D&B: Where are you from?
AV: Born in Montevideo, Uruguay. Raised in Tucson, Arizona and now I live in Los Angeles.
D&B: What kind of photography do you shoot and how did you get started - any "formal" training?
I shoot portrait, documentary, conceptual, and landscape photography. A love for experimental landscapes began on a recent trip through Oregon and it's been something that I've been putting allot of my creative inspiration into lately. Portraiture is something that from the beginning has been at the core of my work.
As far as formal training, I had a workshop experience a couple years ago that brought me out of my shell photographically. I mention more of that under the mentors section below.
D&B: What cameras or techniques do you use?
AV: My primary camera is the Nikon D700. I love it's small size and large full format sensor, it feels like I'm finally able to have the best of both worlds.
I use simple techniques, and the least amount of gear possible in any given situation. All of my Gunslinger Series shots were natural light and a couple assistants holding SB800 Speedlights. Simple. If I have to I'll bring out 4-5 larger strobes to shape and pool light in whatever way I need, especially when doing certain outdoor shoots, but I try to stay away from that if possible.
My workflow includes ingesting into Lightroom and if can't get all my post work finished in there I'll export to Photoshop.
Lately I've been using film cameras much more, and in larger formats than I've ever used. I've been working with my wife (who is a singer/songwriter) on the type of photos that would fit her musically and film is truly the only thing that comes close.
Our most recent purchase is an 8x10 Deardorff that we've both fallen in love with. It's not only a beautiful camera on it's own but the 8x10 format photos are remarkable. I also use a 4x5 Graflex, Mamiya RZ67, and a Leica M6 regularly.
I used to develop my film in a small darkroom in our bathroom but found the convenience of taking in my film to be processed professionally outweighed my own work. That may change in the near future.
Janel portrait, Copyright Alex Vazquez