Welcome to the second episode of our Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. This episode we turn our attention to the work of Francis Montoya, or as he’s better known, Slingshot Menace.
Slingshot Menace is an acclaimed special events photographer hailing from the South Bronx, specializing in concert, product, model, and landscape photography. With such a wide array of specialties it can be difficult to maintain personality, but he manages to infuse his style into every single image he shoots. This is achieved through his use of intimacy, getting up-close and personal with each subject, which allows the viewer to feel as though they are part of the action.
In addition to his shooting style, Slingshot Menace also injects his personal style into his work through editing. He loves to play with saturation and darkness to heighten the intimate mood of his subjects, and make his images pop off the screen.
His personal style is just as important as his shooting style, with one perfectly complimenting the other. Slingshot Menace prefers rocking a loose-fitting hoodie and a baggy pair of joggers when he shoots. The loose fit offers comfort and mobility, which is necessary when trying to find the perfect angle. Nike, specifically Nike ACG, offers the style and functionality that Montoya needs to work effectively.
“Coming up, I didn’t think photography would be something that would catapult me to a career. I always thought it was a hobby,” he says.
Before Slingshot Menace turned his hobby into a business, he gained notoriety by posting his photos on Instagram, inspired by the work of @13thwitness and @stevesweatpants. But, the photographer got his start long before Instagram was even a thought.
His father, Angel Montoya, was a photographer and videographer in Ecuador before moving to New York City with his wife. Growing up, Francis was fascinated by his father’s equipment, and learned how to shoot photos by playing with the cameras that he found around the house.
Today, Slingshot Menace is still inspired by his parents, and their Ecuadorian heritage. His parents came to this country with nothing to their name, just a dream. And, they made it happen. This type of work ethic is something that Slingshot Menace resonates with, and embodies in his own work.
To Francis, being Hispanic is more than a heritage, it’s a lifestyle. Being Hispanic means that you work hard, you grind, and you don’t give up until you’ve finished what you set out to do.
Follow the links below to view Francis Montoya’s work.