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"My Amazing Mentor - Adam Chinitz" by Christian Rodriguez

Alicia Hansen - Saturday, November 20, 2010
SALT student for 3 years 
Student at the Savannah College of Art and Design 

“Be around the people you want to be like, because you will be like the people you are around.” 

By Christian Rodriguez

Feeling hopeful makes hard work so rewarding, my influence to do the things I do better, Adam Chintz a freelance photographer based in New York City does not fail to make me feel hopeful about the future that is to come. I met Adam through NYC SALT, a program that teaches kids the ins and outs of photography and the photography business. Right when we met I felt like we would be good friends but never thought that we would work together and hang out. One night I was invited to celebrate Adams birthday which I thought was so cool only because of the age difference of the people that would be at the celebration, I think that's when I realized that Adam and I were friends. Our similarities are what played a vital part in our friendship and in my question-less belief that Adams’ advice was always valid. Our love for classic rock is what I feel and believe brought us together as friends, on a regular basis at the studio we’ll work and there is no doubt that Jimi Hendrix will be playing in the background. 

Adams adoration for photography is alone inspiring and beautiful in the way that just by being in his presence it makes me want to absorb all the knowledge that he is and isn't trying to pass down onto me. Adam will say things like, “Dude, you gotta think bigger and not limit yourself with smaller things or thoughts.” Although I sometimes feel like these sayings may sound corny, its true just because I do tend to limit myself only because of fear, feeling that I might fail sometimes makes me pace myself. Adams consistent influence on me helps me shoot for nothing but the best. 

My love for photography started when I got my first camera phone, the first generation iPhone. I played with that and felt that maybe I had an eye. I continued to shoot with my iPhone and then finally stepped my game up to an SLR, I had no idea what to do and found myself almost dropping the idea of photography. Four years into the hobby and Adams influence in my work I will be going to college to study photo journalism all thanks to someone who influenced me to do better. I consistently find myself wondering, “What would Adam do? How would he make a situation like this simple?” These thoughts spawn from the fact that Adam has implanted ever lasting ideals of doing better, getting close to perfection if not achieving perfection. I’ve always felt like I always did an average job and most of the time I do, not because I aim to under achieve but because I never gave it thought that a job or choir could be rated from bad to OK, to great. It wasn't until Adam had me thinking that the only way to do something was to do it correctly and if possible, perfectly. 

 I can’t wait till the day when I’ve found myself in my own work and I can tell Adam that somewhere in there his influence made my work better and more complete. I cant find a way to thank Adam for being the coolest white dude I know and for putting aside his whiteness to help a fellow Hispanic. All I can say is, “ Adam, when will you give your fellow Hispanic friend your Leaf AFi 6x6 Medium format camera?”
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