Photographer aims to follow her dreams

Photographer aims to follow her dreams

Down in the basement of the Art and Behavioral Science Building, photography students work in hushed tones under the murky red glow of the darkroom.

However, by all accounts, the darkroom is where Maria Andrade-Reyes, 32, photography major, shines the brightest, albeit with a kind of brilliance that won’t ruin anyone’s negatives.

“She is an extremely gifted artist and photographer,” Darilyn Rowan, photography professor, said. “She’s sensitive, intelligent, and insightful. I’d say her artwork and art practice have a very mature perspective.”

Andrade-Reyes was most recently recognized for her work in EC’s annual student photography exhibit titled “Earth, Wind, Water, Fire.”

“Maria’s images were so moving and so beautiful,” Rowan said. “The way she interprets the assignment shows a very insightful and evolved mind and eye.”

However, Andrade-Reyes didn’t come here taking exhibit-quality photos. Instead, slowly learning the techniques in Rowan’s classes has given her a much deeper appreciation of the work that goes into each image.

“I started a long time ago with those cheap disposable cameras,” she said. “I never understood the process until I started taking classes here. But once you do it yourself it’s an amazing experience. You understand how it’s done, the time it takes, and it makes it more valuable.”

What expertise Andrade-Reyes has developed she now shares intently with friends and classmates.

“She’s wonderful. Maria works a lot with film and I have no knowledge of film whatsoever,” Norma Alatorre, 24, business management major, said. “She’s always there for everybody. Either helping people to do a test strip in the darkroom or showing someone a step-by-step.”

“I am always the first to ask her opinion about anything. She gives a very clear, open opinion about artwork,” Alatorre added. “She’ll suggest, ‘Maybe next time you could use this technique and it’ll be even better.’ Her advice always works to the dot.”

So what does the future hold for this up-and-coming artist? Andrade-Reyes isn’t sure, but she doesn’t intend to waste her penchant for photography.

“I don’t see it as just a hobby anymore,” she said. “Maybe someday I’ll be a well-known photographer. I don’t know what the future has in store for me, but I’m looking forward to making the best of it.”

Those who have spent the past year watching her talent develop are far less modest while discussing her future.

“I think her photographs are so beautiful and moving. I know that she’s going to do some remarkable things with her work out in the world,” Rowan said. “I really consider it an honor to have been one of her teachers.”