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The 505 - Marco Rivera

Editors Note: Marco Rivera is a student at Santa Fe University of Art and Design who was recently awarded "Best in Show" at the HireEd portfolio review event in Albuquerque and he received a one-year Merit Membership in the ASMP for his work.
Marco Rivera
Where did you grow up and how did you come to live in New Mexico?
I was born and raised in Amarillo, the city also known as "The Yellow Rose of Texas". It wasn't until after my junior year, that I began to seriously think about where and what I would exactly go and do after high school ended. But as fate would have it, and to make a long story short, the Santa Fe University of Art and Design offered me a scholarship for my studio art work. As a senior with really no idea as to what to do next- besides knowing that I wanted to pursue something to do with the arts- I took up the offer. It wasn't until the summer that followed that I realized though, that my true passion lied in photography. Which at the time was something I only dabbled with, so that summer even though I had no real experience with the medium, I switched my major from studio arts. It was a leap of faith based on a gut feeling, but it has paid off tremendously, because now I’m doing what I love.
Marco Rivera
What lessons has photography taught you?
Photography is a great teacher, and has taught me many, many things. But, its best lesson has been when it taught me to have faith in myself and my creative vision. Throughout my year in learning this craft, I've had to above all else learn to have faith in my ability to be something great, if I just kept practicing. I've had my fair share of doubters, but I remember thinking if I just kept going. If I just kept learning. I’ll be so close to where I want to be one day. Photography has also taught me to trust my gut, because what will ultimately separate me from the world is how my eyes see everything, and how my brain processes it differently. It’s what makes me an individual in a market where so many want the same thing. In short, photography has taught me many things. But the three golden rules it has left me with is to have faith in my work and my self, to be open, and to just keep on shooting.
Marco Rivera
What person has most influenced you, or your photography? Can you tell me about him or her?
In my life I have been inspired by many people. To be specific, I have been affected by everybody that has come into my life and has made me fall in love. It’s because of the people I've fallen in love with that I have the fascination and passion for portraiture that I do. Whether it was my love for a crush, or my mother, or even my love for a stranger who helped me in my time of need. People have inspired my work, because to me, they’re so beautiful in their power in your life, and in general beautiful in what makes them, them. I mean, I promise, the worst and best you've ever felt was because of another human being. I try my best to photograph my subjects to the best of ability, because I feel that they deserve that. I find myself fascinated by everybody I meet, because I realize all I've felt they have, too. That, they’re on their own path in life as well, and either going through the worst or best times of their life. There’s a beauty in that difference y’know? And also how we’re not that different at all.
Marco Rivera
Do you have any passions or talents outside of your work?
I’m a full time student at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, so if I’m not working on my photography I’m either on my phone, hanging out with friends or finding something to eat or sleep on.
Marco Rivera
If you could photograph anyone or anything living now or at any point in history, who would it be and why? What camera would you want to use?
Ariana Grande. She reminds me of a modern Audrey Hepburn, who’s looks have always captivated me. I wouldn't want to photography Audrey Hepburn though, because that was then, and this was now. I feel, it’s time for the celebrities of my time to be photographed by the people of now.
Instagram: @marcorivers