This is the first of three interviews with the Snapshot Galleria founding photographers starting off with our least visible member (at least online), Luis Torres. I’ve know Luis for over 10 years now and he is one of the people that inspired me to take photography seriously as an art. We worked together as computer lab assistants at a college for a few years and literally spent the entire time talking about photography and shooting film. His work blew my mind when I first met him and over the past few years that hasn’t changed, he’s just an incredible photographer. The work featured here is part of his 2016 Sketchbook, images from trips along with camera and film tests which are the beginnings of several ongoing projects.
How long have you been taking pictures? How did you get into photography?
First started shooting in late 80’s. I started experimenting with my fathers cameras in Venice beach shooting some of the graffiti. From there that progressed to learning about other photographers and getting inspired to keep shooting.
What is your creative process like? When you see a scene, what makes you decide to press the shutter?
Currently I’m not working on any specific big projects, so that leaves me with freedom to experiment. These days I have been inspired by interesting natural lighting, I’m shooting those scenes and allowing stories to build from there.
What is your favorite part of Los Angeles to photograph? What is your favorite international city to shoot?
I don’t have any specific area, I just prefer ungentrified areas. As far as international, Mexico has always been my favorite. Brazil & Italy are places id like to go back to explore further.
What’s your favorite thing about shooting film?
A big part for me is the cameras, From vintage to modern cameras I really enjoy trying out different cameras.
What does Snapshot Galleria mean to you?
Snapshot has been a big motivator to keep shooting and building projects. It”s refreshing during this time of heavy digital photography & Instagram to have a home for people that value the process.
Anything else to add? Upcoming projects, ideas for zones, etc…?
My next project is to start looking into my archives and start putting together some zines or books.