Honored to have a photo curated to the VSCO Grid


We’re big fans of the Visual Supply Co, better known as VSCO.  It’s a software for film emulation and it’s an app but perhaps most importantly it’s a community.  I check out their VSCO Grid on nearly a daily basis for inspiration.  So suffice it to say I was a bit excited this morning to receive an email from VSCO informing me that my photo of Team USA member Brent Metcalf’s victory at the 2015 Freestyle World Cup was selected for their curated Grid.  (Actually, eh hem… this was my 3rd photo to be selected.)

If you haven’t had a chance to try out some of their tools and features, I highly recommend you do. Their Journal publishing tool, officially launched about six months ago, is a wonderful platform that enables people to tell their stories with word and image cleanly and elegantly.  Feel free to peruse my latest Journal post about the recent Freestyle World Cup here.

Here’s one of my all time favorite photos that I captured using the VSCO Cam app.  Happy Friday.


Beat the Streets LA Youth meet Team USA


Aaron Pico and Mercedes Rodriguez at the 2015 World Cup Open Practice for Team USA.


On April 7, the United States Men’s Freestyle Wrestling Team arrived at Santa Monica High School for their first practice of the week in California leading up to the World Cup (April 11 & 12 at The Forum).

One of many great things about the sport of wrestling is it’s generous access to the discipline’s very best.  Beat the Streets Los Angeles youth had the tremendous opportunity to observe Team USA train at the open practice that morning.  After the Team finished practice they took time to meet with our youth wrestlers.  Amongst a morning filled with highlights the bright eyed youth wrestlers sat and talked with 2012 Olympic Gold Medalists Jordan Burroughs and Jake Varner, World Champion Stephen Neal (who happens to be a 3x Super Bowl Champion with New England Patriots), and local area phenom and Cadet World Champion Aaron Pico.   Many thanks to USA Wrestling for this opportunity and for Coach Mark Black and Santa Monica High for being such gracious hosts.

Enjoy some of the moments I captured from that morning.

To see a full album of photos from the World Cup head on over to this part of our website – 2015 World Cup Freestyle


Joey McKenna and Aaron Pico



Jordan Burroughs and Moza Fey



Aaron Pico and Joey McKenna at Team USA Open Practice.




US Men’s Freestyle Wrestling Team completes a practice at Santa Monica High School.



2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Coleman Scott takes time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.



Helen Maroulis, Victoria Anthony and Elena Pirozhkova.



Elena Pirozhkova, Victoria Anthony and Helen Maroulis take time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.



Helen Maroulis and Elena Pirozhkova sign autographs for Beat the Streets LA youth.



World Champion and 3x Super Bowl Champion Stephen Neal takes time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.



3x NCAA Champion Ed Ruth takes time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.



Local phenoms Anthony Valenica, Zahid Valencia and Cade Olivas take time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.



Aaron Pico with Beat the Streets LA youth wrestler.




Jordan Burroughs takes time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.



Jordan Burroughs and Jessica Vasquez



Mercedes Rodriguez, Jordan Burroughs and Gianna Anaya


Presenting the new short film: Move Your Feet

In association with Beat the Streets Los Angeles (BTSLA) and Frederick Pictures, we are proud to present our new short film Move Your Feet.

A story about an adolescent girl who through her mother’s guidance and the sport of wrestling overcomes her largest challenge, her past.

The fictional story is inspired by the real world themes that challenge today’s youth and stars BTSLA wrestlers Mercedes Rodriguez, Gianna Anaya and San Pedro Coach Roman Hernandez.

Serving as writer and producer, I had the great opportunity to work with veteran photographer and director Shawn Frederick.

The film premiered on Friday April 10th at BTSLA’s 2nd Annual Benefit to much acclaim and was part of a very successful night of fundraising and celebration of the organization’s progress in just three short years since inception.


That’s me, Brian Guerrero, standing on the right, getting ready to introduce the film. Photo by Dana Barsuhn.


