Visual Storytellers Discover Doña Ana

Photojournalists of the Journalism 412 class concluded its Small Village New Mexico Project, Spring 2017, with a visit to the community of Doña Ana, the oldest in southern New Mexico that was established along El Camino Real. Former state Sen. Mary Jane Garcia caught up with some students touring her village and told them about her village history and also her ancestors, the De La O family.

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What’s on your keys?

By Patrick Medina

A person never realizes or even pays any attention to another person’s keys. You would be surprised to find out that sometimes a simple keychain can mean a lot to someone. There are also others who just have something on their keys just to have it.

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Cassandra Trejo believes that peace is an essential part of life and shows it by throwing up the peace sign with her hand, has it tattooed on her wrist and has the symbol on her keys. (Photo by Patrick Medina)

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Meeting “Mary Jane” was a lucky encounter

Story by Alejandra Ruiz

During our documentary photography trip to the village of  Doña Ana, we met a really interesting person.  I was walking with my two friends; they were waiting for me since I recently had knee surgery, and other students in the class were a lot of steps ahead of us.

Suddenly we saw a  woman coming from her house and hurrying toward us. We stopped to talk to her, but we didn’t know who she was. She introduced herself, her name is Maria de Jesus Garcia, most commonly known as “Mary Jane.”

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Mary Jane Garcia, former state senator from southern New Mexico,  is standing outside her house and telling photojournalists the story of Doña Ana during field trip on April 2017. (Photo by Alejandra Ruiz)

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Grateful for grads

This time of year always gets really busy, not just jam packed with schoolwork, but a bunch of photography requests, including graduation shoots. Being from  Las Cruces, it is really easy to be accustomed to “knowing” everyone, but not actually know them.IMG_6711I met Gina in middle school, she is  year older and I’d always see her around, but never talked to her. Because of social media, she followed me through Instagram and actively watches my adventure in photography.

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Passion

I think the best shoots I have done are the ones I don’t pre-plan  and go in expecting mostly nothing. Over last year I took the initiative to try to shoot more, I really push it. I wanted to shoot with my friend Tiana so bad.

I had seen this photo shoot with Kylie Jenner where her highlight was popping and there was a deep contrast of purple.Although this photoshoot is really controversial, because of the backlash it has gotten, this was what inspired me.

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So I did her makeup very purple. We went in this room filled with mattresses and I came out so pleased with what I got. We shot during nighttime, and the lights didn’t work in the room so the only source of lighting was my external flash. In post production I added a purple layer with a very low opacity to add that extra kick.

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Pathological Technological World

Have you ever been out in public and you look around only to see people on their phones? It’s a sad scene when you really think about it, if you’re out at a restaurant and you see a family having dinner but all of them on their phones, or maybe a child watching their favorite show while the adults converse. Truth is we’ve become a society dependent on technology.

The hopes of this project is to show just how technology causes a division between people, relationships, and real life moments.

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Samuel Palm sits in the Milton lobby as he waits for class to start, distracted and unaware he was being watched. (Photo By: Cassandra Trejo)

It’s easy to fall into the rabbit hole of social media and get caught up in what everyone else is doing, but I believe we often miss out on things happening around us that are equally as interesting if not more interesting and spontaneous. It’s a distraction to the things going on around you, the conversations you might miss because you have your headphones on or you were glued to the phone.

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