Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Looking through the eyes of a photographer

This interview was done by a student who is attending Hauptschule in the level of secondary education, in Germany. Her art teacher asked her to interview someone that produced her an artistic emotion and by accidents of fate we crossed our paths. She and I think that her work is worth as much which is published in this blog, which gives me a great emotion, especially because she selected all the photos.

Emmaline: As part of my work to my art class, teacher asked me interviewing someone related to the art and surfing through the internet I found some of your photographs, and even if you don’t considerate yourself an artist, your photographs allow me to see usual scenes, present every day  but we do not look for the rush of every day. How did you start on photography?

Alma: I began very naturally; my mom and my brother gave me my first camera as a present to my birthday. It was an old camera, so you should wait several days to reveal the photos, and  discover you took  24 expositions and  only one was worth.

Emmaline: How old were you?

Alma: I don’t remember, 18, or maybe 22 years old. I can’t remember.

Emmaline: Did you begin taking photographs of nature?

Alma: No, I didn’t. I liked to take photos of churches and old buildings. I liked history of the mexican art, so I used to visit churches in Mexico, you have so many churches everywhere in Mexico City, and some are from the Colony, you can find very near the first Cathedrals and churches built in Mexico, so you can see the Spanish influence and all the mysticism.

Emmaline: Did you want to be a photographer?

Alma: No, actually I didn’t. Photography is just a hobby, my personal, very personal passion. But it was not my idea to be a photographer. I still don’t feel like that. I’m glad people stop for a second to see my pics and write a comment, but I don’t see myself as a photographer.

Emmaline:  How did you change churches by nature?

Alma: I’m not sure; I began to take photographs of flowers in a very silly way. My mom loved one orchid plant, but it didn’t bloom very often. One day I told her that I was going to take pics of the flower, so she could have it every single time she wanted to enjoy it. Even if it was not the same than the real flower, it was a way to have an eternal flower. 

However, even if it was a flower, it was not easy to take photographs of it, so I learned that flowers were a good challenge.

Emmaline:  Do you update your camera often? Most of photographers change and update often.

Alma:  I guess that’s the reason I can’t be a photographer!. I’m a person of habits, it’s very hard to me change things. I keep my cameras during many years, not only because a good camera is expensive, but because I learn very slow all details and tricks. 

My husband says I need a new professional camera but I have a small problem with my back and arms so I can’t carry heavy things and good professional, fancy cameras are heavy. I love to have my pocket camera around me all the time, because you never know when you will have an instant. It can happen in a second and you need time to handle your camera, you must be there in the right second.

Emmaline: Have you lost opportunities of a good shot?

Alma: All the time!:) Sometimes because I don’t have my camera around, and it’s a rule number 1 of a photographer: have your camera with you and ready; sometimes because I don’t have the right light or angle, sometimes because I’m not fast enough, other reason is because when I’m ready to shot, someone makes a noise, or the wind blows… nature doesn’t pose for you. Flowers have a moment when everything is perfect. A squirrel never see to your camera the same way again… a bird never flies near to you  twice only to give you the chance of another shot… it’s all about perfect combination of variables.

Emmaline:  Are there some rules to take photos?

Alma:  Do you mean some ethical rules?

Emmaline: yes.

Alma:  I have my own rules but I was reading the other day they are kind of rules related with the law. I never take a flower or a bird if there is a person in the middle of my photo or I can see clearly a house. Sometimes I can feel upset because a bird is front me, but I don’t want to take someone’s house. To me that's number 1. 

I don’t take photos of persons if I don’t ask permission first, even my husband, I ask him first, and I never upload photographs of persons in public sites.  Except if I took them in public places, like parks or streets. I have an album called sports, and of course you see persons around. Even my own pics, I avoid to change them in my social media resources. 

I was reading that legally you can take a photographs of anything you can see, but you must be aware about people around, even in public places, someone can say: hey! Why did you take me a picture?, It’s ok if people can see you have a camera, but It’s prohibited take a photo using telephoto from long distance. I guess every country has particular laws, but to me has sense that kind of laws. 

One day I saw a beautiful tree front a house, but I couldn’t find the angle to have only the tree, so I decide not to try with that particular tree. 

Emmaline: How do you decide your shots, your photos? Do you have projects?

Alma: It’s about the place and the season. Sometimes I have specific photos to hunt, for example, right now I want to take a pic of a monarch butterfly, I took one three years ago, and I have seen them around. If I go to Mexico I know I’ll find flowers and butterflies and so much color!, Mexico is a place of colors and contrasts. 

If we go to the beach, I hope to catch a good wave or a seagull. Once I found a snake and I had the chance to take several pics!. Few days ago I was lucky and I took a good photo of a hawk. 

The squirrels’ project began because Bubu liked to chase squirrels, and I told her that one days she was going to have one on the wall. It was hard to get a good one, but once we got it, we have had some lucky moments with squirrels, they like to see the camera, sometimes they pose!. 

There is a big white bird that I have tried during three years, my husband,  Bubu and Champy helped me to make it fly and I have been lucky. 

I’m proud of a pic I took from an airplane, 10 000 feet of the most famous volcano in Mexico. The good thing of photography is there is always another opportunity. Sometimes I try during years, like hummer birds, and one day you get a good shot.