Every filmmaker loves a packed house. Photo by Dana Barsuhn.


At the conclusion of the film I had the pleasure of recognizing our fantastic cast and crew.  Our costar Gianna Anaya who played both wrestler and hooded stranger stepped up to receive a big round of applause.  Gianna is one of BTSLA’s best youth wrestlers and has a bright future both on and off the mat.

Fittingly, to conclude the film portion of the evening, I turned the mic over to our star, Mercedes Rodriguez.  As a strong, brave young leader she stood before 200+ guests and delivered a touching thank you speech.  My favorite part of that speech:

“It’s enabled me to take the competitive aspect of the sport into the classroom”

Wisdom beyond her years.


BTSLA student athlete Mercedes Rodriguez addresses guests of the 2nd Annual Benefit. Photo by Dana Barsuhn.

I can’t think of a better way to wrap up this journey of a project… a film for the youth, about the youth, capped by the youth. Tomorrow’s leaders.


Special thanks to Dana Barsuhn for capturing the evening in photographs.  To see more of Dana’s work visit http://www.danabarsuhn.com/

From the Forum for the Freestyle World Cup

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Jordan Burroughs completes a 10-0 technical fall over Morteza Rezaei Ghaleh or Iran.

Gritty. Palpable. Fervor.  These are the themes that came to mind as I stood mat side at The Forum in Inglewood to watch the finals of the Freestyle World Cup of Wrestling.  The US Team had made its way into the finals after a variety of victories over Cuba, Russia and Mongolia.  On paper much of wrestling’s odds makers had slated the red-white-and-blue for a bronze medal finish.  Yet, through a gritty performance Team USA, comprised of 3-of-8 starters wrestling in their first World Cup, managed to get within a single individual win of claiming the first World Cup title in what would have been 12 years.  Unfortunately, for us Americans and the US men, we came up short.  For wrestling fans worldwide, as witness to the spectacle of sport, it felt like a win.

The atmosphere in the arena was palpable.  The air laced with horns brought by the Iranian fans was loud and piercing.  My ears still rang the day after.

Wrestling has an inherent push-pull movement, but the oscillation of energy in the building came from the crowd as it swayed back-and-forth from pro Team Iran to pro Team USA, only shifting to neutral during the live broadcast’s ‘TV-timeout’ between matches.

I can only imagine what spectacle may be in store for the World Championships come September in Las Vegas.

Thank you Team USA, thank you Team Iran, and thank you to the other six countries who traveled far for the 2015 World Cup.

Check out my full album of photos here.

For complete results visit United World Wrestling.

2015 World Cup Freestyle-13

Tervel Dlagnev

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Coleman Scott

2015 World Cup Freestyle-16

Brent Metcalf defends a takedown with great athleticism.

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Brent Metcalf successfully defends and scores a takedown.

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A swollen eye as a result of attempting to defend a Jordan Burroughs takedown.

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Jordan Burroughs completes a takedown.

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Jordan Burroughs earns his 100th career victory in international competition.

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Hassan Yazdani Charati of Iran defeats Nick Marable of the US, 3-1.

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Komeil Ghasemi celebrates a victory over Zach Rey of the US, and the team championship for Iran.

Short Film ‘Move Your Feet’ will premiere at Beat the Streets Los Angeles 2nd Annual Benefit

We are excited to present the trailer for Move Your Feet, a story about an adolescent girl who through her mother’s guidance and the sport of wrestling overcomes her largest challenge, her past.

Beginning last fall, I had the honor of writing and producing the short film for the non profit Beat the Streets Los Angeles (BTSLA), an organization which I serve as a Board Member and Creative Director.

The fictional story is inspired by the real world themes that challenge today’s youth and stars BTSLA wrestlers Mercedes Rodriguez, Gianna Anaya and San Pedro Coach Roman Hernandez.

