On their first task, the US CitySlickers will show us around their towns and cities, documenting their experiences in analogue and telling us stories along the way. Let's meet Nicolas and read about his life in San Fancisco.
Name: Nicolas Escalada
City: San Francisco
Occupation: Lomography SF Sales Rep/Freelance Video Editor/Disney Quote Master
Hey friends, nice to meet you! My name is Nicolas, but my homies know me as Nico, Nick and even ニコラス to all my Osaka peeps!
California is where I’m at now, but it’s not where I’m from originally. To be honest, I just moved here a few months ago, so everything’s pretty new to me! As a kid, I moved around so many times and I don’t really have a place that I would call my “hometown.” But generally I’ve floated between the states, the Philippines and Japan. I think I was really lucky to experience that kind of lifestyle. I became exposed to many different cultures, settings, and viewpoints, which has had a lot of impact on my perspective in life. Lately, I’ve always been on the move, packing my suitcase to wherever the wind takes me. But in the meantime, I’ll let you guys know what’s up in the Bay Area as your San Francisco Cityslicker!
I was introduced to Lomography completely by accident. Before, I wasn’t really into photography and if you asked me about film, I could care less. But ever since I was a wee lad, I was always interested in arts. Whatever could be created, I tried it out. Whether it was drawing comics, writing stories, making movies or even attempting to write songs, I wanted to express myself in more ways than one. But photography never really got to me for some reason. I always pictured photography as intimidating and serious and if not that, I also saw it as touristy.
I was lucky to have the chance to live in the incredible city of Osaka, Japan. Moving to Japan was the reason I became so in love with Lomography. I wanted a unique, interesting way to document my life there and getting a heavy DSLR just seemed like a hassle. In my town, there were many used camera shops and I just happened to stumble upon an authentic Russian LC-A. Buying that little machine changed everything for me and how I saw the world. I found out that taking pictures could be fun, that it wasn’t a serious thing. It changed my life and I couldn’t stop loading roll after roll into my new favorite camera.
Today, I’m really fortunate to be a part of the amazing San Francisco team at our Lomography Gallery Store here in Union Square! My coworkers are the coolest kids ever and a big reason I enjoy my job is because of them (shout out to my homegirls up in 309 Sutter!). There, not only do I interact with Lomographers and teach workshops, but I also shoot and edit some of the videos for the store. Here’s one showing how the store first started during the construction phases up to when we had our big opening party. (Thumbs up for Jpop, yo.)
Although I’m a newcomer to San Francisco, it’s quickly growing on me. With the store located in the business district, that area is where I’ve ventured the most. I’ve taken many photo walks around Union Square and Chinatown. Naturally, Japantown is one of my favorite spots for food and to practice my Japanese. I love walking to the Embarcadero where the view of the ocean is amazing and it’s one of my favorite places to shoot! Lurking around the streets at night is great and overall there’s life almost everywhere you go. The city may be small, but there’s so much more to explore, which is the main reason why I wanted to become a Cityslicker in the first place. Not only will the adventures I share with you guys be new to some of you, but it’ll be completely new to me as well! It’s exciting that we’ll be discovering the city together.
If you guys ever get a chance to visit, find me at the Lomography SF store and holler at your boy! (Or, just say, “hi,” there’s no need to shout.) I’ll be sure to throw some high fives your way. Anyway, stay tuned and keep an eye out for more of my analogue tales of San Francisco.