Spotlight Interview … Photographer Walter Melabehar-Cantu

JRP: Walter Malabehar-Cantu is photographer who made his reputation as a wedding photographer. Today Walter is pushing his creative vision as a fashion shooter. Thank you Walter for sharing a few moments with JRP Blog. Where is home for you Walter?

Walter Malabehar-Cantu: Home is the beautiful Windy City of Chicago!

JRP: How did you get started in photography, and do you have any formal training in your background?


Walter Malabehar-Cantu: I started shooting as a hobbyist when I was around 13 years old. I never was thinking about taking photography seriously, but not till I’ve landed a job at Calumet Photographic in the early 90’s. I was honored to get training from all the Pro’s and vendors who were apart of Calumet. The one that really inspired me the most was the late Dean Collins, what a great mentor.

JRP: What is it about photography that motivates you?

Walter Malabehar-Cantu: The art of creating an image that inspires others. Leaving a part of your artistic vision behind, so others can view. They may or may not like the art, but they now know you existed.

JRP: You are an accomplished wedding photographer now expanding into fashion. How do you balance the two genres and maintain a high level of artistry?

Walter Malabehar-Cantu: Today’s wedding market is more drawn to offering a more Fashion and Life style look. I’m focusing on marketing more on fashion/beauty work, applying these looks to my wedding clients will then come more natural.

JRP: Equipment wise what would I find in your camera bag / studio for a typical shoot? What lighting equipment do you favor?

Walter Malabehar-Cantu: I have been shooting Digital for about 10 years now. I am currently using the Canon digital camera system with 4 major lenses & flashes. My strobe lighting is some old Series One Travelites and my favorite reflector the Mola Demi. I have other light modifiers I use but this is my main set up. I was taught to keep it simple.

JRP: Please describe your digital workflow and the software you use.

Walter Malabehar-Cantu: Editing image can be long days especially after shooting a few events on weekends, so I try to use the easiest and fastest workflow. Adobe LightRoom and Photoshop are the two main programs I use.

JRP: Do you get involved with any image printing?

Walter Malabehar-Cantu: I totally use a pro Lab for any printing. I work close with my local lab. We’ve worked together to get the same printed image as displayed on my computer screen.

JRP: Could you break down one of your images and explain the lighting or any special concerns you might of had during the shoot or capture of the image?


Walter Malabehar-Cantu: I would have to say the image of my Beauty Spider concept. I had this concept in my head for months. I couldn’t really find the correct spiders and talent for the image. I was getting frustrate! After month of research, I finally found all the pieces to the puzzle. It was finally time to capture this concept; my only problem during the shoot was getting the spiders to sit still and keeping the lipstick from smudging the model face.  I used a very simple lighting concept, one Monobloc with a Mola Demi reflector about a foot away from me. I try to shoot all my Beauty work with one light source.

JRP: What has been some of the best advice given to you by another photographer?


Walter Malabehar-Cantu: Boy o boy! Working with a major photographic dealer for many years and going to every trade show you meet and talk to the best of the best. My dad once said, “Achieve, Over Achieve, and Inspire to Achieve!” That’s my goal every time.

JRP: What advice would you like to share?

Walter Malabehar-Cantu: Achieve, Over Achieve, and Inspire to Achieve!

JRP: Thank you Walter for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been a pleasure talking with you. We wish you continued success.

Walter Malabehar-Cantu: Thank you for offering me this opportunity to share a little of me to your viewers. It is an honor to be apart of a great group that inspires other to network and share their experiences.

JRP: To view more of Walter Malabehar-Cantu’s photography please follow this link: www.kaizenfoto.com

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