Recently, a friend was visiting San Francisco and we spent a joyful day together going to museums, catching up with each other, and sharing our delight in having a few hours together where 3,000 miles weren’t separating us.
At the end of the afternoon, as we were crossing the courtyard of the Legion of Honor museum, I politely asked a young woman if she wouldn’t mind taking a photograph of the two of us with my iPhone’s camera. She politely agreed, but I detected a faint shrug, and took the iPhone from me. She suggested an alternative place for us to stand than where we were; she put our backs to the setting sun. A few seconds later, click, click, and we were digitally recorded for posterity.
But wait! As she handed me my iPhone, she reached into her tote bag and pulled out a professional camera. What’s happening?
Unbeknownst to me, this young woman is a professional photographer and wasn’t satisfied to capture our happy moment with just a cell phone’s camera, even an iPhone!
In thirty seconds she snapped half a dozen pictures with her own camera. Done! Thank you’s were expressed, and I gave her my business card so she could email me the pictures.
A few hours later the pictures arrived in my in-box. OMG! What she captured was no less than amazing. Not so much the subjects, modesty prevails, but the lighting, the emotions, the depth of feelings that my friend and I share; all recorded by this women’s amazing sense of the moment. And all in thirty seconds!
After looking at Laura Villaseñor’s web site I was astounded at the images I saw there. Not satisfied to send her just an emailed thank you note, I called and we agreed to meet for lunch. We met a few days later, and I sat in rapt attention, listening to her amazing story:
After studying photography and working for 12 years as a photographer in her native Mexico, Laura Villaseñor came to San Francisco four years ago to study photography at The Academy of Art College. Her talent was immediately recognized by the college and she received their prestigious Presidential scholarship.
The images she captures of her subjects contain, as she says, “the essence of the person.” That’s her main objective when looking in the viewfinder. “That, and the feeling of the moment. It changes quickly, and I have to be sensitive to what’s happening in front of me.”
Her studies have included how to maximize the images she captures. “Now the photographer has the lab in the computer, so changes can happen there instead of someone else doing it.” With the true eye of an artist, Laura now has the ability to completely control the final image the viewer sees, both of the subject and her ability to capture it.
Laura photographs people, of course, but also architecture and interiors for designers, special events, and being an artist who sees the world somewhat differently than the average person, what she sees is reflected in her fine art images. Her work has been seen on numerous magazine covers in Mexico, as well as in marketing and PR campaigns.
Laura Villaseñor’s professional photography web site is viewable only with computers and devices that have Flash players: http://www.lauravillasenor.com/, but in the meantime, here’s a small sample of her work to peruse.