Is Lassonde Studios the Bauhaus of the Entrepreneurship Movement?

An aerial view of the patio at Lassonde Studios.

An aerial view of the patio at Lassonde Studios.

I’ve always been so fascinated by the Bauhaus School. There’s just something really exciting thinking about this singular place, where the most creative young people came together to define the next wave of an entire movement of design. I always wanted to have something like that in my life. 

It wasn’t until last week when I finally realized I do have that in my life. I’ve been living at Lassonde Studios at the University of Utah for 7 months now, and already I can tell this has the potential to define the next wave of entrepreneurship. 

This is a really interesting place, where students don’t just live together for the sake of being on campus, but they live together out of an active interest to find cross-disciplinary students with high endurance for work ethic and grand visions for the future. This is a place where we are given access to nearly all the resources we need to bring our visions to light. And it’s a place where work and play overlap each other in the most ambiguous and exciting way. 

The students here do what we do because we believe there is no better time for us to take a risk in something we believe in. 

The concept of “experiential learning” has been on the rise in higher education — and that’s a good thing. You can learn as much theory as you want in the lecture hall, but as soon as shit starts heading south in the real world, all that theory flies out the door. Experiential learning is the chance to learn by immersion, by problem solving, by tension and high stakes, and by first-hand experience. While experiential learning itself is on the rise, as far as I can tell, no other university environment is as immersive at this as Lassonde Studios is. 

So, yes, it’s a very specific kind of place, inhabited by a very specific set of students, but how does that play into Bauhaus? The Bauhaus school and students that stemmed from it, essentially defined how design would look moving forward for the next few decades, and we still used their rules in UX and industrial design today, like ‘form follows function,’ and ‘geometry is king.’

I like to think Lassonde Studios is priming the forthcoming generation of young entrepreneurs to create our own rules for what our industry will look like in the future. And I think a lot of this can be seen through our mission statement: “to provide students a transformative experience through entrepreneurship.” For those of us really living and breathing these new entrepreneurial ideals at lassonde, we don’t see entrepreneurship as the ‘hustle.’ Starting businesses isn’t primarilyabout reaching billion-dollar valuations or becoming famous. 

For us, entrepreneurship is a way to make your passions sustainable, to push your voice out into the world in a tangible way, to be frugal, efficient, and progressive, and to create a positive net-impact for everyone. 

I’ve been imagining the future a lot lately, and imagining all my friends will skyrocket to be the leaders of their companies within their emerging industries. I like to imagine that we all have the chance to meet up every once and a while and talk about all the late nights we spent with each other at Lassonde Studios dreaming about how we could make a mark on the world, the breakfast meetings writing out business plans, and weekends spent cycling between enjoying our free time and trying to stuff more work into that time. 

Then I like to imagine that the rules we are setting here have a lasting impact to create more ethical, sustainable, and positive businesses in the future. 

Maybe over time we really will write out our own rules, but I think a good place to start is by the 10 life rules proposed by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute founder, Pierre Lassonde:

  1. Say "thank you"
  2. Never miss an occasion to throw a party
  3. What is it you want most in life? 
  4. Live your passion
  5. Feed your soul
  6. Explore your faith
  7. See for yourself that the Earth is round
  8. Give faith a fighting chance
  9. Leave a better world behind
  10. Keep your speeches under 10 minutes

Maybe I'm buying into the Kool Aid a little bit here, but I think there's big stuff happening at Lassonde right now and I think it's just going to get bigger from here. Either way, I'm excited to be a part of it.

Portland Spring Break

Spring Break is a time for getting wild at some warm beach with a bunch of screaming 20-somethings, right? Wrong.

For my friends and I, our first college Spring Break was a time to be hipster trash and road trip up to rainy Portland, OR and trying to spend as little money as possible.

Here's some photos from the trip.

San Francisco Valentine Adventure

I don't have much to say about this post. I just had the opportunity take my girlfriend to San Francisco for the weekend of Valentines Day and we took the opportunity away from out home city to get as many great photos as we could!

Here's some of the highlights:

PHOTOGRAPHER SPOTLIGHT: Camila Cardozo

Camila Cardozo shot by Parker Gibbons

The photographer community around the Salt Lake City is pretty tight-knit. Everyone just sort of knows each other and works with each other. So in this new series I thought I'd take advantage of that and interview a few of my friends about their process. First up: Camila Cardozo.

P: How did you get into photography?

C: When I was 16, I spent a lot of time alone because I was the new kid at school and I didn’t really have that many friends. So, I spent a lot of time in the internet— and this is when Flickr was a huge deal. And my cousin would always take all these awesome photos and I had no idea what an SLR was— what any of that was. And then I just started to look stuff up like what camera was used to shoot what, and techniques. Then one thing led to another and my parents bought me my first camera and I started shooting and have been ever since.

P: Who are you artistic inspirations?

C: Yes, there’s Jose Villa, who is amazing. Like, his tones are something that really inspires me. Same with his composition and the way he poses his people and the way he even goes about his work— I feel like he really cares about the craft and the essence of the art, and yet he’s still very successful commercially. So, yeah, he’s one of them. I would say the other one is probably Ryan Muirhead. He’s another one that shoots film. All his photos are very emotional. They’re all portraits but they’re very intimate and if you look at his work he’s just unbelievable.

P: So what is your process like? How do you approach a shoot or capturing a specific image you might have in mind?

C: I mean, sometimes I have a specific photo in mind, sometimes I like to embrace what is already there. I like to look at photos before for inspiration. But if it’s a couple I like to start out with your basic portrait first to just get those out of the way and then I take my time to be more creative and do more candid stuff and more, I don’t know, spend more time in different spaces.  don’t know, it all just kind of flows like that and I like to go with it. It’s very different with everybody I work with.

