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Rich Castro: Xtreme Couture's Hidden Talent

In the 21st century most people own a camera whether it's on your phone or iPod, but very few of us own actual cameras nowadays. Rich Castro is one of those people that owns a camera and knows how to use it like a samurai knows how to use his sword. He also goes to my gym, so I was able to sit down with him and ask him a few questions about his photography and how he really got started.

Q: So how did you get started in photography and what was the initial spark or influence for you to bring your camera to the gym?

A:  Well I've been into photography for a long time, but originally I was more into nature photography. Since I was spending so much time in the gym I really didn't have a chance to get out and do as much outdoor photography as I would’ve liked  so I just ended up bring my camera to the gym one day.

Q: What brought you to Xtreme Couture in the first place?

A: Long story short I moved to Las Vegas for a girl and as we all know that never works. After we split up I was thinking about heading back home to Chicago, but I figured why not check out a gym and train for a few months before heading back. Then a few months turned into a year and a year turned into 6 years.

Q: Do you have any favorite or memorable pictures that you've taken over he years?

A: Yeah off the top of my head your profile picture with the girl’s butt and one from way back when of Jake Swinney throwing up a burrito from Roberto’s after practice. The second one isn't even the greatest picture, but it’s represents the moment so well and it was too funny even looking back on it.

Q: Do you have a favorite “model” from the gym?

A: Oh man that's easy obviously my girl. I don't know if you've noticed, but if she's at the gym I usually take more pictures of her than anyone else.

Q:  Why do you mainly shoot in black and white?

A: I like black and white, but it's really more so because of a technical reason. At Xtreme Couture there’s a ton of different lights, so it creates a weird mixed lighting that’s annoying to deal with especially for some like me who’d rather be behind the camera instead of at the computer editing all my pictures. Some editing is necessary, but I really don't prefer to do too much editing or Photoshopping.

Q: What's your weapon of choice?

A: I mainly use my  Sony A7S and my Olympus EM5 Mark 2.  

Q: Last, but not least any shout outs?

A: Yeah I just wanna say thank you and show love to all my training partners and the coaching staff at Xtreme Couture for giving me the opportunity to photograph their lives over the years.

All Photos are courtesy of Rich Castro