I first met Mason back in September of 2016 on tour with Huey Mack and Dylan Reese doing shows out in the midwest. At first he was very quiet and reserved and seemed to keep to his own but by the end of the week you would’ve thought we were best friends. When you’re on the road with complete strangers you have nothing to do but talk and tell stories about your experiences in life which helps kill the time. You can learn a lot about someone spending every hour with them for almost seven days straight but it wasn’t till after we recorded this podcast that I was able to connect a couple dots.
Mason had grown up and lived in the same house his entire life in Huron, Ohio. His childhood was pretty normal like many others as he tried playing sports and his parents were pretty open to him doing whatever he wanted. In middle school he started playing video games and by the time he was a freshmen in high school he had a partnership with YouTube and was making real money.
Unfortunately his old “jock” friends that he had played sports with growing up weren’t a fan of it and harassed him. At one point Mason transferred to a completely different high school for a year before returning to finish his senior year. He goes into detail about some minor road bumps he had faced growing up such as dealing with being self-conscious as well as social anxiety and not being able to go into large crowds. Both of which from the outside looking in you might not realize unless he directly told you or you pushed him to find out.
Along this journey he stumbled into his passion for both photography and making videos which is how we first met as he was the photographer and video guy for Huey Mack. Mason has captured some amazing photos of some of the biggest artists in the industry and his style makes the images look as if it wasn’t from a concert. What he loves most about the art of photography is that you could hand two different people the same camera and lense and you will get two completely different images.
One of the main takeaways from this episode is don’t judge by what you see on the surface. We don’t fully know what someone has or hasn’t been through in their life and it is unfair for us to make assumptions based on what someone looks like or what we’ve read or heard about them. We all have a story to tell and sometimes it isn’t that easy to do.
Podcast Outline (Time Markers For Audio Version)
Who is Mason Castillo today?
21 years young who likes creating anything from photography to making videos
Grew up in the small town of Huron, Ohio (approx: 7/800 people) (4:20)
Has spent his entire life thus far living in the same house in the same room
Photography opened up the door to allow him to travel
Playing sports in middle school and seeing people in “cliques” made Mason realize that people should all be treated the same
Doesn’t matter what your interests are or who you hang out with
Parents have always been very supportive of what he wanted to do which he is most grateful for
Played soccer, football, baseball and basketball when he was younger up until middle school
Got very intense with video games and started making YouTube videos which is how Mason got into creating (7:30)
Started gaining a bit of a following and got a partnership with YouTube
Was his first job and started getting paid from Call of Duty montages he was uploading from his clan
Lost interest in all the sports he was playing and quit to focus his time and energy into the gaming which resulted him losing friendships with his teammates
Went to community college for one full semester and stopped going after that (12:50)
Was trying to get a degree in photography and film but while he was in class he just knew it wasn’t fit for him
Mason realized that for what he was trying to do nothing was going to matter what he learned in the classroom. He needed to go out there and get his hands dirty and learn on his own.
Never had any intentions to follow through with his passion for photography but it sort of just happened (15:00)
He had bought a camera solely to record himself for his YouTube channel
Went on a trip to Colorado with his father to take pictures of his business event and explored Pikes Peak and surrounding areas which made him more interested in the art
The art of photography has showed him that anything can come out the way you want it to (17:55)
You can give 2 people the same camera with the same lense and you’ll get to completely different photos
Anyone can make anything that they want to, it’s just how they want to approach it
Before he got into shooting concerts he first started with street photography
Shooting a guy down town of Chicago posted up smoking a cigarette and being able to shoot G-Eazy have been some of his favorite shots
There's a huge thought process that goes through Mason’s head as he is getting ready to shoot (22:10)
He goes in trying to create, shoot and capture something that looks different than everything else
Good lighting is what makes any photographer's job easier
Huey Mack Tour back in September 2016 was a life changing event (24:00)
Prior to that he hadn’t traveled much but this opened his eyes to the entire country
First concert he ever shot was with Huey, got offered to hop on tour the next day
Biggest lesson he learned on the road was to just go with the flow because different things happen and you have to react. Nothing ends up how you want it to end up.
Torn between having a certain look so that when you glance at a photo you know it’s Mason versus having ever image look different and unique in its own way (29:00)
Transferred high schools because people were harassing Mason for playing videos games (36:00)
Wasn’t comfortable in his surroundings and left for a year before he was confident enough to come back
Used the year to try and recreate himself into someone he wasn’t
Made him realize to just “do you” whether it's hobbies, clothings etc
If you can stop overthinking things, that is when someone can gain confidence in themselve (40:45)
You are who you’re for a reason, don’t try and be someone you’re not
Everyone has their own struggles and people should like you for who you’re
Social anxiety is a big struggle for Mason and something he tries to get better at (42:25)
Before he has a conversation with someone he thinks about how it might playout
Wouldn’t be able to go to big events because he would get self conscious and worry about what people were thinking
Used to be severely overweight and his plan transferring schools was to completely change himself and become this new person (47:00)
Started to focus on himself for a couple months and started going to the gym
Lost 60 pounds in 2-3 months and teachers began pulling him aside to make sure he was alright
There's a lot on the surface you don’t know about people (49:46)
Skip the small talk and get right to it with people about their fears and goals
Wishes someone would ask him what his purpose is
Ask Bobbbaaaay 1 Question
What is your ultimate end goal?
Picture frame on the wall 10 years from now, what/who do we see?
Having a family is important and genuine happiness
Biggest fear is waking up and dreading going to work
Find Mason on Social media
@Mase on Instagram
What 2-3 pieces of advice would you give to someone trying to find their passion/purpose
Try new things because you will not find your passion without giving things a shot
Be open to new experiences and don’t limit yourself
Everything happens for a reason, another door will open soon after