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SAN ANTONIO — Emily Perez, a sophomore majoring in criminal justice at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU), has been fascinated with photography since she was nine years old.

Ever since she was a child, Perez has been intrigued and observed the work of other photographers. The sight of a scenic picture or a photo of a simple day-to-day moment was enough to inspire Perez to want to contribute to the world of photography.

First introduced to photography by her uncle, she was given a small camera that enabled her to begin her artistic journey. Eventually, Perez got her hands on a more professional camera, a Canon Rebel T7, which helped her realize that she had a gift for capturing artistic and creative photographs of automobiles.

“Being in a family that is passionate about cars inspired me most,” Perez said. “I always looked up to individuals taking pictures at car meets, knowing one day, I would be doing the same.”

Although Perez has been practicing photography since she was a child, she continues to learn and educate herself about the art and has developed her own methods for doing so.

“I learned by playing around with the different settings on my camera and practicing as much as I could,” Perez said. “I like to make myself a chart to help me remember what settings can be helpful for certain photos. It’s all about the different angles and lighting that you take your pictures with.”

Besides learning how to use a camera on her own, Perez sought guidance from other photographers with a similar passion for photography.

 “I too enjoy connecting with other local photographers and learning from the advice they provide,” Perez said.

Through self-teaching and learning from others, Perez has developed techniques that help her capture the perfect moment.

“Some specific editing techniques I use are adjusting the exposure and making my picture slightly lighter than the background,” Perez said. “What makes a good photo is capturing that keen moment. Everything can make a good photograph, it all depends on how you see it through the lens.

Due to Perez’s dedication to photography, she is able to capture images of other people’s vehicles, which has allowed her to be noticed by various car enthusiasts and places.

“I have gotten a few chances to be recognized in cities such as San Antonio and Las Cruces [New Mexico],” Perez said.

She plans to continue attending car shows and events in hopes of someday becoming a professional. “My goal is to keep putting myself out there more so that I can continue to receive more opportunities along the way,” Perez said.

Perez’s passion for photography has enabled her to expand her horizons and express others’ enthusiasm for cars, similar to her own.

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