Today we’d like to introduce you to Manolo Grajeda.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born and raised in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and immigrated to the US when I finished high school. My journey in the US began when joining the US Army and becoming a Paramedic. I worked as an Emergency Medical Technicians for several years in the emergency room at Spring Branch Hospital while I was working on my undergraduate degree. I graduated from Houston Baptist University with a double major in Biology and Spanish and soon after I started working at Baylor College of Medicine. I spent several years in the Ophthalmology and Oncology departments at Texas Children and the Methodist Hospital.
In 1998, I decided to change careers and became a school teacher. This inspired me to continue my learning in now a new field of study and returned to HBU to pursue a graduate degree in Education with a specialization in Bilingual Education. In the last decade, I discovered photography and fell in love with it. My love for photography and my passion for teaching led me to the creation of a photography group called Discovering Houston Photography Meetup, where I lead photography, outings, and teach different techniques in the art of photography. As of today, my photography group has over 1,200 members and more are welcome by the day. I currently work as a teacher in the Alief Independent District and as Adjunct Professor in the Education Department at the University of Saint Thomas. As a photographer, I specialize in sports, birth, and artistic photography. During summertime, I spend several weeks exploring the culture of Guatemala by photographing its people, beautiful landscapes, and it’s glorious Mesoamerican past.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The process of immigrating to a new country with so many cultural difference from my own is not an easy road to take. One becomes almost impatient throughout the process. The language is not learned fast enough. The college interviews don’t go as expected. The established system is so different from the one I left at home. One is expected to assimilate and acculturate whereas the realization is that one’s culture should become part of the landscape of these new lands. This process was a challenge at first but the results have been fulfilling.
Please tell us about Lux Photography Houston.
My dream job is related to photography and traveling, however, at this point in my life, I am not able to dedicate 100% of my time to it just yet. Presently, I hold a full time teaching position at the Alief ISD and I am also an adjunct professor at UST. However, weekends and summer months provide me with the opportunity to explore the art of photography. Lux Photography began after many calls from friends and friends of friends, who wanted me to take pictures of their weddings, graduations, senior pictures and so on. I consider myself an artistic photographer who loves, sports, travel, and landscape photography, but ultimately this is just for my own pleasure. Right now, I am aiming to become a specialist in childbirth photography, I find it incredibly amazing and exhilarating to witness and photograph some of life precious moments. This type of photography is rather complicated because you never have the ideal conditions, you can’t ask anyone to pose, the spaces are tights, the lights can be in a less than desirable location, emotions are high and you only have a few seconds to work your magic! Along with that, you have to be on standby for a long time and having excellent communication with the parents to be is a requirement. There are several fields of photography and would be extremely difficult to master all of them, so finding a niche is a wise idea. Although I’m currently focusing on childbirth photography, I also find ways to improve my photographic skills in other areas. In about two years, Lux Photography will become a traveling/adventure photography company that will concentrate on giving photographers the opportunity to learn other types of photography while visiting exotic places in Latin America. Today, Lux Photography offers services of childbirth photography, senior pictures, weddings, and other events.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I can really claim that I had a really happy childhood and adolescence. Some of my happiest childhood memories come from visiting and staying at my grandparents’ beach house. My grandparents lived on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Guatemala. I spent countless days as a kid and adolescent playing with my siblings and cousins on the black volcanic sands and swimming in the rough waters of Puerto de San Jose. The sound of the crashing waves, the heat of the Caribbean Sun, and the time with my entire family are what I miss and treasure the most about my childhood days.
- childbirth photography packages starting at $1,600
- weddings packages starting at $1,600
- senior graduation packages starting at $300
- Address: 12922 Skymeadow, Houston, TX 77082
- Website: www.lux-photography.com
- Phone: 281-235-7725
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/luxphotohouston
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/luxhouston
All pictures were taken by Manolo Grajeda