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

Hi Everson, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When I was younger, I was eager to make money and prove my worth. Consequently, I sacrificed a lot of vacation time and important moments with my family in the pursuit of this goal. But it wasn’t until my grandfather passed away last year due to COVID-19 that I realized no amount of money I made could change the regret I felt for not spending more time with my family. Money, material possessions — they come and go. But you can’t take back time lost. Since then, I’ve kept close contact with my family and take more time for myself, whether it’s meditation or checking in with my family more often. It’s by no means a perfect solution, but it’s a small step in the right direction for me.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
There’s a recurring theme in my life that represents my journey best, and that’s belief. It took a leap of faith for me to go from being a writer to becoming a photographer. It took people believing in me to see that I had more to offer the world than just words. And the thing about belief is, that there are no guarantees it’s going to work out. Yet I was more driven by success than I was deterred by the idea of failure, so I stayed the course. And because I did, I made a way for myself in this field, from working with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to documenting the George Floyd Protests. Since becoming a photographer, I’ve realized the power of a photograph, and I take that responsibility on myself now to shed a light on important but underrepresented topics, whether it’s exploring subcultures or tackling difficult subject matter like drug addiction. I used to work as a journalist very early in my career, so this idea of being personally invested in the work I do resonates with me very strongly. Because at the end of the day, I’m not just taking a picture. My work as a documentary photographer is about creating a safe space for others to share their stories and speak their truth.

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?
One of the places I’ve always been fond of ever since coming to the city is The Getty. It’s one of the few artistic places I’ve been to that isn’t just beautiful on the inside: it has gardens surrounding it and some really great views overlooking the city. When it comes to food, my personal favorite place to eat is Dino’s in Koreatown. The prices are really good for what you get and there’s a lot of great stuff to choose from. But of all the great options there, I’m a huge fan of their mouth-watering Pollo Maniaco, which is their special chicken and fries choice. It’s so good, you really can’t go wrong.

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 want to give a special shoutout to my mother, Margarita Marte, for the sacrifices she made for me, and for her unconditional love.

Instagram: @sevenforeverson

Image Credits
Everson Taveras

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