A look at people in our community

My name is ... Juan Vaca

Photographer, DJ from California came to Colorado for better life


Hard work

I’m 38, and I live in Denver. You know where Highway 285 and Sheridan meet? I’m along that area.

My day job, I do maintenance and janitorial in Lakewood. It’s close to 285 and Wadsworth. It’s all in one place, a commercial building.

In Englewood, that’s my second job. That’s something temporary — that’s only seasonal. That’s a little extra money right there. I’ve been doing maintenance and janitorial and floor tech for about five years. Buffing, stripping, waxing floors.

‘Start from scratch’

I was born in Torrance, California. I was raised in Long Beach and lived there all my life until 2006, when we moved out here to Colorado, and ever since, I’ve been here.

What brought me out here was that we saw that it was a great state to start from scratch, to leave behind all the violence and all the violent stuff going on where I grew up in Southern California. My family, we were just looking for a better life and better opportunities, and we found it here in Colorado.

On the scene

In California, I started doing videography. We had our own TV show, which we put a lot of work in for a record label — it had a lot of artists. We were like the people to do their photos and videos and go with them to concerts, shooting video and photos there. Then I got into the whole music stuff. I ended up being a DJ and sound engineer.

Church sounds

I’m involved in a church in Denver. I’m still the sound engineer, which means I help every single person in the church band get their instruments sounding perfectly — voices, microphones and so on, when there are musical performances. At my previous church, I did the same, but I did a bit of video-editing and photo-editing. I was a teacher at the church, teaching photography to teenagers.

Capturing moments

My DJ career started in California. I wasn’t sure what I was going to end up doing when I started the whole photo and video work. All of a sudden, I saw an opportunity to do the whole DJ stuff. In the end, I actually didn’t end up doing the DJ stuff instead of photography because I got an opportunity for photography. It was cheaper for me to buy the equipment. There was a bit more money at the time in photo.

What I really enjoyed was photographing concerts. But I also enjoyed photographing weddings and quinceañeras because that’s something that’s going to be for the rest of your life, and it’s a one-time event. You want to have that for the rest of your life and remember it.

Knowing about God

My family has really been a big blessing in my life, and when I met my wife, of course back then I knew about God, and I have always believed in God, but my wife pretty much introduced me to showing me the ways to knowing more about God. I met my wife through my DJ partner about four years ago. I’ve just been blessed because even though I’ve been through hard times, God has always been at my side. I’ve really been blessed.

I want to thank my family for supporting me in every way, and to my wife: I love you and thank you for being my partner and being by my side in the good and the bad.

If you would like to sugest someone for My Name Is ... or if you would like to be interviewed for the segment, contact Ellis Arnold at earnold@coloradocommunitymedia.com or 303-566-4109.


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