Alumni Friday: Laura Menchaca

The thing I love about these Alumni Friday posts is that I get to reconnect with past students and get a glimpse into each graduates life and photographic journey since leaving RMSP.  The process reiterates the fact that no two journeys in photography are the same and should remind us all that with constant work, accomplishments will be made. Read on…

Laura Menchaca came to our Summer Intensive course in 2010 from her home town of Monterrey, Mexico as a photographic rookie. In fact, her time in Missoula was a brief break from her studies in architecture. Right now you may be thinking the obvious, that Laura wanted to learn photography to supplement her interest in architecture. While this might be the case someday, it isn’t her focus at the moment. As with everyone who takes the Summer Intensive course, Laura gained the fundamentals of photography and learned that once she had a solid foundation, her skills could be applied across the board.

She returned home to Mexico, finished her studies and continued working her jobs at a bakery and a flower shop. She fully admits not knowing exactly where she wanted to go with photography, or even what she wanted to shoot the most. So, she did the best possible thing for any photographer in the same situation: she got to work.  Along with a couple of friends, Laura rented a studio (she calls it her “creative space”) and began scheduling photo shoots with friends and friends-of-friends, so that she could “keep learning and learning and learning new things.”

Self-assignment images. © Laura Menchaca

Front side of an RMSP promotional mailer featuring Laura's image of fellow student Krista Welch

Through these self-assignments and learning exercises, things started to take shape. She was contacted to take some photographs for Orange Marketing, a local modeling agency in her area. Shortly thereafter, the local newspaper, El Norte contacted her to shoot a story for their Autumn/Winter issue.  After that, she was contacted by yet another local publication, Chic Magazine, which featured her images on their cover as well as on several pages inside.  Wait… there’s more.  After the Chic exposure, the national magazine INMOBILIARIE called on Laura to shoot a cover for them after their photographer cancelled.

Aside from these, you know, minor accomplishments (cough, cough) Laura has covered social events, taken portraits and has experimented with shooting products. In her own words, “I´ll really do whatever I´m asked to do! Even if it´s not my specialty, I love the challenge!  I just never close a door to an opportunity.

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As for the future of Laura’s photography, she has her eyes set on shooting weddings in the near future. Considering that her portrait work is stunning, and that she has worked in flower shops preparing arrangements for weddings in the past, I can’t imagine she would be anything but a natural.

Are you familiar with Laura or her work? Drop her a line in the comment section below.