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Dottie Lopez: The Life Different, Northern New Mexico

Artist’s Statement:

I was born and raised in Northern New Mexico. I played with my many cousins in Espanola and spent many days visiting my Great Aunts and Uncles in Cundiyo. I remember fishing in the small streams and picking fresh vegetables from the local gardens. The beauty of the area is a memory I often revisit and will always treasure.

I spent many years living away from the area and I grew more and more “homesick” for the rich and deeply embedded Hispanic culture, the food, the music, the religious traditions and, yes…the lowriders.

Since returning to The Land of Enchantment, I have begun to document this often misunderstood, yet deeply committed community. I admire how the strong traditions have been handed down through the generations.

By documenting the Hispanic culture of Northern New Mexico, I hope to open communications between the new and the old. This includes the new comers to New Mexico who, anxious to create their own traditions and bring change, often by pass it’s rich history. I want to share the link to the past; many of the images I take today can easily be mistaken for photos taken years ago. Fortunately, some things never change.

I want to capture and share the beauty of the traditions, woodwork, murals and the attention to detail that our local artists exhibit. Mostly I want to share my love for the culture and the history that is New Mexico. I want my images to become a part of the visual history – documenting the rich traditions and the life different, in Northern New Mexico.

Artist’s Bio:

Dottie Lopez is a freelance photographer and educator. In 2004 she left a career in corporate America to pursue the work she loved, photography.

As a student at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, she enhanced her photographic and darkroom skills and immersed herself in the digital world.

Dottie then became a course assistant at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, where she seized the opportunity to work with and learn from many of today’s photography masters. In the digital lab, she gained knowledge and technique from several renowned Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop artists. Dottie was also honored to work alongside and learn from numerous National Geographic Photographers. Dottie has had the distinct honor of instructing at The Workshops. She instructs courses in Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Beginning Digital Photography, Infrared Photography and Composition and Light. She also provides instruction at The Santa Fe Community College, Northern New Mexico College and she recently stepped back into The Darkroom to instruct young analog photographers at Los Alamos High School.

One of her personal endeavors is to document and illustrate the simple and familiar life of Northern New Mexico. Two of her favorite subjects are her parents who are seventh generation New Mexicans. She has and will continue to document New Mexico’s land, people and traditions in the hope of sharing this record with future generations.

Dottie’s photographic style makes her uniquely qualified to capture the distinctiveness of her subjects. She is patient, light-hearted, contemplative and eases her subjects into revealing their unique nature. Her portraits are honest and moving.

Today Dottie provides private tutoring and consulting. She works with her students to enhance their own photographic style and interests. She provides instruction in Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements and Digital Infrared Photography. Dottie can also provide guidance for those individuals new to digital cameras.