Directed by Shawn Frederick, the short film will premiere at the 2nd Annual Benefit on Friday April 10, 2015 and then will be released online at btsla.org the following day.

With BTSLA’s vision of creating sustainable wrestling programs accessible to all youth, the organization invites supporters and future advocates to attend the Benefit and enjoy the live premiere of Move Your Feet.

Ticket sales and donations made here go toward our programming and are the lifeline of our future growth.

Purchase your tickets by clicking HERE.

BTSLA Invitation to 2nd Annual Benefit

Beat the Streets LA – First Annual Impact Report

As 2015 is just around the corner, the organization Beat the Streets Los Angeles, a youth development nonprofit I volunteer for has just published its first Annual Impact Report.  The booklet is an overview of current wrestling programs, participation numbers since inception, a summary of last season’s highlights and a splendid spread of graphics accompanied by photos of the youth which the organization serves.

This past summer I sat down with the Executive team for BTSLA and wrote a series of briefs for our organization’s marketing materials.  The goal was to create a collateral kit to enable our staff, fellow board members and other organizational advocates to communicate what Beat the Streets is, what are the goals and how we are making an impact pursuant of fundraising and growing both our resources and our community.  As Creative Director I wanted to ensure that the tone and style of this kit not only aligned with our organization’s identity but in fact could elevate it.

We commissioned Juliana Arboleda (my sister-in-law), a Junior Art Director who currently works for Ogilvy & Mather Colombia, to design the three part kit; marketing deck, brochure and the Annual Impact Report.  Juliana (Juli) had done work in the months prior with Beat the Streets including invitation designs for our Annual Benefit and an announcement for our Camp Scholarship fundraiser.  And whilst the collateral kit would prove to be our largest project for marketing, in my opinion it’s Juli’s finest work yet with our organization.  Having just mailed out hardcopies to our donors last week, we’re already getting a great response on the Impact Report.  We hope it inspires our community to continue to be a part of BTSLA and what’s more an advocate for youth development through sports.

A big thanks to Juli for the fantastic work!  If you’d like to see some of her other creative work head on over to her site Juli’sForest.

Be sure to flip through the digital copy of the Impact Report below.

Beat the Streets LA, My Favorite Intersection

This month marked the start of the Third Season for Beat the Streets Los Angeles, a sports-based youth development non-profit that I volunteer for.  For me it’s been a convergence of two things that are very near and dear; the sport of wrestling and being a creative.  Perhaps two things that I never imagined would intersect in my personal life.

Walking away from the sport, as a competitor, in 1998 due to injury was very difficult for me.  In many ways it was more challenging than the injury itself.  Doing something day-in and day-out, year-around from age 8 to 19… it’s something that becomes part of your identity.

I was fortunate to find architecture, and transfer into it as a Major for college.  And in some sense get lost in it.  Becoming immersed in architecture, particularly architecture school isn’t something that happened overnight but slowly over a couple years began to shape me, not unlike my years wrestling.   As in sport, the outcomes planned are not always reached but what might be gained along the way are intangibles; resolve, adaptability, an open mind.  These traits that cultivate growth through sports also foster creativity.  It was the kind of transition I needed after wrestling.  Unbeknownst to me, it was also something that would bring me back to the sport.

After college I headed to the East Coast eventually landing in New York at an architectural facade consulting firm in Lower Manhattan.  Over the Thanksgiving weekend of 2007, my wife Kat and I drove up to Albany to have lunch with my cousin Eric who was coaching (Assistant Coach) his university’s wrestling team, Oklahoma State, at the Journeyman Duals.  Still a fan of the sport, but not an active member in the wrestling community, I’d occasionally meet up with Eric to watch his team compete live, but mainly it was to just visit with him, as cousins do.  During our visit that weekend I chatted briefly with the head coach, John Smith, who I had gotten to know over the years while Eric was competing for Oklahoma State.  John asked me about work, about living in New York City and asked “Are you staying involved in wrestling?” to which I hesitantly answered ‘no’.  Without pause he suggested I get involved with a youth wrestling program in the City. He gave me a name and urged me to call.  He said they needed coaches.  The program was Beat the Streets.

