Hello Jose! Tell me a bit about yourself. Where did you grow up?

Houston Texas

Did you play sports as a kid?

Football and basketball

Where do you live now?

Houston Texas

Anything else you’d like readers to know about you?

After weight loss surgery and losing over 250lbs I was exposed to CrossFit after accomplishing cardio and weightlifting. Fitness is my passion. I started photography again in 2022 after finding what made me happy and looked back what I did in the past. I wanted to take it more seriously than ever because I love the storytelling and help others see the progress they make in fitness.

Wow! Incredible! I love that. CrossFit truly is such a place of inspiration, I am really glad you found it after your tremendous health accomplishment. As a registered dietitian, I applaud you!

How long have you been a photographer?

On and off since 2013.

When did you start?

[In] 2008, in high school, I couldn't play football due to eligibility. My journalism teacher gave me a camera to shoot pictures at the games. [This] gave me the chance to be on the sideline with my friends. 

Kudos to that journalism teacher! What was your first “pro” camera?

Nikon D3200

What camera(s) do you currently shoot with?

Sony A6100

What was your first paid photography gig?

[A] CrossFit engagement shoot

What was one of your favorite events/competitions/games/matches that you shot?

2023 Vintage Summer Series [a competition through local CrossFit gyms] because most of the local competitors showed up in one box.

For readers who don't know, CrossFit gyms are often called "boxes"- it's one of the early terms that CrossFit came up with and it stuck!

Switching to one of my favorite topics, photo editing! Do you do your own photo editing? If so, do you like photo editing? Why or why not?

I use LightRoom and Photoshop. I do like editing because it helps correct color grading and lighting. Also cropping or rotate to be linear. I like photoshop to create graphic design.

What photography jobs do you have coming up and you are excited about?

No current gigs just putting myself out there and volunteer to meet other photographers 

What is a topic related to photography in general, or more specifically sports photography, that you are really passionate about?

[Sports photography] shows a perso's grit and helps them look back on how hard they are working on themselves and accomplishing feats. 

I agree, this is one of the big reasons why I love sports photography so much!

Who were/are your mentors?

Sierra Prime

What would be an event/competition/game that you would love to shoot someday?

The CrossFit Games, NFL, [and the] Arnold Classic.

What sport have you not shot yet that you would love to shoot?

Baseball and basketball

Where can people find you online?

Website: https://velensmedia.com/


Thank you so much, Jose! It was so nice getting to know you more.

Stay tuned for the next interview in one week!