We had the good fortune of connecting with Amparo Barajas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amparo, what makes you happy? Why?
One thing that makes me happy is to have the flexibility of choosing what I want to photograph each day. I love doing portraits of people. I like to take portraits in the most organic way possible. I think that makes people feel more comfortable and relaxed. When I feel I need a fresh start, I like to take road trips and do nature photography. It helps me clear my mind and melts the stress away.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I consider myself a portraiture and landscape photographer. One thing that sets me apart from other photographers Is the attention to detail. When I take photos of people, I take the time to get to know them well enough so I can capture their essence with my camera. I like my photos to be as natural as possible and enjoy seeing people’s faces when they see the final product. It is typically an “Oh, I look like me here!” or “I didn’t realize I’m so good looking!” Many things got me to where I am now with my work. Some of these things are persistence, patience, and continuing education in photography. Keeping myself update is a crucial component to success in this industry. I watch tutorials and reach out to one of my professors for advice. The process has not been easy. Just like in any art career, it is challenging, and motivation and persistence are required. Challenges are never over. One day it’s one challenge, another day, it’s another. I think that one of the things that has helped me deal with challenges is the fact I am always looking forward to learning more to be better prepared. There is always something new to learn or room for improvement in this industry. There are many lessons I’ve learned in the process. Still, two of the most important ones are: do not agree to anything verbally (always get written agreements) and make things very clear even if they seem silly (especially when working with friends). The second lesson I have learned is: don’t do pro bono work unless it’s for a great cause. I want the world to know that nothing in life is easy, especially when it comes to doing things that we are passionate about. It tends to get tough at times, but I believe that obstacles are only meant to test our convictions and make us stronger and better prepared.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My best friend lives with me! But when she was visiting in the past, I would take her for sushi, my favorite coffee shop, one-day trips along the coast, and make time to get ice cream and watch a good movie in the movie theaters (all before COVID-19). Now we order take out and go to Joshua tree or any isolated places where we can socially distance.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to thank my parents and my siblings for always being there cheering me on. My dad has been such a great model for the past 15 years. I want to thank my partner for being so supportive. I want to thank my professors at Orange Coast College for being so helpful every time I’ve come back to take new classes or even just for advice. I want to give a special thanks to Agatha Ibranossian for taking the time during her busy semester to mentor and help me grow as a portrait photographer.
Ariel Relaford- My portrait