Adam Gutierrez Jr., Musician and Photographer

Adam Gutierrez Jr., Musician and Photographer

My original plan for this post was to just write a short biography about Adam. But during his interview, I realized that Adam’s story is more than just a “this is how he got here” post (considering the number of times I teared up a bit).

Adam is a full-time band director who runs a photography business on the side. If you ask him what his favorite part of both of these jobs are, you’ll find that he’s not doing these jobs just to earn money or to satisfy his own desire to create; he’s doing these jobs for his students and his clients. You can hear it in his voice and see it in the smile he gets when he talks about why he loves his jobs.

When I asked him to tell me what his favorite part of being a band director is, he told me it’s watching his students grow as young musicians and seeing them succeed in the classroom or in competitions. It’s the light in his students’ eyes when they finally understand a musical concept they’ve struggled with. (I could hear he has the same pride I feel for my own students and definitely teared up a little when he was sharing this.)

Adam’s favorite part of his photography business is seeing how excited his clients are when they receive the photos from their shoot. His photography goals are to give his clients memories they can cherish. He loves that his photography can give such joy and happiness to others. I got to witness this during the photo shoot he and I did before our interview. During the shoot, a couple wanted to take a picture on the bridge we were about to shoot on. He told them he was a photographer, and he’d be happy to take some pictures for them, no charge. He gave these complete strangers some amazing pictures, simply because he wanted to bring a little bit of joy to their lives.

Just one of the many great photos Adam took that day.

Adam is such a kind, positive person. In the 13 years I’ve known him, I can maybe count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen him sad or upset. He’s always complimenting everyone around him (whether he knows them or not) and is nothing but nice to everyone he meets. So, I was surprised to learn that his journey has not necessarily been an easy one. He was once told by a private lessons teacher that he should not be pursuing music or music education. The teacher told him that he had been taught incorrectly and he needed to find a different career to pursue. But in the true spirit of Adam, he even had a positive reaction to that situation. He told me that while that had been tough to hear, he also knew that people are always going to have their own opinions about your life. He said sometimes they may be right, but, you are the only one who can decide your own future. You have to decide whether or not what you’re pursuing is something you love. He decided that music was what he loved, and that he wasn’t going to let anyone tell him he couldn’t do it. “Can I work on it? Absolutely. Are there things I can improve? For sure. I’m not perfect, but I can strive for it every day.”

Adam followed his bliss and is not only making a living from it, he’s also blessing countless others along the way.

Adam’s advice for anyone who wants to pursue a career in the arts is to follow whatever you want to do and don’t let anyone tell you no. Your only limit is the one you set for yourself. Strive to be the best you can be and don’t settle for anything less.

You can follow Adam on Facebook at


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