Erin Hooley presents Dave Castillo

The common wisdom is that people only buy pictures of people who are famous. Snappola! is betting that there are 100 collectors who venture beyond the common folk, because this week’s image of Dave Castillo is spectacular.

Erin Hooley photographs for the Ogden Standard-Examiner, with national recognition for her photo essay on Ogden’s strip club dancers. You can see that series (NSFW) on her website,

The strip club work is compelling, but there’s more. Today’s image comes from Erin’s personal work on the Mixed Martial Arts fight community. She says, “In 2009, I began photographing the story of MMA fighters and culture in Utah as a personal challenge and adventure into shape, contrast and texture, and found suspense and determination, skin and muscle, pain and adrenaline, bitter defeat and tearful jubilation.”

Erin had to find her own approach the subject: “MMA is male-dominated and testosterone-driven, so part of the challenge for me as a woman has been accessing everything beyond the cage and tapping into the fighter psyche. What drives one to train for months, perfecting body and mind, only to step into the ring to punch, kick and choke an opponent into submission or risk pain, injury and humiliation?”

“The answer was in exploring the periphery: finding male and female fighters, young people new to the sport, spectators and people who teach mixed martial arts, to photograph both large events and aspiring fighters in small, dirty gyms.”

Who knows, Dave Castillo may make it to the big time in his sport. It could happen, and then 100 collectors will be lucky enough to own today’s release and say they heard of him when he was an up-and-coming fighter in the Utah clubs. And even if Dave doesn’t reach his dream fight, Erin’s image is a keeper. Available today in a limited edition of 100. Snap ‘em up.

Dave Castillo by Erin Hooley

"I want to start looking out more and get away from just looking in—contemplating the navel of my own void. I want to look out at the world and see it and seize it and maybe even enrich it."

Erin Hooley of Boulder, Colorado has worked as a staff photographer at the Standard-Examiner in Ogden since 2007. She studied journalism and photography at the University of Colorado and found a passion for photojournalism in making pictures of antiwar protests and the political aftermath of 9/11. Erin also paints, draws and combines photographs with mixed media in personal journals and projects. She also loves cooking spicy food, embarking on spontaneous adventures and is a rabid hockey fan. See more of Erin’s work at

Erin says, “I began photographing the story of mixed martial arts fighters and culture in Utah as a personal challenge and adventure. Many local shows take place in whatever venue is affordable and available to smaller promotional companies. I photographed Dave Castillo, an up and coming fighter who will probably someday join the Ultimate Fighting Championship pros, warming up in the basement of a warehouse in Ogden.”

edition of 100
printed on 8.5′x 11″ Red River Arctic Polar Satin
image size: 9.5″ x 6.25″

Quantity remaining: 94


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