Creating Captivating Scenes and Stories

by Lauren Hernandez | May 28, 2024
Some photographers capture reality, while others create captivating scenes and stories. Sessions College Associate Degree in Digital Photography student Alexa Vasquez falls into the latter category, as her classwork brims with imagination and ingenuity. We interviewed Alexa to find out what inspires her as a photographer.

Q: Alexa, we’ve really enjoyed seeing your creative approach to projects in class. How did you become interested in photography?

Thank you! I have been involved in the arts in all mediums since I can remember but I taught myself photography in 2019 for my high school drill team. I wanted to capture the memories on my dance team for my senior year which became one of the best choices because our season was abruptly shortened due to Covid. This instilled the importance of capturing moments because you never know what life will throw your way. Since then I have been photographing graduations, intimate weddings, and special occasions to memorialize life experiences.

Q: What brought you to Sessions College to study photography?

I have been self-taught learning everything from camera setting to composition through trial and error. I have fallen in love with photography and knew I wanted to make it my career which meant investing further into my knowledge. Sessions provided a unique learning environment with professionals in the field teaching our classes and it has been the best decision I’ve made. My work has improved exponentially and it has only been a year.

Q: What does your creative process look like and who/what inspires you to create?

Reading has always been my creative outlet and since beginning photography, I have loved bringing those fictional worlds to life through photoshoots or to make an everyday experience a little more magical. As a visual person sourcing reference images for collages allows me to understand the overall mood of the shoot and further identify what elements I like about the images to then translate that into my setup for creating my images. Scouting has been the finishing touch in my creative process. Living in Texas has taught me to get creative with the locations I shoot at because even a tree isn’t too small to turn into a mystical forest.

Q: What has been your favorite project that you’ve done in your program so far and why?

During my Photo Lighting and Planning course, taught by Felicia Kieselhorst, our final assignment was to plan a photoshoot that utilized the lighting skills we had learned. I created a Lord of the Rings-inspired photoshoot using additional artificial lighting sources which captured the essence of my creative vision. Details were vital to the shoot with background natural light creating a glowy backlit scene down to the film replica costume accessories. Everything came together beautifully to create a whimsical inspired story through images that I am proud of.

Q: What are your professional or personal goals for your creative endeavors after graduation?

After graduating, I hope to establish my personal photography business to photograph creative and travel portraits. Capturing special moments has become a passion that I wish to share. Telling everyday captivating stories through my work is the goal for my business and career.

To find out more about online Certificate, Associate Degree, and Bachelor’s Degree programs in photography at Sessions College, visit our Photography Majors page.

Lauren Hernandez is the Manager, Faculty and Curriculum Development at Sessions College. Lauren is an artist, educator, and former middle-school teacher with a passion for everything art-related. Outside of work, Lauren likes to take care of her plants and hang out with her bird.