During spring and summer of 2010 I followed a geese family, and I loved to see the babies growing, but I have not had another opportunity of see growing a family again, geese didn’t stay in the same place this year. So I don’t know if I’ll have another chance.

There are expressions that you get just once, so it’s a lucky moment.

Emmaline: How do you know you have a good photograph? When you know it?

Alma:  You know and feel that when you click the camera. I can’t explain it, but I see in my head the picture and then if that match with my screen I got a good one. Sometimes when you see it on the screen it’s even better or it’s not so good, there is a small detail, and sometimes is tiny, and sometimes you can find nice surprises!. I was taking a pic of a flower and I saw something weird, I thought it was a leave and when I saw the pic on the screen, it was a butterfly. But, I don’t have any doubt I know when I have a good moment. 

I took photos of a bird eating a plant, it was great because I could take several shots and he was calm eating. When I show to my mom she was upset because the bird was eating one of her favorite plants!. That pic was in a contest and I called: Crime Scene!.

 Emmaline: Does photographers should participate in contest?

Alma: I have done it just twice, I don’t like to participate, I needed several years between show my pics to my mom and my husband, maybe a couple of friends and show them openly. My first contest was in a site in Spain maybe 4 years ago. 

My second time was past year, in another Spanish site. I was not lucky. 

Emmaline:  Once a photographer has high skills, can a photographer take any kind of pic? Or is there a kind of specialization?

Alma: Photography can have different options, even if it looks like you only need to shoot, you need a special eye for every kind of expression. You can have architecture photography, and it’s not easy to find the right angle for buildings or bridges for example. 

You can see fashion photos, and the hardest is to make look gorgeous a dress with a wonderful model wearing it. You must make look wonderful both, and see details like earrings, or shoes or even hair.

I admire photographers who can take persons, weddings for example, because you don’t see persons, they catch emotions, expressions. I love to see wedding photos because you can see a beautiful dress with a radiant smiles and a handsome nervous man. 

You need a particular talent to see all that in a click.

There are sports photographers with super amazing heavy cameras that can see a baseball player sweating and moving every muscle, and even see how the ball is flying, it’s amazing work and you only have less than one second to appreciate all that.

I love landscapes, my favorite photographer is Martin Lawrence, he can show you a perfect sunset and share the peace of the heart.

Of course you can find photo journalist, they can be in the middle of bullets and take a good pics to illustrate the war or revolutions, even protests. You see them every day hunting the right photo. Some good enough that you don’t need words to explain something.

Science photography is another super amazing option. They take pictures of the very small, like a neuron or a particle or take photos of the Universe. Of course their cameras are very different and sophisticated. Right now in neuroscience there is a fascination for taking pics of the brain working and developing. Science has open infinite options for a photographer.

Forensic and police photographers have a very important work searching evidences, and pics can solves cases.

You have photographers for movies, and artists… conceptual pics, babies, flowers, food, or pets.

Piotr Kulczycki is my number 1 photographer about travels. He can show you places and make you wish to be there.

There are submarine photographers… you can be an expertise taking pics in everything you can see with your own eyes or a special camera.

Emmaline:  Is it expensive to be a photographer?

Alma: A real one, professional, YES!!. It’s very expensive the equipment, mainly all lens and then the software.  It’s a complete industry, if you want to do it correctly, you will pay the price. That’s the reason some photographers can earn a lot of money. 

Emmaline:  Where would you like to see your photos?

Alma: I asked once if my photos would work for a botanical research. I like when teachers ask my photos to teach something. One photo of a butterfly was used for a teacher in Mexico to explain development. That was excited!. 

There are geography areas called phytogeography and zoogeography that maybe could use some. It’s nice just share them with my friends but eventually maybe I’ll find other way to use them. So far, I use them to illustrate my own writings.

Emmaline:  Where can we learn photography?

Alma: You can learn at College where you learn art, photography schools, or sometimes professional photographers offer classes. But the main tip I can give you is take a picture at least every day, practice will make you learn, and going to a good school.

Emmaline: Thank YOU very much for you time!

Alma: Thank YOU for your interest and thank YOU because you decide what photos could be good with your interview. I have a very hard time when someone asks me to choose few pics. I’m sure you did a great work!

if you would like to know more about my writing you can visit my web site: 
Para la versión en español, da click en la parte superior derecha 



  1. Photographer is the person who can make you stop for a second to see a moment of life. Wonderful photographs!

  2. Excellent selection of photos!. Wonderful interview!!

  3. Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed it very much.

  4. Dear anonymous:

    I really appreaciate your comments and time to come and visit this blog, I'm so glad you like it so much, but all my blogs are free of marketing, or other kind of spam.

    I know I could earn millions of dollars if I add publicity, but I prefer to be poor and let people to enjoy the readings and not run around brands. That's one reason your comments have not been published and, the second reason is because we prefer when comments have a name. I don't mind to publish anonymous comments, because someone doesn't have a google account or blogger acount, but when we don't see a name and it has spam together, it's like... not good to these blogs.

    I have tried to keep a standard on all my blogs, between topics and images and I'm sure readers appreciate that. Maybe that's one reason they get back so often.

    If you really love this blog, you are welcome to follow it!

    Thanks for your kind attention and I hope you can read me in the future. And if you have a name, I would love to read you too!!!


  5. You are a scientist even for your hobby!!!!!

  6. Oops!!! sorry!!! I can't deny it!!!:)