Lissa Baca, an English major at the University of New Mexico, has been taking pictures since she first learned how to click a camera. She does photography for fun, but she says that she does not consider herself to be a photographer. Still, through her hobby, she created the image “Body of Light,” which was chosen for the WRHC award in photography in this year’s issue of Scribendi.
The photo is evocative, a snapshot of an illuminated toy skeleton outlined against a backdrop of shadow. Baca said that she was taking a photography class and that she needed to borrow her friend’s DSLR camera for a project, and one weekend for her brother’s birthday, she took along the DSLR on a trip to Tinkertown, a folk art and memorabilia museum in the Sandia mountains of Albuquerque. At the museum, she noticed the “little plastic guy,” Baca said, and she took the photo on a whim. But it came to mean more to her than she had first assumed. “It stuck out to me both because I was just playing with lighting, but also because of [its connection] to body image,” she explained. Body image “is something that is important to me,” Baca said. This is the reason for the name of the photo, she explained: it is based on “the idea of being a body of light versus mass.”
In her other photos, some of Baca’s favorite subject matter are flowers and sunsets, which, she notes, are two things that New Mexico provides plenty of. Especially during the spring, “when everything is blooming and I have to walk twenty minutes from my car to work every day,” she will take opportunities to stop and take photos of the flowers on the neighborhood bushes and trees. “My phone and Instagram are full of flowers,” Baca said, adding that “I don’t normally do a lot of photography but I love photo editing,” and flowers are fun and easier to edit.
Baca said that she enjoys the work of Ansel Adams and Annie Leibovitz, as well as local photographer Nora Sue. She says that she has done modeling work with local photographers in the past, and that she hopes to continue modeling in the future. After she graduates, she still wants to get back into the “community of models and photographers” in Albuquerque, but looks at both more as hobbies than a career track.
We encourage you to look for Lissa Baca’s piece, “Body of Light,” in the 2017 edition of Scribendi. Also in this issue, we have other powerful pieces, including music videos, sculptures, paintings, poems and short stories.