Customer Spotlight: Vanessa Tellez

Posted by Sara Marjorie Strick on 30th Jan 2019

Customer Spotlight: Vanessa Tellez

Tell us a bit about yourself, your work, your clients, etc.
I started photography when I was 19 years old when I got my first DSLR. It was a Canon Rebel XTI, it's still my favorite camera. Fast forward 12 years, and I currently work as a wedding and fashion portrait photographer. In under two years, I've changed my focus from weddings to a portraits. I mainly shoot models now and work closely with two amazing agencies in Austin, Mazza Models and Evo Model Management. My clients range anywhere from high school seniors, engaged couples, to models. It's very broad but I love my work. I still plan to work as a wedding photographer, but I hope to move to NYC to continue to work with agencies and hopefully start working with brands full time.

What sparked your initial interest in photography?
I always say that I was an artist and a photographer even before I ever had a camera of my own. My obsession with photography started really early in life. I think I was about 10 maybe younger when I realized that I loved taking photos. I was always wanting to get my hands-on disposable cameras and even thought it wasn't a camera per say, I always had the family video camera ready to document everything. This feeling never went away. It just lay dormant in my middle and high school years. I didn't actually have my own digital camera until I was 18 years old. My parents bought me a Kodak Easy Share camera and I knew the ins and outs of that camera before it died a year later. RIP Kodak Easy Share.


What are some of your biggest inspirations for your work?
This is always such a hard question to answer. I think my inspiration comes from a lot of places: other photographers, other forms of art, nature, my cultural heritage, etc. Right now, my work is really inspired by simplicity and color. I teeter totter back and forth between lots of range of color and simple muted looks.

What was one of your weirdest moments as a photographer?
Can I just say all the years where I didn’t fully know what I was doing as my weirdest moments as a photographer? I made so many mistakes and that just makes me uncomfortable. Like my clients when they don’t know what to do with their hands. Lol.

...and the coolest?
Coolest moment? I think the first time I was published in print as a portrait fashion photographer. That was something I never expected to happen as quickly as it did, but it did! I got to see my photos in a magazine that I could hold in my hands. It was tangible, it wasn’t on social media and in the internet where things don’t really exist. It was something no one would be able to take away from me.


What have you learned about photography that came as a surprise the more you became invested in it?
I’m always learning something new about photography. I don’t think there's a possible way to just know everything with how fast technology changes. So the biggest surprise came when I realized I actually knew what I was talking about! You know that feeling? When you feel capable? Yeah, that feeling. I think that shocked me the most. Another surprise was how much I really loved photographing models and being in the fashion field. I had been a wedding photographer for so long that I never even thought that I could find passion for any other type of photography. As dumb as this sounds, I felt so alive! I loved what I was doing. I was creating again, and I felt like I was in charge again. I didn’t feel that way with wedding photography, I felt like I was shrinking creatively. When I started shooting portraits again, I felt like a part of me that was dormant for a long time was waking up. Photography always surprises me.

If you could give one important piece of advice to a novice - what would that be?
Don’t give up! DON’T YOU DARE FREAKING GIVE UP! You will feel discourages and that your work is not good enough almost daily, but do not give up! I promise you will continue to feel amazed by your ability only if you really stick to it. I don’t mean to sound pretentious but when people tell me they admire me as a photographer and how I’m one of their favorites, I’m always amazed, because half the time I’m thinking to myself, “wow, my work sucks.” I always take shots where I’m amazed at my abilities to only hate it a few hours later. This hasn’t changed in the 12 years I’ve been photographing, but I keep at it, because it makes me happy and others see my talent even when I feel I cant see it myself.

What is your favorite thing you have purchased from Precision Camera?
My favorite thing I’ve purchased at Precision has got to be film for my SX-70 polaroid camera. Just film in general, I think. I started shooting film last year and I have been hooked ever since! I have several polaroid cameras and a Canon AE-1 which has always been my dream camera. I don’t do it as much as I’d like to because of the price but it's such a beautiful one of a kind medium. If you’re feeling stuck with your work, I really encourage you to pick up film. It’s a challenge that I really enjoy.

Okay - desert island lens: what is it?
Easy, Sigma 35 art lens. Got it when it came out in 2013 and it's been my favorite lens ever since. I got it before all the hype, so I feel cool. (insert laughing emoji) But no, REALLY, it’s the only lens I couldn’t live without.

What is your dream piece of equipment that doesn't exist?
If I told you, then I’d have to kill you. J/K, I don’t think I have one.

Follow Vanessa:

Instagram: Vee.tellez
Wedding Instagram: Delaluzphotos
Wedding Website: