This is the story about how Angela Garmendia Photography came about…and how this website is a reflection of me and the things that I love to photograph. And while I specialize in newborns, I refuse to limit myself to just one genre. I love being able to have the freedom to shoot whatever I want, in whatever style I want, in a way that reflects mine and my clienteles vision. The freedom is almost intoxicating. I love photographing a sweet little 1 year old, or watching a shy teenager come out of his shell, or making farting jokes to get an 8 year old boy to laugh. And while I am not currently booking many weddings, I still LOVE photographing couples and watching the love and affection they have for each other. I feel truly honored when I am asked to photograph births…witnessing the beginning of a new life is something I treasure and never take for granted. And of course I love newborns…they come in so many different forms; delicate, rolly, long, squishy, soft, petite, chunky and everything in between. And the best part of newborn sessions is talking to the new moms. I so enjoy hearing all parts of the pregnancy and about her birth story. I find that it connects me to a client more than any type of session…and more often than not, clients become friends that I love to hear from. So here you go…its probably a whole lot more about me than you ever wanted to know! I really look forward to hearing from you and hopefully making a new friend…talk to you soon!
HOW IT ALL BEGAN…
I didn’t start my photography career the way most mommy photogs started. I actually didn’t know anything about photography. My husband Gerardo was the first to fall in love with photography. He bought his first medium format camera at 19 years old and spent lots of hours and his dad’s money in the darkroom at college. When he was 22, he moved from Monterrey, Mexico to Utah to attend college at Brigham Young University.
I lived in Alpine, Utah…just a short 25 minute drive from Brigham Young University. Gerardo and I met in college through my room mates who were all from Mexico. He would come over and claim to work on his English, but I really think he was just trying to ask me out. When he finally did, I agreed, and a quick 7 weeks later we were engaged. And if that wasn’t quick enough, we were married 6 weeks after that. And since we liked to move fast, we became pregnant 2 months after getting married. Two short months after our oldest Abby was born, I found out that I was expecting our second child. Jocelyne arrived 2 and half weeks before Abby’s first birthday. And then 18 months later, we welcomed our third child, Summer. So, in case you couldn’t keep track of all those dates, from the time I first met Gerardo to the birth of our third child it was just shy of 4 years.
In 2001, I had just turned 23 and had three little ones…Abby at two and half years, Jocelyne at 18 months and newborn Summer. It was overwhelming! I look back at those years and honestly don’t know how I did it. I just remember a lot of laundry and not a lot of sleep. Through all of this I had a wonderful, yet frustratingly dreamy eyed husband who still had hope of becoming a photographer. I was more concerned about diapers and formula…not all that supportive. But Gerardo diligently kept working at what must have been depressingly hopeless jobs for him…a janitor and a meat grinder inspector to name a few. He pursued graphic design in college and ended up finding a job where he could use his graphic design and photography skills.
We moved to Hidalgo, Texas in 2002 and that is when my husband turned into a person I had never met…he was back in a culture he knew and a language he could speak (how we got married I don’t really know since I couldn’t speak Spanish and he barely spoke English) and he felt completely comfortable in his surroundings. I however, was terrified and felt I had moved to the edge of the world! Gerardo found a graphic design job and continued to freelance photography jobs wherever he could. In 2006 we welcomed our fourth girl named Ella, and also closed on our first home. Over the next couple of years, he built up a steady stream of clientele that continued to grow until we decided to open up Garmendia Photography full time in 2007.
I started assisting Gerardo on all of his shoots, and editing his sessions as well as emailing and blogging. By default, I became involved in his dream of photography. Many times I wondered if I would have chosen a different career path…I would have loved to have been a midwife or maybe a sociologist studying human behavior or possibly a history professor. I, by nature, was not a dreamy, out of the box type of person. I was very pragmatic, very organized, and a very ‘in the box’ thinker. So I can remember the exact moment that I started to see the world differently. It was in 2008, and I looked at a building as I was driving past it, and all of the sudden I saw lines and light and shadow…I could see the photograph in my mind that I wanted to take. It was almost as if a literal switch went off in my head and suddenly I could see light and shadow in EVERYTHING around me. I saw shapes and lines and curves all differently and fell asleep at night dreaming how I could put everything together into beautiful and interesting looking images. There is something magical about seeing something in your mind and then actually creating it…putting your imagination to work and seeing an idea come to fruition!
However, it was only when our business grew to where we needed a second photographer that I considered actually shooting. I was still intimidated to really use the camera, so I would try and explain to Gerardo what I saw in my head and hope he could get the shot for me…not the best communication idea! When I finally let him teach me, I was amazed at how much I enjoyed the camera and how comfortable it felt. Shooting became second nature to me.
In 2011, after I had been shooting for about 3 years, Gerardo turned the entire photography portion of our business over to me. He starting focusing on other projects and I was booking more and more of my own clientele. However, one thing that had always been a struggle for Gerardo and I is the direction we wanted our business to go. We have had an innumerable amount of discussions (read arguments) over branding, vision, types of photography we should specialize in and stuff like that. His shooting style and vision are so totally different from mine that everything became a battle. And although he wasn’t shooting very much, the company was still under his name…a name that he had worked hard for years to establish. We both just wanted different things…we market to different clientele, our design concepts differ, our pricing and what we offer for sessions don’t mesh. And there is the fact that his passion is not photographing newborns and children. He loves fashion, highly stylized concept shoots and editorial layouts. So, since we wanted to stay married, we decided to split the business so that it would allow us to express our own selves and vision. It only took 7 years for us to figure it out!