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Who Are Ya?! - Behind the Lens with ENDVRS Media

Article by: Jessica Duncan

If you attend events in Las Vegas, you’ve most likely seen Endvrs Media - legal name Alan Sabido - on stage or in the crowd capturing the energy of the moment. You can catch him working four or five nights a week with Nickel F****** Beer Night, Elation, and RVLTN. If you don’t see him at a show, you’ll most likely see him around town composing shots on one of his multiple film cameras.

Alan was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. He didn’t start learning photography until 2012 when his mom purchased a Canon T3i. He had an older friend who was a photographer that was shooting shows and festivals tell him, “you should just pick up a camera and learn.” He did just that.

His friend showed him the basics, but he mainly learned through a lot of trial and error how lighting and the settings on his camera affect the shot. In describing his style, Alan says “there is so much that goes into getting the shot you want. You have to have a connection with the people you’re working with in order to know what they really want and what energy should be captured throughout the night. I’m at the right place at the right time, and I’m capturing moments in people’s lives so they can look back and reflect on them later on in life.”

Prior to jumping into photography full time, Alan was going to college to become a registered nurse. He realized he was “bad at math, bad at science, and didn’t see [him]self in scrubs for 12 hours a day.” He was also working at Best Buy where he met Scotty Rocks, a local producer who booked him to shoot one of his shows at Bunkhouse Saloon.

When Alan first started shooting shows, he was under 21 so he had to sneak into venues and constantly avoid security. At the beginning of his career, he worked with Mudita Sound shooting their monthly events at Juicy Beats for $20 or $30 a show, and he remembers thinking “I don’t really know what I’m doing, but this is tight.” Once he came to the realization that photography was what he wanted to devote himself to 100%, he quit school and his job.

ENDVRS started as a clothing brand in 2015 with his friend Zac Edelen and Zac’s younger brother Gabe. As for how the name ENDVRS came about, Alan stated “We needed to find one word that locked in what we meant. The whole spiel was to want to be better and grow every day, and the word endeavors is pretty much what that means. And I was like ‘what if we just take out all of the vowels’ and we were left with ENDVRS.”

In terms of the logo, a white skeleton with bunny ears, it is inspired by the white bunny in Alice In Wonderland “because he changes the setting in every scene he enters.” The logo has become such a part of his brand that people knew the bunny logo but didn’t know what he looked like - “for a long time people thought ENDVRS was my name.” He believes his strong branding is one of the reasons he has been so successful as a photographer.

Photographers that inspire him include his friend Rayce Winner: “He’s the reason I started shooting film.” JBillz is another huge inspiration and someone who shared his knowledge of the industry when Alan was just getting started. Snapaholix was the person who encouraged Alan to quit his job at Best Buy. Dalton Campbell, Harrison Ferrante, Miguel Cortes, and Enrique Malfavon are other Las Vegas-based photographers that inspire him.

Since 2015, Alan has been able to grow alongside his friends like Talons, Olan, Type3, Uknew, jdhd., and Papa Groove. “They’re booking their biggest shows and I’m blessed enough to capture those moments for them and they’re able to use those photos for interviews and Spotify covers.” In 2019 he was able to shoot for Olan at Electric Daisy Carnival and for Uknew at Life Is Beautiful. Talons was recently support for Getter at AREA15 and Alan was already shooting his and Yakz’ set, so he decided to shoot his shot with Getter’s management and they said yes.

One of the biggest artists he’s been able to shoot for is Nelly at Drai’s Nightclub. He remembers at that show “while someone else was performing, Nelly dragged me on stage with my camera in his hand and said ‘You’re gonna teach me how to work this’ and started snapping.” Craze and Codes have been some of the most fun sets that he’s been able to shoot. One of the nicest artists he’s worked with is “Pouya hands down. He was very genuine.” Alan got work with Pouya on some behind-the-scenes content for his music video “Toe Tags” in March 2020, right before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down nightlife and live music.

