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Like Father, Like Son

Eriberto Oriol and his son, Estevan Oriol, didn't plan on being photographers.

Estevan was working as a tour manager for hip-hop group House of Pain and lowriding.

"My dad thought it was two pretty cool worlds to document," he said.

Eriberto and his wife, Estevan's step-mother, gave him a spare film camera.

Listen to an interview with Eriberto and Estevan Oriol on Take Two.

"My dad gave me a five minute crash course in photography... that was my photography school, so I didn't really feel like I was trained to be a paid professional," Estevan said.

As a tour manager, Oriol helped set up press interviews. He got the idea to start offering magazines his pictures from backstage and live shows.

The woman who ran the film lab where Estevan Oriol developed his rolls thought it was odd that he only printed proof sheets.

She made some prints for Estevan and put them up in her photo lab's gallery. Eight of the eleven prints sold.

"She goes, 'I think you're onto something here. I think you should really explore it more and see what can be made out of it,'" he said.

Oriol began photographing the lowriding world and eventually started to document everything from LA gang culture to celebrities and musicians for magazines and commercial work.

Estevan Oriol's downtown LA office is filled to the brim with magazines and books, paintings and movie posters.

Above his desk is one of his father's most well known images, called "America's Most Wanted."

A line of men are on the street, on their knees facing a wall as mounted police search them.

"What I try to do is bring a consciousness to my work," Eriberto said.

Eriberto Oriol, who is also a painter and sculptor, began his interest in photography in Barrio Logan in San Diego where he grew up.

Oriol worked as a community organizer. Sometimes the volunteer photojournalists weren't available to take pictures, so Eriberto decided to by his own camera.

In the early 1990's, Eriberto Oriol's neighborhood was split in half when the city put in a freeway.

Oriol was living in LA at the time and began going down to San Diego to document his community.

He took his photo essay to a local public television station.

"I knew I had something that was going to open a new can of worms, and that's what happened," he said.

Eriberto and Estevan collaborate a lot, but both agree that their work is very different.

"[My father] would shoot something from across the street, and I would shoot something from two feet in front of it," Estevan said. "But the style looks the same."

"They come to him, the way I see it, because they want him to capture their character," Eriberto said. "For the most part, I like to step back and capture whatever's going on in the environment."

Here's a video made by Estevan Oriol about his father's work:

In November 2012, the two had a gallery show together called "Like Father, Like Son" at the Carmichael Gallery in Culver City. Here's a video preview of the exhibit:

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