There’s more to Houston than just hitting up Premium Goods or Benjy’s. Actually, some pretty great photographers are bringing out the artistic side of H-Town that not a lot of people have been exposed to. Some of these photographers have been around for decades, while others have barely broken the 10-year mark. Still, through intense vision and a keen eye for depth of field, the following 10 photographers have each carved out individual lanes for themselves on the scene, which are big enough for us to take notice and spread the word of their amazing work.
Adjust your focus to these men and women who’ve perfected the art of taking a camera and creating a lasting moment from it. Any budding photographer, especially those coming out of Houston, can definitely look to these guys for inspiration.
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Take one look at Jay Marroquin’s portfolio, and it’s easy to see that he’s deeply rooted in the fashion world. His photos have helped bring a heavy fashion clientele to the Houston area, whether it’s at the end of the runway or an in-depth photojournalism assignment. He can pretty much make a bowl a fruit look like the classiest thing you’ll ever see, which he’s actually done in a recent editorial for Houston’s own Azulina Ceramics.
Laurie Perez is a pro with her camera, whether it’s capturing the raw emotion of a wedding or freeze-framing a moment of movement. Her style of choice plays heavily on vividness, and every photo looks like it will rise off the pages. Whether her client is a random beautiful bride or the Geto Boys’ own Willie D, Laurie knows how to get the job done and literally leaves a lasting impression.
Bringing us closer to the sea, Lou Vest is skilled at capturing views from the Houston Ship Channel. There’s an element about living on the shore vicariously through his lens that makes each of his shots seem magical, especially if you pay close attention to the view of the skyline. From clear skies to nights lit up by the strike of lightening, Vest has clearly traveled in both the grace and wrath of Mother Nature. Thankfully for us, his camera captures every eye-grabbing moment.
In the world of photography, Daniel Kramer can easily be considered a vet of the game. Not too many people can be credited with having Mother Teresa, Frank Sinatra, Brett Favre, and Beyoncé all in one portfolio. His photographic journey has taken him to some pretty cool places, like a trip around the world in the footsteps of Mark Twain, which took him to 11 countries in 10 months, and a journey to Havana to cover Pope John Paul II’s 1998 visit.
Not to knock your iPhone skills, but the panoramic photography of Chuy Benitez isn’t like anything you’ve seen before. Capturing landscapes from Houston to New Mexico, Benitez has been exhibited across the globe and honored as an influential figure in the Houston art world. One of the more interesting sets in his portfolio is a collection titled Houston Cultura. The series looks like still shots from a documentary, which captures his Houstonian community in a way that’s both extremely personal and visually captivating. Actually, that pretty much describes his entire body of work.
Ben Tecumseh DeSoto
Ben Tecumseh DeSoto is dedicated to depicting the side of reality that can often go ignored. One of his most dedicated documentary stories is the Understanding Poverty Project. In this lifelong body of work, DeSoto gives one of the most detailed looks at the true face of homelessness from an over-the-shoulder perspective. The photo series dates back to the early ‘80s, and has continued ever since.
Whether he’s capturing ballet dancers or Houston-based indie bands, Anthony Rathbun’s shots always look like they came straight out of an editorial spread. There’s always a sense of drama in his work, whether it’s intentional and apparent or vague in a way that makes you pay closer attention to the photograph. From portraits to places, this dude has it all covered.
Shooting at the right angle can get a little tricky, but the end result is always worth it. Not only does David Salinas know how to get it done right, but he also adds intense color to his photos that makes them pop out and draws you right into the flick. His niche seems to be capturing everyday people in their regular routine and bringing out their most photogenic side in the process. Clarity and quality are definitely his strong points.
It might not seem like it, but capturing nature is harder than it seems. You’ve got to get things while they’re in the moment, while also — at least when it comes to animals — keeping them in place. Theresa DiMenno makes it look easy, though, capturing beautifully crisp shots of ladybugs, dragonflies, and butterflies at near-microscopic range. If winged insects aren’t your thing, she’s got a catalog that ranges from music photography of B.B. King and Miike Snow to a series of Texas’s best moonscapes.