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William Vázquez is an advertising, portrait & documentary photographer based in New York, USA.

Creating memories

Women who work to fertilize the rice fields with cow manure.  Bhutan.

Women who work to fertilize the rice fields with cow manure. Bhutan.

To me there is nothing more satisfying to be a witness or a protagonist in those moments that leave a memory for yourself or others.  Whether its witnessing a birth in a tent in the terrible aftermath of a Typhoon or just being a welcome distraction to someones day. For example these ladies were working in the rice fields in Bhutan. We had seen them from a distance away so we crossed the fields to investigate. As we approach they ignore me. I start photographing them and basically begin to be a distraction (something I do well). After a while curiosity takes over and they start talk talking to me through my guide asking what I was doing there and what do I want. I said I want nothing except to spend a little time with them and learn about them. In those moments of sharing you get little random tidbits that make like special. One tidbit that stood out is that they like smear cow manure on faces of any love interest. Just to show if you love me you can handle this....

As we left they shouted "I love you!" My daughter who was with me says to me. "I am going to tell mommy!" I told her, I think they just want to smear cow manure on my face.

I like to think that in those few minutes we spent together they will have a strong memory of the encounter. It certainly did for me.

 

Serendipitous moments while out in the field. Bhutan

"Guys whats going on????" That was my question to my driver and guide after spotting masked men with torches stopping cars on the road we are driving on. In my experience masked men stopping cars on a quiet road, at night, is something to be very worried about, and always avoided. I was putting on my New York don't mess with me face. After a moment the driver replies. "Oh wow this is great, man!" What! what are they doing? I say. The driver says "You are lucky they are chasing off the bad spirits!" So I got out to chase them to get some photos, but they were off chasing the spirits faster than I could catch them. Almost like spirits themselves.

A little local knowledge goes a long way when traveling. I was able to breathe again, although it was tough at 10,000 feet.

I love moments like these...

Shot with a Sony A7s iso 64000 f4 1/20 sec

2016 new year, new photography website

Starting 2016 with a new site full of recent work illustrating the direction that my work has been going these last few years. The site still needs work and like a house it "will never be done" but that is the inspiration to keep making the site better and create compelling images.

2015 was a year of firsts. Besides my commercial photography work, I started a new company (Camera Voyages) with Bruce Byers creating and leading photographic workshops to different parts of the world. Also I got to take my youngest daughter on a photo trip with me to Bhutan and Nepal. Normally my photo assignments are mad dash through airports and places, which would be no fun for anyone. So it was great to spend 2 1/2 weeks with my youngest in beautiful, interesting places like Bhutan and Nepal, and experience a different way of life

2 1/2 hours into our climb up to Tigers Nest just outside Paro,  Bhutan. An amazing Buddhist Monastery 9000 feet up. in the mountains.

2 1/2 hours into our climb up to Tigers Nest just outside Paro,  Bhutan. An amazing Buddhist Monastery 9000 feet up. in the mountains.