Locals to know: 10 questions with local photographer Airam Data-On

In my quest to introduce you to local people, businesses, and organizations to know in the city, I realized that I knew many, but I didn’t know-know them and figured now is a good time as any to get to know them better.

That’s how I feel about Airam Data-On. I’ve only ever “met” him via Instagram. He’s pretty consistent in tagging Pulptown in beautiful photos (thanks for that, by the way!) and he freely shares his photography tips (that’s real community over competition, y’all) AND he’s pretty witty in his responses to our Instagram stories. Win-win-win, right? Anyway, that led to me asking Airam if he’d be up for a Pulptown feature. He happily obliged and now, here we are.

So let’s get to know the super talented photographer, small business owner, and Orlando cheerleader, shall we?

What neighborhood do you live in? Maitland

Are you a long-time Orlandoan? I’ve lived in Orlando for a cumulative of 8 years. 2007 – 2013 and 2019 to present. I lived in Hong Kong from 2013 to 2019, but Orlando was my home in the US.

Tell us about your work in Orlando. Your day job and any volunteer work, too. People know me now as a photographer first but when they ask if I do it full-time, my answer is that I’m a full-time creative. I am also a brand designer, social media manager, and a fried chicken enthusiast on the side. I’m the Creative Director for the Taglish Collective restaurant group and a co-founder of EightySix Media.

What’s your all-time favorite Orlando moment? I can’t pin down one but a lot of them have happened at Qreate Coffee, whether it’s networking and meeting new people or just hanging out and shooting the breeze with Quay Hu.

If you could have a billboard in the middle of Downtown, what would it say? Don’t overthink. Go do it.

What is one Orlando news story that you think people need to be paying more attention to? The food scene in Orlando is blowing up and people need to pay attention to it. Not just Orlandoans but big wigs like Eater, Bon Appetit, TimeOut, etc.

What local business has really impressed you during the pandemic? And how? I have to say local food businesses as a whole. The whole community rallied to make sure our favorite local spots were up and running throughout this pandemic. Several of them took risks and have expanded or moved from a food truck into their own brick and mortar. I love seeing how these business owners took risks and the locals stood by them the whole time.

You’re moving. What is your “last meal” in Orlando? I’m going to go all out with this one. Soseki. Who wouldn’t want a 20 course omakase for their last meal?

Your calendar opens up and you get one happy hour with an Orlandoan of your choice. Who’s it going to be? Why? And where are you meeting them? My wife. And we would go to the University Club downtown for the best Old Fashioned I have ever had. I do have to find a member to let us in because it’s a private club.

What is one thing you would change about Orlando? i-4.

What’s a project you’re working on (big or small) and how can Pulptown readers help you with it? EightySix Media, a content creation and social media agency that I just started with chef Mike Collantes. Our goal is to help brands connect with their customers through the power of story. Pulptown readers can help get the word out for what we just started! Go check out instagram.com/eightysix.media or www.eightysix.media

Fill in the blank (specific to your time in Orlando): 100 years from now, I hope I’m remembered for… Helping people find their creative potential. I love encouraging people to embrace curiosity as a way to experience the space that they live in.

Follow Airam for tips like where to find the best 8 underrated photo places around Winter Park and how to find your truest, most authentic photography style.

Who should we feature next time? Let me know by sliding into my inbox, katie@pulp.town, subject line: Feature this.