Advanced photography students and alumni awarded finalist honors

Maria Andrade-Reyes, 36, photography major, was one of two advanced students and two El Camino alumni to be awarded finalists honors by the Photographer's Forum Best of Photography 2015. Photo courtesy of Maria Andrade-Reyes.

Maria Andrade-Reyes, 36, photography major, was one of two advanced students and two El Camino alumni to be awarded finalists honors by the Photographer’s Forum Best of Photography 2015. Photo courtesy of Maria Andrade-Reyes.

One woman captures photos to express the beauty of her city.

The other tries to capture the expression and beauty of emotion.

Yadira Agredano, 21, and Maria H. Andrade-Reyes, 36, photography majors, are both pursuing an education to spread their knowledge to other students in the future.

Until that day, the two photographers are working on the craft of photography.

Agredano and Andrade-Reyes, along with alumni Domonique Seeley and Devin Gerard Landgren, were given finalist honors in the Photographer’s Forum for Best Photography of 2015.

Agredano was raised in Wilmington and one of her inspirations is photojournalist Mary Ellen Mark.

“She puts herself in certain environments to understand them better and to better capture the emotion off that environment,” Agredano said.

Agredano loves shooting environmental and representation portraits.

“I just want to show people what my community offers,” Agredano said.

The other finalist, Andrade-Reyes, said that her favorite style of photography is the one that allows her to express her emotion to the viewers.

“For me, I really enjoy fine art photography, but portrait is my favorite,” Andrade-Reyes said. “For me, I am a very quiet person so in order to show my emotion, I am using portrait photography as a tool to express my emotion.”

Andrade-Reyes started taking photos a long time ago.

“I really enjoy grabbing the camera and taking photos,” Andrade-Reyes said. “I really enjoy color. I wanted to create photographs that would show those beautiful colors. it started a long time ago,”

Agredano started taking photos before high school.

“I (have) been doing it since I was in middle school. I just picked up a camera and started,” Agredano said.

Andrade-Reyes encourages young photographers to work hard.

“When you want something, work hard at it until you accomplish what you want because nobody else is going to do it for you,” Andrade-Reyes said.

Famous portrait painter, Frida Kahlo has also influenced Andrade-Reyes’ work.

“(Andrade-Reyes) has been inspired by the work of Frida Kahlo, but her work is uniquely her own voice,” Darilyn Rowan, photography professor, said.

Growing up in Wilmington helped strengthen Agredano to appreciate the beauty her city had to offer, and the photography courses on campus helped her understand the art of photography.

“It was rough because of the crime, people only saw the negativity of my city. They didn’t see the beauty and culture that it had to offer,” Agredano said. “The teachers are very dedicated in showing what is the art of photography.”

Click here to see the photographer’s finalist honors’ photos.