The first festival he ever shot was Decadence Arizona in 2016. He was able to finesse his way in and looking back now Alan says “sometimes you have to pretend that you belong there and treat people how they want to be treated.” Having worked in the industry for a few years now, he doesn’t really attend shows or festivals unless he’s shooting them. “You get so used to the luxury of having your own private area, being backstage, getting free drinks. Now I can send a few emails and get paid to be at a festival instead of paying to be there in GA.” One of his favorite parts about shooting festivals is getting to meet his internet friends like Alex Varsa and Tritt Visuals IRL.

Some of the things he’s learned after shooting multiple three-day festivals: “You have to drink water, bring snacks, and be aware of your mental health.” In regards to mental health, Alan warns to “watch the people you’re hanging out with, because that energy affects you as well. You have to be aware of how you’re spending your energy and how you’re getting that energy in return.” Since he works at night, he mainly sleeps during the day, so he has to make time to get outside and into the sunlight to get some vitamin D and fresh air. Over the years he has realized “I can do what I do and still worry about Alan.”

The slowdown of nightlife and live music hit him hard in 2020. “I got really depressed. There were eight months where I didn’t pick up a camera. You have to find that line between who you are as an artist and who you are as a person.” One positive thing that came out of the time that shows weren’t happening was Alan started to shoot on film. On shooting on film, “It really makes me slow down. The photo I get is exactly how it was and I can’t change it.”

During the shutdown, he shot 78 rolls of film. He also seized the opportunity to create merch during that time, dropping hoodies, t-shirts, and stickers. Even when he’s not shooting a show, he’s still constantly working by looking for new locations for a shoot or connecting with friends to make art.

All the work he has been putting in for the last five years is now starting to pay off. Alan has reached a point in his career where he can support himself off his art and can pick and choose the clients he wants to work with. “I’ve turned down clients because I’ve heard that they’re not good to work with and draining on your mental energy.” He can also afford to reinvest back into his business by upgrading his equipment, like buying a new MacBook or camera gear.

Alan takes really good care of his gear; he has never dropped his camera, but he has dropped his flash. He avoids using a tripod so his camera won’t get knocked over. He puts his gear back where it goes at the end of the night to make sure he has everything ready for the next shoot. For his nightlife work, he uses a Canon Mark IV with Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8, and Canon 24mm f/1.4 lenses, with a Godox flash. For his film shoots, he has a Mamiya RB67, Mamiya 645e, Hasselblad 500c, and Nishika N8000 3D camera. He also has two Olympus Stylus point-and-shoot cameras that he likes to keep on him at all times in case he runs into someone while he’s out and about. He has 10 cameras total. When he does edit his photos, he mainly uses Adobe Lightroom and sometimes Photoshop. The main thing he does with his photos is color adjust and straighten them.

When asked what his advice to anyone interested in getting into nightlife photography would be, Alan had a few different tips. His first tip is to “always wear black. Be a ninja when you’re on stage, you’re not the rockstar.” His second piece of advice is “Gear does not matter. When you can invest, invest. Gear won’t make you a better photographer.” Something he would like to stress is “Support all of your friends. The reason I am at where I’m at today is that I supported them from the very beginning and they supported me.” His final piece of advice is: “Have fun, the freelance industry is hit or miss, you definitely have to reward yourself for your hard work.”

Alan has already accomplished so many things in his career, but he still continues to downplay himself because it never feels like enough. Some goals for ENDVRS include getting himself set up as an LLC and minting his work as NFTs. Looking to the future, he would love to have his own media team and his own studio. He would also like to open a one-stop shop where he can sell and develop film, as well as rent out equipment and studio space. He would love to travel across the US shooting film in small towns and picking up records. Shooting festivals in Europe is also a goal. Some artists he would love to shoot include Hardwell, Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, Fjaak, UK Drum and Bass DJs, System of a Down, Korn, Tool, Green Day, and Miley Cyrus.

Outside of photography, Alan enjoys collecting things including his friend’s merch, vinyl, and CDs. He tries to avoid downtown when he’s not working, but you can catch him at Berlin every Wednesday listening to vinyl. He’s a huge Sopranos fan and enjoys watching hockey. He is also a foodie and some of his favorite foods include sushi, pho, and Korean BBQ. When he can find the time for it, he also enjoys reading.