Since earning a Bachelors Degree in Communication from the Autonomous University of Baja California, Enrique Vega has been working as a photographer in Mexico as well as abroad.
He studied at the Academy of Visual Arts (AAVI) in Mexico City under Mexican photographer Ricardo Trabulsi and portrait photography at the Speos Photographic Institute in Paris.
He is currently based in NYC and his focus is on portrait and fashion photography.
How would you describe your style of photography to someone who has never seen your work?
My work is about strong, powerful, beautiful women in charge of the space that they are in. A lot of drama is included too…
What initially sparked your interest in photography and what keeps it going?
Initially I wanted to be in cinematography, I wanted to “make movies”. I loved to write and make stories about people in a very cinematic language, but at that time (I was a teenager) the only thing available for me was to take a photography class in high school. It was good and I wanted to learn more about it, so i went to a local photographer in my town and I asked for a job. She was a wedding photographer and I learned a lot about working with people and a camera. Over time I became fully involved in photography, taking pictures of my friends and doing freelance portraits for people who actually paid me!
So I guess I became a photographer because people liked my work. Today I like working in fashion because everything is about beauty. It’s about making beautiful things look even prettier. I love that, I think I will do that for a while… but I always have writing and cinema on my mind. I was very good at it in college, making short films and documentaries that received good reviews when shown at festivals.
How do you ensure that your work and brand stand out amongst the masses of photographers that continue to emerge everyday?
I think my versatility is a very good thing. I love all the flavors, shapes and colors that life can offer. I enjoy all the scales of grays between black and white and I’m open to everything. I don’t mind choosing between photographing a model for an editorial or a bride in love on her wedding day.
I love both and I’m not ashamed of that. I will not assume the posture of a lot of fashion photographers out there that attempt to maintain a certain “status” by saying that they will never photograph a “fat” model or a wedding. I love working with people.. all kinds of people.
From who or where do you draw inspiration from and how is it reflected in your work?
They are so many places to get inspiration from, but in general I’m a big fan of photographers like Herb Ritts, Peter Lindhergh and Mert & Marcus. The 90’s is a HUGE reference for me too.
What is one long term goal you have relative to your photography and how do you plan to attain it?
I’m very ambitious and very perseverant. I have HUGE goals to achieve in my professional life, but I’m not looking to achieve those goals without growing my personal life at the same time. I don’t want to arrive at a point in my life where I have achieved so much in my work that everybody loves me for what I do and not for who I am.
So I’m taking it step by step with those two things. On one hand working hard in photography, and on the other hand having someone by my side to share my happiness with. Everything is going great with both things now!
What is one major business-related challenge you face being a photographer and how have you or will you combat this issue?
In my case, I never take anything for granted. I didn’t come to NY wanting to eat the whole city at once. I have a plan. I know where I’m going. I’m not in a rush for it. A lot of people here are very pretentious, they feel like kings of the world and they think they are invincible.
You see, with time those people are the first ones to fail. My feet are here on earth, and closer to the people who I love the most. Everything else come second. I came with the idea to stay here for 3 moths and I have been here for 3 years already!
Name one person that you would love to have an opportunity to shoot and why. Describe this dream shoot.
A year a go I would have say Natalie Portman. I really like her for a million reasons, but now I will say Ely Guerra. She is a mexican singer that I love. I would love to go back to Mexico and shoot all that people who I like and admire. She is the first one on my list.
If you could do a dual purpose shoot that showcased your talent and brought awareness to a prevalent social issue, what would your shoot be called and what issue would you highlight? Why?
I would do an editorial with plus size models… I LOVE those girls! I wanted to do it way before V magazine featured them in one of their issues, and I still want to do it. The name will come with the final product, because no matter how long in advance you plan a shoot, you can’t ever tell what the final product is going to look like.
Check out Enrique’s website: www.enrique-vega.net
View his blog: www.larger-universe.com