August 31, 2015  •  9 Comments

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).

Lucia 5Lucia 5 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.  
Lucia 3Lucia 3

Lucia 1Lucia 1

Her eyes reveal a young girl brimming with excitement and laughter, and a passion to work for what is right and just.

Lucia 4Lucia 4

 One of her cats, Francisco Berger, joined us during the photo shoot.

Lucia 2Lucia 2 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] 


Ilka L. Pollock(non-registered)
That is my dear Aunt Lucy! Yes, she is a wonderful soul full of love and mischief. I only wish we lived closer that my children would know her. She is a one of a kind individual that changes your life for the better.
esta d gutierrez(non-registered)
Lucia is my dear , dear friend of so many years that I've lost track, ..... I no longer remember how we met, but only that she has been a constant source of warmth and light and wisdom! When I enter her small and humble expands into a palace of beauty and intimacy, reflecting her open heart, full of stories, full of laughter, and full of compassion. Your pictures capture the enduring spirit of my dear friend and I thank you so much for sharing them!
Ronnie Barela-Apodaca(non-registered)
My Aunt Lucia is a gentle, kind, and spirited woman whom I much love and respect. She was always a wonderful niece to my mother and always has a good word for everyone. She loves her nephews dearly and their children. I don't get to correspond with my Aunt Lucy very often, but she always keeps me posted on family events and is in my frequent thoughts. I love you Aunt Lucy and the pictures are beautiful.
Rebecca Rodgers-Kombol(non-registered)
Like our mutual friend, Gregg Johnson (who commented earlier here), Lucia and I have been friends since the early 70's when we all met on the Island of Saipan in Micronesia. Lucia was serving the Church as a Mercedarian nun and we, the Peace Corps. So many sweet memories of our times together with Lucia there and over the succeeding years in the States. She is indeed the most special of women, with a spirit that defies age. One has only to note the spark in her beautiful eyes to know her loving spirit is both gentle and formidable. Your pictures of our friend capture her essence perfectly.
Anne Albrink(non-registered)
Lucia was an original member of the RAF (Rio Arriba Feminists) who met regularly from the early seventies to discuss our situation in the valley. Your description of her is perfect--she remains one of the most loving and alive people I know, and one of the kindest.
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