Born: In a railroad boxcar, to poor migrant parents of Mexican/Spanish descent.
Place of birth: Kane, Wyoming (not even a ghost town now).
Native language: Spanish.
Grew up: In west Texas, near Lubbock.
First educational challenge: Failed first grade due to a language barrier.
In a nutshell, this is me. It was a miracle I stayed in school, much less finished school. My male role models were, for the most part, school drop-outs, alcoholics, or ruffians. The only art I was exposed to was body art—tattoos on human canvasses. I write about my life story and life philosophy in my book, titled
I Always Wanted To Be Somebody (But, I Settled For Much More: Me). It is a book about what you do when you don't know what to do. I went from being captured by adversity to capturing beauty through my photo art. Currently, I am the only distributor for my book.
I realized I liked art when I was in the second grade. It wasn’t until I enrolled in college that I gained the artistic know-how that was to become the foundation for my photography twenty years later. It was at Texas Tech University where I discovered the likes of Monet, Renoir, Dalí, Cezanne, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Degas, and other masters. It was during those metamorphic years that I learned about color, design, composition, and other factors that separate art from painting. Impressionism and surrealism really got my attention.
It wasn’t until twenty years after my art days in college that I bought my first 35mm SLR. I didn’t even know what an SLR (single-lens reflex) camera was! Besides learning about f/stops, shutter speeds and exposure, I found that everything else about good photography I had already learned years before as an art student.
Today, I offer photography classes, presentations, 1-on-1 photography lessons, and my 3-day workshops at Rocky Mountain National Park. I also spend a lot of my time writing. My latest book is Right Brain Photography (Be an artist first).
My four business areas are photography instruction, writing, stock photography, fine art archival prints, and commercial work. In all areas, my most important value is respect, something that has been passed on through family generations.
No le quítes años a la vida; dale vida a los años. (Don’t take years from life; give life to the years)