Richard Photo Lab

Richard’s Photographer Spotlight: Jose Villa

Richard Photo Lab is shining the photog spotlight on our friend Jose Villa! Jose is a crazy-talented fine art wedding photographer, crafting romantic, playful, and stunning images… he’s all about making something beautiful. We got to have a cozy lil’ chitchat with this legendary photog, so take some time to get to know Jose!

Richard: What is your favorite camera and why?

Jose Villa: I love my Contax 645 camera with my 80 mm 2.0 lens. I've had this camera since it came out 14 years ago. The price was more than $7,000, but I was lucky enough to get it for half that amount because I was still a student. It was collecting dust for more than two years after I got it because I was so afraid to use it!

At that time the price of film and processing was way less than today, so I had no excuse... It just seemed too heavy and too slow, but I finally picked it up and challenged myself to make pretty photos on my own time. When I got the results back from the lab, I was hooked!

R: What's your favorite memory of shooting with film?

JV: My favorite memory has to be traveling the world with a Holga and/or my Hassleblad. Places like Cuba, Morocco, Mexico, Italy and France have me giddy to go back...

Image by Jose Villa

R: Why is it important to have continuous communication with your lab(s)?

JV: Oh, don't get my started here... I try to tell myself that I’m not that technical, etc, etc, but the bottom line is that I actually am. I know what I want and I know what I need to get that look for myself and my clients.

Communication is key when finding that look and feel of your final images... The good news is that you have options--the bad news is that the reaction you'll get back from each lab is never the same.

Find the lab that makes you shine, and on top of that, the one that makes you feel good and look good. Richard Photo Lab is that for me; believe me, I've done the testing!

R: Do you have any pre-shoot rituals? We wanna know the quirky, weird stuff.

JV: I don’t like to eat breakfast before I shoot a wedding! I will feel too full and it will make me look five pounds heavier. I also like to pack my bag totally last minute; it gives me a rush and a heart pounding to make sure I get it all. I just hope I don’t forget my film on the way out... EEEK!

Image by Jose Villa

R: Let’s play a game of “Either/Or”! Savory or sweet?

JV: Savory.

R: Dogs or cats?

JV: Dogs.

R: Vintage or modern?

JV: Vintage.

R: Warm weather or cold weather?

JV: Warm weather.

R: Biggie or Tupac?

JV: Biggie.

R: Early bird or night owl?

JV: Early bird.

R: Crossword or Sudoku?

JV: Sudoku.

R: Chocolate or vanilla?

JV: Chocolate.

R: Urban or rural?

JV: Rural.

R: Breakfast or dinner?

JV: Dinner.

R: Batman or Superman?

JV: Superman.

R: Historical Non-fiction or SciFi/Fantasy?

JV: Historical Non-Fiction.

R: Comedy or drama?

JV: Comedy.

R: Truth or dare?

JV: Dare.

Image by Jose Villa

R: What song/music do you listen to get pumped up?

JV: Anything that is new today… I’m even okay with some Taylor Swift.

R: If you weren't a photographer, what would you be when you grow up?

JV: I like the idea of being a stylist. Or a set designer. Or even a mailman! Whatever it takes to make people happy.

Image by Jose Villa

R: If you were a super hero, what would your super power be?

JV: To have the power show up anywhere in the world with a snap of a finger!

R: What is your favorite word, and why?

JV: "Yikes"! LOL, because it reminds me of old school cartoons, and I loved watching cartoons when I was younger (and even today if I had time!)