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Manny Ortiz

Manny Ortiz is a portrait photographer and a popular YouTuber.

He has 711K subscribers on his YouTube channel, Manny Ortiz.


Manuel Ortiz hails from Chicago, Illinois, United States.

He wanted to grow up to become a police officer as he thought about it as a fun, exciting and prestigious career choice.

Manny wasn’t interested in photography at a young age.

NameManuel Ortiz
Hails fromChicago, Illinois, United States
EducationAssociate of Arts, General Studies
YouTube channelManny Ortiz
Years active on YouTube2017-present (second channel)
Manny Ortiz information

Education & career-

In 2007, he joined Wilbur Wright College in Chicago, Illinois to study for an Associate of Arts (AA), General Studies degree; he graduated in 2010.

Manny initially worked as a school security guard before becoming a police officer in the City of Chicago.

Then, he quit his job to become a full-time YouTuber in 2016.

Love for photography-

Once, Manny and his friend stumbled upon a Christmas sale where two Canon Rebel T3 cameras with kit lens were offered for $400.

As both of them liked cars, they bought these cameras to take photos of their cars.

This started Manny’s photography journey, and he started taking photos of everything; he fell in love with photography and loved learning the technical aspect of it.

At the time, he used to work as a school security guard and used to visit the computer lab to print out lighting and flash diagrams and photography blog posts; he used to sit at his desk and study them.

Also, Manny learnt photography by doing free photo shoots and watching tutorials on YouTube; he was influenced by photography YouTubers like Matt Granger, Tony & Chelsea, Jared Polin, Ted Forbes and Kai W.

He learnt photography on his own and never took a photography class.

Manny started off by doing cityscape photography in Chicago.

Later, he started doing portrait photography by taking photos of his wife, Diana and realised portrait photography to be more fun than cityscape photography, as in the former he can get instant feedback and gratification from his subjects.

Manny started working as a freelance photographer in the Greater Chicago Area from December 2012.

For two years, he shot quinceañeras and weddings.

Even though the wedding photography paid Manny well, he later quit it as he couldn’t handle the pressure of the service aspect of wedding photography.

And then he started focusing on YouTube.

Prior to having Rebel T3, Manny used to take photos with Cyber-shot and disposable cameras and wasn’t at all interested in photography.

Getting into YouTube; quitting his job for YouTube-

While working as a police officer, he used to do photography on the side and also started working on YouTube as a hobby.

Manny started his first YouTube channel, Manny Ortiz (later renamed to Beards and Gear), on 16 February 2010 and published his first video, “06-07 Lowering Gsxr front- Fork taper problem Solved!!!!!” on 21 May 2012.

Later, he published a video on his old Nikon D600; this video got many views and thanks to this, he started working seriously on his YouTube channel.

Manny started publishing videos on Sony cameras; as during the time, Sony cameras were popular, his videos too became popular.

Thanks to this, he started earning more from YouTube than his police job.

After working for four years in law enforcement, Manny was unhappy with the politics at his job and lost all his interest in it; so, he quit his job and became a full-time YouTuber and stopped doing client photography work.

Roberto Blake and Jared Polin mentored him through the transition of becoming a full-time YouTuber; also, Diana saw potential in Manny’s YouTube career and supported him.

Starting afresh-

In 2018, his Y0uTube channel got permanently demonetized as he kept using copyrighted music on his videos; at the time, he had 60K subscribers.

So, he started working on his second channel, Manny Ortiz.

As of April 2024, Manny has 711K subscribers on this channel and 267K followers on Instagram.

He earns from a variety of sources like advertisements on YouTube, sponsorships and affiliate marketing.

Manny sells Portrait Retouching Course and presets through his website and also sells Beauty Dish softbox.

He finds most of his models for portrait photography on Instagram and uses Pinterest for ideas and inspiration.

He uses a Sony α7R III camera.

Personal life-

He is married to Diana.

Manny has a daughter, Audriana, and a stepson.

He is an introvert and was diagnosed with ADHD.

Manny used to suffer with social anxiety so much that he used to cancel photoshoots but later learnt to manage it.

He lives in Chicago.

Some interesting facts about Manny Ortiz-

  • Prior to getting into photography, he was a gym rat but due to time constraints he gave up gym for photography.
  • Manny was a Sony Ambassador.
  • He is a big boxing fan.

So, how are you inspired by the success story of Manny Ortiz?

Share with me in the comment section below.

About Author

Hello folks, I'm Naveen Reddy.
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