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This month we’re showcasing the landscape photography of Salvador Armendariz. Now based in Denver, I met Salvador almost a decade ago when we worked together at the non-profit law firm, Nebraska Appleseed. We reconnected several years later when I helped Salvador through the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. By day Salvador is a research associate at the University of Denver’s Butler Institute for Families, but in his “off” hours he does some truly incredible photographic work.
Salvador got into photography when he took a lengthy trip to India, where he volunteered in an orphanage (more on that later). Starting out with a “point-and-shoot” camera that he had technically bought for his wife, Salvador was captivated by the many fascinating details of India – such as the way the streets are painted. By time Salvador returned to the States he was hooked on photography.
Impressively, Salvador is completely self-taught, reading online tutorials and watching YouTube videos. He explained to me that some of the the most important part of his photographic work happens before he leaves for a shoot. He prefers the light at dawn or sunset, and typically has in mind a specific project before he leaves the house. Salvador will time his arrival at the location to coincide with what he anticipates will be the peak lighting conditions, and budget 30 minutes or so to find the best specific location.
Salvador is a man of deep personal faith, and I was curious whether that influences his work. To me, his images capture a sense of reverence for the natural world. Those of us who spend time in nature are familiar with that feeling, but expressing it through a photograph is another thing altogether. Salvador views his subjects – whether a landscape or a person – as a product of Creation. The act of capturing an image is an expression of amazement at the creation and its purpose. That seems like a particularly lovely way to participate in a natural environment.
I’ve followed Salvador’s landscape work for quite a while, but learned that he also does outstanding portraits. That brings us back to that orphanage in India. Salvador volunteered at an orphanage in Andhra Pradesh run by the Stone Valley Foundation. When Salvador does portrait work – website – he donates the entire proceeds to the orphanage. If you’re in the Denver this is a terrific way to have your portrait work done. Salvador does both professional headshots – example here – as well as family portraits. In addition to receiving excellent work, this supports a great cause. [Contact form].
Here are some places you can find Salvador:
And now the photography. Here is a selection of Salvador’s landscape work that he put together for us.