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Photography when you pull the word apart means writing (ography) with the light (photo.) Luis Rodriguez is a photographer who firmly believes his photos tell a story through the eyes of his lens. His first love was film but he became passionate about still photography when he picked up his first film Canon Rebel.

How did you become interested in photography?
Photography started as a hobby. I went to school for filming. Photography is a lot like film-making except your working with still frames instead of moving pictures. When I finished school, I got a job at a portrait studio and that how I learned the ropes. Now I do portrait photography as well as art photography. Not matter what, I consider myself an artist first and a photographer second.

How do you make people feel at ease when you're taking their photo?
I treat them as if they were my friends to help people relax. I believe everyone is photogenic. It's just a matter of capturing what makes them beautiful and unique. As far as snapping them out, I tell them I'm testing the lights but sometimes I'm actually taking pictures. Another way is to just crack jokes with them. I'm a very animated person so my own character sometimes makes people smile. Just making them feel at ease is important. Once the comfort level is up their personality shines.

What's your advice for someone interested in learning about photography?
You have to basically understand your camera. It's not so much the equipment you have but your understanding of it. For anyone interested in getting into photography I would recommend that they learn their camera inside out and start building a portfolio, that's the next step to get people to trust you and think of you as a photographer.

What's a good beginner's camera?
A Canon Rebel. That was my first camera except back then it was in film.

Should a photographer have an online portfolio?
Online portfolios are good to get your name out to strangers and people you're not interacting with but if you're with somebody physically and you want to show them your work there's nothing better than a physical portfolio.

Would you tell someone to take off their glasses before photographing them?
I'm very big on capturing personality and glasses is a part of personality. So in a situation like that I would take pictures with glasses and take some without. The key to taking photos of someone with glasses is to be careful not to get their reflection on their lens.

Who is your favorite photographer?
Man Ray because he wasn't only a photographer. He was a painter and a film-maker.

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