How I Work: Levi Tijerina

We’re on a mission to build a beautiful business management software for photographers. Our How I work series is where we get to chat with different photographers as they show us their work space. Getting us started on our inaugural week, we got to hangout with Levi Tijerina of Levi Tijerina Photography. Based out of Denver Colorado, Levi travels for about 50% of his weddings. A friend and early adopter of fotoClient, he invited us into his minimalist work space. Here’s what he had to say:

What’s the story behind your desk? 

I wanted to have a desk that would allow for multiple people to work from my home office. I’m a huge proponent of collaboration and community, and I like the idea of sharing my space with other people, whether they’re writers, photographers, designers, or anything else really. I actually have another desk in the office that also seats two people. Both of my desks were actually built by my brother-in-law and myself. He and I had talked about some ideas for the design and they’re each built to fit into a certain space of the office. It’s a nice touch to have something personal to use for work everyday.

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How would you describe your creative process? What tools did you use to create your shots?

I feel like when I first started, it was very simple, and slowly got more complex, and now it’s very simple again. I look for good light and then I try to form a composition in my mind–whether it’s people or landscapes. I’m really looking for emotion, lines, and light or shadows. I think the majority of a story can be told with those three things, and I don’t think emotion necessarily means expressions, or even the presence of people. I think powerful images are ones that make you feel present in the image and feel some kind of emotional connection, whether it’s fear, awe, or joy. I used to use VSCO Film to process my images—right now I’ve simply developed my own coloring style, and just apply that, tweak the exposure, and it’s done. It’s way more about getting the photograph right in camera than it is about the post-production.

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What’s your favorite personal shot from your portfolio?

This was kind of a random snap from a wedding I shot in Iceland. We had just finished shooting some portraits here and the bride and groom walked to the edge of the ravine and were just soaking in the landscape. I love the magnitude in this photo, even though it’s so simple. When I look at it, I can hear the silence. Also, this photo was taken at 11:30PM.

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8What’s your go to camera?

I use the Canon 5D Mark III and my go-to lens is the 50 1.2.

I know you’re really digging film. Which of your film cameras is your favorite & what’s your “dream” film camera? 

My favorite film camera that I own is the Mamiya 645. It’s a pretty imperfect camera, which is why I like it. It really takes a lot of focus to nail a shot, but it really makes you think about the important elements in the frame. It also makes you think twice about clicking the shutter—you don’t want any extra fluff in your frame if you can help it. It slows the process down a lot, but I think it improves the quality of each photo. If I could have any camera, it’d probably be a Zeiss Ikon or a Contax 645. Right now I’m thinking a Zeiss Ikon because it’s an awesome, on-the-go camera without a lot of extra weight.

We’re excited that you’re trying out fotoClient. How do you see fotoClient helping your business in 2014?

I think one of the things I’m most excited about is finally being able to have an organized means of tracking and communicating with leads. It’s important for me to stay on top of all the information that comes in through e-mail and I’m excited to have a little filter to help me capture details about leads and organize them all in one place. It’s a great place to store notes and information on your clients, so you can come back later and ask them questions about things and follow up with them.

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We appreciate Levi and all of our users who are passionate about perfecting their craft and serving their customers. You can check out more of Levi’s work on his Website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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