During the seven years I photographed people throughout the state of New Mexico for my book "A Place Like No Other: people of enchanted land", my eye was constantly seeking interesting faces. It was not out of the question for me to ask a stranger if I could photograph him or her. Thus, when I pondered doing a similar project within northern New Mexico, the same thing began to happen (to be honest, I am always looking). The day I met Lucia Ortiz y Garcia at a gathering of friends near Alcalde some four years ago was no exception. Her face was and is full of life and love and mischief and passion. There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to not only photograph her but to hear her stories.
Because of schedules and the graph of life, plans to meet came and went, but our photo session last Friday was well worth the wait. Since I had recently been documentary filmmaker and friend Cristina McCandless' subject during our lighting workshops, I had a new taste of how uncomfortable I am being photographed. Lucia does not like being photographed either but she was very patient with me and was quite willing to move around and be in different settings. Here she is with her much beloved and recently refurbished Underwood typewriter that she uses to write her stories (in addition to her computer).
Although her work and schooling to be a nun in the Mercedarian Order took her to Spain and Saipan, she is a a country girl at heart who takes the contemplative life with her wherever she goes.
Her eyes reveal a young girl brimming with excitement and laughter, and a passion to work for what is right and just.
One of her cats, Francisco Berger, joined us during the photo shoot.
Lucia had prepared a wonderful gazpacho from a Spanish recipe and chicken salad for lunch, and departing, I felt I was with a kindred spirit. The world needs more people like her.
until next Monday,
a passion for the [email protected]