Making Memories by Sam Ciurdar in Corona, California

We love the way Sam Ciurdar creates memories through film and photography! A Southern California native, Sam enjoys getting in touch with nature and exploring his surroundings while capturing the natural beauty around him.

Name:Sam Ciurdar

Place you live: Corona, California

Place your photos were taken? Jenks Lake

Can you sum up Corona? Where I live is okay. It’s a great place if you’re into suburbs, but there isn’t much to do here. One of the perks of living in Corona is being able to drive either to the beach or to the mountains. You could even do both in the same day if you really wanted!

What is a perfect day in your spot? One of my favorite places to escape to is Jenks Lake up towards Big Bear Mountain. It’s kind of a hidden gem, a place that doesn’t feel very So Cal! But the perfect day there is right after it snows, which is once every few years, or on a foggy rainy day, which also only happens a few times a year.

If your city was a person or character who would it be and why? Tazmanian Devil from Looney Tunes I suppose? California weather is hot most of the time, but it goes all over the place sometimes!

Do you shoot with your phone or other cameras or both? It depends. If I know I’m going out to explore I’ll shoot on my camera. If I’m just out and about having a good time with friends, it will be phone. I’ve never been one of those people that says you have to use one or the other. A camera is a tool and whatever helps you get the shot you’re happy with – use that!

Has Snapwire or phoneography affected how you shoot? Not really in the way how I shoot, but it has pushed me to explore and do more – it has challenged me to go out and shoot instead of just staying at home and watching a movie. It’s easy to want to just get stuck in a routine. Snapwire and photography really make me more aware of what’s around me. I used to enjoy things with my eyes, then leave that place and not think of it again. Now I love to take a picture to remember that place. I guess, in short – it’s helped me make more memories.

What is your editing process? If I edit on my phone, I tend to just use Afterlight. I’m not big on filters. Not saying filters are bad, they are just not for me. I like to control the look, so I tend to bring up contrast, adjust the saturation and shadows. I don’t do a lot to my photos. Less is more.

How long have you been using Snapwire? Since they came out!

Can you tell us about your experience using Snapwire? What do you like about it? I’ve loved using Snapwire, I’m still a little surprised that I’ve managed to be ranked 3rd! It’s a fun app because it’s like a challenge every time you open the app. It’s fun to see what the request or challenge is – then go out and shoot and see if you can win some money for it! It’s a great idea.

Can you give a couple tips to aspiring Snapwire photographers? Really pay attention to what the client wants. Sometimes the request says “sunsets but please no people” – and you look through the request and there are hundreds of photos with people. If you want an image to be nominated or purchased, really try to get what the client is looking for. Then add your take on the image. After that, just hope the client likes what they see! Never be discouraged if you don’t get nominated. People have different tastes in photos, and even though you may have the best picture – it may not be what they are looking for.

Who are your three favorite Snapwire photographers? Griffin Lamb, Samuel Elkins, and Scott Bakken have been some of my favorites.


Name:Sam Ciurdar


Best place to eat:


Best place to drink:

Restoration Roasters

Best outdooor activity:

Taking a lap around Jenks Lake