Luis M. Garza began his photographic journey long ago when his parents asked him to take photos with an old Kodak Pocket Instamatic 110 film camera. Then, as a gift, during his high school years his uncle gave him his first Canon 35mm film camera. With that camera and and a fascination of darkroom photographic printmaking he was hooked on capturing and creating photographs of anything that would inspire him. Later, during his undergraduate studies, Luis was nominated and voted as Vice President of the Exposure Photography Club of UTSA. One of the many duties he undertook was tutoring classmates on digital techniques in Adobe Photoshop. He also participated in an internship program with Arturo Almeida, Art Specialist/Curator for the UTSA Art Collection. His assignment was to carry out the photographic reproduction of the UTSA Art Collection for management, cataloguing and web presentation proposes.
Since 2006 Luis has been a part of Jowdy Photography, an association, convention, corporate and special events photography company. His experience has encompassed many facets of a photography business not only in digital photography but from computer networking and administration to digital content management as well as graphic/web design and print output. One major part of his position was to manage and train new and existing photographers on concepts of composition, lighting, and camera operation. Luis also trained photographers and computer technicians on programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom and other photographic and design programs. He has had the opportunity to work with many technical and creative professionals during this time. These opportunities have revealed to him that digital content, creative consistency and it's maintainability are key to a successful operation and business, big or small.
Luis M Garza's career trajectory includes the following goal orientated missions.
- Establish himself as a skilled Photographic Artist and Graphic-Web Designer
- Establish himself as an entrepreneur through various ventures centered in photography
- Establish himself as an arts professional advocating for Latino arts field, the photographic arts field and the value that the many artists and organizations in these fields represent
The steps Luis has taken the past 8 years have garnered successful endeavors at reaching the the first two goals. These steps involved working his way up from photo editor to project manager in a photography company and creating his own entrepreneurial ventures through LMG Photography and Art, PlusMinusFive Endeavors and his website LMGPhotoarts.com. Luis is working through the third goal; returning to the arts community and giving back to it by participating and collaborating with San Antonio area artists Kim Bishop and Luis Valderas. Luis is now on the staff of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC).
In January 2012, Luis began at NALAC as a Communications Intern under the supervision of Rosa Maria Saldaña-Bayram. As communications intern he helped facilitate the strategic marketing plan and outreach initiatives by maintaining and updating NALAC's social media platforms, website and email campaigns with consistent content and graphic design elements throughout. He uses content management strategies to organize the local and online files and documents. He continues to monitor and troubleshoot the content, design and functionality of NALAC's websites by phasing in new design elements such as implementing short urls and integrating Eventbrite, Issuu, Google Calendar and other media types into the website design. In September of 2013, he accepted a staff position in the organization and took over the process, management and upkeep of the membership database in Filemaker. For the first half of 2014 Luis has overseen the migration NALAC's database information from the archive Filemaker database to the cloud based eTapestry/Blackbaud database solution. He is now working under the supervision of Deputy Director Adriana Gallego as Program Assistant, where he has begun assisting in the administration of the NALAC Fund for the Arts (NFA), Transnational Cultural Remittances (TCR), and Diverse Art Spaces (DAS), grant programs.
As NALAC moves forward with the leadership of Maria López De Léon, Luis will contribute as part of an innovation team to overhaul the membership process and continue to leverage NALAC's commitment and influence in the Latino arts field. He will use skills learned through his participation in the intensive NALAC Leadership Institute to fulfill NALAC's vision and mission. Luis M Garza's personal mission is now informed and guided by his involvement with this extraordinary organization. His mission is to advocate for the appreciation of the diversity of the various Latino cultures and the ways and means that Art is inherently a part of the human experience. Luis' acquired experiences from the corporate environment, the non-profit arts sector as well as his experience as a content creator, manager and fine artist has given him a comprehensive skill set that provides assurance that projects undertaken by him will be accomplished efficiently, professionally and artistically.