I eventually followed up.  I contacted the director and he invited me to come check out the program.  It so happened to be in the neighborhood of my office.  The biggest school district in America and arguably the largest market of architectural firms in the world, and this one little school gymnasium for Beat the Street’s headquarters and my then office were 3 blocks from each other!  Fortuitous?

What started as ‘maybe I’ll stop by from time to time and help their coaches with the kids’ turned into two years as the Volunteer Coach for their training center, traveling to competitions throughout New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Dakota.  That time with Beat the Streets New York, the original program in this now nationwide grassroots wrestling movement had a profound impact on me.  It was a chance to give back to the sport that gave so much to me.  And in 2010, when a job opportunity came around that would relocate Kat and I to Los Angeles, it was one of the hardest parts about leaving New York.  I was leaving behind friends and coaching relationships forged in the fire of the sport.  I felt, reservedly, like I was leaving wrestling again.

About eight months after arriving in LA, I was contacted by Andy Barth, a business man and former wrestler whose supported wrestling from the Youth to Olympic level across the country.  Andy was planning to launch a Beat the Streets program in Los Angeles, and was looking for ardent like-minded people to help bring the program to fruition.  I was in.

Today, three and a half years later, I feel honored to be part of such an outstanding organization and was blessed to have been there for it’s genesis in LA.  Who would have known that the lessons learned about the creative process in school would have fostered an appetite for photography and storytelling?  What’s more, who would have known that I’d be able to apply it to wrestling?

If you’d like to learn more about Beat the Streets Los Angeles and our mission visit our website.  And to see the full coverage with more photos of the Season Kickoff check out the article HERE.

BTSLA wrestlers warmup during the first tournament of the season.

BTSLA wrestlers warmup during the first tournament of the season.

Wrestlers from San Fernando and San Pedro hop through their warmup drills.

Wrestlers from San Fernando and San Pedro hop through their warmup drills.

BTSLA Board Member Tyler Baier gives a technique clinic to kickoff the Season Opener.

BTSLA Board Member Tyler Baier gives a technique clinic to kickoff the Season Opener.

Bright Star student Nathaniel Botello begins his 3rd Season with Beat the Streets LA.

Bright Star student Nathaniel Botello begins his 3rd Season with BTSLA.

Attack Bandz match between two rookie Beat the Streets LA wrestlers.

Attack Bandz match between two rookie BTSLA wrestlers.

Newest members of the San Pedro BTSLA program enjoy their first wrestling tournament.

Newest members of the San Pedro BTSLA program enjoy their first wrestling tournament.


The Wall Street Journal’s article about marathoner Hernan Barreneche

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal published an article on my wife’s uncle and godfather Hernan Barreneche, 1968 and 1972 Olympian who will compete this Sunday in the great New York City Marathon.

Accompanying the article were two of my photos of Hernan, included in this post.

Check out the WSJ article by Matthew Futterman HERE.

The photo below was one that I captured just as Hernan headed to the starting line at the 2011 World Masters Athletic Championships.  I vividly recall the moment of quiet intensity.  It was an uncharacteristically brisk morning in July just off the banks of Sacramento’s American River.  Hernan was fighting a cold which heightened his nerves.  Even with this presumable hindrance, his training and mental toughness prevailed as he we went on to win his fourth consecutive World Championships in a time of 3 hrs 17 min 17 seconds.

To learn more about Hernan and his storied running career check out his official site, built by my wife Kat: My Life the Runner.

If you’re in NYC on Sunday, be sure to score a nice spot along the race route, the NYC Marathon is one of sports greatest spectacles.

Go Hernan!!!

Brian Guerrero - kabriDWL

Hernan at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Sacramento, Calif., in 2011.


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