact that I got to interview another one of my dear friends that I have the utmost respect for, maybe it's both. It's probably both. 

I want to introduce you to Errol Colandro, Photo magician and video wizard. You may have seen him on Instagram as @el3productions and tagged on pages like @CafeRacersofInstagram, @strangevacation, @inked_iron, and most recently the footwear division of Harley Davidson- @HDFootwear. Errol wears a cowboy hat sometimes, don't let that change your view of him....also, he wears cowboy boots. 

ANYWAYS.

I met Errol through (SURPRISE!) Instagram. A few months ago, BlackCat had the opportunity to unload coffee and kick it at the NoWhere Moto Show in Joshua Tree and we had seriously the best time and met some of the raddest people and heavy hitters in the moto scene-it was seriously so rad. Here's a little backstory on that:

I was on Instagram, like I am every day, and I saw that Biltwell posted this flyer that they were endorsing the NoWhere show. I found the instagram (this is before story sharing-also I am a big creep on Instagram and I've probably gone through your entire follower/following list looking for someone that I only know the first name of to find a bike I saw on the internet one time. Sorry not sorry....a little sorry) and realized that there was no coffee vendor. So, in true BlackCat fashion, I figure I would just bother this company until they couldn't handle it anymore and just let us set up our little tent in a tiny corner in the back of the event. 

It took one message. 

"Hey dude! I was wondering if you had a coffee vendor? Could I send you some stuff to try out?"
"We don't! You're in! See you there! Here's my number, let me know if you need anything. My name is Errol."

Since the show, Errol has become less and less of a business relationship and truly one of my dearest friends and inspirations to keep the grind up-He also somehow started a hashtag that's literally just #ShutUpNick. I don't know how that happened. I think every time that we talk and I'm able to get a glimpse of the moves he is trying to make, it causes me to dig even deeper into what I've got. It's not competition, it's setting an unspoken standard that we hold each other to. So this week's #BlackCatBlogClub is about Errol. Be inspired. Enjoy.

1. Please state your name for the record. Your full name. I want your middle name.
Okay, how did you get the spotlight to shine in my face like that? My name is Errol L. Colandro (You got the middle initial) 

2. Where you from?
Born in Palm Springs, California. Grew up in a little town in Northern Arizona called Prescott.  

3. How old are you?
I am 30

4. What do you do for work?
I take photos of some pretty rad people, things, locations.   

5. How did you first start getting into drawing/art/being awesome? What was it that made you go, “THIS. This is the thing for me”?
Ohhhhh man, Ive been shooting for about 10 years now. I went to film school right after I turned 21, before that, I worked as a server, landscaper, shop help at a hot rod shop, I was even a cook at Dennys (that alone is ummmm, quite a story). Anyways, I grew up in theater, from age 11 to 21 I was on stage, I grew up in a super creative household. My mom is to blame for all of this really, this woman pushed me and well,  pretty much groomed me to be in the creative world (HI MOM!). Okay, back to the question,  I wanted to do something to tell a story. Something that inspired people, you know? Well, my best buddy called me one day and was like "dude, I just got accepted into film school!" Hearing that,  I was like "mannnnn, I wanna do that too!" So, I made an appointment with a college counselor and a week later I was sitting in the college signing papers to start school! So a little fact about me, Im a high school dropout. I went on springbreak and never came back. I loved drama, choir, all the fun stuff. But, I just didn't have the patience for the actual studying. I graduated college with a 4.1 GPA. That alone was one HELL of a feeling for me. 

But, to answer your question. The day I walked into my very first class at school I realized that I can't imagine doing anything else. 10 years later, Im still doing it. 

6. What is one thing that someone that is trying to do what you do should know?
Honestly, never give up. HUSTLE YOUR ASS OFF! Ive been told "eh, no" more than Id like to hear, but, it made me work harder, it pushed me to make my work that much better. Never stop learning, ask questions, study shots you like, etc. Also, one of the BIGGEST things that I am beyond grateful for, your circle. Your circle is definitely something that is important. You want people who stand next to you and who support you and who believe in you and who will call you out when you need it. For instance my girl (who is seriously the glue that keeps me sane/my best friend) she sees a shot I have taken and she goes "Yeaaaa, no." Of course my ego is gonna be bruised a bit, BUT, I don't want to be throwing out "eh" work. You want people who see what you're capable of and who are going to stand by you and help push you when you need it! 

7. What’s your favorite color?
Black 

8. Tell me one thing you love about what you do?
Being able to tell a story with my lens. Being able to inspire. Being able to show the people Im shooting how much of a badass they are! (Okay that was more than one)

9. Tell me one thing you hate about what you do? Why? Is there something that could change about it so that it could also be something you love?
Its not easy at times, from lack of work to the really cheap people who want a Mercedes for a used Kia price. I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. 

10. What’s your favorite piece? Do you have one? Why? Why not?
Each shoot I do holds a special place in my heart. No matter what it may be. 

It's funny, I've never really sat down and talked to Errol about where he started so unloading this questionnaire to him and reading through these answers this morning was all new info to me and I thought it was so rad-I am feeling more and more okay about being tired. I'm sure you've heard the whole, "Never meet your heroes" saying. Screw that. Meet all the heroes. Learn from them. Get their phone number and give em high fives. Eat dinner together. Call each other when your day sucks. I am so proud of the company that I have had the blessing to keep and I am realizing that the more and more I get to spend time with people like Errol, the tighter the group gets, the larger the group expands and I think that this is what BlackCat does. We are a community. Come hang. Let Errol take your picture. BlackCat Forever. Happy Wednesday.

You can see Errol's work and hire him to create content both on Instagram @el3Productions and online at www.el3productions.com