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.


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.

Continue reading Passion


Interwoven Lives

By: Kelsey Gentile

People are an important component to our lives. I know for my I probably would not have done as well in college without family and awesome friends and acquaintances. My book for this class is about my life, but rather focus on me it focuses on people in my life and what I learned from them or shared experiences with that were special.

Sunset Gazer
Sarah Pitassi watches the sun slowly set at White Sands on March 12, 2017.(Photo by Kelsey Gentile)

My friend Sarah Pitassi was one of the first people I met at RUF (Reformed University Fellowship). Sarah has been my faithful model for RUF trips as well as other spur the moment photo shoots. I’ve learned a lot and laughed a lot with this great friend, but mainly laughed. It’s actually interesting, we used to go to another organization together, but we never crossed paths there. I guess it’s kind of cool that if a person is meant to be in your life one way or another they will end up there.

Out in the Country
Carmen Sr., LaMoin Gentile and Cat #1 pose for a photo on the afternoon of March 20th, 2017 on a small farm near Belen, NM. (Photo by Kelsey Gentile)


My grandparents are two of the most hard working and caring people, I might be a little biased but it’s still true. Next year will be their 50th wedding anniversary. Some of my favorite memories are hearing their stories of living “back east” in Philadelphia. Granny would talk about going to the market to buy groceries and tell little stories of how my dad caused trouble or did something funny. My Papa would share stories of the best places to eat in town.  One of my favorite times was comparing photos of Paris. My Papa served in the Air Force and he was stationed in Paris for some time. It was fun to see photos he took of the same places I went and visited years later. Growing up my grandparents taught me several life skills to I am grateful to have today. Their support through life and especially college has meant so much to me.

An Adventure in the Desert
Carissa Trujillo smiles for the camera during a photo shoot one April afternoon at the end of Tellbrook Rd. (Photo by Kelsey Gentile)

Carissa was one of the first few people I met when I moved to Las Cruces as a freshmen. She was one of the first people to take me under their wing. Since I was meeting several people the first week I was in Las Cruces and was new to Christian Challenge it was difficult to recall everyone’s names. The second week I ran into Carissa and she asked me what her name was…I had no clue what it was. She said I could just call her “beautiful one,” which I remembered along with her actual name. Carissa has taught me a lot about life and also helped guide me spiritually. A characteristic I admire about Carissa is her commitment to people and making sure they have what they need. She was also there to help when I needed help or encouragement. She is one of the many blessings I came across in college.

Family, friends, and strangers are an important part of our lives. They always have stories to share, many of which are often very fascinating. I think getting to talk to people and hear their stories is my favorite part of photography.


Working Up the Courage

By: Kelsey Gentile

Sometimes I tell myself that I may have picked the wrong major. I am absolutely horrible at approaching people to interview them or take their picture. But then an opportunity comes up and I surprise myself.

People can be intimidating to approach, but from personal experience it’s one of the most rewarding acts I have done. That’s where you get some of the best stories and uncover bits of information about a person or place.

A Face From Mesilla
Phil Alatorre talks about his life teaching in the Las Cruces area on Feb. 16 while walking in Mesilla. Photo by Kelsey Gentile

Continue reading Working Up the Courage

Storytellers share their visual impressions of Mesilla

Picturesque Mesilla, N.M., known for its plaza that is a National Historic Landmark, was founded in the late 1840s as a colony of Mexico and became part of the United States in 1853. Its adobe architecture and stately church, the Basillica of San Albino, attract visitors – and photographers, including student photojournalists who documented it as part of the Small Village New Mexico project developed by professor Bruce Berman in conjunction with the NMSU archives.

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Students will also photograph Doña Ana in late March, when former state Sen. Mary Jane Garcia will discuss the community’s history along the Camino Real and open the historic mission, the church of Our Lady de la Candelaria, for photography. Visit this website for student posts about that part of the project.

FACES in the crowd

Photo by Monika Chavez Valtiera
Photo by Monika Chavez Valtiera

NMSU Visual Storytellers fanned out through southern New Mexico and El Paso to make both environmental and close-up portraits of family, friends and complete strangers last week.

Their images reflect the diverse community students call home during their studies at New Mexico State University.

View the slideshow below to see more photographs.

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