Shot by Camila Cardozo

P: Yeah, that totally makes sense. What would your dream project be?

C: My dream project? I had one dream project already that was so cool, which was when I shot for Free People. They were always like one of my favorite brands and I got to shoot some looks for them down in Moab and that was absolutely amazing. But the other thing would probably be more traveling. Traveling anywhere. But probably spending some time shooting in South America, because nobody ever immediately thinks about shooting in South America. I like it because I speak the language and to me it’s such a different culture than anywhere else.

Shot by Camila Cardozo for Free People

P: What piece of gear can you not work without?

C: Right now, I love shooting wide. Wide angle anything, because you can just capture so much information in such a cool perspective. I used to shoot everything with my 85. But right now I’m just really loving wide. It looks great in landscapes and can really show the scale of events.

Shot by Camila Cardozo

P: What advice do you have for amateur creatives?

C: Just, I don’t know, don’t stop. Keep going. There’s always something new to learn and if you find the one thing you love and are passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work. You can seek it out and practice it and talk to others about it and that ends up being the one thing about you that’s you and can never make you bored. It will make you wake up and just know who you are better.

P: So then what advice do you have for professional creatives?

C: Be nice to the non-pros!

P: What are your life philosophies?

C: Probably that whatever you feel is usually right and whatever other people say is their own view of the world or their own opinion of you. No one know all of you, beside you. So whatever you feel, is usually right to follow and trust will allow those things to fall into place.

P: What do you like doing beside photography?

C: I love to dance and I love Latin music. I’ve been embracing it a lot more and I’m excited to go to Columbia soon and learn more about the essence of what it means to be Latin. And I love studying social justice and feminism and understanding those things about human interaction. I just love, being a foreigner, understanding the outsider experience. 

Shot by Camila Cardozo

P: And where do you see yourself in 5 years?

C: Hopefully, better established. I hope by that time I will have shot cool cookbooks for brands that I love like Topshop. Or it would cool to shoot a cookbook for All Saints. That would be really rad. So I just hope to take on bigger projects and have moved out of Utah for work.

Camila Cardozo posing for Parker Gibbons

If you like Camila's work, keep up to date with her on her website and Instagram

You can also check out my website and Instagram and feel free to recommend who I should spotlight next!

RESOLVE: The New Years Resolutions of SLC in Portraits

I really like the idea of New Years. I mean, I don't think I've ever kept a single resolution I've ever made, but I like the idea of actively trying to change something to make one's life better.

Anyways, I've been wanting to see what other people are planning on doing for New Year and I'm on break from university so I woke up at sunrise this morning and wandered the streets of Salt Lake City with a sharpie and my camera to see what people were going to do in 2016. (And I'm happy to report only a few people yelled at me for being that crazy guy that takes pictures of strangers.)

Click on any of the photos below to view full size!


Update December 30, 2015: Added 9 more photos to the album.


PS: The best way to help me do more work like this in the future is to share my work if you like it and follow me on social media!

Last Day of Finals? Let's Take Some Photos.

IT'S DONE. I'M DONE. I HAVE WALKED THROUGH HELL AND MADE IT TO THE OTHER SIDE. 

Yes. I am talking about finals. This has to be some kind of rite of passage as a college freshman to make it through your first set of finals. To be honest, it wasn't that bad. I mean, I had an 87% blood-caffine level and lived at the library for two weeks. But other than that, not bad.

Anyways, it's the last day of finals and I'm about to leave the dorms for three weeks over break so I dragged some of my floor-family along to Red Butte Gardens and took some pictures. It was golden hour right after a massive snow storm and a great time to shoot. 

(Click on any photo to view full size!)

Taylor - Class of 2016

Taylor O. for Parker Gibbons 2015

Here's a fun senior shoot from the other day!

Hey, did you know it's a great time to book a senior session? Hit that blue bar at the top of the page to book a discounted senior session with me!

On: Being Creative

Here's the problem with artists-- we're dramatic. Like really dramatic. It's a stereotype and I'm sure not all artists fit into it but I certainly perpetuate it. You see, I'm kind of existentially depressed. And it's not because someone broke up with me or I'm fighting with a friend or family or I lost something significant. I just can't think of anything new to make. Creative block. And somehow that makes me really upset.

You see, last year during high school, I could not stop shooting. I had my camera with me all hours of the day and I had an idea for a conceptual photo at least twice an hour. Even though I was in the middle of college applications, productions for the drama department, a relationship, and four AP classes, I always found a chance to shoot.

Now I'm an adult in college with at least three times more free time than I had in high school, but my work has significantly plummeted in my opinion. It's not that I think the work I'm releasing is bad, it just isn't holding anything of interest to me (or many others that usually enjoy my work for that matter.)

I think the problem is that I've become comfortable. I'm shooting the same kinds of shots over and over in the same locations and only sticking with things I'm comfortable with. My best photos have always happened in new places with new people when I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm trying to disprove people who didn't think I could create great images or tell great stories. 

So that's what I need to get back to. I mean, I'm an adult now and can do whatever I want (kind of) to get the next shot. Granted, being an adult has it's own downsides, like shattering my main lens last week and realizing I have no way to pay for a replacement at the moment. But that's another story. 

So, do me a favor? Snap me back into gear if you see me. Tell me you think I can do better and that you expect to see a kick ass image within a couple hours. 

I believe in the power of visuals and stories and I'd like to start creating ones I'm proud of again.

(PS: If anyone can help me find a replacement lens I can afford, I'd be eternally indebted to you...)