16 Questions about One Photo with Dan Perez: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Tlaquepaque, Mexico

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15th-October 15th. To celebrate, we’re highlighting photos and stories of some of the awesome Hispanic photographers within the Flickr Community.

1. Please introduce yourself. Who are you? What do you do? How long have you been into photography? 

My name is Dan Perez, I’m an award winning documentary filmmaker and photographer based in South Florida. I’ve always loved taking photographs but I guess I became a “photographer” when I purchased my first DSLR (the Lumix GH2) back in 2011.

2. In one sentence, please describe what you captured in this shot.

This photograph is a sweet candid moment between two seniors.

3. Why did you select this photo to share?

It’s one of my favorite photographs. Why? Read on for the backstory…

4. What style of photography would you describe this as and do you typically take photographs in this style? 

This would be considered street photography and yes, this is my preferred style of photography. As a documentary filmmaker, I focus on the “real” and street photography is capturing images as you see them, as they happen; it’s organic. Kind of like how life should be, no? Alas.

5. When and where was this photo taken? 

This photograph was taken in the beautiful Mexican art town of Tlaquepaque, Mexico in January of 2020. It’s a “Pueblo Mágico” (Magic Town), a program launched by the Mexico Tourism Board that designates a special title to Mexican towns that demonstrate historical, cultural, and aesthetic qualities that make it wholly unique and worthy of a visit from tourists.

6. Was anyone with you when you took this photo?

My 22 year old daughter and travel partner was with me at the time.

7. What equipment (hardware and software) did you use?

Sony A7III with a Canon 135mm 2.8 lens (using an adapter). Photoshop.

8. What drew you to take this photo? 

I first saw this couple walking arm in arm through Tlaquepaque’s bustling Calle Independencia. They were looking at each other and smiling, they were adorable. I just had to get a photograph of them so I snapped on a 135mm lens and walked about 60 feet in front of them trying not to be noticed. I snapped several photographs but couldn’t get a clear shot – until they decided to sit down on this bench. Then I got into position across from them (still unnoticed) and after a few tries, got this shot here.

9. How many attempts did it take to get this shot? How long did it take you to get one that you were satisfied with? 

Took about 22 shots of them walking and sitting to get the keeper. Stalked them for about 20 minutes.

10. Did you edit (or do any post-processing/production on) this photo?

A bit of editing in Photoshop, not too much – color, contrast, detail.

11. What encouraged you to share this photo online and with others? 

My wife of 20 years passed away in 2018 at only 51 years old. She had health problems all her life and we both knew, deep down, that we probably wouldn’t grow old together so seeing this couple gave me a glimpse of how we most likely would have been in our older age. Hopefully, it might give some younger couples or newlyweds something to strive for. The response to this photo (views/faves) speaks for itself.

12. Is there anything more about this photograph you would like to share?

After I shot the photograph, there was a street musician just pulling out his violin right beside the bench this older couple was sitting on and the first song he began to play was “In My Place” by Coldplay, my wife’s favorite band(!). Tears started rolling down my cheeks as I stood there on the street. It was a message from my wife from wherever the good souls go when they leave this world – and this older couple had seemingly led me to that spot. I’ll never forget that moment.

13. Did you learn anything in the process of taking, editing, or sharing this photo?

Photography sometimes rewards the photographer for seeing the world with their third eye (their “lens”) and that the most powerful photos usually just happen naturally – but we need to be looking for them.

14. What would you like people to take away from this photo?

That the elusive “until death do us part” kind of love still exists.

15. Is there any feedback that you’d like to get on this shot?

Feedback is always welcome but the backstory from this photograph matters much more to me than the photograph itself.

16. How can anyone reading this support your work?

They can visit my website, www.danperezphotography.com and view my work (feedback welcome and appreciated), check out my available photographs and order prints on https://danperezphotography.smugmug.com or simply connect with me on Instagram (@danperezphotography)

About Dan Perez

Dan Perez, independant documentary filmmaker.

Dan Perez (he/him) is a multiple award-winning documentary filmmaker, photographer, traveler and overall nice guy. Raised in NYC, he currently resides in South Florida. Dan was one of five winners chosen (out of over 7000 submissions) in the Flickr 2018 “Your Best Shot” photography competition.