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#WeeklyDisruptor: Gustavo Espinola, Photographer & Founder of Focal Journey

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Each week at Embrace Disruption we introduce you to an influential person in the digital, blogger, arts, culture, film, or media world! Every Thursday, you can check back at EDPR to find out who we think is particularly amazing at ‘embracing disruption’ within their respective industries.

This week, we’d like to introduce you to Gustavo, a Toronto lifestyle & travel photographer and founder of

Gustavo Espinola resized

What’s your official job title, and where did you go to school?

Photographer and Founder of I had the chance to go to school in different parts of the world (Canada, Argentina, France).

Elevator pitch. Describe yourself in a nutshell (or sea shell, or any shell for that matter).

Lifestyle and travel photography for the style-conscious global urbanite. I was blessed with the chance of living in different continents, usually in big urban centres; so I feel as comfortable being in Toronto, Paris, or Buenos Aires. I gather that I could describe myself as the global urbanite that my photography concept aims at.

Why did you pursue what you’re doing now? What was the inspiration?

I drew and painted for more than 7 years, and I worked in fashion as well, so I have always been drawn towards the arts. Also, I travel for business and pleasure, so my work as a photographer allows me to combine the two things I like the most: travel and design.

What is the best part of your day-to-day?

Every day is different. One day you have a photo shoot, the next day you attend an event, the next day you work alone editing photos, etc. So I guess the best part of my day-to-day is that you never know where the day will lead you. It is always very exciting not to know exactly what your day will be like. In addition to that, I would also say that I get to visit very interesting places and meet amazing people who, like myself, crave design and beauty in different forms, whether it is fashion, photography, architecture, interiors, etc.

What’s the most challenging?

The most challenging thing is to make the ordinary look beautiful, I reckon. As a photographer, I have to look beyond the obvious. That is extremely important to be able to capture the essence of what is in front of my lense. Cause of the critical eye of a photographer, you learn how to visually appreciate some of the most ordinary things that most people usually take for granted.

If you took a look in the cliché crystal ball, what do you see for yourself?

I always wonder what the future might bring for me. I see myself as being a wise old man who lived life intensely, but responsibly, with no regrets. I would like to look back on how I lived my life, personally and professionally, and realise that it was meaningful to other people.

How do you embrace disruption in your work and personal life?

Disruption is unavoidable, but I have to quickly adapt and make the most out of it, because it will happen whether you like it or not. As a photographer, knowing how to adapt to constant disruption is crucial. Whether it is unexpected poor lighting conditions, passers-by getting in front of the camera, etc, these are some of the disruptions I have to face on a regular basis, but I am used to that. In my personal life, however, I create my own disruptions by doing things spontaneously without having to worry about schedules. I love when people call me unexpectedly to go out for coffee or a drink. Having lived abroad, I see that spontaneity in North America is unfortunately extremely rare nowadays.

What is the most memorable moment in your career?

I am still growing, both as a person and as a photographer, so that memorable moment is yet to come (stay tuned!).

Do you support any initiatives or charities? Tell us about it, and please provide links!

I have been part of different organisations related to international education and development, whether it was providing supplies to rural schools in Latin America or visiting schools in Asia (see

Tell us what you see yourself doing at 65 years old.

That is a question that is very difficult for me to answer since I do not know what I will be doing when I am 40. In an ideal world, I will be retired living somewhere in Spain along the Mediterranean eating tapas and drinking vino all day

Just for fun: if you had to pick one app in the whole APPVERSE, what would it be?

One app I can’t live without is the weather forecast app. I constantly check the weather on my mobile phone to know what the day will be like. Based on that, I decide what to wear, where to go, and even what to do during the day.

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    1 reply
    1. Gustavo Espínola says:

      Thank you Embrace Disruption for all the love!


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